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How to cope with the torture of waiting after applying to PA school


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I have applied to 16 PA schools and 1 NP school.  I've been denied by about 6 schools, accepted interview invite to one school, and still waiting to hear back from the others.  How do you cope with the agony of waiting??  Until I received the invite for one school I was beginning to think maybe I'm not cut out for this, or maybe it's because of my race, or maybe it's because of the state and school I came from, etc...  Are you experiencing self-doubt?  Any tips or advice?

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Keep working on improving your 'package' for next year: classes, certifications, PCE... be so busy preparing for next cycle that good news will interrupt your rhythm. :-)

I was a 2nd cycle admit.  Lots of very successful PAs were; being not accepted the first year doesn't mean anything at the end of the day, except that you've got plenty of experience when the cycle opens up again in a few months.

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Stay busy! Do things that will keep you motivated towards your goal. For me, my job at the hospital really kept me motivated so I worked my tail off. 

I'll second what was said above, don't get caught with your pants down with only a few months to prepare for your next cycle, if you don't get accepted this cycle. Maybe it will help the anxiety knowing you are already working on an improved application.

I was also a second time applicant when I was accepted. I know it is cliche and all but I'm so glad I didn't get in my first cycle. Looking back now, I wouldn't have it any other way, although it felt like torture while I was receiving so many rejections.

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On 1/23/2018 at 6:03 PM, B694515 said:

(trolling deleted -admin)

Thank you for all of the great advice everyone.  I have never applied for anything like this before and I've been waiting for a response from ANY school I applied to since July.  I imagine many people have different ways of coping with the silence and wonder of the application process. I am definitely going to suck it up & be happy about the interview I have received.  Perhaps I feel defeated because I had high hopes of getting many interviews and have my choice at which PA school I wanted to attend.  I consider myself to be a excellent candidate with a great GPA and prerequisite/science GPA with thousands of hours of PCE, and also thousands of hours volunteering.  Although I only have 165 hours of PA & MD shadowing.  Because of this, I don't know why I haven't been offered more interviews.  Maybe my letter of intent was not stellar?  Regardless, I'm stoked to have an interview at Lipscomb University in March and I'll be crossing my fingers for a PA school to pop up in CA (where I'm from).  

 

This post is for me as much as it is for everyone else.  Hateful comments like suck it up, stop making excuses, be happy, etc. are not constructive and make the speaker sound unsympathetic make me question their intention becoming a physician assistant.  Be courteous and support each other. 

 

 

 

Edited by rev ronin
Deleted trolling quoted by responder
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I think in a way, almost every single applicant goes through these same exact feelings. Am I good enough? Did I do enough to prepare? What could I have done to be better?

The more I looked back and tortured myself about what I could have done, the more I felt doubt start to creep in and that I should have sought out a different career to begin with. I started telling myself a personal mantra every day when I had a moment to myself, "You are good enough. You are a great applicant. You will succeed." Just saying those words out loud and hearing them was enough to make this long path seem a bit shorter. This is one of the most heart-wrenching and anxiety inducing things that I have experienced and I've had my fair share of tears (of course). But we will make it! You are going to get into PA school because you deserve it, you earned it, and you have prepared well.

I do hope you hear some more good news soon, interviews are always great but I completely understand how you're feeling about wanting to hear back from multiple schools/wanting your choice of where you wanted to attend. I wish you the best in your upcoming interview though, make sure you kill it. :)

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Each application year is its own thing. Get your packet together, polish it, apply and then it's out of your hands. Just keep living your life while you wait to see what happens. 

If you don't get in this year, then reevaluate your goal. If it's still what you want, figure out what to do in the coming year to make yourself a better applicant and select programs to apply to that you think best would fit your needs. Put another package together. (And maybe watch "Rudy" for encouragement!)

Like applying to PA programs, life is an endurance sport, not a sprint. Keep evaluating your goals and working to make them happen. Chances are, eventually you will end up where you were mean to be.

