Undergraduate education: BA in Sociology and English
Overall GPA: 3.65
Science GPA: 3.32
GRE: I actually chose not to take it! I knew this would impact my choices for schools to which I could apply, but I was okay with that as most of the schools in which I was interested did not require it. I took it once to get into my Master's program for Sociology and decided I didn't want to do it again.
Total HCE hours: 6500+
Total PCE hours: 300+
Shadowing hours: 15+
Other volunteer hours: 700+
LORs: 4 total. Three Physician Assistants and one MD.
How many times did you apply?: 1
Age: 29 and feeling fine!
Gender: I identify as male.
How many programs did you apply to? 11
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? I was invited to 7 interviews, 6 of which I attended. Out of the six I was waitlisted at 2, accepted at 2, and the rest is history.
Where will you be attending? Western University of Health Sciences
Any red flags on your application?
I had REALLY low science grades in my undergraduate years! Chemistry in particular was difficult. I had to retake all my science courses and basically started from scratch about three years ago. Also, I received a few questions about why I switched majors! That was a tough one to answer during my interviews. Why would someone with a Master’s in Sociology switch to Healthcare and how would I do in the rigorous science coursework in these PA programs?
Anything you found surprising about interviews?
I was surprised by how inviting they were and also how different each one was. I was so nervous for my interviews but the faculty and staff at each one made sure to make me feel very welcomed and wanted at each program. The diversity of programs is also a testament to the diversity of what these programs look for when building their class. People should be aware the no two interviews are the same and they should prepare themselves accordingly.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process?
I actually used three books (affiliate links):
The Ultimate Guide to Getting Into Physician Assistant School by Andrew J. Rodican
How to “Ace” the Physician Assistant School Interview by Andrew J. Rodican
How To Write Your Physician Assistant Personal Statement by Duke Pasquini, Stephen Pasquini, and Sue Edmondson
I also watched a lot of videos by James Kim and Adana the PA ,and followed a lot of tips from Jazmine K. The online community is truly an amazing resource and Pre-PAs should most definitely reach out!
Any other advice for other pre-PA students?
I know people hear this a lot, but trust the process. By no means is it easy or quick. It takes hard work, patience, dedication, and a passion for the profession. And yea, sometimes we cry and that is totally okay. I know I felt this rush of anxiety and impatience, and I faced times when I questioned my abilities and qualifications. Quitting seemed to be the easiest option. However, keep in mind the reasons behind why you want to be a PA and really hold onto that during the application process because that will serve as motivation. Write it down on a sticky note and post it up somewhere where you will see it everyday. Do not compare yourself to other applicants because you are unique and have experiences that only you can bring to the profession and to the programs. Play up your strengths and use them to your advantage, but do not be afraid to confront and discuss your weaknesses. Remember, you are exactly where you are supposed to be, despite sometimes feeling otherwise.
Where can we find you? Instagram: @thispa_bettawerk
If you've been accepted to PA school and would like to share your story in an Accepted! post, send an email to savanna@thePAplatform.com or use this link to contact us at The PA Platform.