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Advice While Waiting To Hear Back From Schools


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Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well, like many of you I am waiting to hear back from PA schools to see if I will be invited for an interview. I wanted to seek out constructive criticism and advice on how I can improve my chances of getting an interview not only for this cycle but next cycle if I don't get in. (a little side note I just recently switched from the D.O pathway to the PA route my Junior year and I am extremely happy with the decision but I am behind on the hours as I just switched pathways this winter.)

Heres some stats from my application

-Accumulative GPA: 3.62

-Science GPA: 3.76

-GRE: 313 Overall / 157 Verbal / 152 Quantattive / 4.0 Writing

-Shadowing: 4 MDs and PAs for about 20 hours. (this was a struggle as I just started PA shadowing right before the pandemic but hopefully I can add to this in August!)

-Healthcare Hours with direct patient contact: About 500 hours with about half being a nursing assistant and the other half being an assistant athletic trainer. (Another weak point but I should be close to 700 hours by the time interviews roll around and I could definitely pass 1000 before I matriculate if accepted)

-Volunteer Hours: A little bit over 100 hours

-I have a good amount of extracurriculars and leadership roles along with published research (which I am hoping will make up for some of the weak areas of my application)

Again I appreciate any advice on how I can improve my chances for this cycle and/or next cycle if I (knock on wood) don't get in this year. I wish everyone on here the best in their applications and their journey to becoming a practicing PA!

Best Regards,

Shane

Edited by ShaneG412
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2 hours ago, ShaneG412 said:

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well, like many of you I am waiting to hear back from PA schools to see if I will be invited for an interview. I wanted to seek out constructive criticism and advice on how I can improve my chances of getting an interview not only for this cycle but next cycle if I don't get in. (a little side note I just recently switched from the D.O pathway to the PA route my Junior year and I am extremely happy with the decision but I am behind on the hours as I just switched pathways this winter.)

Heres some stats from my application

-Accumulative GPA: 3.62

-Science GPA: 3.76

-GRE: 313 Overall / 157 Verbal / 152 Quantattive / 4.0 Writing

-Shadowing: 4 MDs and PAs for about 20 hours. (this was a struggle as I just started PA shadowing right before the pandemic but hopefully I can add to this in August!)

-Healthcare Hours with direct patient contact: About 500 hours with about half being a nursing assistant and the other half being an assistant athletic trainer. (Another weak point but I should be close to 700 hours by the time interviews roll around and I could definitely pass 1000 before I matriculate if accepted)

-Volunteer Hours: A little bit over 100 hours

-I have a good amount of extracurriculars and leadership roles along with published research (which I am hoping will make up for some of the weak areas of my application)

Again I appreciate any advice on how I can improve my chances for this cycle and/or next cycle if I (knock on wood) don't get in this year. I wish everyone on here the best in their applications and their journey to becoming a practicing PA!

Best Regards,

Shane

Your stats are really great and you seem like you will be a competitive applicant as long as you applied to schools with lower PCE requirements. 
 

I would recommend doing interview prep! Look up common interview questions and have strong answers, especially to highlight your strengths and weaker areas of you application. If do not already own interview attire, definitely start looking into that now. You don’t want to try to find something to wear last minute. 
 

as for the possibility of applying next year, continue to gain PCE, volunteer, and shadow if possible. Volunteering does not have to be medical. Get a hobby that interest you and may stand out/something to talk about during an interview 

Edited by PAdude27
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4 minutes ago, PAdude27 said:

Your stats are really great and you seem like you will be a competitive applicant as long as you applied to schools with lower PCE requirements. 
 

I would recommend doing interview prep! Look up common interview questions and have strong answers, especially to highlight your strengths and weaker areas of you application. If do not already own interview attire, definitely start looking into that now. You don’t want to try to find something to wear last minute. 
 

as for the possibility of applying next year, continue to gain PCE, volunteer, and shadow if possible. Volunteering does not have to be medical. Get a hobby that interest you and may stand out/something to talk about during an interview 

Thank you for this! The PCE was something I definitely considered when applying to schools. Tried my best to stay realistic with where I could get in at! Thank you so much for your reply.

Best,

Shane

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I agree with interview prep during the waiting period.  Before my interview last year, I looked up common PA school interview questions (just do a Google search and you’ll find various lists) and made sure that I had a good answer for each one.  I also bought a suit, along with a new tie, belt, shirt and shoes.  The clothes don’t have to be top of the line or fancy (I got my suit from the men’s separates section at Burlington Coat Factory, and some shoes from DSW), just make sure everything fits well and get the suit dry cleaned.  As stated above, I would also recommend that you continue accruing PCE, shadowing hours, volunteer hours, etc. if possible.  Good luck!

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3 minutes ago, ShaneG412 said:

Thank you for this! The PCE was something I definitely considered when applying to schools. Tried my best to stay realistic with where I could get in at! Thank you so much for your reply.

Best,

Shane

I think you have a really good shot! Just continue to work! One thing I will say about shadowing, most schools require shadowing to ensure that you know what a PA is and what a PA does in practice. As long as can articulate that you have a good understanding of what a PA does in your application/interviews, then you should be fine. This is even better if you work directly with PAs

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53 minutes ago, dukkulisur said:

I agree with interview prep during the waiting period.  Before my interview last year, I looked up common PA school interview questions (just do a Google search and you’ll find various lists) and made sure that I had a good answer for each one.  I also bought a suit, along with a new tie, belt, shirt and shoes.  The clothes don’t have to be top of the line or fancy (I got my suit from the men’s separates section at Burlington Coat Factory, and some shoes from DSW), just make sure everything fits well and get the suit dry cleaned.  As stated above, I would also recommend that you continue accruing PCE, shadowing hours, volunteer hours, etc. if possible.  Good luck!

Thank you for the advice! H and M is always my go to haha. Like you said I gotta keep accumulating PCE hours and shadowing over the Summer!

Thank you again,

Shane

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