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To wait a year, Or not to...


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First and foremost, I hope that everyone is doing good and having a good year, despite the common drawback that we are all facing in this pandemic. 

Currently, I will be graduating in the spring with a degree in Biomedical Sciences. For a little background, I went to SCF community college for my first two and a half years of undergrad to obtain my AA, and Transferred to USF (Tampa) in the Fall of 2019, to finish my bachelor's degree. This is my first full year of finally realizing that PA school is my personal best option out of all the medical graduate programs. I have really been trying my best to account for all the things that I have missed out on, such as direct patient care hours, shadowing, due to not knowing I wanted to be a PA, and also due to foolish mistakes as an undergrad and young adult.

Initially, I was considering applying in the Spring for PA school, but after thinking about a few things, I have a feeling that it will be unwise. So overall, I just want to see what you all think about my stats, as well as what you think about my reasoning for waiting until Fall of 2021 to apply, or even spring of 2022. 

 

 Age - 23

GPA

  • SCF GPA: 3.32
  • USF GPA: 3.7
  • Overall: 3.44
    • Science all applied: 3.26
    • USF science applied: 3.5

Clinical Experience: Certified Nurse Assistant 

  • Past History: 2019 Summer Job June-August (roughly 200 hours) 
  • Current: Jobless

I have been trying to get a Job in Tampa for the past two months now with no luck, so I am hoping to have better luck in the coming weeks or months.

Community volunteering: I am currently trying to gain hours through my church, and currently have minimal hours, so this should change very soon. 

GRE Test: In regards to the GRE, my current plan is to wait until the summer of 2021 to take the exam, so that I can better focus on my classes and getting the grades to boost my Science gpa up, and to also allow my full attention to getting the best score for the test on the first go. 

Thank you in advance for any criticism that is given whether positive or negative, it is all good and will better me and my position in life.  

Edited by SLL1997
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We are all the captains of our journeys so no one can really tell you with any authority what you ought to do: only what they would do if they pictured themselves in the situation we think you are describing.

Personally, I would first find a job of any kind (using your college training if you can) and then use that more stable situation to build your credentials for applying. I would consider taking some more science courses to get your "all applied" science average closer to 3.4-3.5 and try to find a part-time or contingent job that would increase your 200 hours of working in healthcare to something more like 1000. While this could take some time, it would also make you a more competitive applicant for many programs.

Good luck with this. I know you want to get to the end point but be patient. You will remember the time along the way as much as what it felt like to reach your goal.

Edited by UGoLong
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Without a doubt, only I can be the captain of my journey, but im glad to have the people who make my journey better and more positive along the way, as well as the ones that try to bring it down, as it only makes me stronger! 

I think that your advice sounds about in line with what my initial thoughts were. I am going to apply to a few other job positions as a CNA, as well as adding ER Tech to the pool. I have been hearing good things about this position, and really hope to transfer to it once I obtain a job. I believe that I am more than capable of getting to the 1000 hour mark, as long as I can get a job sooner than later, as well as work overtime over the summer, and push my boundaries to new levels.

As for increasing my average closer to 3.4 in SGPA, I am currently in Biochemistry and Cell bio, and its been a pretty rocky road, currently I have a high B+ in biochem, and a low B in cell bio. I feel like most would expect the exact opposite, but the teachers and the test structure definitely are playing a role in my ability to do well in one over the other at this point. I really want the A for both, so hopefully with two more test and a final to replace one exam grade, I can boost my Cell bio grade, as well as Biochem. 

For my Spring 2021 semester, currently my schedule is as follows. 

  • Chemical Literature - CHM4060
  • Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry - CHM4292
  • Dev Health Professions Portfolio - IDS4930
  • Introductory Statistics 1 - STA 2023
  • Sports Nutrition - HUN 3272 

I am going to bust my a** to my best ability to obtain all A's for next semester and for the remainder of this semester, so hopefully I can boost my GPA. 

Overall, I am hoping that when I do apply, that they will see the outstanding progress that I have made from my first two years, to my last two, in regards to my SGPA. 

Also, I have recently joined the PA Club at my school, and I have attended the first of many meetings that are held, where they bring on guest that are either in grad school, or currently practicing in the field. I will be more than happy to add this to my application!  

 

Edited by TreyFL20
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Hey there, welcome 🙂  Rather than simply saying "you should do this" I'll speak from my own experience in the hopes that it's helpful to you. 

I can tell you that last year I applied right when I had hit 1,000 hours working for a hospital outpatient clinic as an MA, was volunteering once/month at a community health clinic, and volunteered at events as an EMT, and I didn't get any interviews. That's not at all to say you wouldn't, however - what I found over the past year working full-time and eventually getting hired for a new position is that my understanding of the healthcare system, PAs, and general medical fluency increased exponentially. My knowledge of medications, pathology, clinic operations, and the diagnostic process is miles ahead of where it was 1 year ago. I don't know if I'll get in this cycle, but I feel confident that I'm so much more qualified now to become a PA. 

I would recommend getting as much experience under your belt over the next year as you can, and supplement that with both general community volunteer work as well as some type of medical volunteer work. I think it's also important to put a little distance between the point at which you decided to pursue becoming a PA and the time you apply and potentially come face-to-face with an admissions committee. Many folks applying have been constructing their life around the dream of becoming a PA for many years, and I imagine at some point that would come up. 

I don't know if this directly answers your question of which season you should plan to apply in, but hopefully it helps provide some insight into the next steps to take. Feel free to message me any time if you want to chat. Good luck!

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