With an awesome ten days to go until Opening Day (hehehe-see what I did there?) here is my second round of tips and tricks:
USE RESOURCES! For those of you applying now you are SO fortunate (I don’t want to say lucky because none of this entire process ever has to do with luck) but there have been so many great books and blogs and people coming out of the woodwork since my first application in 2014. This is good news: meaning you don’t have to do this alone!
The best websites/blogs/coaches I used during my TWO rounds of applying were as follows (and not a single one of these people has asked me to talk about them, this is 100% my own opinion)
-All things Physician Assistant: Ms. Danielle Kepics PA-C in her infinite wisdom and true life stories. This is the first true PA blog I started following and I love all the resources tabs she has (the BEST Pre-PA advice, her favorite apps and e-media for PAs and students, favorite books, what to NOT say during an interview)… @all_things_pa_c
-Inside PA Training: Mr. Paul Kubin PA-C. I started talking to Paul back in 2013 before I had even submitted my first application: I bought his Ebook on writing a “winning personal statement” (and let me tell you, I really think mine was a winner) as well as paid for his coaching services regarding my application overview. He gets very busy as he is incredibly popular, but if you’re going to pay someone, he’s the guy to hire. My favorite part about Paul was that he was VERY honest with me- no sugar coating whatsoever. Helped me see my application red flags (ahem, like that big fat F in Chem lab…. more on that another day) and made sure I knew how to explain every last one of them. He also gave great advice for applying with a low GPA (like, a really low GPA) and made sure I was covering my bases the second time around, part of which meant applying to 26 schools.
-PA Trek: These guys and their website were new to me right at the tail end of my second application, but they have incredible reviews (and some of my personal friends have used their services and been thrilled) and they are very well versed in the ins and outs of all things CASPA! @patrek
-The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs 2016: HOLY. BEANS. If this had been around when I applied… would have saved me some major Excel spreadsheet headaches, that’s for sure. While I don’t personally own this book, my suggestion if you haven’t already is purchase it. Mark A. Volpe PA-C (Author), Brittany Hogan (Contributor) @paprogrammanual
-Life With a Stethoscope and Some Sparkle: I found Erin’s page a little bit more recently, but she has done an awesome job documenting her journey and her didactic year at George Washington! It has been so much fun following her blog and her IG @stethoscopeandsparkle during my last application season. She gave me such a great glimpse into what I could be expecting during my first year as a PA-S and seeing her posts really kept me going!
To be fair… ten days away means you’ve probably already invested in a lot of resources! But just in case you haven’t yet, or if you’re waiting until next year to apply (or for your Spring grades to post this year etc)… these are my top recommendations. I recommend them because I used them myself, and I also made it a point to use these resources way more during my second application. Wouldn’t you know, that’s the time I got accepted. But in no way do I mean to suggest you HAVE to go use all these resources. There are plenty of you who can probably write a killer personal statement in your sleep and have an almost (or actually) 4.0 … and if that’s you, I salute you and wish you well (and ask you to please share your secrets!) For the rest of us- and I feel pretty confident that “us” is a big “us”… resources. Use ‘em. You’ll be amazed at what a fresh perspective (or two or three) can do for you and your application.