Category Archives: Ask a PA

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.

 

What Really Motivates You To Become a PA?

If you’re going to convey honesty and transparency in your PA school personal narrative, it’s crucial to understand what motivates you.  It’s unlikely that your interview panel will directly ask what motivates you, but they may ask about the reasons you chose to become a PA.  If you’re just looking for notoriety, a decent salary, or for the opportunity to “help people” your motives will undoubtedly be questioned.

To present your story most effectively in your narrative and at the interview, it’s imperative that you know yourself it the context of what motivates you.  There are six major motivating factors and most people are influenced by two or three of these.  Here’s a breakdown of each factor.

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Finding Shadowing and Patient Contact Experience for PA School

Let’s face it- finding patient contact experience can be hard if you don’t know where to look. Patient contact experience often comes from shadowing working Physician Assistants, so if you don’t already have access to patient contact experience, finding and securing a shadowing opportunity is very important.

As you may know (and will learn soon enough), PAs are very busy – but don’t be discouraged by their intimidating schedule.  The overwhelming majority of PAs really love talking about their profession and answering questions because they love what they do!  The trick to gaining shadowing experience is just finding a time when they can talk and taking it from there.  So how do you go about finding a PA to shadow?

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How to Find a PA to Shadow – Physician Assistant Shadowing Tips

If you’re considering becoming a PA, you’ll often find that many programs require a certain amount of patient contact or shadowing experience. Patient contact experience often comes from shadowing working Physician Assistants, so the most important step is finding and securing a shadowing opportunity. As you may know, PAs can be very busy people when on the job, but the overwhelming majority love talking about their profession and answering questions- you just need to find a time when they can talk!

So how does one go about finding a PA to shadow?

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Picking a Physician Assistant Specialty that Fits Your Personality

As you being your journey towards becoming a PA, you may find that a specific area of expertise calls to you. Some PAs have a good idea of which Physician Assistant specialty is right for them before they’re working in the field, and choose which programs they’re applying to accordingly. Others find out their passion during their time in PA school or working in the field. Read more »