PA school is getting more and more competitive each year, and much more difficult to get accepted. Because of this, many people have to apply more than once before they are accepted. That is becoming more normal. As a re-applicant, your goal with your application is to show the admissions committee that you have improved yourself and been working towards your goal since the first time you applied. And if you are given an interview, those things will be your focus as well.
If you are waitlisted or denied admission, don't give up! Look at your application and reflect on your interview to see what you could improve on. Many programs are very willing to tell you why you were not a strong enough candidate and what improvements they recommend to make you a more competitive applicant for their program. Some options that you may want to consider include:
- More healthcare experience. If you've been working in the same field or at the same job for a long time, consider switching to a different job to expand your experience.
- Look at your transcript. If you have any questionable grades, you may want to repeat these classes to show you are able to do better and also to raise your GPA. Also, check the programs you are interested in, and if there are any additional classes they recommend taking, you could take these to improve your application and again, raise your GPA.
- Shadow. Find some PAs to shadow so you can gain more experience in the field and have more knowledge to talk about in your application and interviews. Try to shadow in different fields and settings.
- Volunteer. Find something you're passionate about and volunteer for the cause. If it's medical that's fine, but even if it's not, giving your time looks good on your application, and will probably make you feel pretty good too.
- Go on a medical mission trip. International medical trips are great opportunities to get a lot of healthcare experience hours in a short time period.
If you are offered an interview as a re-applicant, take some time to reflect on what you have learned over the past year and how it will make you a better classmate and future PA.