Dismiss Notice
Last chance to give your feedback! Fill out the 2019 SDN Member Survey to let us know what's important to you (and win prizes!)

Prospective PA...

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by Imgtnold, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. Imgtnold

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Podiatry Student
    I am 34 years old and am looking to get into the medical field. I have been in banking for several years but am very dissatisfied. I have been researching PA schools and the profession overall. I have a BA in psychology and have completed pre-med coursework, but don't want the long haul of medical school b/c of my age. I obtained my EMT-B license and worked as a renal tech at a local dialysis unit as an undergrad. My overall gpa is 3.15 and my post-bacc science gpa is a 3.26. I need to take anatomy and physiology and the GRE and I will be ready to apply. Am I a somewhat competitive applicant? Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my application??? Any information anyone can give me would be GREAT!!!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Non-Student
    All I can say is that I'm 36, and my profile is not unlike yours. I worked in business for 12 years, have a liberal arts degree, and my GPA was 3.0 from undergrad and 3.5-ish from post-bacc. I worked as an ER tech part-time before post-bacc, and full-time after. I'm starting PA school in May, having been accepted in November right after the interview at a school with rolling admissions.

    My advice is to study for the GRE in a focused and strategic manner. Buy whatever book you like the best as you look at them in Barnes & Noble, and then use all the tools there. Do all the practice sections, take all the practice tests. Space it out over a couple months. If you learn how the test works and know your stuff even just to a pretty decent level, a strong GRE score is likely. And a strong GRE score will be the icing on the cake.

    Target your applications well, too. Decide on geography first, then look at how well-established the PA programs are. Is there a 4-year med school as part of the same university? Is there a nursing program? Was the program established prior to the huge explosion of new programs circa 2001 or 2002? Any of the above can be seen as pros or cons. One thing you should look at is the first-time PANCE pass rate for grads of the program. This one is generally felt to be the most reliable indicator of overall program quality.

    And one last note as a fellow non-traditional applicant. Even though a disconcerting number of people get accepted to PA school as 22-year-olds fresh out of undergrad, I think the maturity and experience thing is more than just something they say. If you know how things work inside a real live hospital, if you've had some life experience, if you know how to be part of a team and how to be responsible for something, then these things carry some weight. And anyway, a school that would rather take the 22-year-old with a 4.0 from their new Biology degree is not a school you'd want to be part of.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. LoRezSkyline

    LoRezSkyline Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    You need to shadow a few PA's! That's one thing that you didn't mention that would likely help you immensely, as you'll have a much clearer concept of who PA's are and what their role is on the health care team when asked. And trust me, you will be asked! :)

    Try and contact a few local PA's in different specialties - get as much shadowing experience as you can. That experience alone serves a valuable purpose, and you'll likely need a letter of rec from a PA as well. If you've spent time with several, you should have no problem on that front...
     
  4. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Excellent addition. Not to mention, shadowing PA's will allow you to formulate your own answer to the time-honored PA school interview question:

    Why PA, rather than MD or DO?

    You mentioned age, but that's really not it, in and of itself. Plenty of people go through med school at 30-something, and come out as 40-something interns. If you can say you've worked alongside PAs and MDs, and you've shadowed, then whatever your reasoning, it will carry more weight.

    Even more than that, it will settle your mind about the question, once and for all. This is more important than you might think at this early stage. good luck!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page