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Applying to Physician Assistant programs


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I am in the process of applying to Physician assistant programs and I'm getting very nervous. I don't know how competitive of an applicant I am and what my chances are of being accepted into a program. Here is some information about my application:


Overall GPA: 3.79

Science GPA: 3.73


GRE Verbal: 470

GRE Quantitative: 710

GRE Writing 4.5


I have around 1000 hours of patient contact hours, but not a lot of my medical experiences have been with PAs specifically.


I am worried that my verbal GRE score is too low and that I don't have enough experience working with PAs. Do you think my grades and interest in medicine is enough to be accepted into at least a few programs?


If anyone has any imput, I would love the comments or suggestions.





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Well with the GRE, what matters more than your raw grade is what percentile you were in. When I took my GRE I got a perfect score in Quantitative but it only put me in the 90%, whereas I got barely better than half the score in Verbal but that put me at about average. Rather than some meaningless numbers, the percentile tells you how many people you did better than (a comparison rather than a score).


Anyhow, I know one thing that might make you not be a competitive applicant: if you have so much self-doubt that you don't even apply! You don't have to be the best in your class you know.

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  • 2 months later...

I've never been on a PA school admissions committee, but I'm a PA student, and my strong feeling is this: any single problem with an application can be overcome. Your GPA is good. You sound motivated. Since verbal is an area of (potential) weakness in your application, you want to present an application that proves this is just a blip and not a major issue in your application. A well written essay would go a long way to satisfying this need. If you write one and they still have concerns, they will likely interview you to see how you present. Do you seem articulate? Are you sharp? A strong interview would definitely put any doubts they still have to rest. Numbers are just numbers, and all they do is get your foot in the door. Any one that is weak can be overcome - as long as you think strategically about how they will respond to reading it. They are human, and they will want to know more about you, which is your chance to set the record straight.


I have written a couple articles on things like essays, interviews, medical experience, letters of recommendation, and other stuff related to PA school applications. I also invite you to check out my blog, Inside PA Training, which follows a buddy's and my time at UCD School of Medicine's Family Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Program. It's free, fun, and hopefully informative. Drop by and leave a comment, post an update on your application experience, take a poll, or ask a question. We're all ears, so to speak.


Good Luck!

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