A huge thank you to Emily from @emilylynstreet on Instagram for sharing her stats and experience with getting into PA school today! I think her story is a great example of just going for it and applying, and also shows that people still get accepted on the first attempt. Enjoy!
Undergraduate education: Indiana University-Bloomington
Overall GPA: 3.8
Science GPA: 3.9
GRE: 307, 5 writing score
Total PCE hours: ~1500. I have been a CNA since my sophomore year of college at a long term care and rehab facility.
Shadowing hours: Right around 80 hours (shadowing 2 orthopedic PAs, and 1 Family Medicine PA)
Other volunteer hours: 50 hours- I attended a medical brigade in Nicaragua this past summer.
LORs: I submitted my application with 3 LORS- one from a Family Medicine PA, a Chemistry Professor, and a RN
How many times did you apply?: This is my first time applying
How many programs did you apply to? 12 programs
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes?
I am currently an applicant in the 2017-2018 CASPA cycle, so thus far I have gotten 1 acceptance, 4 interview invitations, and 1 interview waitlist spot
Any red flags on your application? As a younger applicant and a full-time student the past four years, I would have liked to have more time for patient care related experiences at the time of my application. I would not call this a red flag per se, just something I will continue acquiring during my time off before beginning PA school next May.
Anything you found surprising about interviews?
The applicant pool really is as diverse as you think. I interviewed with people who were athletic trainers, NICU nurses, and even someone who was a doctor previously in India. Despite the variety of healthcare experience among us, we bonded over our love of the profession. Everyone was so encouraging and non-competitive, which helped with my nerves. After joking about making it through organic chemistry, we all wished each other luck and hoped we’d see each other next May. It was surprisingly refreshing to be reminded we were all in the same boat so to speak.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? I recommend getting to know both your science professors and your Pre-PA advisors. They are only there to help you! My advisors were there to help me brainstorm ideas for my personal statement, as well as do mock interviews with me when I received my first interview invitation. Of course, I also love reading current PA and PA-S blogs and hearing their experiences.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students?
Don’t get discouraged with the average amount of patient care hours you see on PA program websites! I remember looking at those stats and feeling like I was not competitive just because I had 1000 hours less than the average admitted applicant. I almost did not even apply to the PA program I was accepted to because of this. While patient care hours are SO important, just keep doing your best to get as many hours that you possibly can. If you are a full-time student, even working 10 hours a week adds up. Everyone has something different to offer to the PA profession so just keep grinding and remember you won’t be Pre-PA forever!
If you would like to share your stats and story of acceptance to PA school, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org