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work experience to prepare for PA school

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Hi everyone,

I am interested in attending a PA school in California and I notice that many programs require that the applicants have 1000 to 2000 hours of patient care work,.  I do not have any hand-on or paid work experience at a job with patient care work.  

I am thinking of getting a certificate in medical assistant (MA) and work as a back-off MA to get my patient care experience and hours in.   I read online that many PA applicants have an EMT background so I am also looking at maybe getting an EMT certificate too.  But since I need to save time and focus on doing well in the prerequisite classes, I will have to choose either to do EMT or the MA certificate, not both.  

My questions are:

1. From your personal experience, what patient care experience best prepare us for PA school? 

2. If you were to decide if the Physician Assistant or EMT is better for PA application, which would you choose?

Thank you!





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Agree with above. The higher your level of prior HCE, the better clinician you will be in the long run and the easier PA school will be for you. In my class of 80, the top students were a a medic, an RN, and another medic. The next 10 or so were all medics, RNs, or RTs. 

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