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Here are (just) four things every PA school applicant should know:

 

1. Know the history of the PA profession

2. Know the difference between a PA and a nurse practitioner

3. Know how to make yourself "stand out" as a PA school applicant

4. Know that a physician assistant is NOT a "physician's assistant"

 

Number four is a personal "pet peeve" of mine. When I was on the admissions committee at Yale, I would cringe when I saw "physician's assistant" on an essay or application. Even in practice today I find myself correcting other health care professionals on this matter.

 

You wouldn't call a nurse practitioner a "nurse's practitioner" would you?

 

For more helpful tips on the PA school admissions process, visit www.AndrewRodican.com

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i would like to more about #4. can you expand more about how "physician assistant" is preferred over "physician's assistant"? I, personally, agree with you, but I don't really know how to explain it to other people that "physician assistant" is the proper nomenclature. The "nurse's practitioner" example you gave, i feel, doesn't fully explain it for me. A 'physician assistant' is the assistant of a physician, whereas a nurse practitioner is a practitioner of the field of nursing, right? The only reasoning i can come up with is that "physician's assistant" has a slightly negative connotation in that they "belong" to a physician.

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Monniw, it's really simple, PA stands for physician assistant, not physician's assistant! Using physician's assistant in incorrect. I recently corrected a nurse on the proper terminology and she was grateful for the correction. It's not an ego thing, it's simply a matter of using the correct name.

 

I would also argue that PAs are not "assistants" to MDs; we are health care professionals who work in collaboration with MDs, similar to NPs. This is why there has been a movement to change our name to physician associates, and I concur. I graduated from the Yale physician associate program.

 

Hope that clears things up.

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Can anyone answer the three questions for me? I have my own opinions about the answers but getting some feedback from those more knoweldgeable than me would be good...

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Can anyone answer the three questions for me? I have my own opinions about the answers but getting some feedback from those more knoweldgeable than me would be good...

 

pssssttt...I'll let you in on a little secret. There is this AMAZING thing called the internet. It's like a library, but you can hold it in your lap. I know, crazy, right? What's even more intense is this wicked cool thing called the "search engine". It's a Dewey Decimal system on a serious case of steroids and Skittles...so fast. I typed in the words "history of ph...." and BAM! It spit http://www.pahx.org/ at me. Way intense...use with caution. This thing is loaded.

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Along these lines, I'm about to submit my application to CASPA and have tried searching for whether 'physician assistant' should be capitalized in my personal statement? Searching the forum came up with too many results for any to even be displayed and I can't find an answer elsewhere. Any help would be great!

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Along these lines, I'm about to submit my application to CASPA and have tried searching for whether 'physician assistant' should be capitalized in my personal statement? Searching the forum came up with too many results for any to even be displayed and I can't find an answer elsewhere. Any help would be great!

 

It's not necessary to capitalize "physician assistant" in most cases -- for example, you wouldn't capitalize "nurse" in the sentence "I want to be a nurse."

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It's not necessary to capitalize "physician assistant" in most cases -- for example, you wouldn't capitalize "nurse" in the sentence "I want to be a nurse."

 

That's what I was thinking, but was second guessing myself when a nurse I work with argued that you would capitalize Registered Nurse in a sentence. She was comparing that to capitalizing Physician Assistant since RN and PA are titles. It seems a bit excessive though- thanks for the help!

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Yes, apparently I made this error (Physician's Assistant) in some essay I wrote in my application. While I still received an interview, they gave me a hard time about it while I was in the interview. I had no idea that this was a faux-pas and I was very disturbed by how offended the interviewer was with my probable type-O. Anyway, while I don't know yet if it cost me a spot at the school, my guess is that it probably did. Be aware that this is a big deal to interviewers and working PAs.

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Don't argue with an interviewer who is trying to help you. No matter how badly you don't want to hear what they have to say. Never show up for an interview in jeans or casual dress. If one is a reapplicant please do not come back the following year with the same low science GPA (it should be better), weak clinical experience (for programs that value clinical experience) or no community service if the program is know for being active in the community. You are wasting everyone's time. Especially yours.

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Sounds like you guys might have had some interesting interviews! There should almost be a section titled "common sense" for people that don't consider something like that!

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Sounds like you guys might have had some interesting interviews! There should almost be a section titled "common sense" for people that don't consider something like that!

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LESH, just out of curiosity why did you invite them back for an interview?

 

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

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LESH, just out of curiosity why did you invite them back for an interview?

 

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

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It is important to know as much about the PA program you are applying to prior to going for your interview.

Know what is in their "Mission Statement" and a brief history of that particular program. By knowing this information the interviewers will gain a feeling of how motivated you are to attend their programs.

 

 

I have a website dedicated to helping PAs understand orthopedics and a section to help Pre-PA students become stronger applicants.

For more great tips. Check out:

www.theorthopedicpa.com

post-11397-13793485119_thumb.jpg

 

Best of luck,

The Ortho PA

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What is the difference between a PA and NP. I am going to shadow a PA soon and maybe then I will figure it out but from what I have seen online, they are pretty similar unless I am not looking at the right sites.

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@ MC99, they are pretty similar and have a lot of overlap, but there are some key differences. My aunt is an NP, so most of my knowledge of that field comes from her and a couple NPs I've met in passing. NPs and nurses are trained in one model. People usually call it more of a holistic model. PAs and MDs are trained in a different, more "classical" medical model. Also, depending on your state, the amount of clinical hours required for an RN to become an NP are less than the amount of clinical hours PA students get. NPs have to pick a specialty, whereas PAs don't. I think a lot of differences, beyond those, really depend on your state, so you have to be careful where you get your info online. What's true in Texas may not hold at all in another state. That's what I have been able to gather.

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NPs dont necessarily have to pick a specialty beyond some certain generalities. you basically see divisions among psyche NPs, peds NPs, adult NPs, and family practice NPs (who can see all age groups). the ER NPs ive known have been FNPs (family nurse practitioners)... and actually, FNPs seem to have the most latitude in moving among specialties, if you do happen to come across them in areas that are outside primary care. there is some consolidation taking place in the certification of NPs that is leading to the phasing out of areas within the NP world that were for more specific populations... like geriatric NPs. in hospital settings you can see NPs that arent FNPs working the floors and managing patients. its true that a lot of things come down to what state you plan on operating in.

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DJ, It has been great to get an inside perspective of the life of a PA student and even better to get a sneak peek into my top choice school. I am so glad you shared with this forum...keep blogging!

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