Undergraduate education: The University of Georgia; Nutritional Sciences- B.S.F.C.S.
Overall GPA: 3.92
Science GPA: 3.90
GRE: 311; 156 Verbal, 155 Quantitative, 4.5 Writing
Total HCE hours: 84 (EMT ride-along clinicals)
Total PCE hours: ~1,200 (~900 as a full-time medical assistant in a family practice, ~300 as a personal care aid for a college student with spinal muscular atrophy)
Shadowing hours: 164 (130- Orthopedics, 15- Dermatology, 19- Gastroenterology)
Other volunteer hours: ~50
LORs: 4 (1 from the physician who I worked with as a medical assistant, 1 from my junior year anatomy professor, 1 from my boss at the boxing gym where I coached fitness classes, and 1 from my college advisor)
How many times did you apply?: 1
How many programs did you apply to? 7
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? I received an interview invitation from one of my top choices 15 days after submitting my CASPA. Exactly 1 month later, I was accepted. I received another interview invite about 1 week after the first and attended that interview as well. The programs that start in January move fast!!
Where will you be attending? South University, Savannah
Any red flags on your application? I worried that my patient care and volunteer hours were too low, but I hoped that the admissions committees would notice the quality of my hours rather than the raw numbers.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the faculty members made the candidates feel! Both of the interviews that I attended were two days long. The first day consisted of a presentation, meet and greet, student Q&A, tour, etc., while the actual interviews took place on the second. On the inside, I was super anxious, but once I was one-on-one with my interviewer, I was extremely calm. I could tell that the faculty genuinely cared about their current students, and wanted to explore my personality to determine if I'd be a good fit.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? I read and annotated "How to Ace the Physician Assistant Interview" by Andrew Rodican (Affiliate link). One of my friends was also kind enough to set up a mock interview in a coffee shop. We pretended to not know each other, and it really helped my confidence in my answers.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? In my opinion, the most important part of your application is your GPA. Focus on your classes in undergrad and maintain a high GPA. It's easy to jump at patient care opportunities while taking classes, but there's time after graduation to gain experience. It's hard to raise your GPA once it starts dropping. Also, once you have an interview invite, set the tone for your interview by walking in the room with confidence, smiling a lot, and even cracking a joke!
Where can we find you? (website, instagram, etc) I’m happy to talk to pre-PA students and help them in their journeys! My friend, Skyler, is in her first year of PA school and together, we run an Instagram account about our pre-PA strategies and programs that we chose! Find me on Instagram @pa.pals