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Hi everyone,

I know that there are a ton of posts about which route would be the best way to get to PA school but I want to get more advice/opinions for my own specific case. 

I took all of my pre-reqs at Rutgers University and graduated May 2017.  I have shadowed an ER PA, a pediatrician and have worked as a medical scribe for over 1 year. I also recently started volunteering at UPenn as a nursing assistant. My cGPA: 3.31 and sGPA 2.89. I haven't taken my GRE yet but I plan to by the end of the year at the latest. 

I had my heart set on applying after 1 gap year but became very discouraged after I calculated my sGPA. I didn't realize that my sGPA did not meet the minimum to apply so I didn't want to spend all that money applying but end up getting rejected. 

 With that being said, I know I need to take other science courses or retake some of the science courses I received a C in. I just don't know whether I should find a post-bacc program or just take some classes at CC to raise my GPA. After reading through many posts, I have a feeling that it does not matter where you take the courses, it just depends on how much money and time you are willing to spend. I know I also know I need to gain more PCE/HCE experience to become a better candidate. And at same time, I don't want to delay applying to PA programs any longer. 

What do you guys think I should do from here? One of the PAs who was going to write me an LOR said that I should maybe try to apply this year b/c schools like to see persistence. I'm just not sure of how to approach my situation. I was also interested in maybe being a physical therapy aide or a medical assistant but this requires a certification. Basically, I am asking for your advice on the best way to improve my application within the next year when I apply. 

I would really appreciate your advice and help!!! I have been very stressed out lately and it would mean so much to hear from you guys/your experience. Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my situation!!! 

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Hey!

First of all- good luck with your application!  And from what I remember in undergrad, most post-bacc students took science pre-reqs  that they never actually took in their undergrad. The post-bacc program in my school only accepted students that haven't taken a certain amount of the pre-req sciences courses (like gen bio/chem, orgo etc) or have taken those classes YEARS ago. I would say retake your classes at a CC and take some more upper level sciences classes to improve your grade. I know most programs don't care whether you take your courses at a 4 year or 2 year college. Or tbh, do whichever is CHEAPER lol

I think your chances of getting into PA school increases significantly if you get at least a 3.0 sGPA  and have at least 2000 hours of direct patient hours. Also what did your PA mean by persistence?  I think seriously taking time to improve your application, grades and getting more PCE also shows persistence and dedication on your path to becoming a PA! Don't rush it! Apply when you are ready and feel most confident in your application. 

I think being an EMT would be a great experience, MA.I would try to see if you can find any free programs, I know in some states there are some free government programs out there if you qualify for it you just have to look! You can always justify certain experiences as 'direct patient care' depending on what your actual responsibilities are. I think a lot of programs consider CNAs as direct patient care as well. I work as a medical scribe, but I take vitals, do rapid testing, EKGs, and help out w/ procedures along side the medical provider. I pretty much did medical scribe and MA stuff at my job so I listed it as direct patient care on my application. 

Anyway, good luck with everything! 

Edited by maxemoff
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@maxemoff 

Hey, thank you so much for your response!

That's what I gaged at when I was reading through other people's posts. I will most likely stick with CC. 

By persistence, the PA meant that I should have my name in the pool system so that they recognize like "oh she is trying hard and she improved" or something like that, which I understand from her perspective but I don't want to waste money in the first place when I know I will probably not get accepted. 

Thanks again for your advice!!! 

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