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U won't be labelled as overqualified but there might be more expected out of u as u go through the program .I have ur same background and I m doing a pa program .U can private message me if u need any more info.All the best

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Just curious to see if on a college application that joining a sorority and being involved with all the volunteering and possible leadership roles helps with admissions for PA school.  Of course I know direct patient care and good grades and high GRE also.  I'm on the fence about joining a sorority and just joining other healthcare clubs in college but just wondering if it is highly looked upon as a good thing for application. The school going to for undergrad is very pro greek life and they do lots of community service and the statistics show that girls in greek life have higher grades.  Thanks.

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It comes down to what you have to show for it and how you can use it in your personal statement. If you can establish significant hours of relevant community service and leadership and if you can verbalize why that makes you a better applicant, it can help. Showing that you are a leader and can manage your time productively are assets on your application. Just joining a sorority and participating in community service activities may not be viewed as favorably.

 

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I posted this in the Personal Statement section, but I would appreciate input from an Admissions Director.

Very recently an immediate family member received a cancer diagnosis. I am a second time applicant and the last 3 months have been absolutely horrible for my family. Is it in poor taste to write about this? I would mention the amazing care my family member and I get during surgery & daily radiation and the importance of having passion for the field you're in, etc? I've also been taking care of this individual more or less around the clock. I'm not sure how to approach this. And should I mention being a second time applicant in the PS? I won't be reapplying to most of the schools from this first round. Thank you very much for your time.

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Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II are the pre reqs for most PA schools. I had taken A&P I at my university and A&P II at a community college, which is closer to my house. Should A&P I and A&P II be taken at the same school in order to fulfill the PA schools' pre reqs since they are sequential classes? If so, should I retake A&P I at the community college in order to apply to PA schools?

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Thanks so much for doing this!

 

Here's my situation: 

 

I'm a senior at a university right now. I still have a few prereqs to take care of before I apply to PA school, which I'll be completing at a local community college since I can't afford to stay at a university past the traditional 4 years. I have a problem though, and that's my transcript. Sophomore year, I got a C in gen chem, so I retook it in the summer and got a C again. Junior year, I withdrew from a bio class, so now I have a W on my transcript. I retook that class and got an A. Now, I'm taking a micro class and received a 2.8 in the lecture and a 3.2 in lab. This is a problem, since most PA schools look at micro classes and I think they'll weigh it heavily since I'm a senior right now. I looked for other upper level micro classes to take later at a community college so that I can prove myself, but I can't find any.

 

Do you think I should retake the micro class, where I'll be sure to do better? Do you think I should leave it and take another bio class? If I were to retake the micro class, it would be labeled as something else, though--so, I'm not really retaking it, per se, since I'm going to take it at a community college. For example, the micro class I'm taking right now is a 300 level one, but if I were to retake it at a community college, it'll be a 200 level one. Additionally, the other bio classes I'm going to take at a community college are mostly 200 level classes, since the community college doesn't have anything higher than that.

 

Do you even think I have a shot at getting in?

 

Thanks for any and all the help! 

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I have a question in regards to healthcare experience as an applicant.

 

Simply put: What is the true value of healthcare and patient care experience in an applicant?

 

I noticed that most PA schools put a lot of value on HCE/PCE hours, but wanted to know your thoughts on why it seems that most PA schools consider taking in applicants with  thousands of hours of HCE/PCE with GPA's in the lower end of the spectrum (3.1-3.4), over an applicant with a GPA slightly above 3.4-3.6, but limited PCE (300-500 hours).

 

I understand each school is different in their expectations of their applicants, but what is the true value of healthcare and patient care experience? Is it possessing the right attitude towards medicine? Is it because the clinical year is typical 12 months, and they want applicants that possess experience working to compensate for this limited time in a clinical setting? How much does possessing 1000+  EMT-B, CNA, or MA hours really contribute to being a good PA? 

