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I am a Biology/Pre-PA major Junior in college. I am in ROTC and participate in many extracurricular within ROTC, so I am ranked well. I am looking for advice on my chances for getting into PA school. I don't have many preferences for a PA school, my life dream has just always been to save lives within the medical field. At the time of applying for PA school I will have a 3.1-3.3 GPA, around 1000 hours as an ED medical scribe, and I worked as a pharmacy technician for a year. 

Most of my credibility outside of my GPA is ROTC which takes up a decent chunk of time which I am hoping will say something for my application. I have yet to take the GRE but plan on doing well since I will need the extra buff. I also attended basic camp and advanced camp if that helps my application at all.

What are my chances for getting into PA school and is there any advice that I can be given for my future success in the medical field. Thank you.

Very Respectfully,

Nick

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your ROTC will stand out. As of right now, you are not a competitive applicant. Your GPA is a bit low, and your healthcare experience as a medical scribe is not accepted by the majority of schools because it is not direct patient care. It looks good to have on your application, but not as your primary healthcare experience. I was a medical scribe and became a medical assistant. My state does not require me to have a medical assistant certificate, so I was able to find a job and be trained in the clinic. My suggestion is to become a medical assistant. Send your resume to clinics near you and apply on Indeed. Aim for a 300 or above on the GRE with a 4.0 in writing. I recommend using Manhattan 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems and taking 2 practice tests once you feel like you're ready to take the GRE (the ETS website offers free online practice tests). A month or two of solid studying should get you a good score. Some people recommend taking a timed practice test before beginning your studying, but I did not do that because I already knew what I needed to focus on. I took a practice exam after a month of studying. You should have at least 100 hours of recent volunteer experience (in the past 3 years). I also recommend only As on your prerequisites, but a B+ could be okay if the rest of your application becomes strong. If you still have prerequisites to take for PA school, get that A the first time! You do not want to ever waste time and money having to retake a class. If you follow my advice, I'm sure you will be a more competitive applicant 🙂

Edited by Potatolife
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  • 2 weeks later...

Accepted student here. Saving lives within the medical field is a broad dream. I would definitely recommend shadowing different healthcare providers so you can be confident in whatever career you choose. For PA specifically, I think it's a little harsh to say you're not a competitive applicant. More schools are accepting scribing as PCE so if you apply to schools that value it, you shouldn't have an issue (although the general consensus on PCE quality is EMT>MA>CNA>scribe, so I naturally recommend looking into an EMT certification). 

As far as your GPA, it's on the low end of accepted students. I had a 3.35 science GPA and was accepted to multiple programs (so it's possible!), but your chances are always better with higher GPAs. I think you would benefit from taking some time after graduation to get good PCE and taking more classes to raise your GPA. The ROTC experience is strong, but PA schools have incredibly specific prerequisite requirements that you'll need to fulfill to even be considered. Long story short, you're on the right track, so shadow, do your research, and keep studying hard! Best of luck 🙂

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Looking at your stats, it’s good that you have a ton of extracurriculars. Most schools require you to have 1,000 hours but that’s just the bare minumum. Of course the more you have, the better. Your GPA is on the lower side as well. Remember, PA school is extremely challenging to get into, and each year, it gets tougher. I’m not trying to scare you, but that’s the truth. Right now, I would put my main focus in trying to raise your grades and racking up your patient care hours. Different schools prioritize different aspects of your application. Some schools highly emphasize patient care experience, others will emphasize gpa or volunteer hours. Make sure you research what schools you want to apply because from what I know, some don’t accept medical scribe as patient care experience anymore. So, research, research, research! If you have any questions, please feel free to message me! I was a two time applicant and just recently got accepted!

Edited by Caligal
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