How to get patient contact experience for PA school

If you’re racking your brain to come up with direct patient contact experience, stop for a second and consider all of the direct experience you get just through the Excell Pre PA Assistant Clerkship program!

Not only do you get over 200 hours of real-life patient experience over the course of your clerkship, you’ll come out the other side being able to speak directly to your role as a patient advocate and liaison. By the time you’re done, you’ll have developed skills in bedside manner, gotten direct patient interaction, detected and resolved patient quality of life issues, worked as a liaison between patients and staff, experienced being part of a healthcare team, and more!

During your interview, you’ll want to share your EXCELL clerkship experiences with your interview committee. Be sure you don’t gloss over the program without expanding on just how valuable the program has been to your growth as a potential candidate.

Here’s just one example of how you can work in the EXCELL program during your interview:

                  Interviewer: “Tell me about your direct patient contact experience.”

                  Candidate: “I did a pre-PA clerkship and got to speak to and work with patients as a patient         liaison. I performed a Quality of Life patient survey as a healthcare center Quality Assurance Team Member and was able to gain direct patient contact experience by working as part of a healthcare team where I reported my survey findings during weekly directors meetings.”

Now, compare this to the following:

                  Interviewer: “Tell me about your direct patient contact experience.”

                  Candidate: “I did a pre-PA clerkship where I got to speak to patients and shadow a PA.”

Which response adds more value? The second response doesn’t really dive into your role during the clerkship nor does it highlight the experiences you had. When possible, don’t shy away from the details of your patient contact experiences and always highlight any chances you’ve had to improve your skills. After you complete the program, you’ll be able to add even more detail to your response!