Katie was one of the initial members of The Pre-PA Club Facebook group, and she does an awesome job of answering questions that other members have. I was SO excited when I heard she got her acceptance to PA school at Temple because I know that she's put in the work and really deserves it. Here are her tips and tricks!
Undergraduate education: University of Pittsburgh, BAs in English Writing and Anthropology
Overall GPA: 3.5 (at time of application)
Science GPA: 3.25 (at time of application) 3.5 now that I've finished with pre-reqs. Yes, I applied with 6 outstanding pre-reqs!
GRE: 309 - 163 verbal 146 quantitative 5.5 writing (second attempt)
Total HCE hours: ~100
Total PCE hours: ~1600 (Patient Care Technician, Dental Assistant)
Shadowing hours: 128 (3 PAs, 2 MDs, 1 PT)
Other volunteer hours: ~100
LORs: 1 PA, 1 organic chemistry professor, 1 MD, 1 biology professor, 1 writing professor
How many times did you apply?: 1
How many programs did you apply to? 15. Still waiting to hear from 5, but have gone with Temple as it is my first choice!
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 2 - waitlisted at Chatham, accepted at Temple
Any red flags on your application? Low initial GPA, low quantitative GRE.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? Group interviews were surprisingly frustrating as it didn't give the interviewers a chance to ask more personal, specific questions.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process?
I highly recommend using the PA Platform's 100 interview questions to prep for interviews and the site in general for preparing your application, Varsity Tutors for GRE prep, and the Princeton Review's book for prepping for the GRE on your own (affiliate link).
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? If your GPA is on the lower end, make sure to build your PCH and shadowing hours as much as you can, have KILLER LORS (befriend your professors) and write a compelling personal statement. I would also suggest making sure to clearly explain (in your personal statement and interviews) the story behind your lower GPA (for me it was one singular F in Gen Chem 1 my freshman year) and demonstrate how you've grown since then (I made sure to explain the F and that now, I've clearly grown and mastered the sciences while maintaining a 4.0 post-bacc GPA while working 3 jobs and taking 2-3 classes at a time.) Also, utilize your community colleges and take that gap year after college to grow as a person and adult! Never be afraid to major in something non-science during undergrad. It will help diversify you as a candidate, you'll bring something new and interesting to the program, and can help expand your mind, your experiences, and how you interact with people as a whole. Don't ever, ever give up -- if you get rejected make sure to set up an appointment with an admissions coordinator to go over your application and get insight into where you can improve for next year!
Where can we find you? Instagram @katieemartin04 :)
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.