A physician assistant resume is essential for applying for PA jobs. Whether you are just graduating from a Physician Assistant program having completed all the or looking for a new position, you will need to prepare the perfect resume to impress your employers! In this article, we talk about how you can create a strong physician assistant resume and discuss what sections you should include. Next, we will give you some tips on how you can make your resume stand out. We will conclude by demonstrating three examples to help you get started on your own resume.
Physician assistant resume is a brief outline which demonstrates your background and elaborates on what makes you qualified to become a PA. The role of your physician assistant resume is to present your skills and experiences to show that you are the right person for the job.
The best format for a physician assistant resume is a reverse chronological format. This format presents your experiences and qualifications starting with the most recent ones. The recruiters can look at your resume to understand your professional progress and the skills that you have learned over the years. The reverse chronological order is applicable for all the sections in your resume, such as work experience, education, certifications, or awards. Start your resume by mentioning your latest endeavor and move to the previous ones.
The key elements to a successful physician assistant resume are clinical experience, education, and certifications. You should be able to convey your potential by effectively summarizing your abilities, expertise, and achievements. Remember, your education and previous experience demonstrates that you have acquired comprehensive knowledge as a physician assistant. The inclusion of specific medical skills at this point highlights your capability to provide optimal diagnostic and therapeutic patient care and work in cooperation with a physician. So, you should include the following sections in your physician assistant resume:
Name and contact information
Your name should be on the top of your physician assistant resume. Below that, you should add your current contact information. Whenever you apply for a physician assistant position, the recruiter needs enough time for the initial screening of your application. After the initial screening, if they find you suitable for the job, they will reach out to you via email or a phone call, so include those on your resume. Additionally, you must include your physical address, website, and LinkedIn profile. These details make your contact information complete.
The next section of your resume should mention your objective. A physician assistant resume objective will convey your interest in the position while highlighting your most important skills. To write the perfect resume objective, you must mention your areas of expertise and a few keywords from the job description. Take a look at the example below,
Professional NCCPA-certified physician assistant with 2+ years of expertise in treating 200+ patients in traumatic injuries and orthopedic emergencies. Seeking to provide quality health care as the next physician assistant at City General Hospital.
Your past work experience demonstrates your capabilities in working with patients. Mention the names of all the previous organizations where you have worked and the duration of your tenure. If you are an experienced candidate, start with your latest position and go in reverse chronological order to your first position.
If you are a candidate with no previous experience and are starting afresh, you can list any clinical work experience you may have (including rotations), as well as your volunteering and shadowing experiences. You can also mention your research experience if it demonstrates the skills suitable for a physician assistant job.
Lastly, you can also enlist your non-healthcare jobs if the skills you learned in these positions will help you as a physician assistant.
For example, if you worked as a part-time administrative assistant in an office, then you can mention skills such as:
You must have studied for several years to get formal training to become a physician assistant. Mention the names of those degrees and the educational institutions in your resume. The education section of your resume proves your formal qualification and the history of your association with the field. If you achieved an impressive GPA, include that in your resume. Your education section should start with the latest qualification and move to the earliest one, usually your Bachelor's degree, in reverse chronological order.
A separate section for skills in your physician assistant resume better demonstrates your competency for the job. This section should include hard and soft skills not highlighted previously in your resume. If you have a specialization, use this section to build a coherent picture of your profile. Format this section in bullet points and select shorter skills to list.
You must have earned your physical assistant certification after completing your studies. Similarly, there are some additional certifications that PAs can complete, such as Emergency Medicine, Certification in Pediatric Anesthesiology (PA), Basic Life Support (BLS), and more. You can list all your certifications in this section.
This section of your resume highlights your accolades and accomplishments in your previous positions. Additionally, you can mention academic achievements such as grants, bursaries, awards, and honors from your institution in this section. These achievements show that you have been an exceptional performer at your job as a physician assistant and have a probability of performing better than the other candidates.
Since you have completed your studies in the field of medicine, there are chances that you would have participated in research during your master's program or outside your academics. If you have a published paper in any related area, you should mention that in your resume as it enhances your profile as a medical professional. Write the title of your publication, the publishing journal, and the year.
Listing your skills on your physician assistant resume can directly impact your progress in the hiring process. Most healthcare institutions use an Applicant Tracking System for shortlisting resumes due to the huge volume of resumes received. Even if an ATS system is not in the picture, you need to provide the hiring manager with specific information about what differentiates you from other candidates.
Interested in a quick summary of this next section? Check out this infographic:
As you draft your resume tailored for the specific role of a physician assistant, you must integrate your skills within the description of your previous responsibilities and in the separate section for skills. Some essential skills to put in your resume are:
Patient care skills demonstrate your ability to assist in the treatment of patients. You should know how to conduct patient interviews, understand their history, conduct physical examinations to diagnose problems, and provide a prescription.