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I spent four years in the air force ten years ago. I had an excellent career until I tested positive for marijuana in my urine and was discharged after a courts martial. This is my only issue with the law. In the past ten years I have had steady work in the medical field, gotten married, had a daughter, and lead a responsible life. I will have excellent references and my GPA is 3.7. Will the marijuana issue necessarily rule me out as a candidate?

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I am currently a junior in college who is looking into applying for PA school eventually; however, I do not have much HCE. I am working at a local hospital as an OR attendant. Would this count as some HCE and if not, what would you suggest I do as a way to gain hours without having to take too many more classes outside of my undergrad? I don't know if that is something that I can actually do; therefore, if that is not possible, what would you suggest I do as a way to not have to pay for too much schooling but get certified in something to where I have direct patient care and gain many hours for my HCE. 

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yes, I have interviewed with some of my top choices. Both interviews I received last year, I was also wait listed at both schools. I think one of my biggest problems was that I was submitting my application usually sometime in September rather than early such as June. Also I am retaking A&P to increase my GPA even more and to get A's in those rather than B's

 

 

Also bump up the GRE! That can make you much more competitive; also look into "Ace the PA interview" by Andy Rodican. I murdered my interview because of that book. 

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@futurePA001 Thanks for your question and sorry for the delay. If you appealed it and the decision was overturned, no you should not have to report it. If it were still listed as XF on your transcripts I would say yes, you would have to report because we will see it. Hope this helps!

Hello PA Admissions Director,

In my freshmen year of undergraduate I received an XF (failure due to academic dishonesty) in a history class for missing in-text citation for one the resources I used. I petitioned to have a grade of an "XF" removed and it was granted, so now my transcript only reports "F" for that particular class. My question is, is it necessary for me to report "Yes" when asked about academic infraction below? I truly learned from my mistake and so I do not want to highlight that part of the my academic history. Any help would be appreciated.

"Have you ever been disciplined by any college, university, or professional school for: (1) unacceptable academic performance (academic probation, suspension, dismissal, etc.) or (2) conduct violations?"

Thank you so much for your advice!!
@paadmissions

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Thank you very much. My other concern was if I would be labeled overqualified? 

@nagatino Thank you for your question. I don't think you would be seen as over qualified to apply to the program. We have several FMDs who apply and a few who matriculate into our program. The ones who make it into the program have never felt over qualified and actually see our way of teaching to be very different from their MD training, etc. 

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@peabody Thank you for your questions. It is good to show that you're able to get involved in outside things-it shows time management skills. If you have a desire to join a sorority, I say go for it if it's a good fit for you. The community service aspect is great. However, joining a healthcare club is also a great way to network, to learn about other professions and different PA schools, and can help facilitate opportunities that may fit you more since you're interested in PA school. Just make sure that whatever you do, that you're still able to focus on a strong academic performance and clinical experience. You don't want the social aspect to muddy the water. Thanks and I hope this helps!

Just curious to see if on a college application that joining a sorority and being involved with all the volunteering and possible leadership roles helps with admissions for PA school.  Of course I know direct patient care and good grades and high GRE also.  I'm on the fence about joining a sorority and just joining other healthcare clubs in college but just wondering if it is highly looked upon as a good thing for application. The school going to for undergrad is very pro greek life and they do lots of community service and the statistics show that girls in greek life have higher grades.  Thanks.

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@bluepillow Thank you for your question and sorry for the delay. If you feel the family member's diagnosis and your involvement with the treatment has deepened your desire to be a PA, you can mention it. However, should you choose to mention it, I would be very insightful about this experience...meaning, what you've learned from your interactions with the healthcare team, the characteristics and traits that are necessary to be a good healthcare provider, etc. It is very common for applicants to mention such experiences in their personal statements, but the ones that stand out are the ones who have a very analytical approach to the situation. Further, if you mention you're a second time applicant, that's fine, but when that's mentioned I like to read what you've done to improve yourself from last cycle to this cycle. If you sought feedback from the programs you've applied to, did you make those changes? We want to see reflection and that the applicant has identified the strengths and weakness of their performance. Hope this helps!

I posted this in the Personal Statement section, but I would appreciate input from an Admissions Director.

