Getting Into PA School

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Interested in becoming a Physician Assistant? Check out this helpful overview of the application process.

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Getting Into PA School

  1. 1. Getting into pa school<br />By Sarah Sanders, PAS-II<br />Midwestern University<br />
  2. 2. OBJECTIVES<br /><ul><li>Understanding the PA profession
  3. 3. Choosing the right school
  4. 4. Becoming a competitive applicant
  5. 5. Utilizing available resources</li></li></ul><li>What is a Physician Assistant?<br />“Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician Assistants are qualified upon graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and/or certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician/PA relationship, Physician Assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of Physician Assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. Physician Assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research, and administrative activities.”<br /> www.aapa.org<br />
  6. 6. PA vs MD<br />Points for the PAs:<br />You can change specialties relatively easily<br />You will go to school for 2-3 years<br />You will have smaller debt<br />You can find a job conducive to a family life<br />Points for the MDs:<br />You will be “in charge”<br />You will make more money<br />
  7. 7. PA vs NP<br />Nurse Practitioners<br />Are RNs with advanced training in a clinical specialty<br />Take a biopsychosocial approach as they collaborate with physicians<br />Are able to function independently<br />Physician Assistants<br />Are trained much like physicians, focusing on diseases/pathologic aspects of healthcare<br />Take a team approach with their supervising physicians<br />
  8. 8. what program is right for me?<br />
  9. 9. Factors to Consider<br />Location<br />How far are you willing to move?<br />Curriculum, length of program<br />Do you have specific desires, such as international rotations?<br />Do you cringe at the thought of doing a thesis?<br />Do you need a part-time option?<br />
  10. 10. PANCE pass rate<br />Will they prepare you well?<br />Program reputation<br />Are bragging rights important to you?<br />Degree awarded<br />Certificate vs Bachelors vs Masters<br />Cost<br />Most students will survive on loans and grants<br />
  11. 11. So who has what I want?<br />Browse programs websites<br />Visit campuses<br />Call admissions advisors<br />Check out what others have to say<br />**Be selective, but remember that staying open-minded will increase your chances of acceptance!<br />
  12. 12. Okay, I’ve narrowed down my list. Now what?<br />
  13. 13.
  14. 14. The Application Process<br />As the PA profession grows in popularity, competition for admissions is becoming steeper and steeper<br />Nearly 800 people applied to MWU last year, 86 were accepted<br />www.caspaonline.org<br />You can apply to most of the schools through this one central application <br />Some schools require additional paperwork<br />
  15. 15. To Do List<br />Pre-requisite coursework<br />Each program is slightly different, so make sure that you’ve completed everything you need<br />If these aren’t required, you should still consider taking them<br />Medical Terminology<br />Immunology<br />Pharmacology<br />GRE<br />Just do it<br />
  16. 16. Healthcare experience<br />Hands-on experience gives you a good foundation to build on (ex. EMTs, MAs, athletic trainers, CNAs, EKG Techs…)<br />Unique situations help you stand out in the applicant pool and give you a different perspective on things (ex. Military, Public Health, PeaceCorps, medical lawyers…)<br />CASPA/Essay<br />Keep in mind that this gives the Admissions Committees their first look at you…avoid fluff and focus on what makes you special<br />
  17. 17. Interview<br />You’ve impressed the Committee on paper, or at least intrigued them enough to meet in person <br />Prepare, but don’t rehearse<br />Familiarize yourself with the program (mission statement, unique aspects) and the faculty members<br />Make sure you have a clear goal in mind and think about how you are going to convey that to them<br />The most important thing to keep in mind is to BE YOURSELF and don’t overanalyze things<br />
  18. 18. Throughout this whole process…<br />
  19. 19. Remember That There’s Help Out There For You<br />Advisors<br />Current PAs<br />Current students<br />The internet<br />www.physicianassistantforum.com<br />www.aapa.org<br />www…<br />
  20. 20. Thank You!<br />~Sarah Sanders, PAS-II<br />

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