The Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask a Physician Assistant Student


As promised is a new Physician Assistant Student Q & A! Timmy is a first year Physician Assistant Student at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Midland, Texas.  I met him through our scribing job in a pediatric ED last year and although he’s a very busy guy right now, I’m thankful he was able to answer these questions for you all!

How did you hear about the PA profession/What got you interested in the PA profession?

I initially heard about the PA profession in undergrad. I was pre-med and I had a classmate applying for PA school. After being waitlisted for medical school, I became a scribe. I worked alongside many PAs and I fell in love with the profession.

What type of direct patient care experience did you acquire and would you suggest this route to pre-pa students?

I scribed at a children’s ER in San Antonio. I definitely would suggest the route. You gain so much experience, especially things that cannot be taught in school, like bedside manner. It’s amazing how much stuff you just pick up from just being around the PAs and physicians.

Why did you choose pick to apply to/accept admissions into the PA school you are in? – Any tips or advice for pre-pa students interviewing right now?/Any questions you remember that tripped you up?

I applied to my current school because I met the prerequisites. I eventually accepted my admission because I felt like the school was the best fit for me.

My only advice would just be yourself in the interview. They can see through the BS.

The only question that I remember that tripped me up was, “Name a time when you broke a rule and why did you break that rule?” It definitely caught me off guard.

What is your favorite part of PA school so far? What is your least favorite part of PA school so far?

My favorite part of PA school is some of the comradery between my class. We all know unlike medical school, we aren’t competing for residencies. Of course you’re going to have those people that are always competing, but that’s just part of our part A personalities. 

Least favorite part has to be being surrounded by the same people all day every day. It really is like a big family, we love each other, but everyone can annoy each other. 

Is there anything you’ve experienced that you didn’t expect/prepare for?

Be ready for the drama in your class. Like I said, you’re surrounded by these people all the time. There’s bound to be some drama.

What specialty are you most interested in and why?

Pediatrics just due to my prior experience in the pediatric ER. Love the kiddos. 

How much sleep do you average while you’re in school?

I maybe average 5-7 hours a night. Just depending on what time class is the next day or if we have a test or quiz. 

What methods of study do you use and how often do you study? Do you read the entire textbooks or use your lecture notes? Do you write on a white board or make flash cards, etc?

This is kind of tough to answer because it all depends on the class. I mostly study the powerpoint lectures supplied by the professors and will use textbook as a reference if I’m confused. Sometimes the lectures will be turned into chart form just so its easier to study/read. I used a lot of charts for anatomy and for pharmacology. Our class is always sharing charts, outlines, or online flashcards with the class, so that’s really useful.

Thank you again, Timmy! If anyone has any more questions you’d love to ask a PA Student, place them in the comments below or on Instagram! 

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