new graduate job search

The New Graduate Physician Assistant Job Search

General overview & tips for the new graduate physician assistant job search. 

The new graduate physician assistant job search…

Before we dive in, let me first congratulate you on surviving pa school mama!

And now for the job search 😩

Let’s jump into this tea…

Where to look

Who am I kidding? Most of you have begun the job search in your clinical year.


And that’s typically the best place to start, making a good impression with your preceptors by taking the initiative and showing up prepared (read clinical year truths part II). But for those who a preceptor didn’t hire, the job search is online resume submissions and good old fashion networking. Indeed, AAPA job boards, Google, Linked In, Facebook groups, state PA board events, etc. You just gotta put yourself out there and get noticed. 

Heads Up: Keep track of the EMR systems used on clinicals & include it in your resume. Employers like to know which electronic health records you have experience using.

Don’t forget these unconventional roles

Many new grads flock to hospitals and traditional outpatient settings. Don’t forget that the government offers excellent benefits, job security and tends to be new grad friendly. Include them in your job search. The Department of Veteran Affairs, Bureau of Prisons, Indian Health Service, Department of Defense (as a civilian), Local & State healthcare facilities all provide great experience working with patients who lack access to quality healthcare. 

Benefits across the board typically include: (Click here for more details)

  • 13 days paid vacation
  • 13 days paid sick leave
  • 10 paid holidays
  • Relocation Assistance 
  • Generous health & retirement benefits
  • Education Debt Reduction Program (EDR)

Consider a residency

Finding employment as a new grad can be a pain. Consider looking into physician assistant residencies. There are many perks to a residency; particularly the fact that you are getting specialized training while gaining the 1 year of experience needed to become a more competitive job applicant.

This is especially appealing for those wanting to go into specialties that typically don’t hire inexperienced new grads (ER).

I’ll touch on this more in future articles, but for now, all I am suggesting is not to completely write it off.

Heads up: Credentialing, bureaucracy, additional licenses and fees can push your start date back weeks or even months, depending on where you work. Plan for this financially. Use this time to catch up with family and readjust to a normal life. You know, one without 1,000 exams to study for. 


that’s the general overview of the new graduate physician assistant job search. In all honesty, you may not love your first job, and it may not be in your desired specialty. That’s okay. Right now, in your first year, you are getting paid to learn. Gain the experience you need to make yourself a more marketable job applicant. 

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