Very recently an immediate family member received a cancer diagnosis. I am a second time applicant and the last 3 months have been absolutely horrible for my family. Is it in poor taste to write about this? I would mention the amazing care my family member and I get during surgery & daily radiation and the importance of having passion for the field you're in, etc? I've also been taking care of this individual more or less around the clock. I'm not sure how to approach this. And should I mention being a second time applicant in the PS? I won't be reapplying to most of the schools from this first round. Thank you very much for your time.

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@sushithefish Thank you for your question. I'm not sure that a lot of programs have a requirement that it has to be taken at the same university. I think it is helpful, but not something, at least our program, would get too bent out of shape about. I would run it by the programs that interest you, but I think you'll be ok. Hope this helps.

Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II are the pre reqs for most PA schools. I had taken A&P I at my university and A&P II at a community college, which is closer to my house. Should A&P I and A&P II be taken at the same school in order to fulfill the PA schools' pre reqs since they are sequential classes? If so, should I retake A&P I at the community college in order to apply to PA schools?

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@sam94 Thank you for your questions. What are the letter grades for the Micro that you're currently in? I'm assuming a B- for the lecture? Our program prefers to see many of the biology and chemistry courses taken at the university level as possible. However, not all programs have the same feeling. If the grade is a B- and all other biology courses like A&P I and II, etc. are solid performances, I probably would be hesitant to tell you to retake micro since it is at the 200 level. Also, what other courses will you be taking at the cc level to finish out your prereqs? It's hard to tell you if you're competitive without looking at transcripts. If micro, the one bio course and the one gen chem course are the only "hiccups" in your performance and you've got a consistent, upward trend in your grades you may be ok. That said, if you're up and down with your grades, you may not be competitive. You can email me your transcripts if you want (jmish@methodist.edu). Other factors I'm sure programs will weigh are GRE scores and clinical experience. Hope this helps!

Thanks so much for doing this!

 

Here's my situation: 

 

I'm a senior at a university right now. I still have a few prereqs to take care of before I apply to PA school, which I'll be completing at a local community college since I can't afford to stay at a university past the traditional 4 years. I have a problem though, and that's my transcript. Sophomore year, I got a C in gen chem, so I retook it in the summer and got a C again. Junior year, I withdrew from a bio class, so now I have a W on my transcript. I retook that class and got an A. Now, I'm taking a micro class and received a 2.8 in the lecture and a 3.2 in lab. This is a problem, since most PA schools look at micro classes and I think they'll weigh it heavily since I'm a senior right now. I looked for other upper level micro classes to take later at a community college so that I can prove myself, but I can't find any.

 

Do you think I should retake the micro class, where I'll be sure to do better? Do you think I should leave it and take another bio class? If I were to retake the micro class, it would be labeled as something else, though--so, I'm not really retaking it, per se, since I'm going to take it at a community college. For example, the micro class I'm taking right now is a 300 level one, but if I were to retake it at a community college, it'll be a 200 level one. Additionally, the other bio classes I'm going to take at a community college are mostly 200 level classes, since the community college doesn't have anything higher than that.

 

Do you even think I have a shot at getting in?

 

Thanks for any and all the help! 

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@PM_UR_PTs Thanks for your question. It's a good one! Our take on it is that quality hands-on experience/direct patient care tends to better prepare the applicant for the curriculum and provides a comfort level when working with patients. We've found that those students who had a lot of direct patient care tended to be more proactive in labs, are more comfortable in their clinical rotations, and have an easier transition not only to the program, but also to clinical practice. Additionally, they tend to be the leaders in the program (vocal or lead by example) and also have a more realistic and insightful understanding of the role of the PA. Hope this helps!

I have a question in regards to healthcare experience as an applicant.

 

Simply put: What is the true value of healthcare and patient care experience in an applicant?

 

I noticed that most PA schools put a lot of value on HCE/PCE hours, but wanted to know your thoughts on why it seems that most PA schools consider taking in applicants with  thousands of hours of HCE/PCE with GPA's in the lower end of the spectrum (3.1-3.4), over an applicant with a GPA slightly above 3.4-3.6, but limited PCE (300-500 hours).