These skills describe your ability to provide a written record of the examinations and patient interviews you conduct to aid the physician in understanding the patient's case better.
Medical examination and diagnostics
As a physician assistant, you would often conduct an initial examination of the patient. Thus, it is vital to demonstrate sufficient medical know-how for accurate diagnosis.
Physician assistants chart the treatment plan for the patients in collaboration with the physician and nurses. So, you must know how to plan out necessary medications, diagnostic tests, and dietary recommendations.
Basic Life Support and ACLS
It is a good-to-have skill for a physician assistant because it demonstrates a strong foundation in healthcare for working in a hospital setting and dealing with critically ill patients.
Communication skills and collaboration
These skills show that you can work along with doctors and nurses to provide the best treatment for the patients. Interpersonal skills allow you to connect with your patients and help the physician to understand their cases better.
Just like a or a , there needs to be something unique about your physician assistant resume to get your profile noticed by recruiters. Here are some actionable tips to help you make your physician assistant resume appealing:
Ideal length of your resume
A one-page resume is ideally enough to showcase your potential as a qualified candidate. With this standard practice in mind, you can trim your information so that it does not exceed a single page. Ask yourself, "Can I tell my story in fewer words?"
Omit unnecessary details that do not highlight your achievements while writing your job responsibilities. Similarly, do not mention activities of little impact if you have a rich experience. You can also combine two sections if both convey similar information.
You should use a simple design for your physician assistant resume. Choose a basic modern font, like Arial or Calibri, with a font size between 10-12 and appropriate spacing. Your goal here should be to improve the readability of your resume. Lastly, focus on giving your resume a consistent flow.
Resume without work experience
We have already emphasized that you can create a stellar resume even without formal paid work experience as a PA. You can mention relevant and transferrable skills gained from academic projects and volunteering experience or your part-time job. Also, make sure to explain your skills and suitability in your cover letter to strengthen your chances of selection.
Quantify your experience
It is no secret that the presence of numbers on your resume makes it stand out in the eyes of the hiring manager. But how should you get started on adding figures and data to your resume? Think of the answers to the following questions:
These questions will give you an idea of how you can quantify your work experience and achievements.
Demonstrate soft skills
Demonstrate your soft skills through your job responsibilities for a stronger resume. Using fancy jargon will not take your resume anywhere; instead, convey your characteristics in bullet points. Take a look at the below example:
Collaborated with senior specialists and sought feedback to build an initial diagnosis process that reduced patient waiting time by 50%.
This helps the hiring manager in understanding that you had efficient communication with your senior team members and can work well in a team.
Make use of keywords
The major purpose of adding keywords to your resume is to get through applicant tracking systems. Besides, you can also make sure that you personalize your resume appropriately as per the job. To do this correctly, read the job description once again and select words from the job responsibilities which are unique to that job. Sure, it does take a lot of time to customize your resume for each job that you apply for, but it improves the quality of your application.
Set time aside for proofreading
Make sure that your resume does not have any typos or grammatical mistakes. Give a logical flow to your sentences to improve your writing. If you wish, let a peer review your resume for you because the opinion of an unbiased eye will bring another perspective to it. They can also analyze your work critically to suggest changes and recommendations from a neutral point of view.
Would you be interested in transitioning from a PA to an MD? This video is for you:
Highly driven NCCPA board-certified physician assistant with 2 years of experience in a professional healthcare setting. Experienced with family medicine and urgent care; treated over 200 patients. Seeking a position to leverage patient care skills for a better impact on the day-to-day operations of the healthcare institution.
City General Hospital
Physician Assistant, 20XX- 20XX
- Assisted in providing personalized care to patients with a patient satisfaction rate of 98%.
- Implemented lean medical principles for reducing costs for supplies by 20%.
- Introduced software X for patient data management and improving process efficiency by 60%.
- Contributed to a 5% boost in Hospital CAHPS score for 20XX through collaborative working with physicians, nurses, and other PAs.
Lily Collins Memorial Hospital
Junior Physician Assistant, 20XX-20XX
- Completed documentation for medical records with 100% accuracy for 90 patients over X months.
- Improved the patient interview process to reduce patient waiting time by 40%.
- Performed physical examinations for initial screening and diagnosed basic issues with 95% accuracy.
- Assisted senior physicians with patient treatment planning for 25 patients every month.
Master of Physician Assistant Studies
St. Paul University, 20XX-20XX
Bachelor of Science (Biology)
University of Greensville, 20XX-20XX
- Basic Life Support
- Employee of the Month, City General Hospital, Month 20XX
Graduate physician assistant with NCCPA certification, skilled in diagnosis and treatment of diverse diseases. Seeking a position to deliver patient-centered care in an outpatient environment to gain exposure for polishing my capabilities while supporting the institution's mission and goals.
