Last week the wife and I drove down to the University of New England to go over my latest PA school application. There were many details discussed, and I took a lot of notes.
Requirement: Anatomy and Physiology needs to be 8 credits taken within the last 7 years. The anatomy I took was Comparative Anatomy in the fall of 1996. I needed to get a B or better, and I got a C+.
Plan: I am signed up for A&P I (4 credits) this coming semester. I will get an A. I will take A&P II (4 credits) next semester and also get an A.
Requirement: 250 hours of direct patient care (CNA, CMA, EMT, RN, etc.). I have zero hours of direct patient care, though many years of working in healthcare.
Plan: I am signed up for an EMT course. I will pass with a high grade and start working as an EMT. This line of work actually interests me and is not just something to pad my resume, so that helps. Incidentally, this class requires an up-to-date Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. I have signed up for the course on the 25th.
Requirement: My Biology-Chemistry-Physics (BCP) average needs to be over 3.0, with more competitive applications being closer to 3.2 or 3.5. Mine is currently a 2.75 (and that’s what you get for slacking off in college, my supposedly smart friends).
Plan: An A in both A&P semesters will bring this BCP average to a 2.9. I need to get an A in another BCP class next semester. If that’s not enough, I may need a summer class in the May term (a human-related biology was suggested…I have lots of animal classes). If 8 credits worth of A’s brings me to 2.9, another 8 credits worth should bring me to 3.05.
Strongly Required: Shadowing a PA to know exactly what a PA’s roles and responsibilities are. Now, I have worked with Pas for 9 years now but have never officially shadowed one.
Plan: I want to shadow as many PAs as possible between now and my next application. My employer has a shadowing program. I just need the approval of a department head to shadow within their department. I have sent off some emails and I already have one PA willing to let me shadow him. I plan on typing up a paragraph or two of each experience after I have done it.
Work on my essay for the application. Let them know why I’d be a good choice.
Come to the spring open house. Meet the staff. Make myself known.
Explain in more depth on the application exactly what my healthcare experience is. I guess I was rather Spartan on the info, figuring they’d ask more, in-depth questions at the interview. Ooops. I didn’t get an interview.
I also feel I should look up the requirements of a few other PA schools around and make sure I meet their specific prerequisites. I can’t put all my hopes in one school; it has burned me twice (by my own fault, yes).
So, I have a plan and I’ve gotten right on top of signing up for things. Let’s see how it goes.