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Navigating the Ethics of Healthcare

Healthcare: Entitlement vs. Right

In an era where the face of healthcare is rapidly changing amidst an affordability crisis, the question on everyone’s mind is simple: is healthcare a right to all that live in our country? This question is difficult and goes into the entitlement vs. right debate. As a future physician assistant, you must bear in mind that it is our obligation as health care providers to provide care to everyone, giving them the best care possible.  That being said, we need to always make sure we act ethically and base our decisions around providing the best possible care without bringing our own biases or morals into play. Read more »

The Dos and Don’ts of your PA School Interview

The interview process for a PA program can be slightly different for each candidate.  As the interview unfolds, the questions being posed and topics being covered will vary wildly depending on your unique experiences and responses.  That being said, there are a few steadfast rules you should follow in the interview room.

Here are a few of the most important do’s and don’ts for your interview.  Keep these in mind when prepping before interview day and try to remember them right as you set foot in the interview room. Read more »

5 Great Reasons to Become a Physician Assistant

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, there are plenty of options to choose from. Most people assume that becoming a doctor is the best option when working in the medical field solely based on their notoriously high salaries, but this simply isn’t true. If that logic were applied to other fields of work, we’d have a surplus of architects and no carpenters, or an abundance of chefs and no farmers.

Becoming a PA is a rewarding way to provide hands on patient care without many of the barriers MDs face along the way. It’s also a great way to work as part of a healthcare team- directly alongside MDs. Don’t believe us? Here are just 5 of the countless reasons why becoming a PA could be a great fit for you.

  1. You Make a Great Salary
    Yes, doctors tend to earn some of the highest salaries, but PAs make a fantastic living as well. In fact, the average rate of pay for a PA continues to rise year after year due to increased demand. PAs can even earn a six-figure income by working in high paying specialties like dermatology or emergency care.
  2. You Get to Work as a Team
    Teamwork makes the dream work, and this is especially true for PAs. Doctors tend to be leaders who often find themselves at the head of a department or practice. The extra responsibility or burden of being the “decision maker” can separate doctors from their co-workers in a way that doesn’t typically happen for PAs. If you love working as part of a team, you may find the PA career much more rewarding than working as an MD.
  3. You Get a Flexible Career and a Great Work-Life Balance
    Doctors train for years just to work in one specialty and they’re typically locked into that specialty for good. PAs have a huge advantage because they have the qualifications needed to work in virtually any medical specialty, and can transition from one specialty to another without needing to go back to school. PAs also work more regular hours. This means that you can work a fulfilling career and fulfilling life outside of work without having to compromise.
  4. You Spend Less Time (and money) in School
    Medical school is no laughing matter. If you compare the 7-8 years of school and residencies a typical doctor needs against the 2-3 years required to become a PA, there’s no question that PA programs are the fast track to a rewarding medical career without the burdensome debt. Becoming a PA is no easy feat, but you’ll be able to start working and paying off the debt you may have incurred much faster than an MD.
  5. Being a PA is Rewarding
    Many of us try to find a working environment that fits our personality and satisfies our occupational needs. While doctors and PAs do much of the same work, PAs have a higher focus on patient care. You get to spend your time providing top notch patient care without worrying about the rest of the bureaucratic mess that comes along with being a doctor.

If you want the flexibility of changing specialties, the freedom to provide a high level of direct patient care, the balance of a fulfilling career and home life, plus a great salary without the burden of medical school debt, becoming a PA may be the right move for you!

The PA School Application Process Timeline

Before you begin the physician assistant program application process, you’ll want to create a basic timeline that you can refer to. This timeline will help you figure out which tasks need to be done by when, but it will also help you organize your application materials. Think of your timeline as a master schedule- it’ll help keep you on top of the application process and plan for the unexpected.

Applications are usually submitted a year prior to attending, but you’d be surprised how quickly a year can fly by! Applying early helps you avoid those unexpected delays, allows for processing time, and may even improve your chance of admission to programs that utilize rolling admissions. Read more »

The Dos and Dont’s of your PA School Interview

The interview process for a PA program can be slightly different for each candidate.  As the interview unfolds, the questions being posed and topics being covered will vary wildly depending on your unique experiences and responses.  That being said, there are a few steadfast rules you should follow in the interview room.

Here are a few of the most important do’s and don’ts for your interview.  Keep these in mind when prepping before interview day and try to remember them right you step foot into the interview room. Read more »

Tips for Creating the Perfect PA School Personal Narrative

Your personal narrative is one of the most important parts of the application process. Without a compelling, unique, and well written personal narrative, you might not get a chance to interview with the programs you applied to. Think of your personal narrative as the ultimate sales pitch- you want it to be clear, concise, and really drive home the points that argue why you’d be an exceptional PA.

Writing your personal narrative is a long process and will undergo many stages- it isn’t something you should attempt to write in one pass. It should evolve from a few sentences or a short anecdote to a full blown essay, and will likely go through many revisions along the way. If you’re struggling with your personal narrative or feel like it doesn’t stand out, consider the following tips.  Read more »

How to Choose The Best Undergraduate Major for PA School

When beginning to plan for PA school, many students question which major will help them get into the best PA program possible. Students that are in the process of completing their undergraduate studies or those who have decided to return to school often think that majoring in biology, pre-med, or even a pre-PA program will give them the competitive edge needed to get into a top rated program. While this vein of thinking is completely logical, challenging majors like these aren’t always your best bet. Read more »

Tips & Tricks For Answering Behavioral Questions at your PA School Interview

During your interview process, you’ll be asked behavioral questions. The goal of questions like these is to isolate examples of skills, characteristics, and experiences that directly relate to your value as a prospective PA.   Answering these types of questions well is vital because they give your interviewers clear, concrete examples of who you are as an individual.  You’ll want to make sure your answers are not only full of detail, but clear and concise.

Nothing sets you up for success better than prior preparation. Taking the time to go over the most common behavioral questions asked during an interview is a great way to practice and get comfortable with these types of questions. In addition to practicing common behavioral prompts, you’ll be able to easily answer any behavioral question thrown at you by using the following tricks.

Read more »

The 5 Most Important Leadership Qualities for a PA

PAs are in a unique position in that they must act as both leader and team player depending on the situation.  Many PAs will find themselves needing to step up in the moment and lead a team without a second thought while still maintaining a “group effort” mentality.  If you don’t have the ability to work well in both roles, you may find yourself unable to keep up with the professional demands of the job. Read more »

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