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I’ve already been gathering my PCE/HCE by volunteering as an EMT, working as a Scribe, and working as a DSP at a home for people with head injuries. So, volunteering at an animal shelter would simply just be my “giving back to the community” addition to my application. I love animals so this would be really satisfying for me to do in my spare time, when I’m not working with humans lol. Would schools look at this at all, or is it just a waste of my time that I should be spending working at a soup kitchen or something? I understand that a soup kitchen would probably be better and I plan on doing something like that once covid is over but for now my friend is starting up her own animal shelter and I would love for this to count for my application and make me look better to schools.

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23 hours ago, PotentialPA1 said:

I’ve already been gathering my PCE/HCE by volunteering as an EMT, working as a Scribe, and working as a DSP at a home for people with head injuries. So, volunteering at an animal shelter would simply just be my “giving back to the community” addition to my application. I love animals so this would be really satisfying for me to do in my spare time, when I’m not working with humans lol. Would schools look at this at all, or is it just a waste of my time that I should be spending working at a soup kitchen or something? I understand that a soup kitchen would probably be better and I plan on doing something like that once covid is over but for now my friend is starting up her own animal shelter and I would love for this to count for my application and make me look better to schools.

I think any volunteering would be looked at positively. You are freely giving up your time to help someone else or the community at large. I think working with animals can be counted as volunteering!

Edited by Kirby219
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I think any voulenteering would be looked at positively. You are freely giving up your time to help someone else or the community at large. I think working with animals can be counted as volunteering!

That’s what I would think! I just don’t know enough about how schools view these sort of things and I haven’t narrowed down my list yet.


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Recent grad here. From what I gathered going through the process 2 years ago and seeing others' experiences on this forum, there is a hierarchy of importance in applications.

1 - Does your GRE meet the minimums? This is a hard reject/move on to consideration. A super high score doesn't improve chances much.

2 - Do you have the minimum PCE? Program variable, but another hard reject/move on. A lot more (2x-3x or more) than the minimum doesn't seem to be especially helpful.

2 - What is your GPA? 3.5 or better is likely to be considered.

  • Also, how are your prerequisite grades?

3 - How does the interview go? I've seen stories here (and experienced it myself), some interviews can go really well and others just fall apart, people generally improve the more they do.

Everything else is a bit ancillary. The only other big part of getting an interview is going to be the personal statement and the letters of rec, but there is so much variability that it's hard to give input.

My two cents on the animal shelter volunteering is that it can't hurt, but is unlikely to help much. If it is short term, it matters even less. But it could give you something to talk about in an interview. So if you want to do it, and there isn't something else more relevant it is taking time away from, go for it. 

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Go for it! Any and all volunteer work is helpful because it proves you give back to your community. From personal experience, I have been volunteering for an animal rescue since I was about 14 and I've raked up thousands of hours of experience from that. During my interview, the interviewer and I talked about animals and she told me that a lot of PA students at this program are animal lovers. So not only could it help you in terms of giving back to your community, but it may give you something interesting to bring up during the interview, and allow you to make an easier connection and to make you more memorable during the admissions process. Also, you could always do this in addition to a different type of volunteer experience just to keep it diverse. 🙂 

Edited by Laybunny
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10 hours ago, Laybunny said:

Go for it! Any and all volunteer work is helpful because it proves you give back to your community. From personal experience, I have been volunteering for an animal rescue since I was about 14 and I've raked up thousands of hours of experience from that. During my interview, the interviewer and I talked about animals and she told me that a lot of PA students at this program are animal lovers. So not only could it help you in terms of giving back to your community, but it may give you something interesting to bring up during the interview, and allow you to make an easier connection and to make you more memorable during the admissions process. Also, you could always do this in addition to a different type of volunteer experience just to keep it diverse. 🙂 

I agree 100% ! Ive had previous volunteering hours at an animal shelter and I think it makes you stand out as an applicant , as opposed to everyone else with medical service hours

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I volunteered at a animal shelter in undergrad (i love cats, oh lord did i love this position)! It's really good fluff (def shows my character better than all the fast food jobs I listed). I also had enough PCE hours. You don't really want to bring this up in your interview to sell yourself rather use the direct patient care hours. 

 

So, if you love it, DO IT! It's good application "fluff" 🙂

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Recent grad here. From what I gathered going through the process 2 years ago and seeing others' experiences on this forum, there is a hierarchy of importance in applications.
1 - Does your GRE meet the minimums? This is a hard reject/move on to consideration. A super high score doesn't improve chances much.
2 - Do you have the minimum PCE? Program variable, but another hard reject/move on. A lot more (2x-3x or more) than the minimum doesn't seem to be especially helpful.
2 - What is your GPA? 3.5 or better is likely to be considered.
  • Also, how are your prerequisite grades?
3 - How does the interview go? I've seen stories here (and experienced it myself), some interviews can go really well and others just fall apart, people generally improve the more they do.
Everything else is a bit ancillary. The only other big part of getting an interview is going to be the personal statement and the letters of rec, but there is so much variability that it's hard to give input.
My two cents on the animal shelter volunteering is that it can't hurt, but is unlikely to help much. If it is short term, it matters even less. But it could give you something to talk about in an interview. So if you want to do it, and there isn't something else more relevant it is taking time away from, go for it. 

I have a 3.41 cum GPA with upward trend and a 3.6 sGPA. Still good?


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On 7/22/2020 at 10:00 AM, PotentialPA1 said:


I have a 3.41 cum GPA with upward trend and a 3.6 sGPA. Still good?


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Yeah, from what I saw 3.5 was the "safe" number to not have your GPA questioned in any way or for it to be a hindrance, but 3.4 trending upward and a higher science GPA are all big +'s.

When it comes to interviews, just remember, they wouldn't be interviewing you if they weren't already interested in you being in the program. So if GPA (even though it is hard to criticize a 3.4) or anything else comes up, they just want to see how you handle being asked about it. They seem to care less about whatever they asked, than they care how you respond to being asked about it. That was a theme that seemed to pop up during my interviews and in talking with other students anyway. 

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