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Chances of getting into a program?


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Hi I was wondering if I could get some feedback. I will be applying next cycle. 

Thank you! 

Cumulative GPA: 3.35

Science GPA: 3.2

GRE: Will take it soon 

MBA in Health care management GPA - 3.7

Health Care Hours: ER Medical scribe- 3000 hours 

Volunteer hours: 100 hours

Shadowing: 100 hours 

Certifications: BLS

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With your cumulative and science GPA being below average, you will need to make up for it with strong clinical experience.

I would highly recommend getting some PCE. Although you have a reasonable amount of hours, scribing is low tier clinical experience and will not be counted as PCE by many programs. Diversify your hours. 

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Are you able to retake any of your prereqs to help boost your GPA?  Nail your GRE.  Consider some sort of medical assisting gig if your state allows you to work in that capacity without a certification/being registered (sometimes private practices could take you on as a patient-care technician or some similar title).  Aside from that, just ensure your letters of recommendation accurately and positively reflect your skills, abilities, and experience.  Your personal statement should, of course, be well written and help you stand out amidst a sea of average applicants.

As of right now I think your chances are slightly below average. Don't give up! With a little more experience and a slight boost to GPA (if possible) you'll stand a much more reasonable chance ?

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 I think you have a solid shot IF you have strong letters of recommendation and can get over the 300 hump for a GRE score (if applying to schools that require it). Your science and cumulative undergrad GPA mirrors mine, and I have received interviews this cycle. The fact that you received an MBA will help you because there are programs that will weight an undergrad GPA less if you have a master's/post-grad degree. Look for those programs because a 3.7 is solid and shows you have academic ability. 

Scribing is not considered PCE for a lot of schools, but that doesn't mean it doesn't count at all schools! Make sure you do your research and if needed call/email programs to ask what scribe counts as (not all schools list if it counts as PCE on their website so you may have to ask!) If you can't get different experience, even a little bit, make sure you are applying smartly to programs that either count scribe as PCE or do not require any PCE hours (there are still programs that require none and stay true to accepting students with 0 hours). 

All in all, apply broadly, make sure you meet requirements and have good letters of rec, and I think you can achieve some interview invites. Of course, improving undergrad GPA with more classes and gaining different PCE would help you tremendously, but I don't think your odds are futile. Write a good personal statement that answers the question! Good luck!

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@StevenBrule @whitecoatrosegold Thank you guys so much for the input. Appreciate it so much. Hope I can nail my GRE. It's really hard to find PCE here in Houston. They are just so uptight about certificate but I am definitely trying. Also, any idea on what classes could improve my GPA? 

Also @whitecoatrosegold Congrats and good luck this cycle!!! Hope you get in. Do you mind sharing your stats? 

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1 - Score as high as you can for the GRE. Study Study Study! Bust your ass so that you only have to take it once. 

2 - Since your GPA is on the lower side, getting some direct hands on PCE will help greatly. At the same time though a lot of my  current classmates had obtained their PCE as scribes.  

3 - As someone who also had a low GPA (lower than yours) you need to make sure your personal statement and LORs are super amazing! The rest of your application needs to be stellar to make up for it. 

4 - You need to do something that separates you from the rest. Volunteering for the underserved, starting a business, etc..

5- Plan on applying multiple cycles. Been there done that. It's something you should expect when you don't have a 3.9 GPA. 

6- DONT GIVE UP! As long as you continue to improve and keep trying, it will happen. I promise.

7- Apply to schools where you fall close to the accepted to student stats. Don't apply to programs where the avg for accepted students was 3.8. Apply broadly and apply as early as possible.

8- sell yourself! Don't be afraid to gloat a little about your attributes but at the same time don't sound cocky.

Edited by JD2012
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I’ve applied but haven’t heard back from any schools yet, starting to get nervous especially after reading forums here and realizing I’ve applied to mostly top schools with a low GPA.

Overall GPA: 3.28

science gpa: 3.00 (Coming from UC Berkeley, hoping that makes up a bit for the lower GPAs)

PCE: 3500 (2000 as patient care tech in a hospital, 1500 as EMT first responder)

Shadow: 190 hrs

GRE: 314 (61% for quant, 80% for verbal, 82% for writing)

no volunteer hours though

Im not feeling confident because of my GPA and one of my top schools won’t consider the letter of reference from the PA I shadowded, which I expect is my best reference. Anyone with similar stats having success getting interviews?

