Hello! I am posting this topic because I am in need of a little advice. I am the first, from both sides of my family, to attend college so I just wanted to reach out to receive useful help. I am a recent graduate, with a 3.0 GPA, where I majored in Biology. My concentration was in Pre-Health Profession so I took different courses such as microbiology, vertebrate zoology, animal physiology, cell & molecular biology, biochemistry, as well as medical terminology, and also received a minor in leadership. I also participated in a senior research, within nutrition physiology, where I presented my results to a panel at the end of my project. My GPA is not as high as it should be due to overloading myself each semester taking around 17-19 credit hours, along with a part-time job, heavily involved in organizations, and volunteer work. I have thought about taking a post-bacc pre-medical program as an academic enhancer, but I am not interested in obtaining a PH.D, I just want to receive my masters…so I was not sure if that was necessary? I took such heavy course loads throughout my undergrad that I was able to graduate a semester early. I have lots of volunteer work, but never shadowed a facility. I am currently torn in between becoming a physician assistant or anesthesiologist assistant. Currently, I am seeking an internship at a hospital in Georgia to enhance my experience and build upon my academic background. Everywhere I call about obtaining my needed clinical hours and shadowing an anesthesiologist I can never get a direct answer…it seems as if no one knows what I am referring to or talking about! In need of advice… thanks in advance!
JNN - I’m not sure what sort of “internship” you are speaking of. Generally an internship is obtained after a clinical education program, such as nursing. I’m not aware of any internships for biology majors. Also, you don’t have any “needed clinical hours”. Some programs like you to have some volunteer experience that is in a clinical setting - is that what you are talking about?
Shadowing is an unpaid activity, and you should indeed be looking for an opportunity to shadow an anesthesiologist, and perhaps some other specialties such as family med. You don’t need to shadow “a facility”, but you DO need to shadow a physician, hopefully for long enough that you can get a good idea of their job and they can get a good idea of you, in order to write you a letter of recommendation (LOR) for your applications. As far as I know, the only type of “anesthesiologist assistant” that exists is a PA who specialized in anesthesiology. I could be wrong here.
PA school is NOT really easier to get into than medical school. That said, a 3.0 GPA currently is not a total barrier to getting into medical school, if you are interested in that direction.
I’m not aware of any post-bacc programs that are PhD tracks. There are some that are “special master’s programs” and many that are non-degree programs. I think for academic improvement, the special master’s programs may be more helpful. Bear in mind that only more undergraduate credits will enhance your undergraduate GPA. Graduate GPA is calculated separately, and not as heavily relied upon in the admissions process.
I hope this helped out somewhat.
Kate, thank you so much for the advice! I received my degree in December, so I cannot take undergraduate courses to enhance it (at least not that I know of). I don’t think my GPA is bad, but it does concern me when thinking of getting my masters for PA or AA schools. I’m a very detailed person and I love to help others and I feel like my true calling is working in the medical field. Also, I was thinking an internship was just something for me to do that will enhance my experience until I am able to apply for schools. I missed deadlines for the fall 2014 cycle due to being unsure of what I wanted to do with my degree after graduation. I just really did not want my gap semester to go to waste or result in me doing nothing to help me towards my goals!