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Follow up on last post... REAPPLYING!

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Hi Everybody! This is a follow up on a post of mine from february. 

Backstory--  I applied to 5 PA programs last October (late, I know) and received rejections from all. 

Graduated in 2015 with BS in Biology. 
- Overall GPA 3.21
- Science GPA 3.29
- PCE 1200 hours. Cabin nurse for 2 summers caring for children with Type 1 Diabetes (BG checks, insulin administration, carb counts, infirmary shifts)
- Shadowing: 50 hours with emergency PA, will have hours with Otolaryngology PA and Peds primary care PA when I reapply as well. 
-LOR from PA I shadowed, former supervisor (for 3 years, unrelated to healthcare), charge nurse supervisor from my PCE hours job, college professor. 

Undergrad pre-req grades to keep mind of-
General Chem 1: C
General Chem 2: C
Statistics: C+ 
Organic Chem 1: C+
Calculus: C
Pathophysiology: C+ 

Since my post back in Feb, I left my full time job to focus on accomplishing some things that will hopefully make my next application stronger. I'm almost finished retaking a few courses. I retook Gen Chem 1, Gen Chem 2, Statistics and also decided to take Biochemistry for the first time as this prevented me from applying to a few top choice programs last round. I understand that CASPA will average the retakes and so these are not likely to have a major impact on my GPA. 

Just looking for any general guidance here. By the time I send my app in, I'll have these 4 courses under my belt as well as more shadowing hours. I also got my BLS certification a few months back. One question I've had-- will my PCE hours being 4 years old be a major hindrance for me in this next application? I'm already enrolled in an EMT course set to start mid July just in case I don't get in this round either. I plan to work as an EMT until the 2019 cycle if this is the case. 

Any suggestions or input is appreciated.. not afraid of the tough love! Thanks everybody. 

Edited by Colby13
Forgot to add LOR info

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Frankly if I were you I'd wait to apply until next year when you'll have not only more recent HCE/PCE but more relevant and just MORE PCE if you work as an EMT.

Retaking a few courses and adding some shadowing really isn't going to boost your application much.  Save your money, get some good PCE, and apply early next cycle.

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Firstly make sure you get A's in these classes you are retaking. It will hurt badly if you get under that because they know you are taking these classes with full intention to come to PA school and you have already seen the material before, this puts you at an advantage in those particular classes. Your GPA is low and needs a boost, I would recommend a post bacc program that will allow you to take hard science courses and show that you can make it through the rigorous PA program. Again, nothing but A's. If you get B's that will lower your GPA even more. I can't stress this enough. B's will hurt your GPA.

Next, Get an actual patient care job. Not that a summer camp doesn't work, unless you are actually an RN. If not, calling yourself a nurse makes it seem like you are trying to portray yourself as something you are not. But get a job where it's your full-time position and you are personally taking care of patients. CNA, EMT, MEDIC, etc.

Good luck with everything, I think it might be best to save money and wait for another cycle to get these things taken care of. Godd luck.

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To a large degree, Patho is PA school. If it were me, I would would try to fix that with an A. 

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On 6/15/2018 at 12:08 PM, lccalbert said:

Firstly make sure you get A's in these classes you are retaking. It will hurt badly if you get under that because they know you are taking these classes with full intention to come to PA school and you have already seen the material before, this puts you at an advantage in those particular classes. Your GPA is low and needs a boost, I would recommend a post bacc program that will allow you to take hard science courses and show that you can make it through the rigorous PA program. Again, nothing but A's. If you get B's that will lower your GPA even more. I can't stress this enough. B's will hurt your GPA.

Next, Get an actual patient care job. Not that a summer camp doesn't work, unless you are actually an RN. If not, calling yourself a nurse makes it seem like you are trying to portray yourself as something you are not. But get a job where it's your full-time position and you are personally taking care of patients. CNA, EMT, MEDIC, etc.

Good luck with everything, I think it might be best to save money and wait for another cycle to get these things taken care of. Godd luck.

Thank you for the advice everybody! 

Iccalbert- I understand what you're saying about the nurse title. The summers I worked there, that was actually our designated title whether or not we were an RN. The organization has since changed the title to "healthcare team member" due to the concern you mentioned. 

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On 6/14/2018 at 11:56 AM, Colby13 said:

Hi Everybody! This is a follow up on a post of mine from february. 

Backstory--  I applied to 5 PA programs last October (late, I know) and received rejections from all. 

Graduated in 2015 with BS in Biology. 
- Overall GPA 3.21
- Science GPA 3.29
- PCE 1200 hours. Cabin nurse for 2 summers caring for children with Type 1 Diabetes (BG checks, insulin administration, carb counts, infirmary shifts)
- Shadowing: 50 hours with emergency PA, will have hours with Otolaryngology PA and Peds primary care PA when I reapply as well. 
-LOR from PA I shadowed, former supervisor (for 3 years, unrelated to healthcare), charge nurse supervisor from my PCE hours job, college professor. 

Undergrad pre-req grades to keep mind of-
General Chem 1: C
General Chem 2: C
Statistics: C+ 
Organic Chem 1: C+
Calculus: C
Pathophysiology: C+ 

Since my post back in Feb, I left my full time job to focus on accomplishing some things that will hopefully make my next application stronger. I'm almost finished retaking a few courses. I retook Gen Chem 1, Gen Chem 2, Statistics and also decided to take Biochemistry for the first time as this prevented me from applying to a few top choice programs last round. I understand that CASPA will average the retakes and so these are not likely to have a major impact on my GPA. 

