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So im planning to apply this cycle to PA school,  but the more I read online, the more worried I become about being accepted. Here are my stats:

B.S in biology with a minor in psychology

(also have a phlebotomy certification, but chose not to pursue a career in this.)

cGPA: 3.45

sGPA: 3.3 ( struggled a bit one semester, due to family issues, plan on talking about it if given an interview and asked.) last 60 credits have upward trend, A in Biochem, A in Orgo 2.

PCE: 3,245+ hours working at a hospital as a lab assistant, where I help with biopsies in all areas of the hospitals, as well as collecting tissue samples,, fluids, and processing them in the laboratory. ( this is where I worry, since some schools might not consider this pce; but I plan on talking about how it is, since I’m performing procedures with doctors and interacting with patients.

72 hours as Volunteer Medical Assistant at health clinic for poverty stricken individuals, taking vital signs, and checking patients in and out, obtaining HPI, etc.

HCE- 50 hours as a medical scribe volunteer also in a health clinic- charting for doctors, usual scribe work. 

-80 hours of phlebotomy clinical rotations done in order to obtain my certification. 



100 hours in assisted living/ rehab center- helped senior citizens with daily activities, read books, played games, feed them their meals, etc.

100 hours volunteering at my church, helping with festivals and other such things.

25 hours habitat for humanity.



Shadowing- IM EXTREMELY LUCKY HERE, since I work in a hospital and preform biopsies, I get to basically shadow and work at the same time, plus I work with lots of physicians and surgeons, so I’ve been given the opportunity to shadow different doctors.

Internal med PA-65 hours

Dermatology PA-40 hours

Cardiology PA/surgical-25 hours

Interventional Radiologist MD-100 hours

total of 230+ hours, trying to get more.


LOR- 1from a PA, 1 from my work supervisor, 1 from a pulmonary thoracic surgeon that i work with in the OR, and 1 from a radiologist, that I also work with.

Research: two semester of research done in undergrad on parasitology and the immune system, received college credit as well.


what do you guys think....?


where can I improve?


Extra curricular-

member of pre-pa club in college, phi theta kappa, csi, habitat for humanity


Honors: deans list, presidents list, honor roll, magna cum laude (AA degree)

Edited by Pagirl4023
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If you can pull off your patient care hours as actually being PCE, then you'll be fine. It'll be tough though, it sounds highly like HCE.

Also - Usually, hours obtained in clinical for certifications are not supposed to be used for PCE or HCE.

Everything else looks pretty good. If you don't get interview it will be probably be because your PCE isn't hands on enough, so just be sure the schools you apply to will accept it.

Good luck!

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Just like the above poster said, your experience sounds more like HCE rather than PCE. Check the programs requirements because lab assistant isn’t typically what they would recommend as patient care experience, you want to try to do something where you are hands on majority of the time like CNA, medical assistant or EMT. Those would be considered high quality PCE so I would definitely check out the requirements. 

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Rather than trying to get more shadowing hours why don't you find somewhere to volunteer that you can earn PCE that is actually hands on. Just an idea as it seems that if your above mentioned PCE doesn't pan out you have something else. Because otherwise you essentially have 50 hours as a scribe which may also be viewed as HCE at some programs.

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Awesome advice everyone! Thanks so much! And I’m going to try to volunteer more at the medical clinic as a medical assistant where I am now. after doing my fair share of research, there’s at least 6 or 7 schools that will accept my current lab assistant job as health care experience, so at least it won’t go completely to waste. Once again, I appreciate everyone taking the time to read over my post!


good luck to everyone applying this cycle 🙂

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