10 PA School Interview Questions and Sample Answers

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Preparing for the Physician Assistant School Interview

Compared to professions like physician and nurse, Physician Assistant (PA) is a relatively new category of medical service occupation. With the first PA class graduating from Duke University in 1967, a new kind of medical profession was established, with the goal of offsetting a shortage of primary care physicians and increasing patients' access to care. The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) was established the following year in 1968, and the field has continued to undergo continued growth, accreditation, and refinement in the years since. Still, knowledge around the role of a PA remains considerably less widespread than more traditional medical roles, so a key aspect of the PA interview is demonstrating your understanding of this particular role and vocation, and specifically articulating why this medical career is the best choice for you. As such, many PA school interview questions will probe your understanding of the role, scope of practice, and professional challenges associated with becoming a Physician Assistant.

The PA School Interview

In terms of interview format, note that some PA interviews will include a Multiple Mini Interview, some will have traditional or panel type interviews or group interviews, and some programs may require CASPer, so be sure to check with each school to prepare effectively. Here is a link to our Definitive Guide to CASPer test prep, and here is our Definitive Guide to the MMI Interview and some practice MMI questions to help you prepare! 

As well, on top of PA-specific questions, you should prepare for more general interview questions, such as, “Tell me about yourself” and “What is your greatest weakness?” This post will focus on 10 PA school interview questions specific to this particular profession, but

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PA vs. MD

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PA vs MD: A Detailed Comparison

Let’s take a look at some of the specific differences between pursing a PA and an MD. Below, we’ll explore the following:

What is a PA, or Physician Assistant?

PA vs MD: General Summary

PA vs MD: Education and Cost

PA vs MD: Roles and Duties

PA vs MD: Specialization

PA vs MD: Job Satisfaction, Work-Life Balance, and Burnout

PA vs MD: Compensation

PA vs MD: Flexibility and Control 

PA vs MD: Conclusion

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