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What advise would you give?

lawguil

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2004
461
1
0
Florida
I'm asking this question with permission (for those that may know me)

Non-trad student interested in PA school

Has BS in physical therapy and has practiced for about 5 years or 10,000 hours.
Was an EMT in college for 1 year volunteer at campus EMS service about 500 hours

Has taken all the pre-reques.....chem, org chem, zoology, a+P and gross anat. Bio, so on and so on .....plus all the PT coursework.
BUT has a 2.9 undergrad GPA and a 2.5 science GPA.

Well known in this area as a great PT and teaches one adjunct course and will have great recommendations.

I new him as a PT student and I know him now....He's definately made the transition from a passive learner to an active learner!

My suggestions were.....apply in may/june for 2008. Also, retake some of the natural science courses....perhaps one a semester to improve GPA and show your ability.....if accepted great, if not reapply for next season.

This person isn't that fond of taking any additional coursework right away and without explaining his situation, I can understand why.

I really don't have much experience with this type of scenerio.

Any folks out there that would like to provide some insight?
 

core0

Which way is the windmill
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2006
1,101
14
161
Working in Georgia still a Colorado PA.
  1. Non-Student
I'm asking this question with permission (for those that may know me)

Non-trad student interested in PA school

Has BS in physical therapy and has practiced for about 5 years or 10,000 hours.
Was an EMT in college for 1 year volunteer at campus EMS service about 500 hours

Has taken all the pre-reques.....chem, org chem, zoology, a+P and gross anat. Bio, so on and so on .....plus all the PT coursework.
BUT has a 2.9 undergrad GPA and a 2.5 science GPA.

Well known in this area as a great PT and teaches one adjunct course and will have great recommendations.

I new him as a PT student and I know him now....He's definately made the transition from a passive learner to an active learner!

My suggestions were.....apply in may/june for 2008. Also, retake some of the natural science courses....perhaps one a semester to improve GPA and show your ability.....if accepted great, if not reapply for next season.

This person isn't that fond of taking any additional coursework right away and without explaining his situation, I can understand why.

I really don't have much experience with this type of scenerio.

Any folks out there that would like to provide some insight?

This is a tough one. The GPA is hard to overcome. I had a 3.0 GPA that I brought up from a 2.0 from my first time around. Even then I didn't get invites from several schools. That being said with the experience it is definitely doable. First I would look at some of the schools that look for older non-traditional schools. St Francis (PA), UNE, Iowa, etc come to mind. Also look at some of the community programs. Another option would be to get into a masters program (I think it would be pretty easy to get a Master's PT bridge). That would give you a nice Graduate GPA that could be used to counter the low undergrad GPA. For that matter it looks like you can get a DPT online pretty easily. Google distance learning physical therapy for many examples.

Overall it wouldn't hurt to apply for next year. You are at the end of the application season so getting started on some kind of Master's would be the best and then have a set of grades so you can say yes I screwed up when I was young and stupid, but I'm much better now. Stay away from programs like Baylor or University of Colorado that emphasize grades over experience. Also try to max the GRE's. Even the mothership Duke is not out of the question if someone is really dynamic on the interview.

David Carpenter, PA-C
 

Febrifuge

Grizzled Old Newcomer
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 7, 2003
1,520
24
0
febrifuge.blogspot.com
  1. Non-Student
Here's me: 3.0 undergrad GPA in a liberal arts field about as far from science as it is possible to be. Some experience volunteering and then working part-time in the Emergency Dept of the county Level One. Post-bac started rocky, then rebounded well; about a 3.6 overall there. Then more work, this time Full-Time in the ED.

Letters were good (and may have been great). GRE was awesome. Essays were very good. Applied three schools; interviews at two. Declined one interview; accepted at the school that one of my letter-writers went to.

As long as your friend picks his/her targets well, he/she should be fine. I recommend shooting for one or two schools they consider "out of their league," because the PA profession was founded for non-traditional students, and you never know who will be so impressed with your story that the pure numbers become less important. It's true; a dynamic interview can make or break an application.

This person should apply to a few programs that they feel are about right in terms of perceived competitiveness, but not so many that they break the bank traveling to interviews, or find themselves someplace they would never want to live. Then tack on a "safety school" or two, no more.

Plenty of PA programs say that straight-up GPA is not that big a deal; of course, because they also say that about GRE and hours of work experience, I get the idea it's all a little bit flexible. My strategy was to be honest about my own strengths and weaknesses, and then execute a plan that played to my strengths.

Studying well for the GRE was maybe my single smartest move. Rock the GRE and it's amazing what other things cease to be a big deal.
 

guetzow

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2005
1,866
2
0
I'm asking this question with permission (for those that may know me)

Non-trad student interested in PA school

Has BS in physical therapy and has practiced for about 5 years or 10,000 hours.
Was an EMT in college for 1 year volunteer at campus EMS service about 500 hours

Has taken all the pre-reques.....chem, org chem, zoology, a+P and gross anat. Bio, so on and so on .....plus all the PT coursework.
BUT has a 2.9 undergrad GPA and a 2.5 science GPA.

Well known in this area as a great PT and teaches one adjunct course and will have great recommendations.

I new him as a PT student and I know him now....He's definately made the transition from a passive learner to an active learner!

My suggestions were.....apply in may/june for 2008. Also, retake some of the natural science courses....perhaps one a semester to improve GPA and show your ability.....if accepted great, if not reapply for next season.

This person isn't that fond of taking any additional coursework right away and without explaining his situation, I can understand why.

I really don't have much experience with this type of scenerio.

Any folks out there that would like to provide some insight?


Sounds like a good Ortho PA.
 
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