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University of Colorado PA Interview Questions

Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists

General Interview Information

The PA program at the University of Chicago is incredibly competitive, with 2061 applicants in the last admissions cycle, of whom 143 were interviewed and 44 subsequently admitted into the enrolling class. The average GPA is 3.8, and the average science GPA is 3.76. The median experience hours are 64 hours of shadowing, 243 hours of volunteering, and 324 hours of health related work. You will need to complete the CASPer test in order to be considered for the school. We advise that you prepare for this test well in advance with a suitable preparation tool.

Interview Format for Physician Assistant Studies at Colorado

The school uses a mixed format for its interviews. There are four interview days, which each have 36 applicants invited to attend. The day starts at 8am, when you will check in. You then have a 15 minute individual interview, a 25 minute group interview, and a 25 minute group exercise. Each applicant is interviewed by three teams, each consisting of a faculty member and a graduate, and a preceptor or a member of the Office of Outreach and Inclusion. The school advises that you do not need to be prepared with specific information for the discussions, and that questions will normally not have right or wrong answers.

You should also expect a lunch and campus tour. The university advises you to have breakfast to prepare for the morning, to wear professional dress, and to be honest.

Key Dates

From April 15th to September 1st the CASPA application is available online. From May 15th to September 1st the supplemental CU application is available online. Application review begins in early June and is rolling from thereon. CASPer scores must be received by September 1st. Interviews take place on the campus in September and October with interviews taking place on a rolling basis until the class is filled. Final decisions will be taken by early spring.

Sample & Recent Interview Questions

Per the University of Colorado, seats are offered to ‘applicants who appear to be the most highly qualified to meet the mission and goals of the program in terms of academic potential and previous achievement, character, motivation and understanding of the profession, and life experience.’

​Motivation and Understanding of the Physician Assistant Profession

  • Why did you become interested in studying to be a PA?
  • Why are you interested in studying at this school?
  • What does a Physician Assistant do? How does their role and scope of practice differ to that of a doctor?
  • What do you think that you will contribute to the field of PA?
  • 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?
  • Can you tell me what managed care is, and describe how it has affected physicians and PAs?
  • How does a physician associate’s role differ from a nurse practitioner’s?
  • 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 over the coming years in your view?
  • Is it possible for a PA to work alone (independent of a physician)?
  • What are you least looking forward to about becoming a PA? How will you make this part of the job more palatable?
  • Which specific area of healthcare most interests you? Will you be able to work in this domain as a PA?
  • Are you more interested in Medicine or Surgery?
  • What is the single most important element of a relationship between a PA and their physician supervisor?
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Academic Potential and Previous Achievement

  • Do you see yourself continuing your academic career in the future?
  • What research have you undertaken?
  • What academic achievement are you most proud of in your life thus far?

Character

  • What experience of diversity do you have and how can you bring this experience to our school?
  • What would your friends say is your greatest strength? What would you describe as your main strength?
  • Would you describe yourself as organised? Would others describe you in the same way?
  • 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?

Life Experience

  • Tell me about a time that you overcame true adversity.
  • Tell me about a time that you learnt the value of communicating with others.
  • What one achievement are you most proud of?
  • What differences do you see in yourself now compared to five years ago?

University of Colorado PA Interview Questions

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