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The University of Leeds PA Interview Questions

Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists

General Interview Information

The University of Leeds’ Physician Associate Studies program has ‘a considerable amount of pure and applied science’ which limits the number of undergraduate courses that are appropriate with which to apply. You must have at least a 2.2 in a health-related science qualification, such as biomedical sciences, biochemistry, medical genetics, anatomy and human biology, or radiography. The university will consider alternatives on a case-by-case basis, and may enquire as to the exact modules taken and the scientific content of each. Nursing degrees are typically not accepted due to the lack of pure science taught in these courses. Applicants working within healthcare who have not studied within the last five years and are able to demonstrate the ability to study at Masters level (typically through continuing professional development) are also encouraged to apply.

Interview Format for Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Leeds

The university invites between 80 and 90 candidates to interview for only 25 places. They use an MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) format. Their MMI consists of six stations, each of seven minutes, with one minute of reading time between each station. Stations are marked according to a predetermined and standardised score. Students are awarded an overall mark for their performance across all stations, with the lowest ranked being rejected from the admissions process. Admission is granted to those who perform well in the MMI and show the right level of academic ability to succeed.

Key Dates

There is one cohort per year, who enter the university in September. Applications must be received by the 28th of March. Interview invitations will be sent via email to those selected.

Sample & Recent Interview Questions

Whilst Leeds does not provide specifics of the questions asked in its MMI, we are able to elicit the kind of person that they are looking for from their admissions guidance on personal statements, which explains that they seek information on the following: ‘Why have you chosen this particular profession and what led you to this? • How have you researched it? • What is your knowledge and understanding of the role of Physician Associates? • What are the current issues affecting Physician Associates or healthcare? • How have your current studies prepared you for studying the programme? • What transferable skills do you have – for example, work experience, positions of responsibility through paid employment, volunteering or university activities? • What caring experience do you have? • Why have you chosen this particular profession and what led you to this?’

It should therefore be apparent that they seek real insight into the career. However, as this is an MMI you should also be ready for role-plays and scenarios focusing on communication and ethics.

​Motivation and Insight into the career of a Physician Associate

  • Describe what interests you about being a Physician Associate.
  • Why are you interested in becoming a PA rather than an NP?
  • Why have you decided to study to become a PA rather than having pursued a career in Medicine?
  • What do you know about the GMC?
  • Describe the limitations of a PA.
  • Which area of healthcare do you think that you will specialise in in future?
  • What body is responsible for regulating physician associates?
  • What do you think are the most difficult parts of working as a PA?
  • What do you think will be some of the most rewarding parts of being a PA?
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Healthcare Issues

  • Tell me about one healthcare issue that you believe is especially important to the UK’s future.
  • What are three of the most pressing challenges currently facing the NHS?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges to global healthcare at the moment?
  • Please describe one trend that you see changing the way people access healthcare in the future.
  • How has COVID-19 shaped global healthcare?
  • How can countries prepare for pandemics
  • What do you think healthcare will look like in 50 years?

Transferable Skills

  • Where have you been employed and what skills did you learn whilst being employed there?
  • Please describe one difficult situation that you have encountered in your workplace (no matter where the workplace was) and one learning that you took from this difficult situation.
  • Tell me about a charity role that you took on. What was the role and what did you learn from it?
  • Why do you think that an experience of caring roles is crucial to working as a PA?
  • Which one caring role that you have worked in has had the greatest impact on you as a person and as a professional?

Ethics

  • Should medical workers be allowed to let their religious and personal feelings alter the care that they provide in any way?
  • Should patients be allowed to request that physicians assist them in committing suicide?
  • What are the current rules and regulations on abortion in England?
  • Is it right for healthcare workers to go on strike if they believe that they are being treated unfairly?

Communication

  • What activity or hobby has most improved your communication skills?
  • Can you think of a situation in which your communication skills were challenged?
  • How would you go about breaking bad news to a patient?

The University of Leeds PA Interview Questions

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