Undergraduate education: BS in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Utah
Overall GPA: 3.36
Science GPA: 3.21
GRE: 306, Analytical Writing 4.0
Total PCE hours: 10,170 as a phlebotomist, blood gas technician, and exercise specialist
Shadowing hours: 117 (MD's and PA's)
Other volunteer hours: 96 (Leadership), 234 (Service)
LORs: 3 (PA, professor, and supervisor at work)
How many times did you apply?: 3
How many programs did you apply to? 8
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 2 - one rejection, one waitlist to acceptance!
Where will you be attending? University of Charleston in West Virginia
Any red flags on your application? Low GPA (I tried to offset this with my high PCE and solid volunteering.)
Anything you found surprising about interviews? I didn't expect to feel as welcome as I was. At the two programs I interviewed at, one was very student focused and showed it in how the interview was conducted. The other one said they were student focused, but I didn't feel as comfortable there. I was also surprised at the different lengths of the interviews. One program had an orientation night to help us feel more relaxed and answer questions, then the next day we interviewed for about 2 hours. The other had us show up early and kept us there for almost 9 hours. I also definitely feel like I built the interviews up to be much more nerve-racking than they actually were. Admissions committees truly just want to get to know who you are and see what you're like outside of your application.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? Physician Assistant Interview Guide by Savanna Perry, How to Ace the Physician Assistant Interview (affiliate link) and The Ultimate Guide to Getting into Physician Assistant School by Andrew Rodican, and The PA Platform Blog & Podcasts.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? Don't give up! It took me three application cycles to figure everything out, and I think it would've taken me less time and frustration had I not been so stubborn and asked for help earlier. I was a classic case of trying to do everything on my own but I found success this year by using all of my resources. Talk to advisors, PAs, PA students, other health care professionals, people you trust to give you unbiased feedback, etc. While incorporating all these resources, it is also important to believe in yourself and go with your gut. Keep trying to improve a little bit every day... You can do this!
Where can we find you? @_kelsiemarie_ on Instagram
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