Undergraduate education: St. Joseph’s College Long Island—Biology Major, Chemistry and Psychology minors
Overall GPA: 3.7
Science GPA: 3.6
GRE: none of the schools I applied to required it!
Total HCE hours: ~1,000
Total PCE hours: ~500
Shadowing hours: ~100
Other volunteer hours: ~500
LORs: 3 letters of recommendation—one from my thesis advisor and professor, another from a professor I took several classes with and TA’d for, the third was from a professor and PA at my college that I shadowed
How many times did you apply?: Just once!
Age: 20 at the time of my application, 21 when I got accepted
Why PA? I like that the PA field allows me to work collaboratively as both a leader and a team member, something that fits my personality very well. I believe PA’s play a vital role in the health care field in being able to provide more personalized attention to patients and get to know them for more than just their illness—something that I find very important in gaining trust and a positive repour with someone undergoing a medical challenge. I also like the ability to change fields and practice in various different settings throughout my career.
How many programs did you apply to? I applied to 4 programs
How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? I received and went on 3 interviews. I was accepted to all 3 schools I interviewed at. The 4th school I was waitlisted for an interview.
Where will you be attending? I will be attending my first choice school, Touro College School of Health Sciences on Long Island
Any red flags on your application? I was nervous because I started a lot of my health care experience and shadowing only a few months before I applied so I thought it might not be enough time for the interviewers to know I was confident that this was the field I wanted to be in.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? How different each interview was! I’m a complete people person and have no nerves speaking to important people. However, I feel like everyone practices and rehearses for their interviews, but you really can’t practice because you don’t know what you’re walking into! My first interview was with four faculty members at the same time, my second was three mini interviews in groups with other applicants, and my third was one interview with one faculty member. Just be yourself and be confident in your application and you’ll be prepared for any situation!
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? I used this website/ blog a lot to find helpful tips from other PA applicants! However, I would say the best way to get information and advice is to ask classmates or students who have gone through the process a few years before you. I relied on upperclassmen and alumni from my school for help in prerequisite classes and with CASPA.
Any other advice for other pre-PA students? Don’t compare yourself to others! Every applicant is different—has different experiences, different set-backs, and different strengths. It’s so easy to get caught up in the process of applying to comparing your GPA, PCE, or shadowing hours to everyone else’s. While yes it is important to be realistic about your chances, a lot of the time we wind up crushing our confidence by not feeling as good as other applicants. It’s important to remember that you have worked hard to get to where you are now and that you CAN do this!
Where can we find you? (website, instagram, etc) You can find me on my personal Instagram @emilyfontinha. You can also follow my PA school page with my two best friends from my college that are also in the same PA program as me @threepasinapod. If anyone has any questions or needs advice feel free to message me there!
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