Undergraduate education: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Overall GPA: 3.81
Science GPA: 3.85
GRE: 306 (Verbal - 152, Quantitative - 154) and 4.0 Analytical Writing.
Total HCE hours: 1,600 hours as an Emergency Department Scribe (my program also considers this PCE).
Total PCE hours: 250 hours as a Certified Nursing Aide.
Shadowing hours: 260 hours total - 70 with a Hospitalist, 100 with an ED PA-C, and 90 with a Family Medicine PA-C.
Other volunteer hours: 110 hours - 35 at St. Louis Children's Hospital and 75 in the Biology and Pre-PA club at SIUE.
LORs: 4 letters - ED M.D, anatomy professor/research mentor, NSCS regional manager, and the director of the Biology program I was a mentor for.
How many times did you apply?: Once.
How many programs did you apply to? Nine.
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes?: I was offered five interviews, accepted four, but in the end only attended two. I was denied from one program and accepted to the other!
Where will you be attending?: Come July, 2019, I will be attending the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas!
Any red flags on your application? I did not have much volunteer experience and I only worked as a CNA for a very brief period of time.
Anything you found surprising about interviews?: Oddly enough, the nerves go away as you (firmly) shake hands with the person you're interviewing with. You realize that they aren't there to intimidate you but to truly get to know you as best they can in the allotted time. I was surprised when the questions asked became conversations that flowed easily rather than cut and dry responses.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process?: In terms of getting through prerequisite courses, I leaned on my friends and loyal study group to be successful. Having a strong support system is key! If your university has a Pre-PA group, I highly recommend becoming a member. It's an added support system and a great source of information. Other students are able to impart their knowledge/experiences about the application process and other need-to-know things about PA school and the profession.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? There's no doubt that the entire process is daunting, but stay positive and remember your purpose and why you wanted to pursue this great career in the first place! Step one: Submitting your application. Be confident in your applicant profile and don't compare yourself to others. I know that's easier said than done because I guilty of it myself, but you are unique and programs will see that through your personal statement. Start writing your statement early and then revise revise revise! Have friends, family, and others you trust critique it and give you pointers. Next step: Interviews. Continue being confident in yourself. Prepare for your interviews but don't sound too rehearsed! It is important that you familiarize yourself with the faculty beforehand and have reasons why you find the program attractive and why they should pick you, followed by questions you have for them. Arrive on campus with a smile on your face because your interview begins the second you step out of the car! All in all, embrace the process, stay true to yourself, and remember that this is your journey and it's on no ones timeline but your own!
Where can we find you? (website, instagram, etc): annguyen001