Breanne reached out to share her Accepted story, and she has some great advice to share. She's also recently started a blog as she begins PA school to show you what life is really like as a PA student! You can find her at Life With Me - PA Bre.
Undergraduate education: Seattle Pacific University, major: Applied Human Biology
Overall GPA: 3.45
Overall Non-science GPA: 3.67
Science GPA: 3.29
GRE: verbal: 148, quantitative: 159, analytical writing: 4.5
Total HCE hours: 2328
Total PCE hours: In CASPA, scribing hours are counted as HCE hours rather than PCE hours.
Shadowing hours: 96 - I spent my weekends shadowing mainly a pediatric orthopedic PA and an emergency department PA. However, I have also shadowed a neurosurgery PA, orthopedic surgeon MD, and registered dietitian RD.
Other volunteer hours: 174
LORs: 5 total: I received letters of recommendation from a primary care MD (who I scribe for), emergency department PA (who I shadowed), one adviser/professor, collegiate volleyball coach, and the head of Bailey Boushay HIV/AIDS House (where I volunteered ).
How many times did you apply?: one
How many programs did you apply to? 12
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 2, declined one interview, accepted to other
Any red flags on your application? A downfall for me was that I took AP stats in high school. Most PA schools now require statistics as a pre-req and some of the programs that I applied to did not accept AP stats. I took an online stats course the summer and so the transcripts for this class were pending during my applications. I was also always concerned that my GPA was too low. My career path was not decided during my freshman year and so I did not put as much effort into my classes which ended up lowering my GPA. After talking to my adviser he told me not to be concerned about my GPA and work on excelling in my current classes and on other areas of my application.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? My interview was designed as MMIs (multiple mini interviews). I was nervous for this experience as I was told that there was no good way to prepare for this as there are standard interview questions, role play, and ethical questions. However, I really enjoyed this interview style. There was a total of 5 MMIs then a group interview. In each MMI, I got to interview with a different member of the PA Program's staff. It was reassuring because if I felt I didn't excel with one interviewer, then I could make up for it with the next interviewer. My greatest advice for interviews is to prepare a few stories about your healthcare of life experiences that have shaped and impacted you.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? (Amazon affiliate links)
When Breath Becomes Air-Paul Kalanithi
The Applicant's Manual of Physician Assistant Programs-Mark Volpe, PA-C; Brittany Hogan, PA-C
multiple PA instagrams and blogs :)
Any other advice for other pre-PA students?
1. Don't get discouraged if you run into a bump in the road! The journey can be difficult and stressful at times, but it is so worth it. Keep your head up and keep pushing and you will eventually get to your destination.
2. Show your qualities rather than tell. By this I mean when you are writing your personal statement tell stories about how you portrayed compassion, teamwork, etc. instead of just saying "I'm compassionate". Also, with personal statement have multiple eyes review it!
3. Maintain relationships! Whether this means relationships with providers you shadow or advisers, it is great to have people on your team. This becomes important for letters of recommendation and maybe eventually a job!
4. Lastly, be yourself! :)
Where can we find you?
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.