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical history assessment
- Prescription planning
- Clinical nutrition
- Electronic health record
Starlight Clinic, Square City
PA Intern, Month 20XX- Month 20XX
- Active participation in caregiving for 45-50 patients, including assisting in the diagnosis of diseases through clinical tests.
- Interviewed 3-4 patients daily while recording medical history with 100% accuracy.
- Trained and mentored 2 new interns for X months after spending X months developing a training plan.
- Assisted in X-Ray procedure for 100% surgical accuracy.
University of Medical Sciences, Square City
Research Assistant- Biology Lab, Month 20XX-Month 20XX
- Responsible for identification of cell changes and determination of cell counts on hemocytometers with 99% accuracy.
- Implemented a new process for the isolation of RNA, DNA, and protein using ECL staining that improved analysis time by 40%.
- Provided mentorship and feedback to 150 students from junior year.
Non-clinical Work Experience
Bath and Spa Needs, Tucker Road, Square City
Store Assistant, Month 20XX- Month 20XX
- Exceeded sales targets for quarter X of 20XX by 65%.
- Collaborated with retail experts on product presentations to improve in-store customer engagement by 20%.
- Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Square City University, 20XX-20XX, 3.9 GPA
- Bachelor of Science in Microbiology
Square City Community College, 20XX-20XX, 3.8 GPA
An analysis of the impact of Ischemia on cardiac cells through TNT-mediated communication
Journal of Cell Biology, Month 20XX
- Intern of the Month, Starlight Clinic, Month 20XX
- Sales Superstar- Summer 20XX, Bath and Spa Needs, Month 20XX
99, Fairclough Avenue, River City
Competent NCCPA-certified physician assistant with 5+ years of experience in intensive care and surgery. Successful treatment of 1200+ patients till date. Seeking a position as a physician assistant to utilize diagnostics and treatment skills for patients with respiratory and cardiac conditions.
River City Specialty Hospital
Physician Assistant, Month 20XX- Present
- Executed diagnostic tests and X-ray for analyzing current health conditions of patients with lung issues and detected underlying issues with 95% accuracy.
- Handled 150+ cases every year as an active member of the Rapid Response Team.
- Managed and undertook the responsibility for 4 different tasks simultaneously in the Intensive Care Unit.
- Analyzed ABG results with 100% accuracy for patients on ventilators and BiPAP.
- Optimized the insertion and removal procedures of feeding tubes, arterial punctures, and peripheral IVs, to reduce the time spent on individual patients for every nurse by 20%.
- Devised treatment plans for post-surgery patients that shortened recovery time by 30%.
- Provided care for 100 patients every month, with a positive feedback rate of 98%.
- Managed a team of 5 junior physician assistants for X months.
Long River Hospital
Physician Assistant, Month 20XX-Month 20XX
- Assisted pulmonologists and cardiologists in initial testing with 97% accuracy.
- Improved the management of rotational shifts and reduced over-time requirements by 20%.
- Evaluated laboratory imaging results with 99% accuracy.
- Collaborated with senior physicians and nurses to optimize team workflow by 60%.
- Master of Physician Assistant Studies
River City University, 20XX-20XX
- Bachelor of Science in Biology
River City University, 20XX-20XX
- ABG interruption
- Insertion of venous devices
- Ultrasound guidance
1. What should you put on a physician assistant resume?
You should include your contact information, previous work experience, education details, skills, awards, certifications and publications in your physician assistant resume.
2. What should be the length of physician assistant resume?
Your physician assistant resume should be one page long. Do not stretch it to two or three pages as the recruiter might lose interest in your application altogether.
3. What skills are required on a physician assistant resume?
Some skills to list on a physician assistant resume are examination and diagnosis of patients, patient interviews, writing prescriptions, treatment planning, and long-term care.
4. What is the best format for a physician assistant resume?
Just like a , a reverse chronological format is the best for a physician assistant resume. A reverse chronological format presents your experience in an arranged order from the latest to the oldest relevant experience.
5. Should I become a PA or an MD?
Both professions have their own perks and challenges. However, when it comes to , physician assistants experience high levels of job satisfaction and work-life balance for a lesser tuition fee and more opportunities to switch specializations rather than doctors. You can even opt for a transition from if you wish later on.
6. What formatting guidelines should you follow for a physician assistant resume?
You should use a clear font style for your resume. Use a font size between 10 and 12 points to improve readability. Use enough white spaces to make your resume appear clean.
7. Do you need a resume for PA school?
While a resume is not essential under the CASPA requirements, individual programs might likely list out the requirements for a PA program. You might be required to submit a physician assistant school resume along with other application components such as a and .