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Ortho PA Interview Questions/Info


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I have an interview with an orthopedic group coming up and have no idea what to expect in the interview.  This is a second round interview at the clinic and unsure of the format, but I will be there all day meeting the providers on site and touring the facility.  The first interview was with the CEO who asked general screening questions, however, I feel this interview will be more "technical" based and I want to prepare as much as possible.  I have Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics but have no idea to what information and the level I should be familiar with prior to the interview.  Please share your experience, insights, and advice to help a fellow PA...Thanks!

P.S. I read a previous post about the same subject, but there were only 2 responses posted in 2014.

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Do you have previous ortho experience? If not, it likely won't be technically based and just making sure you are the right fit and will get along with the group. If you have previous ortho experience, they will likely ask you to talk about that and the specifics of your last job like what types of surgeries have you assisted, trauma experience, familiarity with injections, etc.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/3/2017 at 9:29 PM, Colorado Joe said:

I have an interview with an orthopedic group coming up and have no idea what to expect in the interview.  This is a second round interview at the clinic and unsure of the format, but I will be there all day meeting the providers on site and touring the facility.  The first interview was with the CEO who asked general screening questions, however, I feel this interview will be more "technical" based and I want to prepare as much as possible.  I have Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics but have no idea to what information and the level I should be familiar with prior to the interview.  Please share your experience, insights, and advice to help a fellow PA...Thanks!

P.S. I read a previous post about the same subject, but there were only 2 responses posted in 2014.

well.... how did it go?  What happened?  Every interview I've been in and done has been a little different.  I've never done an interview that focused on skills.  I've always focused on the person.  Getting to know people, see how they work, and see if they fit with the group.  I can teach skills, reading films, diagnosis.  I can't teach you how to be nice to people (both staff and patients), and I can't teach you to have empathy and efficiency (a very difficult balance).  

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Thanks @OrthoTraumaPAC, I think the interview went well and enjoyed it very much.  The format was very informal and I met with several folks in the practice over two days.  That said, I only spent a short time with the many surgeons and PAs and received mostly questions about "Why Ortho Surg?" and "Why here?", which I wish I had more time to expand upon.  To my surprise, I wasn't asked any skills or technical questions as was foretold before I interviewed.  The group, as a whole, was very impressive and I enjoyed all the personalities of those I met.  Prior to the interview, I had not yet taken my PANCE  and hiring new grads is a new strategy they are exploring so naturally, I do not feel deserved of the position but ready to work my ass off to meet expectations.  I should hear back from them this week and will follow-up on this post.  If I don't get it, I'll be looking into other ortho groups for openings.

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I've interviewed plenty of PAs for Ortho and I can say from all my experiences, a hard work ethic is just as valuable as intelligence.  I love to teach, and I love to watch folks learn.  They were asking you why ortho and why here to see if you'd fit in.  As long as you didn't say, "I applied to 10 jobs and this one gave me an interview" (I've actually had someone say that to me.  They did not get the job...) you should be just fine. Keep us posted.  

What kind of Ortho?  general? sports? hand? joints? pedi? tumor? trauma (the best kind)?  What part of the country?

I will add, check out the PAOS.  I've been to their conferences and they are excellent.  Well organized, great speakers, topics we care about.  Check them out.

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I have heard similar poor interview stories; I guess I appreciate their unintentional honesty because if their intention for applying for the job was interim, the inevitable truth would be revealed after time and money were spent on training.  I wish everyone could be intentionally honest... 

I live in CO, but looking into Sport's Med/trauma call in Oregon.  This lead was my number 1 choice and all has been going well (thus far) so I haven't aggressively sought other positions previously researched.  All things happen for a reason, so if I am not the best fit, I appreciated the interview experience.  

What specialty are you in and how long since you graduated?  How long have you spent in various positions?

I will check out PAOS for sure and repost once I hear back.  

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I received notification today I was not selected for the position.  The competition was solid and likely all had more experience than me.  My school focused on primary care and I wasn't able to rotate in ortho.  What's meant to be is meant to be, but I am definitely a little distraught not being selected after meeting the team seeing the facility.  I'll start fresh next week and keep on hunting...Thanks all for following and responding.

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12 hours ago, Colorado Joe said:

I received notification today I was not selected for the position.  The competition was solid and likely all had more experience than me.  My school focused on primary care and I wasn't able to rotate in ortho.  What's meant to be is meant to be, but I am definitely a little distraught not being selected after meeting the team seeing the facility.  I'll start fresh next week and keep on hunting...Thanks all for following and responding.

Well.....it rains a lot in Oregon anyways....  

Just trying to cheer you up.  That's tough, for sure.  Don't give up and try to find ways to make yourself more marketable.  And if you are truly serious about working in Ortho, I highly recommend the PAOS.  It is a great place to network.  If you're willing to move cities/ states, you shouldn't have that much trouble finding a spot.

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