The Three Traits All Physician Assistant Schools Look For

“Adapt, Improvise, Overcome.”

Regardless of who you are or what you do, your ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome will help you accomplish any goal and overcome any hardship.  These three words are the keys to being a standout physician assistant student, but they’re also three of the most coveted traits physician assistant schools are looking for.

Let’s dig into each word to see how they apply to successful PAs. Read more »

Top Five PA School Interview Mistakes

If you’ve made it to your Physician Assistant School interview, you’ve already passed the first round of screening. The admissions panel thinks that you’re worthy of meeting to determine if you have the right motivations, demeanor, and drive to become a PA. You’ve come so far, so why risk making a mistake during your interview? Read more »

How Can You Benefit From The EXCELL Pre Physician Assistant Clerkship?

If you’re interested in our Pre Physician Assistant Clerkship, check out our basic breakdown of the program.  It’ll give you a rundown of what the program has to offer, the different stages of the program, and what you can potentially gain by signing up.

Between the 200 hours of real-life patient experience, patient advocacy experience, the mentorship portion, online coursework, and mock interviews, you’ll be learning and growing rapidly over the course of this 16-week program, but do you have a good sense of what particular skills you’ll be developing?

Here’s a quick breakdown of our PA Clerkship program AND all of the great benefits each component provides!

Patent Advocacy Experience

  • What You Do
    • Act as a patient liaison, quality assurance team member, and healthcare team member
    • Deliver quality of life patient survey
    • Attend weekly directors meetings
  • How You Benefit
    • Develop skills in bedside manner
    • Develop patient interaction/interviewing skills
    • Gain real life experience in detecting and resolving patient quality of life issues
    • Earn hands-on experience as liaison between patients and staff
    • Gain experience creating plans of action and following through on them
    • Learn how to function as part of healthcare team

Physician Assistant Mentorship

  • What You Do
    • Shadow and be mentored by a working Physician Assistant
  • How You Benefit
    • Learn about the PA profession through direct observation
    • Observe interactions between a PA and their patients
    • Observe the collaboration between a PA and Physicians
    • Directly observe PA medical practice

Online Coursework

  • What You Do
    • 36 Didactic training modules in written communication and one on one verbal communication.
  • How You Benefit
    • Huge boost in communication skills for interacting with coworkers
    • Opportunity to hone communication skills with patients (aka your bedside manner)

Mock Interviews

  • What You Do
    • Participate in two videotaped mock interviews
    • Have your strengths and weaknesses evaluated by our interview panel
  • How You Benefit
    • Increased self-assessment skills
    • Highly develop your communication and critical thinking skills
    • Improved self confidence

Graduate Project

  • What You Do
    • Administer and assess Quality of Life Patient Survey
    • Present Plan of Action to faculty and administration
  • How You Benefit
    • Gain a sense of contribution to quality improvement

Improve presentation skills

Those are just a few of the benefits you’ll gain from choosing the EXCELL Pre PA Clerkship and Mentorship Program.  We also have shadowing opportunities all over New Jersey to better fit your location and schedule. No matter what level you may be starting from, the program is guaranteed to improve your confidence as well as the basic skills needed to ace any PA program interview.

Still not convinced?  Take a look at some of the testimonials from past EXCELL program graduates.

 

Tools To Help You Get Into PA School

Preparing your PA school application can be difficult without any outside help. Creating a timeline for the application process can help you stay on top of your application materials, but it won’t provide you with tools you can use to actually help you prepare.

If researching PA programs, preparing your narrative, gaining health care experience, or practicing for your interview seems overwhelming, you may want to consider using some of the valuable resources below. You’ll find that with a little reassurance, a helping hand, and some tools to rely on, you’ll be able to ace the entire application process. Read more »

7 Things to Consider When Choosing Physician Assistant Programs

One of the most daunting parts of the PA school application process is weeding through all of the programs to find the ones that fit your needs. You should be on the lookout for schools that fit your checklist of “must-haves” while simultaneously compiling a list of schools where you’d be a good candidate.

When searching for programs, ask yourself the following questions about each school.  By doing this, you’ll know exactly what each program has to offer and if it’s worth your time to apply. Read more »

How to Write a Compelling Personal Narrative for PA School

When preparing to write your personal narrative, always keep your main thesis in mind. You’ll find this question in your CASPA application:

“What is your motivation to becoming a physician assistant?”

Whatever your thesis may be, you want to build a path leading the reader to discover that unique something that compels you to become a PA. Expanding on the main ideas of your thesis will essentially amount to an autobiographical story that focuses on your desire to become a PA. Your story should be meaningful to you, inspirational to others, and compelling. It should be so entertaining that it captures the imagination of the reader and convinces them that this person should absolutely become a PA! Read more »

Set Yourself Apart with Unique Hands-On Patient Experience

During the EXCELL Pre Physician Clerkship Program, you’ll undergo a PA mentorship that includes both mentoring and shadowing experience. Not only does the program provide you with insight into the PA profession, you also get first-hand experience observing how PAs interact with patients, collaborate with physicians, and generally operate in their medical practice. In addition, you get to administer a Quality of Life Patient Survey and present a Plan of Action to your facility administration, giving you a sense on contribution to the quality of service for current and future patients.

If you think this unique, hands-on experience isn’t valuable, take a look at a past student’s recollections of their time in the program.  Read more »

How Well Do You Know Your Physician Assistant History?

How well do you know your Physician Assistant history? You may know enough of the bullet points to get through your interview, but will that may not be enough to get a good understanding of the profession.

To be able to effectively convey your reasons for wanting to become a physician assistant, it’s important to understand what a physician assistant does. If you don’t have a solid knowledge of where the profession came from, how it was founded, and how it grew to the point it is today, you’ll have a difficult time justifying why you want to become a physician assistant rather than a doctor or nurse practitioner. Read more »

The Top 3 Criteria PA Programs Use to Judge Candidates

You’ve completed your personal narrative, submitted your application, and may have even completed your interview. You know that, based on your experiences, grades, and demeanor that you’d be a great pick for any PA program. You may think you’ve got this in the bag, but do you really know what PA programs look for when judging their potential students?

Knowing what each program looks for in their applicants and how they’ll be assessing both your interview performance and application materials is crucial for determining your success.  Think of it this way- it’s much easier to do well on a test if you know how you’re being scored.  The same concept rings true for your acceptance into a PA program. Read more »

How to Identify and Handle Inappropriate Interview Questions

When you’re in the interview room, the last thing you want to do is lose your focus. It’s easy to lose your focus if you’re unprepared, but you can be thrown off if you’re asked a question that’s out of bounds or inappropriate, even if you’ve spent the past year preparing for your interviews.

Questions should be about your qualifications to become a physician assistant, not about your personal information. If you find yourself facing an uncomfortable or seemingly inappropriate line of questioning, know your rights as an applicant. You do not have to answer out-of-place, unrelated, or illegal questions directly and can choose to either defer your answer or address the questions as inappropriate.

Here are some examples of questions that should not be posed during your interview. Read more »

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