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How hard is it, REALLY?

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I've been going over and over in my mind how hard it is to actually get accepted into a lot of PA programs. I've read that roughly 10% of applicants who apply are actually accepted. My question is, of the applicants, does anyone have any information about the number of people who are not accepted because of horrendous GPA's/too little HCE/not having the prereqs required. Of the 100% who apply, what % have no chance? Do most get interviews if they have an acceptable GPA, GRE score, HCE, etc?

 

I guess I am just having a hard time grasping the concept that there is a chance that no matter how hard I work to keep my GPA up above a 3.8, no matter how bad I want it, no matter what happens, I could be an incredible applicant on paper, but not even get an interview because of some other reason that has nothing to do with anything.

 

*Melissa

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I was breaking my neck doing all the work and interviewing stuff, for entry into a PA program with a low chance of getting in. I applied to the Nursing program at SVSU which preps you for the master in education and the family practice PhD, so I am covering all angles. Now, I will apply to a program after graduating with my bachelors, but I won't hold my breath for another year or two, trying to join organizations "phi delta kappa.", to prove that I can do and handle a physician assistant job.

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getting into pa school is about hce, gpa, community service, and at some places the gre.

you can't be strong in just one area, you need to be well rounded. a good candidate who applies to 5 programs for which they meet all prereqs should likely get a spot in at least one of them.

I have been on adcoms before and lots of folks apply who don't meet the requirements. if the hce cutoff is 2000 hrs and you have 750 your app goes in the trash. if you have to have microbio and you don't your app goes in the trash. if you need a 3.0 gpa and you have a 2.7 into the trash.

step 1: follow directions. only apply if you meet criteria and save everyone some time and yourself some money.

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I think it is extremely difficult. The class sizes are so small compared to most MD and nursing programs and the schools get tons of applications. I didn't get in my first year of applying, and I applied to 15 or more schools. The second year? I applied to only one school and got accepted. My science GPA is a 3.83 and my overall is a ~3.5. I have over ~2500 hours in healthcare experience, exceptional volunteering experience, ~200 hours shadowing, great reference letters, an EMT license, military experience with an honorable discharge, etc. etc. I still didn't get offered an interview my first go 'round and I felt like I was a stellar candidate. The school I got into my second try is literally 3 miles from my house and I made extra effort to show my face once every few months to meet with the program director and the students in order to get face time, and it worked. I applied for early decision and everyone remembered my name from when I had visited, and I truly believe that made all the difference for me. Had I not, I would have just been another sheet of paper to review...

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A lot of advisers on this forum has stressed meeting the requirements, applying early (since some schools accept on a rolling admission), going the mile to do something extra such as volunteering and meeting people of diverse backgrounds that you might be serving one day as a provider.

 

@EMEDPA, what would you say is the percentage of people who meet the requirements or well-rounded applicants who are rejected due to poor interviewing and or social skills? If you can't give a %, what are your thoughts about these applicants? Thanks.

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bcao1, I can offer an anecdote about the percentage of people who don't meet the requirements: 2 years ago, at a Wayne State University info session, the lady said they got between 400 and 450 applications, and interviewed about 140 of those applicants. At that time, WSU automatically granted an interview to any applicant who met all the minimum requirements, which meant about 300 applications were immediately rejected for not meeting a minimum on one of the standards.

 

A classmate I met at that time was miffed she didn't get an interview and wondered what she could do better, and I explained to her that something on her app didn't meet the minimum. After asking her lots of questions about her grades on each pre-req class, she said she had a B- in a chem class, when the minimum grade is a B. I argued with her for a few minutes because she refused to believe that this was the sole reason why she didn't get an interview.

 

WSU has since changed the interview policy to invite-only, I suspect because of the record crush of applicants the last year or so.

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Title: The First Annual Pre-Healthcare Interdisciplinary Seminar

 

Location: Wayne State University Student Center (5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit, Michigan 48202)

Room 289 Conference Room - 2nd Floor.

 

Time: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Michigan Physician Assistant Foundation (MIPAF) is hosting this seminar to help prospective PA students learn more about the PA profession, roles of the PA on the healthcare team and how it is changing as well, changing laws and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the PA profession. We will also be discussing application improvement resources, and ways to help your PA program application shine.

We would love to have as many Pre-PA students to learn more about the profession, current PA students, and seasoned PAs in the audience to answer questions of the pre-PAs. At the end of the seminar, we would like to offer a Q & A session with access to the current PA students and seasoned PAs as a resource in the audience.

Questions will most likely focus on getting accepted to a PA program, application questions, and application improvement inquiries, maybe even community service locations.

Speakers:

Kathy Dobbs PA-C - President of Michigan Physician Assistant Foundation (MIPAF) ----- Speaking about MIPAF history and mission.

Bob Ross PA-C - MIPAF Secretary & Owner of Triad Diagnostics ----- Speaking on the changing laws of healthcare as they impact PAs.

James Frick PA-C - Speaking on the roles of PAs on the healthcare team and on the various roles a PA can partake.

Lindsay Gietzen PA-C - WSU PA Program Professor - Speaking on getting accepted to a PA program, how to make your application stand out, red flags to be aware of when applying to programs.

Tentative Speaker: Angela Braun PA-S - MIPAF Marketing Director & Owner of Braun Medical Marketing --- Speaking on research conducted on Affordable Care Act and its impact on the PA profession - for better or worse. Also, community service resources, and application readiness.

Audience:
We have invited the WSU Pre-PA society, Pre-Healthcare Interactive Student Organization (PISO), and UDM Pre-PA group.

We also invited the current WSU PA classes of 2014, 2015, & 2016 to help these prospective students on their path to understanding the PA profession.

 

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