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Hi everyone, I'm a first year student at uWaterloo in the Health Science program. I'm really interested in the PA profession but I am a little worried because there's limited options in Ontario. I feel like it is really competitive and there is barely any information on the application process. I would love if those who have gotten an interview, or are currently in the program or are working as a PA can answer some of my questions. 

1. What were your 1100 hours for the PCE requirements? I mean, besides nursing/kinesiologist (anything that requires further schooling) 

2. I am currently working as COVID-19 screener at a hospital and I am wondering if this will count for the 1100 hours at UofT? I am also enrolled in a co-op program so I expect to have other jobs to satisfy the requirement e.g., pharmacy assistant, possibly research experience

I am worried because I know I will be competing with people who have thousands of hours of direct patient care experience. 

3. I am also hoping to apply to UofM PA program as well, but I am not sure how the competitive the application process will be as an out of province student. Can someone give me some insight on applying to UofM as an Ontario student? 

 

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I am definitely not the best person to answer this question, but I can see that it hasn't been answered for quite some time so I will tell you what I know. 

1. I personally haven't applied yet but I have talked to some PA students and prospective PA students and they have told me some of the things they did. Some things I hvae heard for PCE are clinical research assistant/coordinator, sleep technologist, x ray technologist, kinesiologist, RN, massage therapist, mental health counsellor among others.

But with no experience you can do things like volunteering at a hospital/clinic/long-term care home/vaccination site, ward clerk, patient care attendant, patient sitter, medical assistant, medical receptionist, lab assistant, hospital/clinical research, medical scribe, PSW (sometimes you can do this without certification) etc. All these things you can do with no further education. I have even heard of people getting in with only volunteer experience and no health care job. 

For me personally so far I have been a hospital volunteer, medical assistant, lab assistant, and a patient care attendant. 

 

2. Yes I believe working as a COVID screener does qualify as clinical experience. It would qualify as indirect clinical experience, meaning that it still counts towards your hours, but it may not be valued as having as much "quality" as hands on patient care experience. Pharmacy assistant and research assistant would also count towards your hours. I think they will understand that you are young and applying right out of undergrad so its understandable that you wont have the quality of experience that older applicants have, which is okay. They take a lot of factors into account (GPA, PCE, supplementary, prerequisite courses, reference, rurality etc.) Plus at mac you don't need clinical experience at all btw. 

3. UofM tends to be more holistic in their admission process in terms of GPA. But they do give priority to Manitoba applicants over other provinces. Essentially if you are tied with a Manitoba applicant they will pick them over you. Their class is also very small (15 students), so it is for sure quite competitive. But if you have all the prerequisite course work then definitely apply. 

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