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Re-applicants: What did you do?

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Perhaps I prepare for the worst. After I finally submitted my CASPA application, I cannot stop thinking of ways to improve myself for the next round lol


My stats:

Age: 22 years

Undergraduate University: Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Major: Bachelor's in Biomedical Sciences (About to graduate in December 2012)

University GPA: 3.1

CASPA GPA: 3.0 (Science: 3.0; Overall: 3.0)

GRE: 144 V, 147 Q :(

HCE: 200 hours as CNA, continuing..


Research: 3+ years on the virulence factors of Neisseria meningitidis, presented at a national conference for the American Chemical Society

Extracurricular activities: Hospice volunteer (70 hours), ER volunteer (50 hours), Patient transporter (100 hours), Pathology department volunteer (40 hours), Humane society volunteer (45 hours), Toys for Tots (15 hours), volunteer for orphanage (20 hours), tons more

Organizations: Alpha Delta Epilson, Rotoract Club, Sigma XI

PA Shadowing: 180 hours in Dermatology, 50 hours in Cosmetic Surgery, and 50 hours in OB/GYN.


Schools applied: A LOT, as much as I could afford. Alderson-Broaddus, Arcadia University (Delaware), Wingate, University of the Sciences in PA, Mississippi College, UNTHSU, Northwestern, Long Island University - Brooklyn, Barry University -Miami shores, NOVA (Ft. Lauderdale), South College, Louisiana State University - New Orleans, Shenandoah University, Indiana State University

(I am a TX resident, TX schools deadlines are earlier than most, so I looked at new PA programs or programs that have equal-ish preference for out of state applicants)


For the past 3 years I have put off applying to gain more HCE, re-take classes.. etc.

I wanted to be mentally and academically prepared. Now, I'm a little discouraged I won't even have a chance for an interview.

I know I need a higher GPA and more HCE. I need to apply earlier and also retake the GRE. My question is.. since I am graduating in December, should I focus on retaking prereqs (C in Micro, C in A&P I) or taking more science courses as a graduate student?


Any advice would help.. Thank you!!

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Wait, what? You've held off for applying for three years and you're just now 22 with a 3.1, no bachelor's quite yet, and 200 CNA hours only? I don't think you're a particularly viable candidate for PA school now, let alone three years ago. Yes, you need to retake prerequisites, but if you have a research focus and desire, you should really consider medical school or a Ph.D.

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I'm confused about you putting off applying for 3 years also. I'm impressed by the variety/extent of your volunteering, but your grades and GRE worry me. I think that if you don't have the strongest GPA you need to really rock the GRE to show schools that you are capable and the GPA is just from screwing around in the past. I would retake your pre-reqs with C's (I'm surprised you could apply to so many schools with a C in pre-reqs, many schools I applied to required B- or better in pre-reqs) and get As, re-take the GRE, keep working (if you can work full-time while retaking classes that'll show that you can time manage), pick your favorite volunteering and do it a few hours/week to show long-term commitment, and then take more classes next semester just to stick with school and improve GPA. I took Patho and medical spanish while I was waiting to see if I got in anywhere. Also gives you a good excuse to e-mail schools with your new grades every few months and keep them thinking about you.

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You have time. Don't panic. You're only 22. Slow down the rush, let yourself relax a bit. Re focus on more direct pt care and improving your grades...Re take the C's and work as a CNA to keep building the hours. Reading your stats I got the impression that you just spread yourself too thin with extra curricular and couldn't get a decent focus on your grades the first time around. Pace yourself, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

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