 

I understand each school is different in their expectations of their applicants, but what is the true value of healthcare and patient care experience? Is it possessing the right attitude towards medicine? Is it because the clinical year is typical 12 months, and they want applicants that possess experience working to compensate for this limited time in a clinical setting? How much does possessing 1000+  EMT-B, CNA, or MA hours really contribute to being a good PA? 

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@mandrew1 Thank you for your question. I would think with the life you've lead after the discharge would be something programs would consider. I would be honest about it on your application.You may want to even mention it briefly in your personal statement so they can know you on paper. Not all applicants can "explain" something in an interview so the personal statement is the place to do this. Also, be prepared with an answer should you be asked about it during an interview.  Hope this helps.

I spent four years in the air force ten years ago. I had an excellent career until I tested positive for marijuana in my urine and was discharged after a courts martial. This is my only issue with the law. In the past ten years I have had steady work in the medical field, gotten married, had a daughter, and lead a responsible life. I will have excellent references and my GPA is 3.7. Will the marijuana issue necessarily rule me out as a candidate?

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@ntgoodkin Thank you for your question. I'm not sure that your attendant hours would count for a lot of programs.  However, you can use the position to network or find other positions that allow more direct patient interactions. Some states allow people to work as a medical assistant without the certification. Many applicants start out by shadowing a provider and then are trained on the job as a medical assistant and they get hours that way. Also, in some states you can take a CNA I certification test online without taking a course...essentially studying for the exam and skills portion of it on your own. We're in NC so it may be different depending on where you are in the country. I also recommend that students take a "gap year" after they graduate. This allows the applicant to focus on clinical experience hours. It can be very beneficial to some applicants. Refer to my post a few posts up..it talks about the importance of HCE hours. Hope this helps!

I am currently a junior in college who is looking into applying for PA school eventually; however, I do not have much HCE. I am working at a local hospital as an OR attendant. Would this count as some HCE and if not, what would you suggest I do as a way to gain hours without having to take too many more classes outside of my undergrad? I don't know if that is something that I can actually do; therefore, if that is not possible, what would you suggest I do as a way to not have to pay for too much schooling but get certified in something to where I have direct patient care and gain many hours for my HCE. 

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@paadmissions

 

Are interviews scheduled for weekends? I work weekdays and I foresee it being a pain to my phlebotomy supervisors in the near future if I will have to tell them I need to call out in order to fly to and attend PA school interviews. I work in a small health center.

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Hello paadmissions, 

I am wondering how important it is to most programs to have taken Biology w/lab as a pre-requisite?  I have a BSN in Nursing and Biology was not a required course for my program.  I am applying to 7 programs and all have Biology as a prerequisite course; on my CASPA application I used my NUR classes which include a clinical portion to serve as the lab to go with it.  Can you give me some insight on whether schools will give this as credit while taking into consideration by HCE.  I have 16 years experience (over 20,000 hours) working in healthcare (10 years in a nonclinical leadership position developing and overseeing a pathology and patient services department; working with patients giving pathology results, scheduling follow-up and surgeries appointments as well as processing pathology specimens, completing path reports, and billing and 5 years in the clinical setting as a Medical Assistant and after completing my Associate's Degree in Nursing working as an RN working directly with the Physicians/PAs & NPs).  I have looked at some options to take two biology classes by Spring of next year prior to matriculation but do not want to spend money that is not necessary.  Thanks for any feedback you can offer.

PzawifetoPA

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PzawifetoPA,

 

While I'm not affiliated with an admissions committee in anyway and I'm sure they will be able to better answer your question, I wanted to offer some insight based on my experience as an RN applying for PA school, in hopes that it will be of some help.

