Physician Assistant School Preparation - Experience
It is important you have an understanding of the PA field through experiences you have gained in student groups, volunteering or work experience. Like many other graduate and professional programs, PA schools like to admit applicants who are well-rounded and have a clear, firm commitment to their goals. In general, a well rounded applicant will have a solid GPA, and have participated in and made significant contributions in their extracurricular activities such as a student organization, volunteering/working in a healthcare setting (i.e. hospital, hospice, community clinic), research, etc.
Admissions committees expect you to have researched the PA profession and know some of the issues PAs currently face. Additionally, the admissions committee will want to know specifically why you are pursuing a career in the PA profession. Having a minimum number of direct patient contact hours is a requirement for many PA programs.
An online list of PA programs by state, including admissions deadlines, entrance requirements, credentials awarded, fees etc.
Students are encouraged to do one or more of the following to gain exposure to PAs and the healthcare field.
- Conduct an informational interview, shadow or observe a PA.
- Find healthcare related volunteer opportunities:
- Health & Medicine Volunteer Opportunities
- Tang Center
- Find a healthcare related Internship or Job
- Internship Opportunities in Health & Medicine
- Get involved in a healthcare cause that excites you.
- Take additional vocational coursework to earn a certificate so you can work as a paraprofessional (i.e., paramedic, community health worker, medical assistant, or phlebotomist) in a healthcare setting.
- Health & Medicine Job Opportunities
Getting exposure to the PA profession can make you a competitive applicant and help you to begin to identify what skills, values and interests you enjoy in this profession.