INTRODUCTION

 The application deadline for the PA Program is October 1st

 

Introduction

The PA Program uses the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) as their application portal. CASPA recommends submitting all required materials at least four (4) weeks prior to any PA Program deadline. All applications must be verified by the application deadline. Admission to the PA Program is expected to be extremely competitive, so the earlier you apply the better. For our Program, CASPA makes the application process available by April 30 of every year and remains open until our application deadline.

In order to start the application process, please access the CASPA online portal at the following link: https://caspa.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login.

 

Who should apply?

What are we looking for in a student? Besides a love of medicine and a desire to provide health care with compassion and empathy to patients of diverse ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.  Students should be versatile and creative and willing to join the medical setting as an autonomous yet collaborative practitioner alongside physicians, a role that demands intelligence, sound judgment, intellectual honesty, and the ability to relate to people. By the time of enrollment, applicants to the PA Program must have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with the specific required prerequisite coursework. We encourage students from Puerto Rico and the US mainland to apply.

 

What should I expect?

The intense 28-month, 7-semester professional, graduate-level program requires personal as well as financial sacrifices, and demands a high degree of self-sufficiency and well-developed study skills. While English is widely spoken in Puerto Rico, Spanish predominates as the national language, and it is strongly recommended to be bilingual in both languages. All textbooks, lectures, exams are delivered in English while the clinical experiences will be in Spanish and English and proficiency is integral.

The rigorous nature of the program precludes maintaining outside employment. Due to the formidable challenge the PA program presents both in the didactic and clinical phases, we strongly recommend students not work while enrolled in the PA program. The success of each candidate is often directly related to their ability to focus solely on their commitment to their studies in order to attain the high academic standards. A PA student goal should be to achieve a good educational experience and successfully graduate.

The profession necessitates working with those who are ill and interacting effectively and cooperatively with physicians, nurses, and interdisciplinary members of a dynamic health care team.

Advanced placement is not granted by the PA program and all students must complete the full curriculum as delineated in its entirety. We do not accept transfer requests.

 

Specific Admissions Requirements

International Students

Applicants whose native language is not English, or who did not attend college in the U.S., U.S. Territories or another English-speaking country, must also demonstrate proficiency in English and will need to submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination with a score of at least 560 (paper-based), 220 (computer-based), or 83 (Internet-based).

 

Prerequisite Coursework

The CASPA application deadline is October 1 for courses that begin in January. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required for consideration. The program will accept qualified candidates who may not have completed their bachelor’s degree or prerequisite coursework and who have a projected graduation/completion date in August, one semester prior to the January start of classes. Confirmation of graduation must be received by the Program at that time.  Pending coursework may delay review of a candidate's application. All science prerequisite courses must be completed within 10 years of matriculation. Exceptions to those limits may be granted for applicants with documented healthcare experience and at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. GRE is not required.

Foreign academic credentials must be evaluated by an approved credentialing agency. The PA Program does not award academic credit for experiential learning. 

REQUIRED prerequisite coursework is listed below with grades of C or better from an accredited University, College or its equivalent:

Courses

Credits

General Biology I & II with Labs

8

General Chemistry I & II with Labs

8

Organic Chemistry I with Lab OR Biochemistry with Lab

4

Anatomy and Physiology with Lab*

8

English Composition/Literature

6

Behavioral Science (i.e. Psychology, sociology, anthropology)

6

Humanities (History, philosophy, language, art)

6

Mathematics (pre-calculus or higher)

3

Statistics

3

*Applicants who completed two Anatomy & Physiology courses for less than a total of 8 credits must satisfy the credit requirement by completing an additional elective in Biology or Chemistry. One semester of Anatomy with a Lab and 1 semester of Physiology with or without a Lab is acceptable if equal to 8 credits.

Updated transcripts for all coursework taken after submitting the CASPA application must be submitted directly to the SJBSM Admissions Office once they become available. Applicants who do not meet established grade point standards or other admission requirements may petition the PA Admissions Committee in writing for consideration. The petition must accompany the application and should clearly explain the extenuating circumstances that have prevented the student from meeting existing standards or requirements and describe elements of the applicant’s background that would indicate the potential for success in the program. The Admissions Committee may choose to admit students who have not met the established admission requirements, based on the student’s petition, application, interview, and other supporting documents required as part of the application process. For applicants who already hold an BA or BS degree, prerequisite courses of certain types may be waived at the discretion of the PA Program Director.

Please Note: Meeting the minimum requirements listed above does not guarantee an interview or admission to the program.

Additional Admissions Requirements (submitted through CASPA)

  • A personal statement/essay
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendations with at least one from a practicing PA or physician, and/or college professor and at least one from a supervisor from paid or volunteer experience
  • A 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA
  • A 3.0 minimum science GPA
  • Transcripts of all coursework from all colleges/universities attended
  • Submission of a completed CASPA application
  • Direct Patient Contact Health Care Experience verification of a minimum of 200 hours of direct patient contact health care experience, either volunteer or paid, must be documented on the Patient Contact Form and uploaded through CASPA. Direct patient contact hours must involve interaction with patients. Some examples include, but are not limited to paid or volunteer EMT/Paramedic, work/volunteer in a doctor's office, nursing home or emergency department as a medical assistant or nurse's aide, phlebotomist, LPN, RN, Respiratory Therapist, athletic trainer, etc.

 

Recommended but not required

  • Microbiology, acceptable as additional biology course
  • Medical Terminology course
  • A minimum of 30 hours shadowing a PA to understand the PA Role

 

Evaluation and Selection Process

Admission decisions are made by the PA Program Admissions Committee and are based on an assessment of the applicant's past academic performance, potential for success in the program, as well as his/her understanding of and commitment to the PA profession. The program Admissions Committee evaluates an applicant's completed application and considers the following qualitative factors:

  • Quality and content of the personal statement
  • Strength of recommendations (minimum of three letters)
  • Cumulative GPA
  • Science GPA
  • Outstanding academic performance (above 3.50 GPA)
  • Academic awards such as dean’s list, president’s list, cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude, valedictorian, etc.
  • Significant volunteering experience
  • Nature and extent of health care experience
  • Interview performance, regarding their understanding of the PA role, their motivation, maturity, intellectual qualities, insights, and interpersonal skills.
  • Socioeconomic background
  • Although being bilingual in English and Spanish is not a hard requirement, it is highly recommended. For those students who are not bilingual, a free course in conversational Spanish will be offered before entering the clinical year.

 

Based on this evaluation, selected applicants are invited for a personal interview where they are assessed regarding their understanding of the PA Role, their motivation, maturity, intellectual qualities, insights, and interpersonal skills.

All these factors will be taken into consideration when reviewing the quality of the applicant. None of these factors will be used as the sole determinative factor for admission into the program.

Upon acceptance, a non-refundable certified check or money order in the amount of $100 payable to San Juan Bautista School of Medicine will need to be submitted to hold your seat in the class and will be applied to your first semester tuition. Additional health forms will be required to submit upon acceptance including a statement of good health and proof of immunizations. All students are required to provide their own personal laptop for lectures and testing.

 

For any admissions questions, please contact:

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Mrs. Jaymi Sánchez Cruz

Admissions Officer

(787)743-3038 Ext. 236

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Mrs. Marta R. Fuentes

Secretary to Admissions Officer

(787)743-3038 Ext. 3214

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For detailed information about the program, please click over any of the following topics:

 

PA Program | Educational Experience | Curriculum | Admissions Tuition and Fees | Faculty and Staff | Certification and Licensing | PA Student Manual