Nov 18, 2010
I have dreamed of becoming a physician for as long as I can remember... However, I am feeling discouraged from medical school... As an aspiring medical student, I have researched medical school admissions throughout the U.S., and have found nothing but intimidating statistics about highly qualified applicants that are not accepted to medical school, and how the number of applicants increases every year, and the acceptance rate remains the same... I know that physician assistant programs are also very competitive, but not as competitive as med school. They also require less prerequisite coursework, and a shorter program length. Whether I am able to get into medical school or a PA program, I know that I would be happy either way. I just need to make sure that I make the right decision, and make myself the most competitive applicant that I can be.

When I spoke to my pre-med advisor at my university, she advised me to choose a major that I find genuinely interesting, and that incorporates as much undergraduate clinical experience as possible. I am currently a Kinesiology/Athletic Training major. Through the Athletic Training program, I will gain a great deal of clinical experience and direct patient contact working at local hospitals, sport therapy clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and will be able to work directly with a high school football team, treating injuries and illnesses. I am an active child life volunteer at a local children's hospital, an academic volunteer tutor at the local community c:sleep:ollege, *and I am also involved in the "3PR" Pre-Professional Program at my university, which will help prepare me for graduate school admissions, entrance examinations, my personal statement, and interviews. *
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* *While completing my degree in Athletic Training/Kinesiology, I am also completing the required prerequisite courses for admission to most of the PA programs in Texas. My GPA is currently a 3.74, and I have already completed over half of the required prerequisites. I should graduate in the spring of 2013, and plan to apply to PA school in the fall after completing the required GRE examination. Considering the copious number of applications submitted each year, I aspire to be a very competitive applicant.
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* *As I previously mentioned, I will complete a great deal of direct patient contact and clinical experience as an undergraduate student. Much of my Athletic Training curriculum involves working directly with doctors and physician assistants in the hospital setting, evaluation and treatment of athletic injury and illness, injury rehabilitation, and immediate evaluation and response to field injuries. I will gain extensive knowledge medical knowledge through my courses over first aid, evaluation and care of athletic injuries, supportive taping and wrapping, biomechanics, anatomical basis of movement, and physiology of exercise and movement. My 3PR advisor, stressed the importance of clinical experience to PA programs, and strongly advised me to pursue the Athletic Training degree. Are the clinical experiences gained through my Kinesiology/Athletic Training degree program going to enhance my application? Do most accepted students have clinical experience? Is Kinesiology/Athletic Training a common degree for PA applicants?
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*I noticed on most of the school websites that students should continue an ongoing volunteering experience. By the time I apply to the PA programs, I will have been a volunteer at the hospital for over three years. I am currently BLS (CPR & AED) certified by the American Heart Association.
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*I have a long way to go before I am qualified to apply for admission to any PA program, but I just want to make sure that I am on the right track.

Based upon my current academic standing, will I be considered a competitive applicant to a PA program? Is there anything else that I can do to improve my application? I truly appreciate any and all assistance!*

At this point, I am leaning towards graduating with my Athletic Training/Kinesiology degree, completing my PA program pre-requisites, taking the GRE, and applying to PA school. Is this a mistake? Should I go ahead and complete the medical school requirements and take the MCATS? I am just afraid that I will be wasting time and money if I won't be accepted to any medical schools... ADVICE MUCH NEEDED! Thanks!!!


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2009
Resident [Any Field]
Seems like you need to decide what you want for yourself and this can be noone's decision but yours. First ask yourself what job you'd really want to have, regardless of admissions statistics and whatnot (shadowing/volunteering helps answer this question). Once you find out which career is best for you, then do it. Seems like you're on the right track so far so don't be discouraged. If other people can do it, so can you.