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Besides obtaining my Bachelors, what other steps can I take now to make myself more attractive to a PA program?

I am a graduating high school senior and have just determined which career path I want to follow, which is that of a Physician Assistant. I discovered that PA would be a good fit for me as a result of a career class at my local community college. However, I have no history or experience in any related fields, and I feel that I am a little behind. (I have friends with similar goals that have been volunteering at hospitals and clinics for years.) I will be attending college in the fall to receive a Bachelors in Health Science, but I am hoping for a few suggestions as to what options and opportunities I have to gain more experience and knowledge. Thank you! career healthcare health physician hospital-and-health-care

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Angela’s Answer

I would check entrance requirements because I know years ago they required a certain number of hours experience in the medical field as a part of entrance requirements. Many students did this by working as a CNA, MA or EMT ( certification programs at local JC usually).

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James’s Answer


i've been a family physician for 20 years.

here's my biased advice for you. it's biased in that i think in terms of a PA working alongside a physician. but keep in mind that this is not always the case these days.

also, i'm not in any way familiar with PA school admissions. so i'm going to change your question to how to make yourself appealing to a future employer.

i strongly recommend that you get training and then work as a Medical Scribe. there's a strong need for college students & pre-meds. it'll help you understand what goes into documentation, what docs need from their staff, and how to use an electronic medical record.

secondly, sharpen your verbal & written communication skills. many docs are nitpickers when it comes to grammar and spelling. also, having a second language would make you a star.

lastly, "specialize" in something. maybe you have a relative with a severe disease. learn all you can about that. some other potential niches: addiction. end-of-life care. prenatal care, depression, obesity medications. etc.

good luck!