 

All of the programs I applied to did not accept professional program courses (i.e. BSN, med school, etc) as credit towards prereques. They are counted as science courses in your GPA, but generally it seems that biology, stats, chem, etc need to be taken separately. And based on the schools I looked at and applied to, biology seemed to be a requirement of most, if not all. However, not all schools require a lab. I had taken all of these courses as prereques for nursing school, so perhaps you have a course that would satisfy the requirement taken before nursing school? It might also be worth while to reach out to each program you are applying to to see what you will need and when; in my experience the programs are very helpful! Hope this helps & good luck... Great to see other RNs out there bringing great experience to a wonderful profession!

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Hello PA Admissions,

 

I wanted to thank you for taking your time to answer all of our questions. It's helped me sort through most of my concerns and questions.

 

I have the ol' HCE vs GPA battle. I am currently an RN on a CCU/CVICU at a busy level-1 trauma and I occasionally grab a shift in the SICU/MICU, which I've been doing for 2 years now. Love the type of patients I'm seeing and I want to keep working in a similar environment, albeit in a more advanced practitioner role. 

 

I've had a bit of a winding road in terms of college. I have a b.s in biology with 3.2 overall and 2.7-ish science. I had a strong upward trend over the final 4 semesters, which is quite the statement considering how poor it remains. I immediately went into a 12-month accelerated BSN program and finished that with a 3.4 gpa. Most of the sciences are under my biology degree but I have a few in the nursing program (genetics, pathophysioloy,does pharm count as science?). I do have my CCRN (hope certifications help) and I have also participated in various humanitarian/nursing abroad missions. I also have an additional two years of experience as a CNA/PCT plus about 300 hours of volunteering in a level-II ED while I was in college. I think my HCE/extra-curriculars are solid and I don't plan on applying for at least another cycle, which will only help that aspect of my application.

 

My end game is to jump into a cardiac surgery PA residency once finished. There are very few cardiac Nurse Practitioner residencies and even fewer job opportunities as I believe >90% of non-MD/DO's who participate in surgery are PAs. Talking to one of the CT DO's at my hospital, the preference for hiring PA's vs NP's into surgical positions stems from the training in the PA program, which is what brings me here.

 

I've taken care of cardiac patients pre-op, taken care of them post-op, now I want to be part of the entire process including inside the OR. 

 

My question is, in the battle of good HCE vs poor (science) GPA, who wins? Biology degree GPA vs 1-year BSN GPA? I feel as though a carefully selected program might give me a look. I badly want to tell an admissions committee that as long as I don't have to take physics, molecular biology, and the biology of cancer I should be good (joking of course -sort of). 

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PzawifetoPA,

 

While I'm not affiliated with an admissions committee in anyway and I'm sure they will be able to better answer your question, I wanted to offer some insight based on my experience as an RN applying for PA school, in hopes that it will be of some help.

 

All of the programs I applied to did not accept professional program courses (i.e. BSN, med school, etc) as credit towards prereques. They are counted as science courses in your GPA, but generally it seems that biology, stats, chem, etc need to be taken separately. And based on the schools I looked at and applied to, biology seemed to be a requirement of most, if not all. However, not all schools require a lab. I had taken all of these courses as prereques for nursing school, so perhaps you have a course that would satisfy the requirement taken before nursing school? It might also be worth while to reach out to each program you are applying to to see what you will need and when; in my experience the programs are very helpful! Hope this helps & good luck... Great to see other RNs out there bringing great experience to a wonderful profession!

lanime, 

Thanks for the feedback on my question.  I know all of the programs I applied to have Biology listed as a pre-req but I didn't know how detrimental it would be for me to not have it.  I will definitely take it if needed in the Fall & Spring but If any of the programs will overlook me not taking it in lieu of my experience it would be a plus.  I didn't have a Bachelor's degree when I started back to school and I really thought Nursing might satisfy my craving to help people but I quickly realized that PA was a better fit.  I questioned one program to make sure they would consider a Bachelor's in Nursing (since I was already on that path) vs the typical Undergraduate degree in Biology, Chemistry or Psychology simply because I felt with one of those degrees would not allow me to care for people at all if I did not get into PA school.  I have been going to school full time for the past 5 years and I am so looking forward to starting a PA program in 2017, so I would hate to have this stand in my way. 

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