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New to the forum? Looking for information on the PA profession? Start here!!

Hello, new members, and welcome to PhysicianAssistantForum.com! We’ve compiled some advice to get you started off on the right foot and to make your time here more productive.






First, be familiar with forum rules. While all of the posting rules are important, there are a few that are broken more often than others:

Before you post, search
. Many new members join and post a question that has been asked multiple times. By doing a search first, you have access to answers and advice from multiple members, many of whom may not be available right now to answer you. This is likely to be more help than you will get in response to one post. Also, you get the help you need much, much more quickly.

Post in the correct place
. Before you make your first post, look over the wide variety of subforums available for you to choose from. Forums are divided by topic, not by audience. If your question relates to getting in to PA school, post it in the Pre-PA General Discussion.. Don’t worry about who will see it, as many of our professional PAs and PA students frequently respond to Pre-PA posts. Also note that there are separate forums for each PA program, CASPA and Financial Aid.

Every question or new thought should have its own thread
. Don’t be shy about starting a new thread. If you can’t find a thread that addresses your question, please don’t ask your question at the end of a thread that addresses a different topic.

Do not flood the forum
. Choose the one forum that is most appropriate for your topic, and make one post. Please don’t repeat your post in multiple threads or multiple forums.

A tip on using the search engine: All terms must be at least four characters long in order to search. This means you can’t search for two-letter words like “PA” or “NP”. However, if you have a three-letter term, like “GPA” or “MPH”, you can add an asterisk to the end and it will work – a search for “GPA*” will bring back all posts that contain “GPA”.



Use the proper terminology. The physician assistant profession is a young one, still struggling for the recognition & respect that is due. Until the PA concept is strongly rooted in the minds of the American public, it's in our best interest to be consistent with our title. We are not "Physician's Assistants" (most common misnomer) or "Physician Assistance".... we are Physician Assistants.

  • Want to know how much PAs make? Here are the 2006 statistics, as compiled by the professional journal, Advance for PAs:





Want to know if you are a competitive applicant, or how to boost your chances of getting in to PA school? The only reliable answer will come from the programs you are interested in. Some programs place a strong emphasis on a certain type or amount of direct patient care; others care more about GPA and GRE scores. One program may value community service, while the next doesn’t care as much. Point is, there is no one correct answer to these common questions. Don’t be shy; programs have admissions counselors who are waiting to talk to you.



Check out the PA Applicant Stat Page . It’s listed as a sticky at the top of the Pre-PA General Discussion. This thread has several pages of information about people who have gotten in to PA school. Very informative! Also, check other subforums for stickies; these are some of the most useful threads on the forum.



Looking for the list that ranks PA programs? The US News & World Report 2204 rankings can be found on page two of this thread, Highly reputable PA Programs. But do yourself a favor - run a forum search using "rankings" or "news world report." Read what dozens of people have to say about how this list was compiled, and the many other criteria people suggest in evaluating programs.



Keep in mind that PA admissions can be very competitive. PA school isn’t a back-up plan for people who can’t get in to medical school. Some programs have more than twenty applicants for each seat. Also, many admissions committees are looking to weed out people who don’t understand the PA concept or who aren’t committed to this profession.



Please don’t be offended or reactive if you don’t get the response you are looking for. Our members are helpful people. You are more likely to get honest answers to your questions than insincere attempts at niceness. Also, remember that you are just reading words on a screen, without hearing tone of voice or seeing body language. Don’t misinterpret well-intentioned advice and answers as an attack. If you do feel that someone is mistreating you, don’t respond in kind – report that person to the moderator .

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