Quantcast
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

blissfulbutterfly

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
35
Reaction score
4

Members don't see this ad.
Hello Everyone,

I have read an incredible amount of threads and posts about people from different backgrounds seeking advice on getting accepted into PA school. Unfortunately, I have not seen any threads in regards to Ex Sci students in particular seeking to get into PA school but with low grades. I was hoping that someone could give me some advice and be brutally honest in this scenario.

Background:
I'm currently in my mid-20s and have graduated with an undergraduate degree in exercise science with a focus in physical therapy. My long term dream for the future is to one day work as a physicians assitant in the orthopedic surgery (hence my background in Ex Sci with the focus in physical therapy). I have worked at a physical therapy clinic as an aide (+1000 hours paid that can be used as HCE), volunteered at an inpatient setting PT clinic (35 hours), and interned at an Equinox gym for personal training (250 hours).

I graduated with a 3.1 overall GPA. I have A's and B's in BIO, A&P I & II, Physics, Psych, Sociology, Stats, Kinesiology, Motor learning, Exercise Physiology, Medical Ethics, Exercise Prescription, and many other courses. However the courses that I screwed up in were my chemistry courses. I received a C in chem 1 on my first and only try, and received a D in chem 2 on my first try, and then a C on my second try. I received these grades due to family matters (my grandmother ended in the hospital twice due to a coma). The C's in chemistry really brought my GPA way down. Another thing that also dropped my GPA were some of the courses that I took my freshman year. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do back then, so I took some general courses that had nothing to do with exercise science when I declared it as my major later on.

I am missing Microbiology and Biochemistry which are two of the pre-reqs for some PA schools.

My Question:
My question is, what are my chances of getting accepted in PA school? Will taking Microbiology and Biochem and doing well in them boost my GPA/ chances of getting accepted? Should I retake my chem courses? I applied to a physical therapy assistant school and was accepted for this fall. If I decide to attend, will this make me more competitive and boost my chances of getting into PA school if I ace the program and gain additional health care expereince (HCE)? I would also be taking my microbio and biochem classes if I decide to take the PTA route. or would it be smarter to only take the two pre-req courses and then apply? I don't know if I'm taking a step backwards if I go for the associates degree in PTA and if it'll benefit me at all for the PA application process.
 

Apollo1

Deciding between MD/DO and PA
7+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
267
Reaction score
167
I graduated with a 3.1 overall GPA. I have A's and B's in BIO, A&P I & II, Physics, Psych, Sociology, Stats, Kinesiology, Motor learning, Exercise Physiology, Medical Ethics, Exercise Prescription, and many other courses

This indicates that you have more B's than A's. What's your sGPA? Is there an upward trend in your GPA as you progressed through undergrad, and if so, does it involve upper level sciences? The cGPA is lower than what many applicants will have; you'll need to raise it with additional classes (PA schools don't do grade replacement IIRC) or buoy it with a considerable increase in HCE.

Microbiology and Biochemistry

You also don't have Medical Terminology listed, which is a universal requirement.

I received a C in chem 1 on my first and only try, and received a D in chem 2 on my first try, and then a C on my second try.

This needs to be fixed before you attempt Biochem or Orgo I (it's fast becoming a prereq), whether that means retaking (if possible) or self-study to nail down the concepts. If you can't hack Gen Chem, you'll only be hampered in more intensive subjects that require chemistry application(s).

I applied to a physical therapy assistant school and was accepted for this fall. If I decide to attend, will this make me more competitive and boost my chances of getting into PA school if I ace the program and gain additional health care expereince (HCE)?

This I'm not certain about. Positions like an EMT, Paramedic, Nurse etc. have direct applicability to the clinical setting and can give knowledge that PA training will expand upon. Check with schools you'd be applying to & see if they'd take PTA as HCE experience. Also, schools will vary in the amount of HCE required (some will go by "how many hours," other by "how many years").

Going to a PTA school doesn't make an applicant stand out, just like taking an EMT certification course or CNA course doesn't make one stand out. First and foremost, the grades/GPA must be there; if they're on the lower side or deficient, a strong upward trend better be in place. The HCE must also be established come application time. Get your statistical ducks in a row before worrying about applying.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

blissfulbutterfly

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
35
Reaction score
4
This indicates that you have more B's than A's. What's your sGPA? Is there an upward trend in your GPA as you progressed through undergrad, and if so, does it involve upper level sciences? The cGPA is lower than what many applicants will have; you'll need to raise it with additional classes (PA schools don't do grade replacement IIRC) or buoy it with a considerable increase in HCE.



You also don't have Medical Terminology listed, which is a universal requirement.



This needs to be fixed before you attempt Biochem or Orgo I (it's fast becoming a prereq), whether that means retaking (if possible) or self-study to nail down the concepts. If you can't hack Gen Chem, you'll only be hampered in more intensive subjects that require chemistry application(s).



