Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I graduated in 2014 with my bachelor's degree. I had a rough start during my freshman year in which I was kicked out of college due to my GPA falling to a 1.5 and this was due to a medical condition I was diagnosed with. I ended up with low grades in pre-reqs (Bio 1 and Intro to Chem) both of which I retook two years later and got A- and A respectively. I also did not do well in Chem 1, which I retook and did poorly again and this was due to my grandma becoming ill and passing away. My third try I got an A in chem 1 and an A in chem 2. My cGPA is 3.10 and my sGPA is a 3.24. I applied the last cycle, in August 2017 (which I think was late), and was waitlisted for interviews at two programs and got 1 interview where I was waitlisted. 

I have been an EMT for 7 years but as a volunteer. I have 6500 hours as a volunteer EMT and I have worked at a hospital, who has a contract with FDNY EMS so I worked in the busy city of New York in Manhattan and Queens, and accumulated 1000 hours paid EMT. I also have 1300 hours (and still going) as an ER Tech at a hospital and just got a new EMT position at another hospital, which I will be gaining more EMT experience. I do community service, helping the homeless and low-income at food pantries and soup kitchens. I have shadowed a PA in the ER - 100 hours and another in a medical office - 20 hours and an MD - 10 hours. I have taken so many undergrad courses the past 7 years I am so tired of taking courses to boost my GPA because it's going up so little that it won't be a 3.4+. I feel useless. I am 28 years old and my parents are close to retirement and I'm working perdiem jobs as a tech. I can't even get a full-time job otherwise I lose my medical insurance which I need due to my condition that requires weekly medications. 

I have revamped my essay, gained more shadowing experience and more HCE. I also took two more courses (bioethics and nutrition because I could not find science courses for cheap elsewhere) this semester, both which I am at an A grade right now. I don't have the urge to do anything but PA. I have taken postbacc courses and countless extra courses spending money out of pocket as a non-degree student. I am applying again this cycle and will be applying by the first week of June (hopefully earlier if my recommendation letters come in on time). I have sent my personal statement to myPAresource and I have been told my revamped essay is stronger and even I feel like I did better with this essay than my first one because I wrote about everything from my personal story that led me to want to study medicine and be a PA to my experiences that have made me, me.

I know people younger than me who were just starting college while I was finishing up who are PAs now or have started their careers while I'm still taking undergrad courses. I'm so stressed. I binge eat, I'm gaining weight, my hair is thinning and I'm fed up with how my life has been going. I would appreciate any advice on how to better my app and to keep some hope. Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Applying in August last year WAS late.  So being prepared for June this cycle is already an improvement.

I know you mentioned some family stuff in there - are you able to apply more broadly this time?  Can you expand the pool of schools?  To some extent it is a numbers game.  If you have that flexibility make sure you apply to schools where your stats meet matriculating stats.  i.e a school with an average accepted GPA of 3.8 might not be as realistic as a school with an average 3.4.  Remember - averages mean people were accepted with less.

Have patience.  Applying to PA school isn't easy.  At 28 you're right in the mix of the age average.  Stay in your lane.  Don't worry about what other people are doing.

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, MT2PA said:

Applying in August last year WAS late.  So being prepared for June this cycle is already an improvement.

I know you mentioned some family stuff in there - are you able to apply more broadly this time?  Can you expand the pool of schools?  To some extent it is a numbers game.  If you have that flexibility make sure you apply to schools where your stats meet matriculating stats.  i.e a school with an average accepted GPA of 3.8 might not be as realistic as a school with an average 3.4.  Remember - averages mean people were accepted with less.

Have patience.  Applying to PA school isn't easy.  At 28 you're right in the mix of the age average.  Stay in your lane.  Don't worry about what other people are doing.

I can definitely apply broadly. Kind of want to stay close by to home due to the need of medication and blood work every 3 months (doubt if I get into a Cali program my parents would be able to ship the medication to me due to laws on medications). I am doing more research on schools that take more PCE hours as well as low GPA since I heard those schools look more holistically. 

Thank you very much for the encouragement!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you have already done a great deal to improve your application. I'm 31 and matriculating this year, life isn't a contest with other people, it is a personal journey. I have a close friend who is 2 years younger than me and in the last year of his MD residency while I'm just starting PA school, we're both stoked for eachother.

I was a second round applicant too, applied in Aug/Sept the first time, 0 interviews, applied in May/June this time, only 1 program didn't grant me an interview (Duke... go figure, lol). From my own experience, including a letter from one program during the first round concerning why I wasn't given an interview containing "Early applications are strongly encouraged" in bold red font, and seeing the interview/acceptance process play out on the program specific threads in this forum; early application make a huge difference!

