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What are my Chances? + Some Questions

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Hey Folks before you start reading... it is a long post and I really do appreciate you taking your time to read and respond.


I was just wondering what I can do to strengthen my application besides increasing my HCE hours (currently working on) and what are my chances?


My transcript says I have a 3.5 overall gpa but I used the gpa calculator in the caspa sub-forum and I have it says I have the following

3.31 Overall GPA

3.07 Science GPA

3.85 Non-Science GPA


In addition to my GPA, these are my other stats

Degree - BS in Biology

Volunteering - 4 years in the hospital in various departments.. ICU, ED, etc. + Laparoscopic Training, + School Disability Volunteer + a couple other minor things

HCE - 120 hrs as CNA , Shadow a PA for ~5 hours (it should be ~30 hours by the end of august/early sept)

GRE - 325/340 Combined Score

Other Info - CPR/AED Certified, Held Public Relations & President position for a local student chapter, Received 2 scholarships while in school, Received a Leadership award from the University... that is all I can think of on top of my head




1. Same one as above... What I can do to strengthen my application besides increasing my HCE hours (currently working on it)?

2. What are my chances? I am very hesitant on submitting it.

3. Should I even submit my CASPA application?

4. What is considered "late" for submitting CASPA on this forum? I know every school has a deadline on their website but honestly almost nobody submits it that late.

5. For those who aren't bound by pre-req requirements and family, what factors led you in picking your school of choice?


Thank you for taking your time to read it and respond! I look forward in hearing from you folks!

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Your sGPA is really low; your cGPA is relatively low, too.


1. My ideas for you, in addition to raising GPA and getting HCE

- Get a better certification. CNA is OK, but the quality of HCE you get as a CNA is variable. I prefer MA or EMT if you're talking about credentials that aren't 2-year programs or more.

- Go international! Get outside your environment, see healthcare work somewhere other than America. Volunteer while you're at it.

- Pick up teaching credentials. CPR/AED? Dude, *everyone* has to have that to get into a PA program. AHA or Red Cross CPR instructor? That's a bit different...

- Take classes above your pay grade. I had ACLS and an IV class, when I just had my EMT-B.

- Shadow more than just PA's. Shadow paramedics, shadow nurses, shadow physicians. Show the adcoms that you've looked broadly before settling on PA, rather than just reading some article that said it was a best emerging career.

- Augment your sciences with soft skills--psych classes, humanities, ... anything to make you stand out other than "just" another BS in biology. Minor in something off-the-wall if you care to, or get a completely unrelated masters' degree. Obviously, that's a longer-term solution that you can't just whip out this application season.


2. Not super, but it will really depend on how you match up with a program's goals, and, if they invite you, how well you interview. Remember, you're competing with between 12 and 20 other applicants for that spot!

3. Coin toss. It's a lot of money, a LOT of money if you apply broadly, which I would NOT recommend. If you do apply, do your research and only apply to programs that 1) like students like you, and 2) where you would definitely go if accepted.

4. June/July is the optimum time. Depending on deadlines for specific schools, later may or may not hurt, but you can't go wrong with right now.

5. School character, really. Oh, but I *did* have family and pre-req limitations.... My home state PA school requires more HCE--by a factor of 2--than I had at the time I applied.


Good luck!

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1. I agree with rev, for the most part. A lot will depend on how you're able to translate the experiences you have onto your application.

2. I would say iffy right now, but here's why: I don't actually have a problem with your grades or your low HCE as individual entities, but together they are not impressive. A lot of schools would take you with one or the other, but you'll have to work hard to find a a good fit with both.

3. Depends on if you feel like you've found a school where you have a realistic chance of getting in. I really believe a lot of applicants are just not smart about applying. They throw their apps at every school that sounds good to them, without thinking about whether or not they will sound good to the school. Do your research. Find out about matriculating students stats - schools aren't shy about sharing these. Go to open houses and talk to faculty and students. Find out what the class composition is like and see how you measure up.

4. Apply now. I know that's probably not possible with the amount of research you clearly still need to do. If you wait a little while it might not hurt you, but with your situation you really need to take advantage of rolling admissions and get as many "looks" by the adcom as you can manage. Some schools are already thinking about filling their first interview day in August, even though their deadline for admission might not be until October.

5. I didn't want to move, so I only applied locally.

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With regard to direct patient care hours as pre-requisite, does anyone have a sense of how an acupuncturist's experience is viewed? I am currently doing my pre-requisite course work and my main concern is that I don't have any EMT/MA/Phlebotomy background as a lot of other candidates seem to. However, as an acupuncturist for the past 4 years I work one-on-one with patients all day. I order and interpret labs, make referrals, bill insurance, have a responsibility to recognize red flags etc... Is there any way that this wouldn't be considered a "responsible health care position?" OHSU is my top choice since I live in Portland, OR. Open to thoughts and advice. If I need to get more Western experience before I apply, does anyone have advice on entry level positions that don't require a special license? I really don't have the time to go through EMT training etc... at the moment with my current pre-req courseload.. Thanks for any guidance.

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To everyone,


Thank you so much for the responses. As disheartening as some of it may come off as, I want to thank you for the advice!

I will definitely work harder and do what is said in this thread! Hopefully in the future, I will join everyone as a future colleague!

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