Undergraduate education: Coe College- Cedar Rapids, IA. I majored in biology and neuroscience and minored in chemistry.
Overall GPA: 3.72
Science GPA: 3.53
Total HCE hours: 215- I worked as an administrative assistant in a dental office and volunteered in the ER and rehabilitation unit at the nearby hospital.
Total PCE hours: 1200- I have worked as an Emergency Room Technician for a year.
Shadowing hours: 210- 36 hrs (family practice PA), 144 hours (dentist and dental specialties), 30 (physicians such as ophthalmologists, cardiologists, ER physicians)
Other volunteer hours: 50
LORs: I had 5 letters of recommendation- biology professor, public speaking professor, tennis coach, family practice PA, and work supervisor
How many times did you apply?: 1
How many programs did you apply to? 6
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 5 interviews (2 acceptances, 2 waitlists, and 1 rejection)
Where will you be attending? I will be attending St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA.
Any red flags on your application? I received a C+ in Organic Chemistry I and a C in Organic Chemistry II. Luckily, I received A’s in most of my other science courses to strengthen my GPA, but organic chemistry was definitely a challenge for me.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? I was surprised at how welcoming and friendly the interview environments were. I enjoyed talking to other applicants about the PA admissions process, as it was nice to relate to others going through the same ups and downs as myself.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? Khan Academy and Chegg were helpful resources used for my prerequisite courses. To prepare for the GRE, I used the “5 lb Book of GRE Practice Problems” by Manhattan Prep (affiliate link) as well as a vocabulary app. For interview preparation, I used the “Physician Assistant School Interview Guide” by Savanna Perry, PA-C and YouTube for sample MMI questions. I referenced many websites including the AAPA website, paplatform.com, and thepalife.com. Throughout the interview process, I went on physicianassistantforum.com to get additional knowledge on the application process for other students in my same position. However, I may have become too addicted to checking the forum in anticipation for interviews/acceptance from schools. Use the forum wisely if you choose to
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? My advice is to get started on the application process early, and be organized! There is so much that goes into CASPA while also having to study for the GRE and getting your patient contact hours in. It was useful for me to create a spreadsheet with all of the prerequisites and deadlines, so I could ensure I would not overlook any part of their requirements. Also, try your hardest to be patient throughout the process! I drove myself crazy by checking my email and the forums, so try to dive into other activities to keep yourself busy.
Where can we find you? (website, instagram, etc) @hmresnick
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