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Discouraged- Should I give up? HELP


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Hello all! 

I am 23 years old and interested in becoming a PA. I have recently completed my B.S. and am now finishing up my pre-reqs to apply for PA school. I am feeling pretty discouraged though due to the high standards of the different programs. I am seeking advice on how my resume looks currently and with what I am doing now to become a competitive applicant, should I keep trying or should I give up?

GPA: 3.1 currently; I am taking microbiology (4 credits) and genetics (4 credits) currently for the first time. I am also retaking biology 1 (4 credits.) I also need to complete biochemistry and biology 2 for the first time, both are 4 credits. So my GPA will increase from this. I am also planning on completing an EMT program this summer, which will count towards my GPA and I'm planning on retaking anatomy and physiology 1 and 2.

GRE: have not taken yet

Patient care experience: 1,020 hours as an athletic trainer (EMT work after I complete the program will increase this amount with a new healthcare experience)

Shadowing: 130 hours shadowing PA's and MD's 

Volunteer Work: 215 (this includes: scribing, rehabilitation with patients, children's hospital, etc.)

Recommendation: 1 from an MD I worked with as an ATC, I have 2 phenomenal letters from two directors from my athletic training department in undergrad, but haven't asked a PA yet.

I know I will make a great PA, but my GPA doesn't show how I perform clinically. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for the past 5 years, and my medication was changed all throughout college, which really made it hard for me to do well in my classes.. Unfortunately, I am on a steady medication that works well with me now, which is why I have an upward trend in my last 75 credits. 

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Sounds like a solid plan, those classes will bring your gpa up. The EMT course is a great idea as it is normally 10 credits or so, which has potentially to give you a good bump if you can manage an A. I wouldn’t give up you are so young, you have time to fix things and are already making strides to do that. A reminder the average age of PA students is around 27 or 28 at most programs so you have plenty of time.

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Why would you give up before really starting (your headline)?  I got into PA school this year with similar a GPA, I am 29 years old, 23 is young and you have plenty of time.  I would figure out where you stand as far as cumulative GPA vs science GPA, you can calculate this by going to CASPA and seeing which of your courses are considered science related credits.

Keep taking science courses like you seems to be doing and do well in them by getting As.  I also went EMT route but job market was saturated in Minnesota, so I became a medical scribe and then a hemodialysis pct (I see you have another thread open).  The program director where I was accepted liked that I work with really sick patients, something to keep in mind.  

As far as athletic trainer goes, I am not sure if that counts as "direct" patient care experience or not.  I would think that it MIGHT be, perhaps others on this forum disagree and I would like to know if they do.  I would consider athletic training to be more "clients" than patients, but I am just assuming here.  PCE hours are also ranked by many of these PA programs and I would assume athletic training would be on the lower end of the spectrum based on my assumptions, again, perhaps I am wrong.

1 hour ago, AnneCypriano said:

know I will make a great PA, but my GPA doesn't show how I perform clinically.

Confidence is a good thing, but keep in mind that working in an actual clinical setting may change your opinion about where you want to go...have multiple options.  Keep up the upward trend.  Feel free to PM me if you would like to see my stats to see how I got in with similar GPAs.

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