A huge thank you to Tyler for sharing his stats, and some advice regarding getting into PA school. Tyler has a great instagram account you can follow along with as he starts school at Rutgers in the fall - @tyler.fernandes - so definitely check that out!
Undergraduate education: Spent 1 year at Suffolk University as a theater major, transferred to the University of Massachusetts- Amherst and got a BS in public health and a minor in education in 3 years
Overall GPA: 3.68
Science GPA: 3.55
GRE: 313 (verbal: 155 quant: 158 writing: 5)
Total HCE hours: 64 (medical scribe in a prison)
Total PCE hours: 1,262 (CNA in nursing home and in hospital ICU)
Shadowing hours: 48 (ER, Internal Medicine, and Urgent Care)
Other volunteer hours: < 50
LORs: 3 (1 PA, 1 nurse, and my Anatomy professor that I TA’d for)
How many times did you apply? 1
How many programs did you apply to? 11 programs
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes?
- Rutgers University- accepted
- MCPHS Boston- accepted
- Drexel University- declined interview invitation
- University of Iowa- interview hold list, denied
- Cornell University- second application invite, denied
- Duke University- denied
- George Washington- denied
- Yale University- denied
- Northwestern University- denied
- Stanford University- denied
- Hofstra: N/A, heard they filled their class
Any red flags on your application?
My science grades were pretty much B’s or B-‘s, but I was able to raise my GPA with public health courses, which I found more interesting and I was able to perform well in them. Also since I got my degree in 3 years, I had overloaded on difficult sciences courses each semester so I think schools took that into consideration.
Anything you found surprising about interviews?
Both interviews I attended were very relaxed. I felt pretty nervous for the first one but the second one felt like a breeze because I already had a feel for what interviews were like. Something that was surprising was that one of the schools had us do a basic anatomy quiz that I was not really prepared for, but I don’t think anyone else thought to prepare for that either!
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process?
Thepaplatform.com, medtakeovers and premedtakeovers on snapchat, physicianassistantforum.com, The Ultimate Guide to Getting Into Physician Assistant School (third edition), How To “Ace” The Physician Assistant School Interview. (Amazon Affiliate links)
Any other advice for other pre-PA students?
Only do things that you feel passionate about!!! Don’t volunteer for something simply because you want to have more hours for your application. Find something you genuinely enjoy, that you will dedicate time to, and will be proud to talk about during an interview.
Don’t compare every nitty gritty detail of someone’s journey/application to yours. Every aspect of your life, even if its non-healthcare related, will play a part in the type of PA you become. For example, I’m proud of the skills I gained through theater and I think its made me a better communicator and team player.
Prepare for the interview but don’t over think it. You were invited for a reason and the biggest thing is that they want to see that you are human. Smile, have fun, dress well, meet your future classmates and be yourself. Have candid answers to the basic questions (Savanna has an excellent guide on here), do a few mock interviews, and let the pieces fall where they may :)
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.