Path. Assistant Program Acceptance Statistics?

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KWiese in Omaha, Nebraska

5 months ago

I'm a Junior student and am preparing to start applying to Path. Assistant programs next winter. I was hoping anyone who has gone through one of the programs could enlighten me about what a competitive GPA for these programs would be? Also, how much shadowing experience would set me apart from others? How many programs did you apply to? Did you do any research in undergrad? And also, how many students do PA programs typically accept? There's not a whole lot of information to be found online about theses programs so if you have any insight, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Cheers!

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MeisieMae in Omaha, Nebraska

5 months ago

Hi KWiese. I am from Omaha also! I was accepted into the pathologist’s assistant program at RFUM a few months ago.
GPA- In my experience the average GPA was around 3.00. I didn’t ask the other students I interview with, but mine was over that number.
Research- I have about 400+ hours as a research assistant at university laboratories.
Shadowing -I have spent about 40 hours shadowing Pathologists Assistants at UNMC and Methodist hospitals here in Omaha. I also spent about 10 hours shadowing other related fields.
Schools – I only applied to RFUM, I was planning on applying to other but I was accepted before I finished my other applications. RFUM takes the most students but many of the programs take from 2-12.
Any other questions?

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KWiese in Omaha, Nebraska

5 months ago

It's nice to see someone else from Omaha in these forums. Well I have a 3.65 gpa and was wondering if that will be competitive. I definitely need to start research. I actually transferred to San Diego state last semester and can't begin research until this summer and through next fall semester. I did work at UNMC as a patient attendant for 2 years and volunteered there for a year. I have been searching for a path. Assistant to shadow here in San Diego as well.

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Emily in Middletown, Connecticut

5 months ago

I'm currently at Quinnipiac. We have a class size of 22 students. I think they get around 150-200 applicants each year.

GPA- Your GPA is competitive. My undergrad GPA was about a 3.65 too. I think they just want around a 3.0 or higher and solid grades in Anatomy and Physiology.

Research- I did work in a research lab in college, but I was never asked about it during the interview process. They were much more interested in my actual hospital work experience. It's worth mentioning that a lot of the students don't come straight from undergrad. If you are a strong applicant, it's fine. But they tend to accept students with at least a year of relevant work experience post-graduation. (for example, 21 out of 22 people in my class did not come straight from undergrad.)

Shadowing- I had about 60 hours of surgical pathology shadowing and observed 3 autopsies in addition to working as a pathology lab assistant. I would say shadowing a path assistant is the most important part of your application. I would definitely get in contact with local hospitals. Try e-mailing the AAPA (info@pathassist.org.) They were able to hook me up with shadowing contacts a few years ago.

Schools – I only applied to QU. I would research all of the schools to see which one would be a good fit for you. You will get a good education wherever. I picked QU because it has a huge alumni network (which will hopefully come in handy during job hunting time) and awesome clinical rotations (example: Mayo Clinic, Baylor, Yale, Mass General.)
All of my shadowing contacts were QU alumni, so I was able to get a lot of advice and inside information about the QU program. When you start shadowing, definitely ask a lot of questions about their educational experience.

Good Luck!

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MD_PA in Millersville, Maryland

5 months ago

Acceptance Numbers: It varies greatly. The AAPA website has some invaluable information on each school (www.pathassist.org/?page=AboutUs_NAACLS), plus links to the program websites. 2-..37 or 40 something at Rosalind Franklin now? But I think the average class size is 10-12.

As far as applying to a number of programs, obviously the more you apply to the more chance you have of getting into one. However, I recommend that you look into each program as well as the location to find a good fit for you. You're going to be living there for 2 years! Also consider what the program can do for you when you're job hunting: have you gotten quality rotations? is there an alumni network in the region where you want to ultimately end up?

Research - don't think it really matters.

Education vs Experience - I think each program has a different prioritization as far as grades/experience.

Experience can be a plus if you have worked in a medical field before and understand hospital hierarchies and protocols. However some programs value education just as much. I had a 3.9 GPA and had no medical experience coming from undergrad. But I am educated, intelligent, and trainable. Some programs look at it this way: a high GPA -- especially with As in courses like anatomy, physiology, advanced biology/chemistry -- means you will probably not fail out after didactics your first year and make the program look bad. You'll probably also be great at studying for boards and keep their certification pass rate at 100%.

I've found that my class has a mixture of people with experience vs people with good grades, but it is kind of skewed towards the academics. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of us had GPAs over 3.5

Shadowing: I would highly recommend it. They want to know that you know what you're getting into and are going to follow through. However, they understand if there are no PAs in your area for you to shadow.

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