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Healthcare Experience regarding entrance to PA School

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Hi guys, I am just curious as to how many others out there have 0 healthcare experience at all and if you still plan to apply to PA school that way. Also how detrimental having no experience(direct patient or not) could be to a would be applicant. I am still in undergrad and have years left to gain experience. Are shadowing and volunteer hours alone enough to gain entry? Any advice pertaining to experience for a well rounded PA School applicant.

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Let's put you in the position of the Admission Committee where you have 1 seat and 2 applications. Who would you choose? Applicant or B.

  • A: 25-30-year-old white female, 3.95 cGPA, 3.75 sGPA, 0 paid PCE, 50 volunteer hours, and 15 shadowing hours.
  • B: 25-30-year-old white male, 3.65 cGPA, 3.62 sGPA, 2000 paid PCE, 0 volunteer hours, and 0 shadowing hour.

Of course, there are applicants who have 0 PCE or HCE who get admitted into PA school but that is definitely an exception and not a rule. When programs are screening through thousands of applications they are looking to make sure you first meet the GPA requirement then they go down the list in order of importance; PCE>HCE>LOR>volunteer>community service. Strive to be the best PA applicant and PA student, and to be honest, shadowing/volunteer hours is just not going to do that.

When it comes to experience, the more responsibility you carry regarding patient-care the better off you are. Shadowing experience is usually a checkbox when compared to direct hands-on experience where you are responsible for providing care to patients.

After certain hours there is nothing else you can learn from shadowing. Shoot, even after certain hours working in a certain capacity you tend to stop learning after a few months. That's why I left my nursing assistant position and became an office based EMT (uncertified MA).

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