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Please Help! What are my Chances?


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Hello all! I am currently working on my PA application, which I will turn in mid July. I was wondering what you all think my likelihood of getting in is.  Here are my stats:

Major: Biology
First time applying-21 years old
Number of programs applying to: 10
cGPA: 3.8
sGPA: 3.7
GRE: Yet to take, but practice shows my scores to be around 153V, 153 Q, and a 4 AW
PCE: 3000 Hours as a Transport CNA working at my local hospital (including 1 to 1 suicide precautions and ER CNA experience).
HCE: 1500 Hours Moving equipment and charting
Research for 3 years in psychology with my current project including blood brain barrier permeability to certain compounds in rats
Volunteer scribe for about 200 hours, along with running a local blood drive and volunteering on the TCU of my local hospital.
Shadowed for about 100 hours at a local clinic full of PAs (Shadowed 3 different PAs in this time)
Got 3 scholarships and made the Dean's list every semester of college. Also got an award from saving patient from falling at work.
I have a great essay and am a member of URF (undergraduate research fellows: In which I attended meetings every semester. This allowed me to also get paid for the research I do.)

Seeing my stats do you think I have a good shot at getting at least an interview to PA schools, or is there any major flaw that I am missing? 

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Guest HanSolo

Stats look fine overall. Not the strongest PCE, but it works, I suppose. Honestly, I think you just have to ask yourself this question at such at young age: do you feel ready to make high impact medical decisions about someone else's life? Additionally, why are you not applying to medical school?  You will be judged based on your age. Just make sure you are professional and you'll probably be fine. 

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Guest HanSolo

Not saying you aren't dedicated. You wanted a critical review; I offered one. Take it or leave it. Many of your colleagues have more experience, are likely more mature, and are able to pull from a greater pool of life experiences than you. Are all 21 year olds less mature than someone with 10+ years on them? Absolutely not. Age is not an absolute determinant. However, to think it can't play a factor is naive. The best providers are self aware. Self aware of what they do know and what they do not know; what they can handle and what they cannot. This often comes with experience. When you're dealing with someone else's life, it is important to know who you are and what you are capable of. The vast majority of 21 year olds are not self aware. To think that general life experience correlated with age will not be a factor in your admissions or early career suggests to me that you are not self aware of what you are putting out there. 

Please keep in mind that I am completely stereotyping here and mostly playing devil's advocate. I know many young folks that are far more capable of making sound medical decisions than older individuals. Don't let this discourage you. 

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3 minutes ago, HanSolo said:

You wanted a critical review; I offered one. Take it or leave it.

I am sorry if I came off insincere to your advice! I really appreciate your input as I have not thought about this before! I can defiantly see where you are coming from, so thank you for mentioning it. Knowing my potential flaws and hurdles that may be brought up will help me to understand what may need to be done to build myself up to admission standards. Thanks again and sorry if I offended you I appreciate any response!

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13 hours ago, jakeandreasen7 said:

Interesting, I didn't assume that age would play any effect. I honestly kind of saw it as an advantage to show that I have done quite a lot of medical-based things though I am only 21. I thought this would come off to them as being dedicated.

This tells me that you could stand to do more research on the profession. There is a great chance you will be asked why you're not pursuing med school, as mentioned. 

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14 hours ago, jakeandreasen7 said:

Interesting, I didn't assume that age would play any effect. I honestly kind of saw it as an advantage to show that I have done quite a lot of medical-based things though I am only 21. I thought this would come off to them as being dedicated.

In an interview I went to on the west coast, the interviewers told a 21 year old applicant that she was too young. The PA profession started from Corpsmen that came back from the Vietnam War, which is a little different than some of the medical based things you have done. I'm not saying anything medical that you've done is a negative thing, I'm just putting it into perspective of how you see your PCE vs how the profession started. You could be the most dedicated applicant in the history of applicants, but ADCOMS will see that you're too young with not a lot of life experience. I would take the advice of HanSolo and improve your PCE. CNA hours are usually on the lower totem of hours, and some schools don't even accept CNA hours. You do have good stats everywhere else though, it's just your age and quality of hours that are questions. Don't take this as to not apply, applicants do get accepted with your age and stats too.

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Thanks for the reply Darcy! I actually wanted to go to med school in pursuits to become a physician of some kind and planned on applying this summer until some personal experiences lead me more towards the PA profession as being a better fit for my personality, my desired interaction with patients, as well as my overall outlook on medicine in general. I made this switch about one year ago, and believe I am well prepared to discuss this with the interviewers (of course assuming I get one of course). As far as research on the profession goes, I have done quite a bit of digging this last year and know that the average age of a PA student is around 26, at least according to the source I found. I didn't really consider that me being much younger would be much of an issue as I would start when I am 22, and a few of the PAs I shadowed said that their classes had many students right out of undergrad. Of course, this is something I am also now ready to discuss and have on my radar! With focusing on grades, HCE, and the GRE sometimes something as simple as age is easy to overlook!  I understand that those who are older will likely have more experience under their belt, but I figured that I would give it a shot anyway! Thanks again for your time and your reply!

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Thanks for replying Aceface! Any advice on what I should focus on to help my chances assuming I get an interview? Would being sure to show them that I am mature enough for admission be mostly what they are likely looking for? I am starting a new CNA job at an assisted living facility in my hometown due to financial cuts at my current job. Would this be important to bring up to show variety in my CNA experience? I know you mentioned CNA hours not counting with some schools, but with one month left, it is kinda all I got. 

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You have a chance to get an interview with your GPA and hours. If you researched the schools that you're applying to and they take CNA hours, you're good to go. Can't really do anything to your application besides make sure your personal statement is critiqued by others that aren't your friends or relatives. ADCOMS know what CNA's do, so whatever variety you did doesn't matter. They just want to know if you really want to be a PA an that you're a fit for their school.

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Thanks for the reply Darcy! I actually wanted to go to med school in pursuits to become a physician of some kind and planned on applying this summer until some personal experiences lead me more towards the PA profession as being a better fit for my personality, my desired interaction with patients, as well as my overall outlook on medicine in general. I made this switch about one year ago, and believe I am well prepared to discuss this with the interviewers (of course assuming I get one of course). As far as research on the profession goes, I have done quite a bit of digging this last year and know that the average age of a PA student is around 26, at least according to the source I found. I didn't really consider that me being much younger would be much of an issue as I would start when I am 22, and a few of the PAs I shadowed said that their classes had many students right out of undergrad. Of course, this is something I am also now ready to discuss and have on my radar! With focusing on grades, HCE, and the GRE sometimes something as simple as age is easy to overlook!  I understand that those who are older will likely have more experience under their belt, but I figured that I would give it a shot anyway! Thanks again for your time and your reply!
No problem. I know I wasn't a lot of help, but seems like you're doing your homework. So, that's good.

It does have a lot to do with the culture and mission of the school. A lot of schools like to stick with the tradition of requiring a significant amount of PCE and some life experience to boot. And, others are in the business of accepting students right out of undergrad (and there are even a few combo programs like 3+2 type). So, like all other applicants, you will look more attractive to some schools than others.

Good luck.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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You're welcome. You know, I have read that anything over ten could be redundant (aka a waste of money). But, I'm not great at giving out that type of advice since it hasn't really applied to me. As an older student I have had to tailor my plan to my top-choice schools and apply accordingly. So, for my first year applying I only applied to one school since it was the first school on my list for which my prerequisites were met (and my first-choice school). Some people couldn't believe I only applied to one. But, I felt like I was a pretty good candidate for this school. 

Now all I have to do is ace my interview next month and it will be the last PA school to which I apply! 

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