PA STUDENTS • WITH SAVANAH

Accepted! UofT BScPA Student Savanah (@toronto.pa)

Savanah is an incoming University of Toronto BScPA Student. You can follow her journey on Instagram at @toronto.pa.

Savanah’s Pre-PA Stats

Accepted: 

  • University of Toronto, PA Consortium – Class of 2023

Application Cycles:

  • applied twice, accepted on the second attempt
  • made it to the interview stage last year at UofT but ultimately did not receive an acceptance (See Savanah’s post: How to Improve as a Reapplicant)

Education:

  • Undergraduate Degree: BSc. Biological Sciences (Hons), Major Concentration in Life Sciences from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)
  • College Diploma: Practical Nursing from Seneca College

GPA:

OMSAS CGPA: 3.5 out of 4.0

  • Avg from first two years: 3.0 out of 4.0
  • Avg from final two years: 4.0 out of 4.0

Health Care Experience Hours:

Note – listed below are only the hours I included in my supplemental application at the time of February 2021 (most recent two healthcare positions).

My total HCE hours inclusive of all my healthcare experience is >5000 hours with 5 years of experience working as a nurse.

  • Nurse Next Door Homecare Services – Registered Practical Nurse (4 years)
    • 2700 hours, direct patient care experience
    • Description: Independently delivered quality patient care in a community setting within areas of
    • dementia, palliative and complex continuing care
    • I worked casually with this company as a nurse over the four-year period of completing my undergraduate degree
  • St. Michael’s Hospital – Registered Practical Nurse, Operation’s Leader (2020-Present)
    • 533 hours, direct patient care experience
  • COVID Assessment Centre – RPN
    • Description: Performed nasopharyngeal swab tests on pediatric, adult, geriatric, and priority patient populations (healthcare workers, immunocompromised individuals, pre-op patients, unsheltered/ homeless individuals). Successfully delivered COVID-19 education related to self-isolation, self-monitoring of symptoms and social distancing to patients. Performed nursing assessments of symptomatic patients and collaborated with clinic MDs to determine if emergency treatment was needed.
  • COVID Vaccination Clinic – RPN, Operation’s Leader
    • Descriptions:
      • (RPN) Safely administered COVID-19 vaccinations via intramuscular injection to all eligible patient populations.
      • (Operation’s Leader) Responsible for overseeing daily clinic operations and leading a team of allied health professionals including nurses, doctors, pharmacists, technicians, administration and clerical staff to provide optimal patient care.
    • I was promoted to Operation’s Leader for the clinic in March 2021 so I was unable to include this experience in my supplemental application, but I was able to refer to it in the MMI!

Why I decided to pursue the PA profession

I have experienced the gaps in the Canadian healthcare system both personally and professionally as a nurse. The increased wait times to access specialty care and physician burnout are burdens on the healthcare system and I recognize how PAs are excellent solutions to both of these problems.

I admire the diversity and flexibility that come with being trained as a medical generalist. Additionally, I appreciate the collaborative relationship PAs have with physicians. I have thoroughly enjoyed directly interacting with patients as a nurse and want to continue this further as a PA. Lastly, being a PA will equip me to aid in increasing access to medical care for underserviced communities in Ontario!

What I think helped me stand out on PA Admissions

Growth and resilience.

I feel these two words can be used to describe my application as a whole. I felt absolutely crushed and defeated when I was rejected from the BScPA program last year. My focus then became improving as a reapplicant.

After some honest self-reflection, I created a concrete plan to improve my communication skills and diversify my healthcare experiences. I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the unknown as I threw myself into the COVID-19 response efforts in Toronto.

After 6 months at St. Michael’s Hospital, I was promoted to Operation’s Leader of the COVID Vaccination Clinic, which has been invaluable experience. I grew in many ways from my time in the COVID Assessment Centre and COVID Vaccination Clinic and I referred to many of my experiences and patient interactions during the supplemental application and the MMI.

Ultimately, I feel this demonstration of growth and resilience allowed me to stand out to the admissions committee.

My tips for Canadian Pre-PA Applicants

Be genuine in your application and interview responses and be your authentic self! Show the admissions committee who you are, not who you think they want you to be. Showcase your strengths and uniqueness in your application, while also demonstrating that you have been working to improve your weaknesses.

For those who have already applied and were not successful, remember, not all success is linear, and there is always room for growth and improvement. Dreams don’t have expiration dates.

Connect with Savanah (@toronto.pa)

Follow Savanah on Instagram!

Now its your turn!

Thank you Savanah for sharing your incredible journey to gaining acceptance into PA School!

Have questions? Leave it in the comments below.