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The University of Sheffield PA Interview Questions

Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists

General Interview Information

Despite having a highly ranked PA course, the University of Sheffield does not release a huge amount of information about their admissions process. You must have a 2.1 or higher in a life sciences degree (e.g. biochemistry, physiology, or biomedical science) and you must have BBB or higher at A Level.

You must display a ‘keen interest in developing practical skills related to health and illness, and in working with the public in the health sector.’

Selection is through application and interview.

The course at Sheffield appears to draw from their Medicine degree to an extent, with a first year academic & science focus, followed by a second year clinical focus. 

Interview Format for Physician Associate Studies at the University of Sheffield

You should be prepared for a traditional panel interview at the University of Sheffield.

Key Dates

Expect to hear back two weeks after your interview. Courses commence once per year at the University of Sheffield, in September.

Sample & Recent Interview Questions

Due to the lack of information Sheffield provides, you should be prepared for typical questions.

​Motivation and Insight into the career of a Physician Associate

  • Please outline your journey to this room. When did you first become interested in being a PA?
  • Why are you interested in studying at this university in particular?
  • How does a physician associate’s role differ from a nurse practitioner’s?
  • What is particularly attractive about the course at our university?
  • Is it possible for a PA to work alone (independent of a doctor)?
  • Are there particular specialties or areas of healthcare that you find more or less interesting?
  • Do you think that PAs will take on a greater part of the burden of care in the UK?
  • What are the most important current challenges to global health in general?
  • Tell us about COVID-19 and how it has affected the NHS.
  • What do you think a typical day looks like for PAs?
  • What do you think healthcare will look like in 50 years? What about in 25 or 30 years?
  • Which body regulates physician associates in the UK?
  • What are the 6Cs?
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Learn the best interview strategies and practice with interview questions & model answers.

Ethical Dilemmas

  • Should all citizens have to donate their organs if they are healthy?
  • A patient comes to you before a ward round and requests that you don’t reveal part of his notes to the doctor on the ward. When you check the notes, you see that he has been declared not fit to drive, and there is a question mark over whether this information has been conveyed to the DVLA. Should you follow the patient’s wishes?
  • Do you agree with the UK government ban on smoking in cars if there are under 18s present in the vehicle?
  • Is the UK government’s drug policy working?
  • Should a doctor whose twitter account has been found to contain sexist and misogynistic tweets be allowed to continue practising?

Communication Stations​

  • Describe the role of empathy in communication?
  • One of your colleagues in the ED asks you to go and take a history from a patient who has just come in. The patient has learning difficulties. How does their having learning difficulties change the way that you should communicate with them?
  • Please describe a situation in which you felt that your ability to communicate made a difficult situation better.

Teamwork Tasks

  • You will have to do a lot of learning in teams on our PA course. Please describe your experience of learning in teams.
  • Please describe the multidisciplinary team. How does the MDT change the way in which healthcare and Medicine are practised in the 21st century?
  • Please provide us with an example of your leadership ability.
  • Please outline the most important attributes of a successful leader.

General / Personal Statements

  • How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Which one hobby or activity could you not do without?
  • Where do you want your career to go in the future?
  • What are your personal goals in life?
  • How would your best friends describe you? What if they were limited to three adjectives only?
  • Which attributes that you display are particularly important to PAs?
  • Would you describe yourself as resilient?
  • What is the bravest action that you have taken in a professional setting?

The University of Sheffield PA Interview Questions

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