With the events of the pandemic, the majority of physician associate interviews are now held remotely.
Usually, some PA schools adopt an MMI style of interviews similar to what medical school students have to take.
MMIs are quite difficult to coordinate through a video call especially if there are tens or hundreds of students to interview.
this is why the majority of physician associate interviews are now simply panel interviews.
The PA interview
There are a few things you should know about PA interviews.
1) PA schools typically only invite the very best candidates, roughly 40-80 students to interviews. This is because the available spots are very limited.
2) PA schools only have about 20-30 spots available. This is due to limited funding, and to prevent an overabundance of PAs.
3) The criteria for interviews include having a 2:1 in a life science degree such as biomedical science or biochemistry.
4) PAs also must have some healthcare experience. This can include working as a HCA or support worker or even having some shadowing experience in a clinic. This may not be as important since it is difficult to find in-person work experience with COVID fears in hospitals. Focus has been placed on online free courses, many of which can be found at the NIHR website.
5) The PA personal statement is similar to that of medicine where you must outline your motivations and research around the PA course.
Top 3 questions
What are some benefits that PAs bring to the healthcare system?
This question is usually asked after the interviewing panel asks you to introduce yourself.
The main aim of this question is to gauge your understanding of the role and to rate how well your background research is.
This is a very important question to practice so make sure you have a good answer prepared!
Why do you want to become a physician associate?
Medicine as a degree has a very high barrier to entry and many students fail to secure places at medical school.
The physician associate course is often the next best thing for students since they are able to practice medicine and do most of the tasks doctors undertake.
Unfortunately, this gives the impression that the physician associate degree was only your second choice since you didn’t get a medical degree, which may be disappointing to the interviewer, and ultimately prevents you from securing a place.
How to answer this question correctly?
Be genuine, but don’t be silly! Don’t say you failed to get into medical school so you’re giving this a try.
Answer it the same way you would if you were asked why you want to be a doctor.
Be honest about your motivations, and if this honestly is about the duration of the course is much shorter than medical school, say that!
Interviewers understand that not everyone has the luxury of spending another 5 years in medical school.
Also, prepare answers about why you didn’t choose to study any allied healthcare profession or nursing.
How do you stand out as one of the candidates applying to this course?
This question is all about understanding what makes you unique!
We don’t all like blowing our own horns, however, in this situation you must make an exception!
Believe it or not, you provide something special, and the interviewers recognize that this is valuable to the diversity of any future team.
Your uniqueness can come from your background, the languages you speak, being able to provide a religious perspective, your hobbies, and anything else you bring to the table.
Being honest is also important for this question, however, there is a way to be honest about your skills while sounding extra impressive!
Youtube Video About PA Interview
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