The Health University of Utah PA Interview Questions
Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists
General Interview Information
The program at Utah requires all applicants to complete the CASPer online test along with the Snapshot from CASPer (an online recorded interview tool) before it selects its interviewees. The school looks specifically for candidates who possess three or more of the following:
- Utah resident
- Southern Utah regional resident, current or within the past five years
- Military experience
- Evidence of exposure to primary care
- Evidence of exposure to medically underserved populations
- Diverse background
- Strong science GPA (> 3.5)
- Strong healthcare experience (> 10,000 hours)
- Potential for mission fit
You should have completed a bachelor’s degree in the US or Canada. Foreign degrees can be accepted, assuming that they are evaluated and are deemed to have US equivalency.
Required courses at undergraduate are as follows:
- Human anatomy, with four semester credits
- Human physiology, with four semester credits. Other physiology courses are not accepted, i.e. only human.
- OR anatomy and physiology I and II for eight semester credits.
- Biology, with four semester credits. Microbiology is recommended.
- Chemistry, with eight semester credits, lab credit can be included.
Only applicants who have a GPA above 3.0 are considered competitive. You should look to offer at least 1500 hours of healthcare experience.
From 479 applicants, 36 were accepted in the most recent cycle.
Interview Format for Physician Assistant Studies at The Health University of Utah
Interviews consist of an ‘interview session.’ This is a two day interview period which will include a group session as well as a test of medical terminology, an anatomy test, and a physiology test. Offers are extended based on those who receive the highest interview scores. If you receive an interview offer you must apply to, and be accepted by, the University of Utah Graduate School .
The last day on which you may submit your CASPA application is August 1st. Interview status notifications will be sent in Mid-October. Interview dates are typically in the middle weeks of November, with acceptance statuses provided in late November.
Sample & Recent Interview Questions
You should be prepared for a real variety of questions at Utah, given the scope of their interview process. For the interviews proper, ensure that you are confident in your motivation for the degree, have a great understanding of the career, and strong answers to most general interview questions. We’ve included some of the most likely and typical questions below.
Motivation and Insight into Physician Assistant Studies and Career
- When and why did you first become interested in being a physician assistant?
- Why are you interested in studying at this school in particular?
- How does a physician associate’s role differ from a nurse practitioner’s?
- How can we improve access to healthcare for the most disadvantaged in American society?
- What changes would you make to the healthcare system if you were given a magic wand?
- Can you describe the most important element of a relationship between a PA and their physician supervisor?
- What type of study do you expect to be doing here? I.e. do you expect lectures, tutorials, or independent study to take up most of your time?
- What is a dependent practitioner?
- How do you think that the roles and responsibilities of physician assistants could change in the future?
- What do you expect not to like about being a PA?
- Have you got a specific area or domain of healthcare that you are interested in? Why is it so appealing to you?
- What do you think is the most important challenge facing US healthcare at the moment?
- How do PAs fit into our current healthcare model?
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General & Personal Statements
- How will you adapt to the pressure of studying to become a PA?
- How do you avoid burnout? Do you think that the methods you use will help you when you are a PA?
- What is your learning style? Do you think that our program fits your learning style?
- Define the word ‘adversity.’ What does it mean to you and have you ever had to overcome adversity?
- What do you think you will bring to Utah’s PA program that no one else will?
- Would you describe yourself as being resilient? What personal experiences could you draw upon when considering this?
- If you could invite any one person to dinner from history, who would it be and why?
- Who are your role models in your personal life and professional life respectively?
- What are your ambitions outside of healthcare?
- How would you like to be remembered professionally? How would you like to be remembered in general? Subsequently, would you like to be defined by your work or by something else?