Depending on the medication you mentioned, there may be other ways to handle it. I worked in a clinic previously and we had a few folks come in who were starting college and needed regular meds, the MDs would prescribe them more than was typical to hold them over while they were at school out of state. We also had out of state folks who came in simply to establish care for chronic conditions while they were in school and the MDs were happy to basically continue what their primary or specialist back home had been doing. Talk to your Dr about what those options might be.

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great advises here. As cheesy as it sounds, you have to stay positive. You have improved a great deal already. You are doing great.

Feeling bad --> eating poorly --> feeling bad, that's a vicious cycle. Let's start with step one, force yourself to chose healthier eating habit. Feed your body proper nutrient. You have to take care of your body and mind before anything else. 

Step two, which you have already started, apply early. Remember, you can have everything ready in CASPA even before you get all your LORs. You need two LORs i believe before CASPA will verify your application and send it to the programs you have chosen. So, get on it. Gently remind your references and give them a timeline of when you need the LOR to be completed. June is a great target. 

Lastly, again, this all sounds cheesy but do what will keep you positive. During rough times, I have to tell myself to be happy, I had to fake it till I actually would genuinely feel better. Read encouraging and motivating things. I read through this forum on all the success stories of those who struggled to get to into the program. I watched motivating videos. 

You can do this. Application is a huge stressor and you already know this, so find one thing to relieve that stress. 

Good luck.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Anachronist said:

It sounds like you have already done a great deal to improve your application. I'm 31 and matriculating this year, life isn't a contest with other people, it is a personal journey. I have a close friend who is 2 years younger than me and in the last year of his MD residency while I'm just starting PA school, we're both stoked for eachother.

I was a second round applicant too, applied in Aug/Sept the first time, 0 interviews, applied in May/June this time, only 1 program didn't grant me an interview (Duke... go figure, lol). From my own experience, including a letter from one program during the first round concerning why I wasn't given an interview containing "Early applications are strongly encouraged" in bold red font, and seeing the interview/acceptance process play out on the program specific threads in this forum; early application make a huge difference!

Depending on the medication you mentioned, there may be other ways to handle it. I worked in a clinic previously and we had a few folks come in who were starting college and needed regular meds, the MDs would prescribe them more than was typical to hold them over while they were at school out of state. We also had out of state folks who came in simply to establish care for chronic conditions while they were in school and the MDs were happy to basically continue what their primary or specialist back home had been doing. Talk to your Dr about what those options might be.

That's awesome. Congratulations to you and your friend! I guess early applications do make a huge difference. I will try to apply even sooner than June then.

I was thinking that insurance in some states won't work in others, which is why medication might be costly. I know someone who moved out of state and they had to get a new insurance. I definitely will talk to my physician about this though. Thank you very much for the encouragement and advice, I really appreciate it! Good luck in PA school!

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, moleashish said:

Great advises here. As cheesy as it sounds, you have to stay positive. You have improved a great deal already. You are doing great.

Feeling bad --> eating poorly --> feeling bad, that's a vicious cycle. Let's start with step one, force yourself to chose healthier eating habit. Feed your body proper nutrient. You have to take care of your body and mind before anything else. 

Step two, which you have already started, apply early. Remember, you can have everything ready in CASPA even before you get all your LORs. You need two LORs i believe before CASPA will verify your application and send it to the programs you have chosen. So, get on it. Gently remind your references and give them a timeline of when you need the LOR to be completed. June is a great target. 

Lastly, again, this all sounds cheesy but do what will keep you positive. During rough times, I have to tell myself to be happy, I had to fake it till I actually would genuinely feel better. Read encouraging and motivating things. I read through this forum on all the success stories of those who struggled to get to into the program. I watched motivating videos. 

You can do this. Application is a huge stressor and you already know this, so find one thing to relieve that stress. 

Good luck.

