Monthly What are My Chances? Thread

Advice/recommendations would be great! I'm also giving some perspective for future applicants as I will be a second time applicant for the 2015 cycle.

-First cycle (CASPA submitted 7/23/2014) * Age: 22 White Male * 650 hours of HCE as a CNA in a nursing home and home health (~2 years old) * 100 hours of shadowing (40 with Orthopedics PA and 10 with Family Practice PA; others with physicians) * 50 hours of health care volunteering as a Meals on Wheels Driver 85 hours of community service (as a college and high school tutor) * 500 hours as a Laboratory Research Assistant (non-clinical) with 2 publications * other various jobs in customer service, as a scorekeeper, and as a custodian * GRE: 151V 158Q 4.5W sGPA: 3.51 cGPA: 3.59 at a top 15 public university * December 2014 graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree (majors: Neurobiology and Psychology)

I applied to 5 schools and got interviews at 2 programs. I got waitlisted at both after interviews. I was also put on "hold" at 2 other programs for interviews and was later denied an interview. 1 was a straight denial. One thing to note about my application is that I have extensive study abroad experiences being in Australia for 6 months and Ecuador for the summer. I was taking classes at universities there (with a little medical exposure in community health in Ecuador).

As for my second time around, I am currently volunteering at a hospital in the Heart Care Unit being a patient companion. I will also be volunteering in a free clinic in my local city with a large Hispanic population (hopefully using my Spanish skills). I am also obtaining shadowing hours with an orthopedic PA for 4hr/wk. As for HCE, I am stuck in a bubble as I did not keep up with my nursing assistant certification. Since there is only about 2.5 months until the application opens up, I am foregoing getting my re-certification. Therefore, I will be working in the ED as a medical scribe (~30 h/wk) and I am trying to get a second job as a phlebotomist or home health aide working about 10-15 h/wk. I am also considering retaking the GRE to improve on it. Since I got a couple of interviews and was waitlisted, I think I just need to work on my communication skills and just show my dedication to the profession. Any advice about HCE (especially opinions on medical scribing), taking additional courses (like Genetics or Medical Terminology), GRE, improving on my interview skills etc. would be great.

PS. For applicants, make sure you have BLS/CPR certification. I was asked about it in an interview on why I didn't have it and I made a fool out of myself. Also, don't be afraid to apply with little/minimum HCE. If you have strong grades, volunteering, narrative, recommendations, etc; these can really shed light on your application. Also, once at an interview, really be yourself (I purchased the "How to Ace PA School Interview by Rodican) . At that point, you are figuring out if you are a right fit and if the program fits you. I even ruled out a program after an interview because I knew I wasn't aligned with their teaching style/ideals. PM if you would like more info!!!!

/r/prephysicianassistant Thread