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ommij

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How hard is it to get accepted to a PA program? I know this is a broad question--all depending on which program. But what do you think is the general stats of an accepted student. I have heard at least a 3. Also i heard that your direct patient care is a major part in your acceptance--even more so than gpa? any of this true--any advice would be appreciated.
 
S

smedley

Hello!
It is very hard to get into a PA program. The program I was in stopped taking applications at 400, interviewed 125, and excepted 30. This is not to discourage you, quite the opposite! While acedemic promise (high gpa) is very important, medical experience, great ref. and a great interview can go a very long way. As you stated, every school is different, but do not underestimate them. Your interview will be very scripted. If the get the idea that you are "settling" for PA school or have just not made it in medical school--they will pass you over. As far as I know, they rank the applicants even before the interviews too. Make certain you have professionals proof read your essays, and review your reasons for persuing a medical carrer before the interview. I feel above all else, they look for maturity. Again, this is just from my experience and others might be more familiar with the programs in which you are applying. Find some people who have already been excepted. Good luck. Any questions, just drop a note!
 

rdennisjr

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PA programs are definetly not easy to get into. They also should not be considered as a 'back-up' for med school. While good grades and test scores are important (many are now requesting GRE scores...), previous medical exposure is of probably more importance than in Med School apps. Also, you need to understand the role of the PA in the medical field - not MD wanna-be, but a highly qualified mid-level provider who works in conjunction with a physician to provide the best health care possible to the largest number of people. This is an important decision for you - while PA's do have a large amount of autonomy, they will always inherently be "under" a physician - even if that physician just stops in once a week. If the need to be on the top of the food chain is a big deal for you, being a PA will not make you happy.

All that said - I start PA school in about 8 months and can't wait!

Good luck in your decision and future career, where-ever it takes you!

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ommij

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thanks for the advice--and i just want everyone to know that in no way am I settling for PA school. There are some people that are cut out to be mds and then there are some that are cut out to be part of a team. I understand that PA is no easy job and at times is very underrated. But my point was to those who got accepted--what were your grades and what did you do that you felt you got accepted. I am farely new to all of this and that is why i would like to have some rough understanding. Also I have read in numerous articles that the age of the students in PA programs was much higher than those of mds. not that that would deter me from it but i was just wondering how many of you started the program in your junior year of undergrad? thanks for all the input--greatly appreciated
 

rdennisjr

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Omm - guess I did leave all that out 8) I'm an oddball PA student, as I've
been accepted in a program that is not open to the general public. This
fall I'll be starting at the Interservice Physician Assistant Program
located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas (San Antonio). This is a DoD program
that is run by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. All of the
students are either active or guard/reserve army, navy, airforce soldiers,
or coast guard, BoP or a few other federal health program candidates. The
program does however closely follow the civilian model with a few extra
subjects thrown in due to the slightly different exposures of military
medicine.

When I applied, I already had my Bach and Masters - both in Architecture so
of little relevence other than showing I can do upper-level coursework. GPA
of around 3.6, and can't even begin to remember what the GRE score. I'd
been in for 12 years of National Guard time, with two combat zone
deployments. One as a wrench-turner and the other as a flight-medic for my
guard medevac unit. I'm an EMT-I, but do not spend much time in the career
field as I am an architect during the week.

I think to a large degree this means squat to you actually...you need to
develop your own skills and hone your desires to get you to your goal. Good
grades, ability to work under stress and as a part of a team. Interests
outside of medicine, leadership skills, etc all are of vital importance, at
least IMHO.


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