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Paul’s Desk 01: The Fat Man

Today is the start of an article series about what I do.  Not about being a PA so much as about me being a PA.  (Hey, I can't be anybody else). Calling it "Paul's Desk" is an inside joke, because at my clinic, I have no desk.  In fact, I have no office!  What I Continue Reading…

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Physician Assistants Easing the Primary Care Shortage

After logging five decades of high-quality, cost-effective care, physician assistants are gearing up for their time in the spotlight. The stage is set: fewer physicians are entering primary care, older family practice physicians are retiring, and the U.S. population is growing, aging and — thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  (Obamacare) — Continue Reading…

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PA School Essay: 3 Things You Must Communicate

Let's talk about the BIG PICTURE of your PA school application essay.  Students struggle when it comes time to write their essay because most of the their application is pretty much fill-in-the-blanks.  Then they get to the essay section and see a giant empty page/screen.  For CASPA, the question is (intentionally) vague: In the space Continue Reading…

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Do You Have The Physician Assistant Personality?

Ever wonder if you have the right personality for physician assistant medicine --  if the "fit" of PA is right for you?  With some help from Holland's Personal Interest Inventory, you can find out just that. A few weeks after I started PA school at U.C. Davis, I noticed just how much I liked everyone Continue Reading…

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Rejection: 6 Things To Do If You Didn’t Get In

If you applied to PA programs and didn't get in, you face a tough question: "What do I do now?"  Maybe you were really counting on being in a program this fall.  Instead, your future course is now totally uncertain.  It can feel a little like you're hanging from a bunch of helium balloons, wondering Continue Reading…

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11 Misconceptions About Physician Assistants

The newness of their field naturally leads to a number of misconceptions about physician assistants.  If you’ve never met a PA or been treated by one, you’re left to guess what it is that PA's do, and sometimes these guesses (though understandable), are just plain wrong.  Hoping to dispel some of these, I’ve made up Continue Reading…

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Is Medicine For Me?

Dear Paul, I am in an interesting situation.  After working in several non-medical areas, I am looking at going back to school to do something different.   My problem is I have never worked or volunteered in the medical field and don’t really have a lot of time while supporting my family to go shadow someone.  Continue Reading…

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PA Student Interviews: Josh

It's time to hear from the ones in the trenches -- the physician assistant students.  Today I interviewed Josh about his 27 months as a PA student which will soon be ending with his graduation.  His strategy for getting into a PA program is very interesting, and proves that there are things that make up Continue Reading…

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A Question From Paul*

Dear Inside PA Training Readers, Thank you for your readership, comments, and feedback.  2014 has been a banner year for IPAT -- 465,000+ people like you learned about the profession from our features.  Our roots were (very) humble, and today we return to them by asking you a simple question:  What are you still wondering Continue Reading…

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What is an MMI Interview?

Interview season has started at physician assistant schools around the country, and it's becoming increasingly common for interview committees to use Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format.  It's a trend that started in medical schools and that seems to be catching on in other fields as well. MMI interviews make things easier on schools, but unfortunately Continue Reading…

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GRE: Just How Important Is it?

We've been writing about PA school admissions for more than fouryears now, and we were a little embarrassed to realize the other day that we've never written specifically about the importance of the Graduate Requisite Exam.  So just how important is the GRE?  First, it's important to have a little background. The GRE is a Continue Reading…