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Interview Questions PA School

Interview Questions PA School

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Published by: PAS2011 on Nov 18, 2009
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Why do you want to be a PA? As I described in my personal statement, I am currently a medical technologist at a major teaching hospital.

Although I am able to be a part of the healthcare team in an indirect way, I do not have the continued patient contact that I desire. This past year, I transferred from the chemistry lab to the cancer center laboratory, which has allowed me patient contact through phlebotomy. The outpatient setting also allows the cancer center to be a close knit community of healthcare professionals. This allows me to collaborate directly with the physician assistants, nurses, and physicians that are caring for the patient. After shadowing a physician assistant in the hospital and learning what it is to be a physician assistant, I know I want to have greater connections with patients and a greater impact on their healthcare treatment than I currently have in the laboratory. The experience I have of working with other healthcare professionals has increased my ability to become a valuable member of the healthcare team and I am eager and willing to learn all the responsibilities associated with becoming a physician assistant. Why don't you want to be an NP? Although I greatly respect the career of a Nurse Practitioner and what they have to offer to the healthcare team, I am more interested in the medical/physician model than the medical/nursing model of healthcare. The medical/physician model deals with the pathophysiological basis of disease and the treatment of such, while the nursing model is more biopsychosocially centered with emphasis on disease adaptation. Why don't you want to be a doctor? Although I greatly respect the career of a physician, I desire greater patient contact and personal impact on patients' healthcare than is available to a physician. I would rather share the responsibility of patient care with a physician. Because managed care is more interested in volume rather than quality, physicians are no longer able to be intimately involved in the healthcare of a patient. HMOs and Insurance Companies are paying the reimbursement fees and therefore are dictating the role of the physician. How has your academic work prepared you for the PA profession? I have a BS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, of which my last 3 semesters, averaged a 3.3 GPA. I have matured as both a person and a student, and while working as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist, have continued to take courses at the University. I volunteered as a teaching assistant in Human Anatomy, which allowed me to become more focused as a teacher and a student. I am very motivated and eager to begin the work and study necessary to succeed both in the classroom and in my profession. Where do you see yourself in 5 years if you get into PA school? After attending PA school, 5 years from now I plan to be in my 2nd or 3rd year at a primary care setting where I and my colleagues are most needed. I desire to work to teach those less fortunate about the necessity for preventative healthcare. I will be more knowledgeable and comfortable as a physician assistant and will be active in the community

Where do you see yourself in 5 years if you don’t get into PA school?After continuing my attempt at enrolling in PA school, I will be somewhere in the health profession. I do not foresee myself giving up on that goal. What would you do if your friend asked you to write a prescription for them? Although I do not know what it is like to be a physician assistant in that situation, but I would explain to my friend that although I may be able to write a prescription, I am not their personal healthcare provider and therefore do not know what is best for them. I would suggest they make an appointment with their healthcare provider, or if it is an emergency, go to the nearest ER. What does a PA do? Based on my experience of shadowing a physician assistant in the burn clinic and observing other PAs in action at the hospital, the PAs are usually the first to see a patient when they arrive, whether it is in an emergency situation or for a follow up appointment. They read over the information regarding the patient’s injuries and/or condition and introduce themselves to both the patient and, if present, their family. They perform a history and physical assessment of the patient or obtain the information from the EMT if it is an emergency situation. They suture, apply casts, apply dressings (burns),order laboratory tests, and perform other procedures, depending on the condition of the patient. They discuss their patients with nurses, other PAs, and physicians and develop a care plan for the patient. They can also write prescriptions with certain restrictions depending on the state. Have I ever seen a PA at work? What did he/she do? Yes, I started shadowing a PA roughly 3 years ago. He works in an outpatient burn and trauma unit in a large teaching hospital. Every morning in the outpatient clinic, he addressed adult and pediatric burn victims from direct admission through the emergency department, complex wound management, and trauma patients for follow up appointments. How do I plan on living while I attend school? I have been living on my own and supporting myself since I was 20. Since graduation and the beginning of my career as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist, I have placed portions of my paycheck into an online savings account devoted to graduate school. Along with financial aid and the help of my family, I believe I will be able to live comfortably while attending school. What life experiences have I had that makes me a better candidate than the others? I graduated with my bachelors in science in 2005, so the time between then and now has allowed me to work in the field of healthcare and use the knowledge I obtained in my studies. I came to learn that not everyone takes what they learned in college and develops it into a career. In that sense, I feel lucky. I immediately began working in a large teaching hospital following graduation and immediately became a part of the healthcare team. I was introduced to many nurses and physician assistants, as well as physicians, and while performing my own job, got to learn the responsibilities of these

other parts of the healthcare team. From shadowing a physician assistant and learning what it was to be a greater influence on patient care, I knew that I needed to go further in my career. I feel my knowledge of the laboratory, and of the healthcare system, will greatly enhance my ability to become a great physician assistant. I am also a member of AAPA, so that I am able to keep up with the current issues affecting physician assistants today. What are your biggest weaknesses as an applicant? I tend to believe that everyone in the healthcare system cares about their job as much as I do. I realized that not everyone is as passionate or as responsible as I would hope and rather than simply rely on people, I work with them to achieve the goal or goals at hand. Why should we take you with the grades you have? Although my transcript reveals some grades that are lower than what I was striving for, the allowed me to see the bigger picture and in effect, have matured me as a student and a person. I don’t believe my transcript truly reflects what my academic potential is and has been. Since graduation, I have worked as a clinical laboratory technologist while simultaneously taking classes at the university. This has allowed me to create a balance between education and work and taught me more about time management. I now have greater sense of balance in my life, in both my education and career, and know what is most important. I am confident that I am prepared for the rigor of your program and am excited and eager to begin the path to be a greater part of the healthcare team. What is the most important issue facing the health care system in the US? The most important issue facing US healthcare is definitely, in my opinion, managed care.

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