Daniela is a true example of not giving up and how persistence pays off. She has a really unique story of how she gained acceptance to PA school, and while it may not work for everyone, creativity can work in your favor. Here is Daniela's story, followed by her stats:
I applied for the first time last year and did not get any interviews. I was only waitlisted for interviews to later be removed from that list as well. I gave myself a "deadline hope" until mid spring because one of the schools I had applied to had interviews from about March to April. I followed the that school's thread on physicianassistantforum.com and some time in April people were saying they were the last interview group, so I knew that opportunity had also gone right out the window for me.
I went through my grieving process and eventually accepted the fact that I would be out of school for another two years since I didn't want to apply for this year's cycle because I hadn't done anything to improve my application, so I'd be applying next cycle. One day, early May I received an email from Pace notifying me they were opening a PA program at their Pleasantville campus that would be starting this Fall. I gave it a shot and applied and a few weeks later I landed an interview. I felt I had done pretty well on my interview and was told I'd hear back in 7-10 days. Days passed and I didn't hear anything from them and I began getting so discouraged. I thought, what was the point of this opportunity knocking at my door after I had accepted my fate to only be turned down again?
I discussed my situation with the doctor and PA I worked with and they both encouraged me to be persistent with Pace, to call and tell them how very interested I was in the program, why I was a good choice for them, and to consider me if any spots opened. The PA also called them and argued my case and put in a good word for me. I planned on going to Pace in person to try to speak with one of the admissions people to put a face to my name while I promoted myself for the program. However, the week I intended to do that, I received a call from the program offering me a spot.
Undergraduate education: Queens College
Overall GPA: 3.6
Science GPA: 3.2
Total HCE hours: 3,870
Total PCE hours: 1,470
Shadowing hours: 840
Other volunteer hours: 994
LORs: Internal medicine doctor, dermatology doctor, dermatology PA, orthopedic PA, chemistry professor
How many times did you apply?: 1
How many programs did you apply to? 15
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 1. Accepted
Any red flags on your application? Low science GPA and C+ in chemistry II
Anything you found surprising about interviews? The admissions committee were all extremely nice which eased my nerves. They clearly wanted to make the interviewees more relaxed and feel accomplished that we had made it to that interview.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? How To "Ace" The Physician Assistant School Interview by Andrew J. Rodican (Amazon Affiliate Link), The PA Platform Mock Interview, physicianassistantforum.com, So You Want To Be A Physician Assistant by Beth Grivett
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? Be more persistent than you have ever before. I learned that persistence is a wisdom and it will also lead you to learn that it's not over until it's over. I did not lose faith on being invited to an interview until I found out the last interview group had been selected for the latest interviewing program I had applied to. Then, after not hearing back from my only interview, I persisted and had the PA I worked with call the program and put in a good word for me. I also planned on going in personally to speak with an admissions committee to argue my case and put a face to my name in case a spot opened up.
Where can we find you? @d_nicopike (instagram)
If you've been accepted to PA school and would like to share your story in an Accepted! post, send an email to savanna@thePAplatform.com or use this link to contact us at The PA Platform now.