University of Texas San Antonio PA Interview Questions
Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists
General Interview Information
In 2016, the most recent year for which the university shares data with the public, there were 216 applicants resulting in a class size of 45. The average number of shadowing hours was 249, the average number of community service hours 549, and the average number of hours in direct contact with patients was 3049. The average overall GPA was 3.45.
Applicants must additionally complete a CASPer suite test. This includes CASPer, Snapshot, and Duet. The CASPer test should be prepared for in advance.
Additionally, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and must satisfy requirements for prerequisite courses.
Specific factors taken into account by the admissions committee include the quality of one’s academic preparation, the amount and nature of hands-on care experience, evidence of service and leadership, great interpersonal skills, evidence of enthusiasm in letters of reference, and a mature and insightful essay as part of the application.
Interview Format for Physician Assistant Studies at University of Texas San Antonio
Around 180 prospective students are invited to attend the campus between August and November for in-person interviews, consisting of a meet and greet the evening before, followed by an MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) which the school describes as ‘10 seven-minute mini-interviews on a range of topics.’ You will additionally have the chance to meet current students, tour the campus, and have a talk on financial aid.
You must have completed your application by September 1st. Interviews take place from September to January, with the Admissions Committee making its final decisions in the period from January to February. Classes begin in May.
Sample & Recent Interview Questions
Texas explains that they look for ‘well rounded’ students with a history of academic success, service to the community, motivation to be a PA, and excellent critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
Motivation to be a PA
- ‘Physician assistants are doctors, in all but title.’ Please debate this quote. To what extent do you agree with it or disagree with it?
- Your choice of school is vital to your future. What was it that made you choose Texas over other PA programs in the US?
- Please compare the role of a physician assistant to that of a nurse practitioner and a doctor.
- What is your single most important motivating factor in your decision to become a PA?
- If PAs didn’t exist, what alternative career would you consider?
- 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?
- What is a dependent practitioner?
- What will you like least about practicing as a physician assistant?
- Is it possible for a PA to work alone (independent of a physician)?
- How will the roles and responsibilities of physician assistants change in the future?
- 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?
- Which specific area of healthcare interests you the most?
- Are you more interested in Surgery or Medicine? What experiences have you had that inform this interest?
- How do PAs fit into our current healthcare model?
- How are physician assistants regulated in the US?
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Service to the Community
- Tell us about a charity or volunteering role that you have taken on.
- It’s vital that our applicants can show service to others. Please tell us about one experience in which you went out of your way to help others that live in your community.
- Please tell us about your earliest experience in helping others in your community.
- Did you take a caring or leadership role when you were at school e.g. student council, mentor etc? Please tell us about a particularly relevant experience from this period of your life.
- Please tell us about an activity or interest that has improved your communication skills.
- Please tell us about a time when your leadership was vital to your team succeeding.
- Please tell us about a recent conflict or argument that you found yourself in. How did this occur, and how was it resolved?
- Would you describe yourself as a strong leader? What qualities do you think a strong leader needs and how do you display these same qualities?