Undergraduate education: BSHS in Physiology from the University of Arizona
Overall GPA: 3.28 (yikes)
Science GPA:3.10 (double yikes)
Total HCE hours: Roughly 500 hours as an EMT Program Director.
Total PCE hours: 3600 with experience as an EMT.
Shadowing hours: 60 (Ortho, Emergency, Dermatology)
Other volunteer hours: 1500 hours as a volunteer EMT.
LORs: Two from doctors I worked with and one from a physiology professor.
How many times did you apply?: Once!
How many programs did you apply to? 14 (my bank account did NOT like this)
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 2 interviews, 2 acceptances, and still waiting for initial responses from a few schools!
Any red flags on your application? My GPA! It was so low that I thought I would need to retake classes and apply multiple times. I even had a D on my transcript! However, I've pointed it out as a weakness at both of my interviews and the faculty didn't seem concerned. One interviewer even laughed and pointed out that she had been through the process herself with a lower than average GPA. Don't use this as an excuse to slack off on your grades though! My low GPA was balanced out with a higher GRE, a unique background in healthcare, and the fact that my degree program was incredibly difficult.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? I was surprised at how calm I was once the process began. I was so nervous going in and thought I would be nervous every second of the interview, but the faculty really went out of their way to make all the applicants feel comfortable and all of the applicants were super supportive of each other.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? I loved the book "How to Ace the Physician Assistant School Interview"
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? Don't be afraid to be yourself! You are a real person and the faculty interviewing you are also real people! You are very likely to have something in common with faculty aside from your interest in medicine. Look for ways to form real bonds and stick out from the crowd. One of the most memorable parts of my first interview was bonding with a member of faculty over our mutual love of Express clothing, we even had the exact same suit! Those little anecdotes will help the faculty remember you and will make the whole process feel more comfortable. Once you have a good rapport, it feels more natural to talk about your interest in PA school.
Where can we find you? (website, instagram, etc) @haileyblunt on Instagram