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cbrodATC

PCE as ATC. Wait another year or apply?

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I am seeking some advice as to whether I should apply for this upcoming '19-20 cycle or if I would greatly benefit in waiting another year. For the most part my doubt arises from my LOR and from what some may consider "limited" medical experience as an ATC. Here is some background information..

B.S. in Athletic Training (cGPA 3.8) (sGPA 3.69) ~2000 clinical experience hours

Currently working towards a M.S. in Sport Management (cGPA 4.0) 

Currently a graduate assistant ATC at a D1 college with ~1000 hours PCE as a licensed provider. 

Shadowing experience:  Ortho Surgery MD/PA - 120 hours .. IR PA - 6 hours .. CT Surgery PA - 6 hours .. Orthopedic PA - 8 hours .. Undergrad Gen Med rotation w/ PA, MD, NP - 30 hours

If I were to apply this cycle my LOR would be from: Undergrad professor, undergrad professor/preceptor, and current supervisor/boss (All are ATC's).

Would my lack of inpatient medical experience be glaring enough to warrant taking another year to gain experience? I know from an academic standpoint my stats are average/above-average but would an admissions committee view my PCE as an ATC different and less than that of an EMT or CNA because of the "outpatient" nature of the care provided?

Edited by cbrodATC

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You'll probably need to check with schools that you're interested in about whether your experience counts as PCE to start with. I think it could potentially be a selling point for you as CNA/EMT experience is so ubiquitous. Having a somewhat unique background can help you stand out in a crowd. However, 2000 hours is very average and is the minimum for many programs.

In terms of your LORs, while I think the best letters come from people that know you very well and can attest to your strengths and achievements, having a letter from an MD/DO/NP/PA is really important especially considering your low PCE. Many programs even require this. That being said, all of my letters came from nurses and I was accepted this year so it's certainly not impossible.

If I were you I'd send out some emails about your experience to make sure it's acceptable before making decisions about whether to apply or not. Assuming that you decide to apply, I think you'll need to be prioritizing schools that emphasize GPA over PCE.

Edited by mkimbe

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