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What are my chances for 2018-2019 cycle?


Guest blee100

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Guest blee100

I'm a junior at the moment but credit wise i'm a first-semester senior. I would like to apply the first week of May so I can try and get in without a gap year.

Health Care Experience: 2,160 hours or more by the time of the cycle opening (Positions were Ophthalmic Technician, Physical Therapy Aide, Medical Assistant for Pain Management/ Primary Care Facility)

Volunteer: Assisting an Optometrist with prescriptions for low-income preschoolers as well as hearing test, Yearly fundraiser set up for Crohns disease, Fundraiser for Alzheimer research, Health Care Fairs, Make a Difference Day Volunteer (73 hours so far but will be working on getting 100 before May)

Awards: Dean List on Numerous occasions, Scholarship Recipient for two years, Tuition award from my university until I graduate

Extracurricular Activities; In my school pre-physician assistant club, and global medical brigade club (Not much leadership cause my healthcare experience take up alot of my time)

Cumulative Gpa at the moment: 3.7

Science Gpa at the moment:  3.31( I'm taking genetics and epidemiology now, chem 2/L in summer and orgo 1/L in the fall, All the schools I'm applying to allow pending coursework when I apply)

Shadowing: Dermatologist PA, Urgent Care PA, Primary Care PA (50 hours- and working toward looking for surgical PAs to reach 100 hours before May) 

LOR: will be coming from Dermatologist PA or Primary Care PA I shadow most likely, Genetics professor, NP and MD I work with at my job

Personal Statement: Pending ( I've had good feedback from the people I've had read it through and been going to the writing center to have them review any errors as I go along)

I would like to go on a Medical Mission Trip to Peru this summer with my school but If I don't come up with the money do you think not going on the medical mission trip will be one of the components that will stop me from getting into some programs? Also, I haven't taken my GRE which I know is bad but I'm going try and get it done this semester or just apply to schools that don't require the GRE.

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Guest blee100

I was thinking it would hurt me because the accepted stats I see on the forum. A lot of students have medical mission trips under their belt and I don't know if I can afford to go and pay for application fees. Only two courses (Chem2, Orgo 1) will be pending during the application process. 

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No need to go on a medical mission to get experience with direct patient care with underserved communities! I volunteered a few different community health centers/ free clinics to gain volunteer experience during undergrad! I was able to work closely with RNs, PAs and physicians, perform direct patient care, and learn how to do more procedures/ tests than would be allowed in a hospital setting!

Best part was I was able to obtain hours and valuable experience during undergrad all on my own time, instead of being scheduled "x" amount of hours per week at a job!

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I agree with Kaylee, a medical mission trip isn't the only way to help under-served communities. I also got some of my hours from volunteering at a free clinic for the medically under-served on a continuing basis; it was great experience, it looked good on applications, and I truly enjoyed doing the work (volunteers in these places tend to be there because they want to be, and it really comes through in their positive attitudes).

These types of places are a great asset to the communities they serve; PA programs know this and value that type of experience (especially if you can demonstrate a continuing commitment over time). Medical mission trips, while probably fun experiences, are a dime a dozen these days in terms of applicants having done them, so it doesn't really make you stand out in any special way, and it also doesn't show a continuing commitment to the under-served. If you are able to do the trip then by all means go for it, but don't think it's the only way you can help out an under-served community, or that it's going to hold you back from getting in somewhere if you don't go. 

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Guest blee100

Thank you @ProSpectre, for the reassurance.I actually have a meeting with a free health care clinic on Thursday to set up areas I can assist them with. I truly do enjoy helping the under-served areas. Anytime the optometrist sends me an email to assist with preschoolers in a low-income area I run for it.  Until May I will focus on getting a buildup of volunteer hours there. I do wish I could have started at this health care clinic sooner as a volunteer but they actually had a waitlist for volunteers!

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Also keep in mind that many schools will extrapolate hours out into the future if it's something you continue to do after you submit applications (for both volunteer and PCE hours). You can mention in your CASPA description that you have x amount of hours so far, but will be continuing to do the experience for the foreseeable future. This way, if certain schools take a few months to review your application, they will know that your hours listed are likely higher and will continue to grow. Additionally, you can use it as an opportunity to send updates to schools you haven't heard anything from after a couple months, which is a good way to keep your name visible; you just send an email with an updated number of hours and ask them to update your file. This is more important for PCE, but if your volunteering involves patient care then it would be valid. 

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