QBIQ: “How Would You Help Fulfill This Program's Mission as a Practicing PA?”
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
4d ago
Preparing for a PA school interview often involves a mix of excitement and apprehension: excitement at the prospect of achieving a huge goal and apprehension about what questions might stand between staying an aspiring PA student and becoming an actual PA trainee. In pursuit of your objective, you'll likely practice dozens of potential interview questions, plotting out potential responses or possible twists. And if your PA school interview goes as most do, you'll receive just a fraction of the questions you're prepared to answer — yet somehow, an unanticipated question (or a few) will arise ..read more
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Two Keys to Writing Any PA School Supplemental Essay Response
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
1w ago
After weeks of trudging through the CASPA application and carving out a polished personal statement, most aspiring PAs have to rally their enthusiasm and effort to meet one more application-related challenge: the supplemental applications. Supplemental applications are the "extra" tail of the application. Unlike the main CASPA content, which is uniform and goes to every school you apply to, supplementals are school-specific, which means they vary in scope and aren't required by all programs. Have a question about your PA school application strategy you’d like to see featured on the blog? SE ..read more
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12 Interview Questions to Find the True Scope of Practice of a PA Position
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
2w ago
Being able to practice to the full level of your training and ability can lead to high levels of job satisfaction and fulfillment as a PA. However, while your PA training may prepare you to practice at the top level of your license, not every position will allow you to do so. With time and experience, figuring out which openings may offer opportunities to practice at your full potential becomes easier during the interview process. As a brand-new PA without the advantage of prior experience, however, your ability to vet potential positions will rely mostly on instinct and outside guidance ..read more
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Future PAs Ask: Apply Early in the Cycle or Wait for the Retakes?
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
3w ago
Apply earlier in the cycle, or wait until you have a stronger, more comprehensive application?  It's an age-old dilemma for PA school candidates. Maybe not a generations-deep predicament, but it's at least as old as a CASPA, which goes back a couple of decades.  Have a question about your PA school application strategy you’d like to see featured on the blog? Drop a message to ask@beaphysicianassistant.com Deciding when to apply to PA programs and how to balance early submissions with more comprehensive ones may require more art than science to create a solid plan.  Bu ..read more
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How to Craft an Effective Response to the New "Life Experiences" CASPA Essay
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
1M ago
Essays are synonymous with the PA school application. The personal statement has been around since the earliest days of CASPA. A few years back, the application, by necessity, added the COVID impact statement. And now, with the latest cycle, CASPA has introduced an optional Life Experiences essay.  As with the COVID impact statement, the length limit of the life experiences essay, at 2,500 characters, is half that of the primary essay. Translated into actual writing, this spans about 2-3 comfortably sized paragraphs.  In the life experiences essay, applicants are tasked ..read more
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Three Personal Touches to Add to Your Cover Letter as a New PA
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
1M ago
When you apply for a job as a new (or almost) PA, you might be tempted to skip the cover letter and send your resume unadorned. Surely, an employer cares more about your experience and qualifications than they do an introduction, right?  Well, kind of, but that's not the whole story.  Have a question about cover letters or another early-career PA topic you’d like to see featured on the blog? Click the photo to send a message my way. ➡︎ An employer may be more interested in your more fact-heavy resume, but a cover letter is a vital tool for helping them view your resume ..read more
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How to Create a Competitive First Job Resume as a New Grad PA
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
1M ago
Creating your first professional PA resume can be a thrilling rite of passage. It means the end of your training is near, and a future (paid) career is closer than ever.  However, as a near or new graduate, not having worked as a PA before may also leave you wondering what exactly belongs on your resume. While you may have all the necessary qualifications, choosing what to include, what to exclude, and how to present it all can be a new and challenging experience. Even if you've had previous work experience in a different field, creating a resume for the PA profession may still feel u ..read more
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Be a PA Bonus: PA School Application Q&A
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
1M ago
Late last week, the new CASPA application cycle opened for the next batch of eager PA school candidates.  Tens of thousands of PA school hopefuls will submit applications this cycle. But before they do, they'll need to find answers to questions, big and small, that arise along the way.  To support them in their quests, I recently invited this-cycle applicants to send me their application-related questions for a little guidance. Let's get to the answers that might help you get closer to being a PA student.  Q: I want to apply as early as possible, but it may be a few weeks a ..read more
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How to Find More Scholarships & Free Funding for PA School
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
2M ago
When considering all the options for funding your PA education, scholarships reign supreme. With scholarships, you don't have to worry about accruing interest, assessing grace periods, or navigating potential forgiveness programs.  Instead, scholarship awards pay for your educational expenses in advance — without any financial cost to you now or in the future.  Recently, we've explored PA-specific scholarship opportunities, including:  full-ride scholarships that cover all your PA training expenses and offer stipends for living expense state-based and school-ba ..read more
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52 Opportunities for PA School Scholarships: Location-Based Awards
The Be a PA Blog|Be a Physician Assistant
by Ryanne Coulson, PA-C
2M ago
Recently, we explored opportunities for PA school scholarships grounded in the future.  These included chances to trade financial support for years of service, including five full-ride scholarships. We also examined how populations you hope to work with or specialties you hope to work in can provide further funding for your PA education.  If you haven't yet caught that article, be sure not to miss it.  To build upon that foundation, let's look at location-based scholarship prospects next. Because where you've been, where you are, or where you're going may offer new possibil ..read more
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