So a lot of hopeful PAs I meet ask how I got to where I am today. I was accepted the first year I applied and am now in Dermatology, which is a very desirable field. Well I'll let you know what worked for me!
I first learned what a Physician Assistant was when I was in high school. My dad went to his primary care and saw a PA for the first time. Knowing that I was possibly interested in the medical field, he mentioned to me that it may be something I should look into. I was a junior at the time, and not too concerned with my future, but when senior year started it was time to make some decisions.
I ended up at the University of Georgia, and declared Biology as my major. I made this decision really just because it left my options pretty open. I knew I wouldn't be able to do much with that alone, so I would be forced to make some kind of decision. The idea of a PA was still in the back of my mind, but I wasn't completely sold yet. I think during my first year of college, I researched and considered all types of things, including research, medical school, teaching high school, nursing school, PT school, dental school, and who knows what else. But ultimately, I decided PA was the way I wanted to go.
So I started shadowing, got my CNA license and struggled through O-Chem, while wondering if all of this was going to be worth it. PA school has become so dang competitive!! I'm a very detail-oriented person and spent a ton of time researching what it takes to catch the eye of these PA programs, so I felt pretty prepared when it came time to apply, but still terrified.
I applied as soon as possible (July 1st!) and I applied to all of the programs in Georgia, even though I clearly didn't have all of the requirements for some of the programs. (I'll explain more about how I chose the programs I did in a future post.) Fall of 2011 came, and I ended up getting interviews at the 2 programs I was actually qualified for, MCG and South University. I prepared by doing a mock interview with a PA I had shadowed, and it was SO helpful! Interviews came and went, and I actually ended up getting the call that I was accepted into MCG about 15 minutes after my interview ended at South! That was an amazing feeling!
I graduated from UGA in December of 2011 to give myself a few months to prepare and relax before starting PA school (which I would definitely recommend) and started the program at MCG/GRU in May of 2012! The rest is history, and by the grace of God, I am now helping patients at a job I love going to everyday (well, most days)!