When did you graduate?
What’s your specialty?
Psychiatry. I’ve always been drawn to psychiatry and have since taken an interest in holistic healthcare.
Was it difficult finding a job?
Mmmm, kind of but not really since I wasn’t necessarily looking. Let me explain…
I took a year off following my PA school graduation. During that year, the COVID pandemic hit and many PA-Cs were being furloughed. I started my job search about 6 months prior to when I was hoping to start. Having taken so much time off after graduation, I elected to search for residencies to both refresh my memory and build confidence as a provider. There aren’t many PAs who are aware of or elect to do residencies so finding one wasn’t difficult but locating one accepting applicants with the quarantine in place was a bit challenging.
What was your GPA?
Both Cumulative and Science 3.4
Did you get straight A’s?
Not at all! like to think of my transcripts as – Main course of A’s with a healthy side of B’s. A dash of C’s and a D (don’t judge me! It was a rough semester).
I’ve worked in healthcare for the majority of my adult life. In that time I became familiar with the different career paths available as a medical provider. The physician assistant stood out to me the most for various reasons. The most prominent being the patient interaction and ease of transition between specialties.
How many times did you apply?
One and done! Submitted my application in August and received an interview letter two weeks later. Interviewed in January and received an acceptance call back the same day.
How long did it take you to complete your CASPA application?
Total of 4 months. I broke it into chunks to ensure accuracy. I started in April with the most tedious portion, filling out the course history. Then I would periodically go back and fill in sections as I completed them. I submitted my application towards the end of August, that’s when my GRE and prerequisite courses were completed.
How did you obtain PCE?
Majority from my time in the military as a Medical Lab Specialist
Was it difficult finding a PA to shadow?
Yes! I suggest starting with your PCP. Ask them if they or anyone they know would be willing to let you shadow for a couple hours a week. Most PA’s love to talk about what they do and are more than willing to share resources with you. I received shadowing experience because of my pre-PA club membership and just networking at church and with other moms at my kid’s school, activities/practices.
Did you volunteer or join any clubs?
Yes, I volunteered at a community health clinic for a few months after submitting my CASPA application. I went on a Missions trip with my church to Haiti. For about 2 years I worked as a Student Instructor (SI); I was basically a TA and tutor for my peers. As for club activities, I was a member of the Pre-Physicians Assistant Association at my University.
How was your interview? How did you prepare? Attire?
To say I was nervous would be an understatement! I thought I completely bombed it, but apparently not because I got in! I spent weeks preparing with mock interviews and practicing in the mirror. Although I did not wear a business suit, I strongly suggest that you do. I was the only one in the interview area without even so much as a blazer on. I wore a navy blue and white striped cardigan over a navy blue shell, black slacks and a low heel shoe. My hair was in kinky twists at the time so I just pulled it back into a single French braid. Comfortable yet still business appropriate, and I got in = )
I went on a 1week mission trip to Panama while in PA School
I am passionate about many things including finances which you will find that I discuss here very often