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Debating PA School


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Hello everyone!

 

I've recently been looking into PA as a potential career. But from what I've read so far, I'm a bit nervous. I have a BS in Electrical Engineering with a 3.0 GPA, and I don't know what my science GPA is, but it's probably lower. Engineers don't typically have upward grade trends as they progress, and I was no exception. I got an A in General Chem I, but I got a C in General Chem II. So I have a few questions:

1. Do admissions committees take into account the difficulty of one's major?

2. I take it that while they'll look at my science GPA, they'll care more about how I did in anatomy than in digital circuits?

3. If I were to go into PA, I'd head to community college and get EMT-P certified and try to work for a year. Would that get me enough HCE?

4. If for some reason I can't handle the stresses of paramedic work, I take it that I can take the certification and apply it else where? What would be the next best thing?

 

That's all I have for now! Thank you all ahead of time for your answers!

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I would say you would have enough health care hours if you worked as a EMT for a year to apply for CASPA to most schools, though I'm not sure if that solely would be enough HCE. I've had a lot of friends that's been rejected from PA school due to only accomplishing EMT work and hours as their only HCE and they had fantastic grades. However, I personally don't think it would be enough, but maybe some ADCOM's here can answer your questions better than I can.

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2 hours ago, ShockTherapy said:

1. Do admissions committees take into account the difficulty of one's major?

Probably not, they likely just look at the c/sGPA.  STEM students would be prioritized if they did looked at difficulty of major, but I didn't come across that while applying.  At least that is what I would think.

2 hours ago, ShockTherapy said:

2. I take it that while they'll look at my science GPA, they'll care more about how I did in anatomy than in digital circuits?

Probably, it is more applicable.  They sure didn't care about my B in Calculus.

2 hours ago, ShockTherapy said:

3. If I were to go into PA, I'd head to community college and get EMT-P certified and try to work for a year. Would that get me enough HCE?

EMT-P, why?  There might be some paramedics on here that might think differently than what I am about to say...but why spend all the money to get classes at a CC for PA prerequisite and grade building AND get a certificate to work as a paramedic?  Especially if you are going to only work for only a year.  Seems like a waste of money if all you want is some dPCE hours, you could get those as an EMT-B and not spend all that money.  I sure didn't need to.  I got my dPCE without spending a cent for a certificate.  

2 hours ago, ShockTherapy said:

I have a BS in Electrical Engineering with a 3.0 GPA, and I don't know what my science GPA is, but it's probably lower.

Most of these PA programs require 3.0 c/sGPA or higher, some I have heard accept 2.75 c/sGPA.  Just do well in your community college courses so it gets higher.

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I agree with everything above! I worked as an EMT-B for 4 years throughout college and was accepted with that experience! EMT-P is a bunch of extra work and $$$ to only use it a year. I also still work as an EMT-B sometimes to keep my certification up to date. Yes, paramedic experience is valued highly by ADCOM but a paramedic with only 1 year of experience isn't very much. Have you worked as a basic before at least? 

But definitely take the rest of your pre reqs at CC if you can and bump that GPA up :) Goodluck!

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13 hours ago, Ket131 said:

 

EMT-P, why?  There might be some paramedics on here that might think differently than what I am about to say...but why spend all the money to get classes at a CC for PA prerequisite and grade building AND get a certificate to work as a paramedic?  Especially if you are going to only work for only a year.  Seems like a waste of money if all you want is some dPCE hours, you could get those as an EMT-B and not spend all that money.  I sure didn't need to.  I got my dPCE without spending a cent for a certificate.  

 

Id like to echo on this fact.  Paying all that money and spending all that time to go EMT just for the years worth experience might not be the best route.  what other options are there?

I had some military healthcare experience but after I got out of the Navy, I branched out and sought volunteer and paid healthcare experience in multiple fields; ophthalmology (suprisingly solid entry level medical experience) and multi-specialty telehealth.  Consider allied health fields where all you need is a certification.  Consider scribing.  Consider volunteering.  You have an engineering degree; what if you tried to pursue some sort of entry-level bio-med gig in addition to some part-time scribing. 

 

Be creative.  Stand out among all the other former EMT applicants. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, SephONE said:

Id like to echo on this fact.  Paying all that money and spending all that time to go EMT just for the years worth experience might not be the best route.  what other options are there?

I had some military healthcare experience but after I got out of the Navy, I branched out and sought volunteer and paid healthcare experience in multiple fields; ophthalmology (suprisingly solid entry level medical experience) and multi-specialty telehealth.  Consider allied health fields where all you need is a certification.  Consider scribing.  Consider volunteering.  You have an engineering degree; what if you tried to pursue some sort of entry-level bio-med gig in addition to some part-time scribing. 

 

Be creative.  Stand out among all the other former EMT applicants. 

 

 

I'm not sure a biomedical engineering job is feasible. And my other options are surgical tech and CNA. 

 

EDIT: Medical Assistant is an option, but it's two years.

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I came from a very different education background/career as well, and had to pull a 3.0 up to a 3.5. It's doable, but tough. 

To answer your questions: 

1. No. 

2. Yes. I had a D in geology and a C in marine science. Nobody mentioned it. 

3. I echo others' comments, paramedic isn't necessary unless it's something you're really passionate about. The hours are more important. If I was in your position I'd do EMT-B. I did all my prereqs at Community Colleges, and totally fine to go that route. 

4. ED Tech, though those jobs can be tough to come by in many cities. 

I did surg tech as my route to PA school (i also didn't want to do a 2 year MA program), lmk if you have any questions. 

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Explore opportunities for patient care in multiple specialties and settings.  I'm not sure what sorts of experience or qualifications you have already.  Im sure you can snag a medical assistant job even though you likely aren't and RMA or CMA.  you can work in clinical settings in specialties like derm, ophtho, fp, peds, etc.  Explore opportunities at local hospitals

If you are working healthcare for only one year it may be more difficult to "diversify", but what if you don't get accepted to PA school right away?  In this case, consider another job in another healthcare setting listed above. Doing this will establish you as a holistic, well rounded applicant to admissions committees.  

Again, I've never been part of an adcom though so take my advice as just one persons opinion.  it worked for me.

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39 minutes ago, SephONE said:

Explore opportunities for patient care in multiple specialties and settings.  I'm not sure what sorts of experience or qualifications you have already.  Im sure you can snag a medical assistant job even though you likely aren't and RMA or CMA.  you can work in clinical settings in specialties like derm, ophtho, fp, peds, etc.  Explore opportunities at local hospitals

If you are working healthcare for only one year it may be more difficult to "diversify", but what if you don't get accepted to PA school right away?  In this case, consider another job in another healthcare setting listed above. Doing this will establish you as a holistic, well rounded applicant to admissions committees.  

Again, I've never been part of an adcom though so take my advice as just one persons opinion.  it worked for me.

If getting an EMT-B for about three years is better than doing EMT-P for one, then I'd be happy to do EMT-B or another equivalent, especially since I could get certified so quickly. I did not know I could apply for MA positions without being certified though! Thank you for that!

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37 minutes ago, ShockTherapy said:

If getting an EMT-B for about three years is better than doing EMT-P for one, then I'd be happy to do EMT-B or another equivalent, especially since I could get certified so quickly. I did not know I could apply for MA positions without being certified though! Thank you for that!

If you pick an EMT - B you will be DONE by year 3. Its very, very easy to peak at that level in a high - volume EMS system.

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