This I'm not certain about. Positions like an EMT, Paramedic, Nurse etc. have direct applicability to the clinical setting and can give knowledge that PA training will expand upon. Check with schools you'd be applying to & see if they'd take PTA as HCE experience. Also, schools will vary in the amount of HCE required (some will go by "how many hours," other by "how many years").

Going to a PTA school doesn't make an applicant stand out, just like taking an EMT certification course or CNA course doesn't make one stand out. First and foremost, the grades/GPA must be there; if they're on the lower side or deficient, a strong upward trend better be in place. The HCE must also be established come application time. Get your statistical ducks in a row before worrying about applying.

Medical terminology is also one of the pre-reqs that I currently need. If I attend PTA school in the fall, I will be taking it this fall. For chem 1, I will have to retake it regardless because it will be an "expired" class in 2017 for some of the schools that I am looking to apply to. So my current grade will not be considered (B-) and will have to retake it before I take biochem which works in my favor. I will also have to retake Bio 1 and Statistics because they will be expiring next year as well.

Unfortunately, I currently have a 2.8 sGPA due to a lack of focus and family emergencies that occured my freshman year in college. My lowest grades are the ones listed above which will be expired next year so I will be retaking them. Best case scenario is that I get an A in all of the missing pre-reqs and the expired courses and boost my sGPA to a 3.5. I do have an upward trend in my grades and they were upper level courses (A&P and all of my exercise science courses such as exercise physiology, kinesiology, motor learning, etc).

I understand that I don't have stellar stats, but I'm trying to figure out what my best course of action from here on out should be: whether to become a licensed PTA and gain some more HCE through that while completing my pre-reqs (and earning an income), or completely forego PTA school and focus only on my missing pre-reqs and apply then.
 
Last edited:

PAPrincess2018

Full Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
25
Reaction score
3
Are you 100% sure on a PA career? If you are considering other options, I believe DO med schools take grade replacement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Jasmine36

Full Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Hi
This indicates that you have more B's than A's. What's your sGPA? Is there an upward trend in your GPA as you progressed through undergrad, and if so, does it involve upper level sciences? The cGPA is lower than what many applicants will have; you'll need to raise it with additional classes (PA schools don't do grade replacement IIRC) or buoy it with a considerable increase in HCE.



You also don't have Medical Terminology listed, which is a universal requirement.



This needs to be fixed before you attempt Biochem or Orgo I (it's fast becoming a prereq), whether that means retaking (if possible) or self-study to nail down the concepts. If you can't hack Gen Chem, you'll only be hampered in more intensive subjects that require chemistry application(s).



This I'm not certain about. Positions like an EMT, Paramedic, Nurse etc. have direct applicability to the clinical setting and can give knowledge that PA training will expand upon. Check with schools you'd be applying to & see if they'd take PTA as HCE experience. Also, schools will vary in the amount of HCE required (some will go by "how many hours," other by "how many years").

Going to a PTA school doesn't make an applicant stand out, just like taking an EMT certification course or CNA course doesn't make one stand out. First and foremost, the grades/GPA must be there; if they're on the lower side or deficient, a strong upward trend better be in place. The HCE must also be established come application time. Get your statistical ducks in a row before worrying about applying.
Hi all , I am a dentist from India. ..am I eligible to get into PA school ? Please throw some light on this.. waiting for your valuable response
 

blissfulbutterfly

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
35
Reaction score
4
Are you 100% sure on a PA career? If you are considering other options, I believe DO med schools take grade replacement.
Hello,

I have considered MD and decided that it was not for me. However, I have not looked into DO. How long is the program for DO and can they work in surgeries, specifically in orthpaedic? Also, what are your thoughts in regards to my chances in getting accepted into PA school?
 

PAPrincess2018

Full Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
25
Reaction score
3
Hello,

I have considered MD and decided that it was not for me. However, I have not looked into DO. How long is the program for DO and can they work in surgeries, specifically in orthpaedic? Also, what are your thoughts in regards to my chances in getting accepted into PA school?
DO is nearly the same as MD. 4 years medical school and 3-7 years residency. A DO can work in any speciality. They can also match for residency in an MD program.

As far as applying to PA school I believe spending some time boosting your GPA. PA school is getting more and more competitive. There are about 6 people in my bio class planning on applying within the next few years. I also believe you should spend some time volunteering a non PT position. Wether it be in a ED, surgical unit, or something outside the hospital. Maybe even spend some time in a leadership role. Make your self stand out. Also shadowing hours are highly high recommended. I do not believe that you have shadowing hours, it might be a red flag to certain adcoms.
 

Jasmine36

Full Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Please anybody enlighten me ,whether a dentist can get into a PA school?
 

d2305

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
964
Reaction score
354
You have to have your education evaluated by the program you apply to. There is also a visa problem.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Top