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Physician Assistant School Interview Questions US

Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists

Motivation and Insight into the career of a Physician Assistant

  • What does a Physician Assistant do? How does their role and scope of practice differ to that of a doctor?
  • When did you first become interested in being a physician assistant?
  • Why are you interested in studying at this school?
  • What do you think you will bring to our school’s PA program?
  • Do you think that our program fits your learning style?
  • How does a physician associate’s role differ from a nurse practitioner’s?
  • How long have PAs been practising in America?
  • How can we improve access to healthcare for the most disadvantaged in our society?
  • Do you think that PAs should be awarded a doctoral degree, like MDs and DOs?
  • What changes would you make to the healthcare system if given an unlimited budget?
  • Can you tell me what managed care is, and describe how it has affected physicians and PAs?
  • Are you prepared for the independent studying component of our program?
  • What in particular attracts you to our PA course, rather than any of the others across the US?
  • What is a dependent practitioner?
  • How will the roles and responsibilities of physician assistants change in the future?
  • What will you like least about practicing as a physician assistant?
  • Is it possible for a PA to work alone (independent of a physician)?
  • Can you explain this part of your application to us in detail?
  • Have you got a specific area of healthcare that you are interested in?
  • What do you think is the most important challenge facing US healthcare at the moment?
  • What is the single most important element of a relationship between a PA and their physician supervisor?
  • How do PAs fit into our current healthcare model?
  • Are you more interested in becoming a surgical PA or a medical PA?
  • What are the most important current challenges to global health in general?
  • Tell us about COVID-19 and how it has affected the US healthcare system.
  • What do you think healthcare will look like in 50 years?
  • How are physician assistants regulated in the US?
  • Describe your shadowing experience to us. What stood out in particular?
  • Do you think that your shadowing has given you a fair insight into the life of a PA?
  • What were you impressed by during your shadowing?
  • What challenging situations have you seen during your shadowing?
  • Tell us about a charity or volunteering role that you have taken on.

Ethical Dilemmas

  • Should insurance providers offer treatment for self-inflicted problems?
  • Where do you stand on the topic of euthanasia?
  • Imagine another student encouraged you to cheat. What would you do?
  • What would you do if one of the doctors in your team shirked their responsibilities repeatedly, leaving those same responsibilities to you instead?
  • Imagine that you find a junior doctor looking through confidential patient’s notes that have nothing to do with their role. You realise that the notes are those of someone that they knew from medical school. How do you react in this situation?

Communication Stations

  • How is empathy important to physician assistants?
  • Explain the difference between empathy and sympathy.
  • How would you tell a patient that they had poor results in a recent test or examination, which means that they have a limited time left to live?
  • Imagine that you are tasked with calming an aggressive patient. How would you approach this situation? Have you faced situations like this before?

Teamwork Tasks

  • Tell us about an experience that stands out to you from your time in high school sports teams.
  • Do you work well in a team in general? Can you give us an example of a team that you have worked or learned in?
  • What kind of teams do physician assistants work in?
  • Are you a strong leader? How can you demonstrate your leadership ability to us?
Optimise Your Interview Performance

Learn the best interview strategies and practice with interview questions & model answers.

General / Personal Statements

  • Tell me about a time you overcame adversity.
  • How will you adapt to the pressure of studying to become a PA?
  • How do you relax in general?
  • What experience of diversity do you have and how can you bring this experience to our school?
  • What do you think of the city in which our campus is based?
  • What would your friends say are three of your greatest strengths?
  • What would your friends describe as your greatest weakness?
  • Are you an organised person?
  • Would you describe yourself as an ambitious person? What are your ambitions outside of healthcare?
  • How would you like to be remembered, outside your work as a PA?

Physician Assistant School Interview Questions US

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