And the days that go by while you're waiting for lightning to strike are just as valuable to you as will be the day that a goal is reached. Enjoy as many of those days as you can. They're not coming back.

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i felt the EXACT same way you did ~2 years ago when I got 16 rejections in the first year I applied. I actually got one interview and felt on top of the moon, but i was denied after the interview. i went through serious waves of self doubt, contemplated other medical professions and even applied to a few random programs, but none of them got me as excited or as motivated as PA school did. i completely revamped by application (including my letter of intent, new letters of rec and got a new job) and I received 6 interviews out of the 13 schools I applied to. 2 acceptances so far! don't beat yourself up, it'll happen - just remain confident!

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This process is not an easy one, and honestly the waiting is probably one of the hardest parts. Don't be discouraged though; like others have said, think through the ways you can improve your application for next cycle, and start preparing it now. If you put this cycle out of your head and see this as an opportunity to have a great application next cycle, it will give you something to work towards and focus on again. Of course, still prepare for your interview (let me know if you need help with ways to do this), but view it for what it is, good practice and experience for next time. This way, if you get in this cycle it will be a nice surprise, and if not, you'll be even more prepared for next cycle since you'll be more experienced. 

Remember that part of the process is weeding people out who aren't dedicated; show your dedication by giving it all in your interviews, but having a positive attitude about how you will come back even stronger next cycle if this one isn't fruitful.   

While I'm still pulling for you to get an acceptance this cycle, one thing I will mention in regards to preparing for next cycle is the importance of your personal statement; I think people tend to underestimate it. The personal statement is one of the things that you have the greatest control over in a given application cycle (you can't change your GPA, and can only slowly increase your PCE in a given cycle), and it can potentially set you apart in a field of solid applicants. So if it does come down to you having to reapply, look at all the ways you can improve your app, but pay special attention to ensuring you write a kick-ass personal statement, and I bet the interviews will come rolling in. 

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2 minutes ago, ProSpectre said:

This process is not an easy one, and honestly the waiting is probably one of the hardest parts. Don't be discouraged though; like others have said, think through the ways you can improve your application for next cycle, and start preparing it now. If you put this cycle out of your head and see this as an opportunity to have a great application next cycle, it will give you something to work towards and focus on again. Of course, still prepare for your interview (let me know if you need help with ways to do this), but view it for what it is, good practice and experience for next time. This way, if you get in this cycle it will just be a nice surprise, and if not, you'll be even more prepared for next cycle since you'll be more experienced. 

Remember that part of the process is weeding people out who aren't dedicated; show your dedication by giving it all in your interviews, but having a positive attitude about how you will come back even stronger next cycle if this one isn't fruitful.   

While I'm still pulling for you to get an acceptance this cycle, one thing I will mention in regards to preparing for next cycle is the importance of your personal statement; I think people tend to underestimate it. The personal statement is one of the things that you have the greatest control over in a given application cycle (you can't change your GPA, and can only slowly increase your PCE in a given cycle), and it can potentially set you apart in a field of solid applicants. So if it does come down to you having to reapply, look at all the ways you can improve your app, but pay special attention to ensuring you write a kick-ass personal statement, and I bet the interviews will come rolling in. 

Thank you so much for this great info!  I would appreciate any tips you can give to help me prepare for the interview.  I'm a very outgoing person with a performance background so I'm not nervous at all.  I want to make sure I articulate my intent in person and make personal connections with the staff.  If this makes any difference, I'm a Christian with a minor in Bible & Theology and my interview is with Lipscomb University which is a private Christian school.  

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Like everyone has already stated, I would definitely start working on the 2018/2019 cycle application, rewriting a personal statement, shadowing, etc. to look better just in case! The hope is that you'll be offered a seat, and in the case that you are, then the time spent polishing up your application would've taken your mind off of the waiting game for a few months. In the unfortunate event that you do not get in this year, then you'll be prepared and ahead of the game for the next cycle. Good luck!

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