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14 hours ago, Jebba said:

I’ve applied but haven’t heard back from any schools yet, starting to get nervous especially after reading forums here and realizing I’ve applied to mostly top schools with a low GPA.

Overall GPA: 3.28

science gpa: 3.00 (Coming from UC Berkeley, hoping that makes up a bit for the lower GPAs)

PCE: 3500 (2000 as patient care tech in a hospital, 1500 as EMT first responder)

Shadow: 190 hrs

GRE: 314 (61% for quant, 80% for verbal, 82% for writing)

no volunteer hours though

Im not feeling confident because of my GPA and one of my top schools won’t consider the letter of reference from the PA I shadowded, which I expect is my best reference. Anyone with similar stats having success getting interviews?

Is there a reason why they can't accept the letter of reference from the PA you shadowed? Most programs require a letter of recommendation from a PA. There are programs that require you to get one from a PA you work with like Loma Linda in California. Which can be hard cause I work nights and there are mainly nurses on my unit.  

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2 hours ago, CTPAAPPLICANT2018 said:

Is there a reason why they can't accept the letter of reference from the PA you shadowed? Most programs require a letter of recommendation from a PA. There are programs that require you to get one from a PA you work with like Loma Linda in California. Which can be hard cause I work nights and there are mainly nurses on my unit.  

The program just stated on their LOR instructions that they won’t consider a reference from a shadowing opportunity, which is frustrating because I shadowded the PA for over a year and he really got to know me and see my interaction with patients and eagerness to learn.

my experience was like you, not many PAs at my hospital and only a few doctors would stay around our unit (renal failure unit) and only one made herself approachable. On an ambulance it was just myself and a medic and when I would tech for patients I usually gave report to an RN in the ED, rarely ever a doc. 

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On 8/12/2018 at 2:40 AM, Jebba said:

I’ve applied but haven’t heard back from any schools yet, starting to get nervous especially after reading forums here and realizing I’ve applied to mostly top schools with a low GPA.

Overall GPA: 3.28

science gpa: 3.00 (Coming from UC Berkeley, hoping that makes up a bit for the lower GPAs)

PCE: 3500 (2000 as patient care tech in a hospital, 1500 as EMT first responder)

Shadow: 190 hrs

GRE: 314 (61% for quant, 80% for verbal, 82% for writing)

no volunteer hours though

Im not feeling confident because of my GPA and one of my top schools won’t consider the letter of reference from the PA I shadowded, which I expect is my best reference. Anyone with similar stats having success getting interviews?

If you don't mind me asking, what programs did you apply to? 

Edited by johncfl
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18 hours ago, Jebba said:

The program just stated on their LOR instructions that they won’t consider a reference from a shadowing opportunity, which is frustrating because I shadowded the PA for over a year and he really got to know me and see my interaction with patients and eagerness to learn.

my experience was like you, not many PAs at my hospital and only a few doctors would stay around our unit (renal failure unit) and only one made herself approachable. On an ambulance it was just myself and a medic and when I would tech for patients I usually gave report to an RN in the ED, rarely ever a doc. 

exactly! With that, it's really hard to find a PA who you work with. The only thing I can think of as PCE where you actually get to work alongside a PA is medical scribing and being a medical assistant. For example, Loma Linda prefers medical scribing as PCE and does not prefer CNA as clinical experience. Which in my opinion being a CNA/PCA you have more patient contact than medical scribing. For CNA/PCA you interact with the patient more and it's more laborious. Keep in mind, Loma Linda is also placed on probation.........

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I am a big fan of ER tech as PCE. Lots of ERs use PAs. That is where I first learned about the profession. I was an ER tech with a long term goal of becoming a search and recuse paramedic when I started working with EM PAs. I did become a paramedic, but at that point did it because in the late 80s/ early 90s most programs still wanted paramedics, nurses, and resp therapists. working side by side with PAs as an ER tech 26-72 hrs/week for 4.5 years was great exposure to the profession and medicine in general.

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