Just looking for any general guidance here. By the time I send my app in, I'll have these 4 courses under my belt as well as more shadowing hours. I also got my BLS certification a few months back. One question I've had-- will my PCE hours being 4 years old be a major hindrance for me in this next application? I'm already enrolled in an EMT course set to start mid July just in case I don't get in this round either. I plan to work as an EMT until the 2019 cycle if this is the case. 

Any suggestions or input is appreciated.. not afraid of the tough love! Thanks everybody. 

EMT course might not be needed, I would trying to improve your grades. Shadowing hours are fine. What grades did you get in gen chem 1/2, stats, and biochem? 

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28 minutes ago, camoman1234 said:

EMT course might not be needed, I would trying to improve your grades. Shadowing hours are fine. What grades did you get in gen chem 1/2, stats, and biochem? 

The EMT route is certainly a backup but if I don't get in this round, starting an EMT course later in the year would only result in less PCE hours come next year's application. I'd rather be able to start accruing more PCE hours sooner just in case. 

My last day of class for gen chem 1, stats and biochem is next Thursday. As of right now, all As. Gen chem 2 starts in 2 weeks and will be finished by early August. I plan to submit my application as soon as my transcript is released for these first 3 classes. I was hoping that between the retakes, shadowing hours and applying earlier than October, I might have a shot at an interview. 

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3 minutes ago, Colby13 said:

The EMT route is certainly a backup but if I don't get in this round, starting an EMT course later in the year would only result in less PCE hours come next year's application. I'd rather be able to start accruing more PCE hours sooner just in case. 

My last day of class for gen chem 1, stats and biochem is next Thursday. As of right now, all As. Gen chem 2 starts in 2 weeks and will be finished by early August. I plan to submit my application as soon as my transcript is released for these first 3 classes. I was hoping that between the retakes, shadowing hours and applying earlier than October, I might have a shot at an interview. 

Hey I get it...I was an RRT for years and understand the importance, but good grades is a MUST (A's for repeat courses). I would suggest the repeat of patho as well. Calculus I might not retake (I took calc 1) so I understand how terrible it is, but the ADCOM did like that I had A's in college algebra, biostats, and calc 1. So that is up to you. I would also retake organic chem as if you get an A in that then I think you would be look much better. That class (IMO) holds a lot of weight and ADCOM loved that I had biochem and org 1/2. This just sets you apart from others. Good luck and let us know how we can help you!

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1 minute ago, camoman1234 said:

Hey I get it...I was an RRT for years and understand the importance, but good grades is a MUST (A's for repeat courses). I would suggest the repeat of patho as well. Calculus I might not retake (I took calc 1) so I understand how terrible it is, but the ADCOM did like that I had A's in college algebra, biostats, and calc 1. So that is up to you. I would also retake organic chem as if you get an A in that then I think you would be look much better. That class (IMO) holds a lot of weight and ADCOM loved that I had biochem and org 1/2. This just sets you apart from others. Good luck and let us know how we can help you!

Thank you so much for all the detailed feedback! I'm certainly open to retaking both organic 1 and patho. There are seats open for organic 1 with this next summer session that starts in a few weeks so I could certainly jump into that. 

I think CASPA should allow me to apply with those 3 completed retakes and mark organic 1 and gen chem 2 as "in progress". I will look into patho as well. 

Would you still suggest applying this round based on only retakes of gen chem 1/2, biochem and stats?

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8 minutes ago, Colby13 said:

Thank you so much for all the detailed feedback! I'm certainly open to retaking both organic 1 and patho. There are seats open for organic 1 with this next summer session that starts in a few weeks so I could certainly jump into that. 

I think CASPA should allow me to apply with those 3 completed retakes and mark organic 1 and gen chem 2 as "in progress". I will look into patho as well. 

Would you still suggest applying this round based on only retakes of gen chem 1/2, biochem and stats?

Sure. It won't hurt, the worst they can say is "No", but the more times you apply and get denied then you will have to look at other schools around the country, NOT a big deal, but just food for thought. 

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18 minutes ago, camoman1234 said:

Sure. It won't hurt, the worst they can say is "No", but the more times you apply and get denied then you will have to look at other schools around the country, NOT a big deal, but just food for thought. 

Got it-- something to think about for sure. I had been told by a few people who have gotten into school that reapplying to the same programs after being denied shows them that you're persistent and that you're continuing to strengthen your application until you're finally accepted somewhere. Do you disagree? 

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5 hours ago, Colby13 said:

Got it-- something to think about for sure. I had been told by a few people who have gotten into school that reapplying to the same programs after being denied shows them that you're persistent and that you're continuing to strengthen your application until you're finally accepted somewhere. Do you disagree? 

Some what...you still got to show them you can handle the rigors of PA, you cannot keep repeating classes in PA, not enough time. Just be careful and really make your application SHINE from the previous year, NOT just subtle changes here and there.  

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6 hours ago, Colby13 said:

Thank you so much for all the detailed feedback! I'm certainly open to retaking both organic 1 and patho. There are seats open for organic 1 with this next summer session that starts in a few weeks so I could certainly jump into that. 

I think CASPA should allow me to apply with those 3 completed retakes and mark organic 1 and gen chem 2 as "in progress". I will look into patho as well. 

Would you still suggest applying this round based on only retakes of gen chem 1/2, biochem and stats?

If you struggled with organic the first time around, taking an accelerated summer course may be a bad idea. On my campus summer organic was one of the hardest courses to do well in, only a few As in each class. Make sure this isn’t the case at your school. 

If you retake this course you need to be sure you are capable of getting an A. 

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