Frequently Asked Questions

What was your major in undergrad?

Neuroscience at University of California, Riverside.

Neuroscience at University of Southern California! 


 Which company did you volunteer abroad with?

I went to Tanzania, Africa with Medlife through USC as an undergrad. This trip was amazing however, a little bit on the expensive end. 

A month before PA school, I went to Cusco, Peru with Ubelong. Much more affordable and so many volunteer locations available! I highly suggest Ubelong!


What Patient Care Experience (PCE) did you have and how much?

I went through a two-week EMT program (CIEMT), took the national registry exam and was certified nationally and in California within the year. I was an EMT on an ambulance company thereafter. 

I wanted to work in a clinical setting so I became an EMS tech at an addiction and detox facility. At the same time, I searched for an uncertified MA position. I was able to find one after one full month of searching.

My first year applying = around 500 hours.

Second year applying = 1,010 hours.

Third year applying = 3,200 hours.


Do programs care about taking or retaking courses at community colleges?

No! I retook all my C's at community colleges and it saved me time and money! BUT, make sure the courses you're taking are approved for the programs you're applying for. Make sure they count! If you're not sure, double check by contacting the program directly!


Whom should I contact for more info on WesternU's PA program ?

Annie Wang - University Recruiter

 (909) 469-5246 | ✉


Where and when is the next meet-up?

Check the calendar and events page!


What do you suggest for interview prep? 

I suggest buying How to Ace the PA School Interview by Andrew Rodican PA-C, and prepare your own answers to the questions. This prepared me for all types of interviews!

Next, mock interview practice !! Practice your answers with your friends, family and mentors. Check out for more tips too. I used this site religiously! 

I wasn’t  able to purchase the mock interview service from @thepaplatform but I highly suggest it. Her mock interview service is conducted by PA-Cs that have been on selection committees!

I know how much it was to apply three times.. if you need it, use JazminekPA for 15% off any service on there :)


 Why PA and not MD?

I learned so much about the profession through my Ortho PA mentor. After this inspiring shadowing experience, I made sure I shadowed MDs, nurse practitioners and additional PAs in different specialties to be absolutely certain about my future. All my experiences were amazing and I saw these professionals working in orthopedics, hematology/oncology, pediatrics, dermatology, plastic surgery and neurosurgery. I ultimately decided on PA based on my experiences shadowing and on medical and PA students’ opinions. The PA path suits my personality well and I believe it’s a perfect fit.


 What are your tips on personal statements? 

Check out the PS Guide in the menu bar at the top!


How do I audit a class (sit in class with us) at WesternU?

Call Erika Magana at 909-469-5378 to check on class availability!   


What did I do differently each time?

 I increased all my hours in volunteering, PCE, & shadowing. I raised my GPA by retaking courses at community colleges and at universities close to home. More importantly, I contacted the programs for feedback and asked for specifics on how I could improve for the next cycle. I received advice on better interview prep and that's exactly what I did! I sought out medical students or recent PA grads and asked if they could ask me a few questions. They didn't know me personally and that made it the perfect mock interview scenario!


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