Any college athletes out there? Jenna is a great example of how to incorporate different interests into your admissions process for PA school. I also love her advice about taking the vibe you get at interviews into your consideration when choosing a program.
Undergraduate education: Mercer University in Macon, GA
Overall GPA: 3.52
Science GPA: 3.24
GRE: 309 (I took this test 2 times. I got a 299 first try, and then studied harder and took it again.)
Total HCE hours: 30 (Macon Volunteer Clinic)
Total PCE hours: 2,000+ (Worked as a Patient Care Assistant on the Ortho/Neuro PCU floor for 7 months, and then 1 year on the Stroke ICU)
Shadowing hours: 50 (Orthopedics and Family) It was super difficult to find PA’s to shadow in my city of Louisville, KY because it is a NP heavy area.
Other volunteer hours: 170 (President of Student Athlete Association Committee at Mercer University, Macon Volunteer Clinic, University of Louisville Hospital)
LORs: Nurse Manager on the ICU where I was a PCA, Organic Chemistry professor, Family PA I shadowed
How many times did you apply?: 1
How many programs did you apply to? 6 programs
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? So far, I have heard back from 2 programs. 1 waitlist, 1 acceptance. Happy to say I got accepted to my #1 choice, University of Kentucky! GO CATS!
Any red flags on your application? GPA, but I believe PA schools took my D1 running schedule into consideration with my difficult classes.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? At one interview I noticed that the questions given to me were mostly “challenge” questions. The 2 interviewers asked why my science GPA was low (my running schedule) and why I think I could handle their program. It caught me off guard because I felt like they didn’t believe in me. I didn’t end up accepting their waitlist offer because I didn’t feel like they had an encouraging and friendly atmosphere.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? Any other advice for other pre-PA students?
My biggest advice is don’t be afraid to ask for help! If I was struggling in a prerequisite class I always went to the professor or other students and discovered ways to help me succeed. Whether that was tutoring, studying with students in the class who excelled, or looking online for tips. For example, I found Khan Academy super helpful for Organic Chemistry.
For the interview process I practiced common interview questions in my head and got a general answer for each. I practiced these with family and friends. I remember I was so nervous for my first interview, but my second interview I knew what to expect and was so much more comfortable! My biggest advice for interviews is to be confident in yourself and all the work you’ve done to get to this point.
Throughout the application process I followed @thepaplatform and blog. Savanna is great about discussing common pre-PA topics and questions. The blog is full of information for the whole process from start to finish!
Where can we find you? Follow my upcoming PA journey on Instagram @jennagipperich
If you've been accepted to PA school, and would like to share your stats and advice with other students, shoot me an email at savanna@thePAplatform.com