You're absolutely right about reading/watching encouraging and motivating things. Staying positive is probably the only thing I can do I guess and keep pushing. I think your step one on eating properly might help with reducing the stress. Thank you very much. I really appreciate the help and encouragement!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I watch a lot of YouTube channels of PA’s, MD’s, etc. 90% of them didn’t have a traditional route into med school and faced some sort of challenge. Look up Buck Parker on YouTube, if you don’t mind cursing. The guy didn’t get into any schools, ended up going to a med school in the Caribbean, took a year off here and there, etc. Plenty of struggles but ultimately ended up a general surgeon. I’m 24 and just now starting my undergrad and never even cared about starting late. Don’t overthink it. When you’re 85 years old, you’re going to regret not finishing - not that you finished a little later than the next guy. Everyone has their adversities - you clearly have had plenty. I filed bankruptcy at 21, only graduated high school with a 2.6 GPA, and have absolutely no clinical experience. I’m now 24 and finishing up my 5th undergrad course and maintaining a 4.0 while working 60 hours per week, just recently started a one-for-one company that I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m also attending a second college (tech school) to become a surgical tech. I get questionable about things too, but that’s just human nature. We question every life decision, from your undergrad major to your wedding day. Push the negative thoughts aside and keep going.

 

In terms of other things, I’ll echo what everyone else has said. Stop eating horribly ASAP. That will literally make your mood worse by eating horribly on top of stress. Look into intermittent fasting or a ketogenic diet (I do both) as a start. Many people will advise against keto, but I think they’re not open-minded enough or fully educated to make the assumptions they do. Regardless, fasting is a beautiful thing and increases your focus too, which you’ll obviously need the next few years. Get some quality sleep and a good schedule that’s persistent. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Once you finish, write a book about all the stuff you’ve been through and help others. This dark portion in your life is just a chapter. We all have those chapters at times, but the next page holds much more great things for you. And lastly, stay positive. Just think about it. Being negative will only attract more negativity in your life. I try to stay super positive and I’m really happy, but I used to have really bad depression. I avoid negative people. If someone’s complaining about trivial stuff, I leave the room. Avoid all this toxicity and stay positive. If you stay negative, positive people like me won’t be in the room. I hope that makes sense and I’m not trying to sound mean. I’ll be 28 by the time I’m applying and I MIGHT even consider med school, so don’t even think of 28 as a bad thing. You got this and I’m looking forward to your success story in the future.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, cemetra said:

I watch a lot of YouTube channels of PA’s, MD’s, etc. 90% of them didn’t have a traditional route into med school and faced some sort of challenge. Look up Buck Parker on YouTube, if you don’t mind cursing. The guy didn’t get into any schools, ended up going to a med school in the Caribbean, took a year off here and there, etc. Plenty of struggles but ultimately ended up a general surgeon. I’m 24 and just now starting my undergrad and never even cared about starting late. Don’t overthink it. When you’re 85 years old, you’re going to regret not finishing - not that you finished a little later than the next guy. Everyone has their adversities - you clearly have had plenty. I filed bankruptcy at 21, only graduated high school with a 2.6 GPA, and have absolutely no clinical experience. I’m now 24 and finishing up my 5th undergrad course and maintaining a 4.0 while working 60 hours per week, just recently started a one-for-one company that I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m also attending a second college (tech school) to become a surgical tech. I get questionable about things too, but that’s just human nature. We question every life decision, from your undergrad major to your wedding day. Push the negative thoughts aside and keep going.

 

In terms of other things, I’ll echo what everyone else has said. Stop eating horribly ASAP. That will literally make your mood worse by eating horribly on top of stress. Look into intermittent fasting or a ketogenic diet (I do both) as a start. Many people will advise against keto, but I think they’re not open-minded enough or fully educated to make the assumptions they do. Regardless, fasting is a beautiful thing and increases your focus too, which you’ll obviously need the next few years. Get some quality sleep and a good schedule that’s persistent. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Once you finish, write a book about all the stuff you’ve been through and help others. This dark portion in your life is just a chapter. We all have those chapters at times, but the next page holds much more great things for you. And lastly, stay positive. Just think about it. Being negative will only attract more negativity in your life. I try to stay super positive and I’m really happy, but I used to have really bad depression. I avoid negative people. If someone’s complaining about trivial stuff, I leave the room. Avoid all this toxicity and stay positive. If you stay negative, positive people like me won’t be in the room. I hope that makes sense and I’m not trying to sound mean. I’ll be 28 by the time I’m applying and I MIGHT even consider med school, so don’t even think of 28 as a bad thing. You got this and I’m looking forward to your success story in the future.

That's amazing. Kudos to you for being so optimistic. I guess that's the only way to go on about this without going crazy and overthinking about it. I'm pretty sure eating horribly has been made it worse to the point I had to post this. Applying and waiting is such a daunting process.

I really like your idea about making a book on all of this. That would really help others who are in a similar position and will probably make me feel good letting it all out. Thank you so much for your advice and optimism! It helped a lot. Wish you the best of luck on this journey.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More