As the sound of the saw cut through the room, I sat wide-eyed staring in disbelief at the technician removing my hot pink cast. Though this was not the first wrist break, nor would it be the last, that sound and memory is something that has forever stayed with me. It was from a young age that I realized hospitals were a neat, organized, well-oiled machine and I wanted to be a part of one. Growing up, my mom and I would watch the television show House, and even though it was a fictional portrayal of a not-your-typical doctor type, it caught my interest early on. Throughout my education, the idea of a career in the medical field fascinated me - until I was a junior in high-school. During that summer, I was outside with my mom doing yard work when she dropped a pole on her foot and cut it open. The cut was no more than an inch wide, but deep enough to see the bone; I thought I was going to pass out! After that incident, I felt less confident in my ability to pursue medicine. Admittedly, I was afraid.
Beginning college, I changed directions and pursued a degree in Forensic Chemistry - still giving me the ability to pursue medicine if I wanted, but, from a pharmaceutical/laboratory standpoint. During this time, I was also on the college’s women's golf team traveling every semester while maintaining class attendance and GPA standing. The experience of playing an individual/team based sport brought me out of my shell, as I had always been considered an extremely shy person. It was not until I was in my last few semesters, I realized I was not interested in forensics and that I yearned for more than monotonous lab work. I realized that I desired the human interaction of helping someone. Once I graduated, I took a year off to figure out what I wanted as a career. I spoke with many people in the medical field and spent some time doing my own research on different programs/careers; I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies. I researched program requirements and enrolled as a post-baccalaureate student in order to complete prerequisites needed to apply. I decided this was the field for me because the PAs purpose in healthcare was what I had been dreaming of all this time. The realization that as a PA, I would have the ability to bridge the gap between patients and doctors by ensuring that patient care is the utmost importance, being there to speak with the patient directly about their symptoms and assist them through their situations. For a long time, I have known that I want to do more than just figure out what brings a patient in for care; I want the ability to treat, care for, and diagnosis a person, especially those that have been turned away for care in the past or have not found the right diagnosis for a persistent problem.
Currently, I work as an ophthalmic assistant/medical scribe at an Ophthalmologist owned practice. I thoroughly enjoy working in the field, being that I have learned a great amount and continue to be curious each day. The best part is that every patient brings in something new: a new symptom for the same diagnosis, a new symptom that is not noted in their history, new terms and diagnoses that have not been present in prior cases. As well as working alongside doctors, I have had the opportunity to shadow cataract surgery and clinic days following a PA in Dermatology. Both of these experiences have solidified my choice of pursuing this degree; although completely different, watching the level of care provided to the patient during each procedure is the exact reason I became fascinated with the medical field many years ago. I can say I do not have a specific field/practice in mind, but I do find orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, and ophthalmology all very fascinating. While in the program, I am looking forward to clinical rotations and getting a chance to experience many different fields, in the hope that they will assist me in finding the right path. In closing, I respectfully request your serious consideration of my application.
As someone who has a noncompetitive GPA, I am considering pursuing a Master's in Biomedical Sciences to show programs that my study habits and academic performance has most certainly improved.
-Does anyone know if grades received in a master's program help boost the overall GPA?
- Would the science courses taken at a grad level count for PA school pre-reqs?
-Any tips/advice from those that have taken this route?
I appreciate you taking the time to help 🙂
My name is Tessa and I am currently an MA at a dermatology clinic. I am aspiring to be a PA and will be applying during the next cycle. I have worked along side PAs for about 2 years now in dermatology and have experience working in a level 1 ED. However, I am looking for any PA shadow opportunity in Arizona that is not dermatology as I want to branch out and have an understanding of what PAs do in different fields. I live in Glendale but I am willing to travel anywhere in Arizona.
If you are a PA or know a PA or any open opportunities feel free to reach out to me on here.
What are your thoughts on applying to programs with a ARC-PA probationary accreditation status (i.e., "Accreditation-Probation")?
I'm a first-time applicant, and a couple schools that I have my eye on currently have probationary statuses (Johnson & Wales University; Monmouth University). I was wondering if it's worth applying to said schools, especially to ones that have had a probationary status for more than two years.
Although these schools are still considered accredited, is it safe to apply to & then attend these schools? Do these schools prepare students to become competent & trustworthy healthcare professionals? Are these schools worth the debt? My concern is enrolling in a school with probationary accreditation and graduating as a sub par PA-C, but those are just my uncertain sentiments at the moment.
Moreover, I've read that applying to these schools may be advantageous to some who aren't considered "strong applicants" (e.g., average grades/GRE). On the other hand, I've seen "strong applicants" display their admiration & loyalty to these schools here on PA Forum. I'm confused! Let's open up the discussion!
I am sure this has been asked before, if so, please forward it to me. But when writing out the description and responsibilities of your various experiences, should the format be a list/bullet point or more of a thoughtful written out paragraph?
What I have so far (in an excel sheet), is a list of my responsibilities with a small blurb of something I learned during that experience.
Here is an example of one of my work experiences:
Active duty Navy, worked in hospitals on land and sea Prepared operating room for surgery In charge of setting up sterile supplies Assisted the nurse and/or PA in positioning the patient on the operating table Prepped the patient by shaving, washing, and disinfecting the surgical site Applied sterile surgical drapes on the patient Passed surgical instruments to the physician Assisted the physician during the surgery Sutured incision site Applied wound dressings Learned that each member of the operating room team, regardless of education level, plays a vital role in the patient's safety
Any advice/experience is much appreciated