Undergraduate education: University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Major: Biology with a Biomedical Emphasis. I will be graduating in May 2019.
Overall GPA: 3.93
Science GPA: 3.95
GRE: 304 with a 4.5 writing score
Total HCE hours: 0 (lol)
Total PCE hours: At the time of application, ~1300-1800. 500 of my hours were not counted at certain schools because I obtained them as a Paramedic Intern. Most of my patient care hours were obtained as a Paramedic and the rest I functioned as an EMT-Basic.
Shadowing hours: 54 with a PA and 8 with a physician
Other volunteer hours: ~350. Most hours were obtained volunteering at events for our honors college.
LORs: Dean of the Honors College, a PA that teaches at the university I wanted to attend, Biochemistry professor, Physics professor, Supervisor/Owner of company I worked for
How many times did you apply?: 1
Age: 21 now, and 20 at the time of applying/being accepted
How many programs did you apply to? 10. Still waiting to hear back from 5 schools.
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? Invited to 5 interviews, rejected 4 of the invites, and accepted to the 1 school I interviewed with.
Where will you be attending? Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. I am local to this area, so Methodist was one of my top picks.
Any red flags on your application? 35th percentile in math section on the GRE, my age, and lower PCE hours
Anything you found surprising about interviews? The faculty was easy to talk to, and they were also transparent about any issues the school had dealt with in the past. Methodist exhibited professionalism throughout the entire process, even before I had applied. Their program director answered emails promptly, and the interview process was explained in great detail. When contacting schools and interviewing with them, please keep in mind how they talk to you and how eager they are to assist you with questions. This process is a two way street, and they are trying to sell themselves to you too.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? For interview prep questions, I used How To "Ace" The Physician Assistant School Interview by Andrew Rodican (Affiliate Link). The book gave me a feel for what questions to expect, but the book felt outdated in some areas. For websites, I used the PA student forum and Savanna's blog posts. The Pre-PA Club on Facebook was also useful. On the forum, I was able to connect with people who were interviewing, and I met up with some of them before we interviewed. Now some of them are going to be my classmates!
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? If you meet the requirements to apply, go ahead and do it. When CASPA opened up, I had made up so many reasons I shouldn't apply (age, GRE score, low PCE). I ended up getting interviews at schools that were my "reach" schools, so I had worried myself to death for no reason. Do your best to prepare for interviews early because sometimes schools give a last minute interview to people, and you might not have time to start prepping like you had thought. Finally, APPLY EARLY!
Where can we find you? My Instagram is @savannahmelvin and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you've recently been accepted to PA school and would like to be featured in an "Accepted!" post to share your story and advice with other PA hopefuls, send an email to email@example.com