How I got into PA school

Sooo I’ve been making Q&A Questions for my classmates, and now that it’s my turn to share, I’m not sure what to ask lol. Classic. So I guess I’ll ask myself some of the same questions lol.

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What was your major in undergrad?

Allied Health Major, Psychology Minor at Texas A&M Whoop!

What do you think the strongest and weakest part of your application was? 

Strongest: Personal statement and interview. I think these two really set me apart. I felt that in two of the three interviews I was granted, I could really make a connection with the interviewer and get across who I was as an individual and why being a PA mattered so much for me. This was definitely the Lord’s doing because I feel like I often am not as eloquent with my words lol. I process better when I write..hence, I blog. But when it comes to speaking, sometimes I feel like I word vomit.

Weakest: I felt like my grades, GRE score, patient contact hours, and shadowing, were not good enough. I had a okay everything in the things just listed, but they were less than average compared to my other peers. Even though I worked as an EMT-B and Derm MA, some of my classmates were paramedics, older, and just had way more experience and maturity than I had. I was essentially below average numerically as an applicant, but I’d like to think that where I lacked in number and experience, I could show who I was as an individual, the heart I had to offer, and the dedication I was willing to put forward to be successful and become a PA.

Why did you think your personal statement and interview  was the strongest part of your application?

I personally felt that when it came down to the numbers, I tried the hardest I possibly could in college to get the grades I got. They weren’t perfect, but it was all I could do. My science GPA was less than a 3.5 and my overall GPA was a 3.69…whereas my classmates had 3.7 science GPAs and  3.8 overall GPAs. During spring, summer, and winter breaks, I worked as an EMT-B at my local fire department. I couldn’t do the 12 hour shifts/day thing while in school, so instead, I used those breaks to build where I needed to. I willingly gave up fun, college trips to Panama City beaches, didn’t get to rest as much during my summer break because I would also balance summer courses, and missed some December events because I wanted to work the shifts. To me, those sacrifices were worth it if I knew I was doing everything in my power to help my chances of getting into PA school.  I honestly believed my personal statement and interview gave a face and story to all of the numbers of my application, hoped the committee could see me and my heart, and why this was so important to me.

What was hardest about applying? 

Hardest part was feeling inadequate lol. Hence…this series that I’m doing on my blog.  Even after sending in CASPA, I felt like it wasn’t good enough, which is ridiculous because I knew I did everything I could already. And then when I interviewed, I was in awe of how incredible all the applicants were…like psh I’m just 21 years old and I’ve worked for 3 years with an okay GPA – big deal. BUT seriously, do NOT compare yourself to anyone. Don’t do what I did. Not that interviewing and applying is a joyous or happy process (in fact, it’s really stressful and made me really anxious), but the comparison to others made it more stressful than it needed to be.

Any last tips for applicants and those interested in PA school?

Honestly, just try your best! Super cliche, I know. But I’m a big supporter of the mindset: if you know you’ve done everything you could do, then all you have to offer is yourself…and you have peace with that because you’re awesome.  I also think Jill said it best about not finding your self worth in PA school because you’ll end up exactly where you’re meant to be.

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1 Comment

  1. I love your commentary on the PA process. I recently was accepted into a PA program. I am 36 and am a former Combat Medic in the Army. I feel the same. My personal interview allowed me to connect with my interviewer and show my passion for the field. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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