5 Steps to Ensure Acceptance to PA School

5 Steps to Ensure Acceptance to PA School

What you should do to ensure that you can get into a PA program In the last several years as the demand for physician assistants has increased, so has competition for entry into PA programs. Many PA programs are now faced with the daunting task of choosing a handful among many qualified applicants. In this competitive landscape, how do you ensure that you are competitive enough? Below we outline a list of five key steps you should take to make sure that you are considered competitive in the eye of PA school admissions committees: 1) Do well in academics: Because PA school is academically challenging and competition is intense, getting accepted requires doing well academically. This means achieving a good science GPA as well as a good overall GPA. It is especially important to perform well in the prerequisite courses for PA school. Although these prerequisites vary from school to school, most schools require 1-2 courses in biology (often genetics and microbiology), 1 year of chemistry, 1 semester of biochemistry, anatomy and physiology. Many schools also require additional courses in mathematics and the humanities such as psychology and English. To get an academic edge among applicants, it may help to take additional science/medical courses such as pharmacology, pathology, or medical terminology. Although minimum GPA requirements for schools may be as low as 2.5 – 2.75, competitive applicants generally have higher GPAs (3.3 or above). 2) Gain hands-on clinical experience: PA schools emphasize hands on clinical experience and many schools require it. This includes any experience in which you are involved in patient care and playing an active role in...
Premedical, Predental, and Pre-PA Shadowing Experiences Abroad

Premedical, Predental, and Pre-PA Shadowing Experiences Abroad

Pre-Med Shadowing Experience Overseas Medical school admissions are more competitive than ever, and students are expected to go above and beyond in the pursuit of their future careers. Many pre-med students maintain a hefty list of extracurricular and volunteer activities, both within and outside of the healthcare environment, in order to satisfy increasingly selective admissions committees. A crucial method by which pre-med students augment their applications and interviews is by participating in a practice known as “shadowing.“ What is pre-medical shadowing? Shadowing involves observing health professionals performing their day-to-day duties within the clinical environment. Doctors mentor students as they perform their rounds on the wards. In some instances, students are able to observe procedures in the operating room. Local pre-med shadowing opportunities are sometimes available, but they are often dependent upon students having personal connections to the health community. While some students have family members in healthcare or have a foot in the door through volunteer work at a nearby facility, other students struggle to find relevant shadowing experience. To fill the gap, many companies have begun looking further afield, pairing global health education with clinical shadowing experience. Gap Medics, which offers overseas shadowing internships to aspiring doctors, nurses, physician assistants, dentists, and midwives, is one of such companies and has bases in Africa and Asia. It is constantly adding to its list of destinations for clinical observation. The Benefits of Shadowing Overseas Clinical Experience At its core, shadowing allows students to get up-close and personal to the clinical environment. By observing, asking questions, and speaking with patients and doctors, students gain a level of understanding and familiarity that...