Patient Care Experiences

PA programs frequently require a specific number of hours. Websites will say things like 

The list of "acceptable experiences" can vary from school to school. By taking a broader view, students can prepare to be competitive applicants at a variety of programs. Seeking out work opportunities that connect to diverse patient populations, require direct, hands-on contact, and demonstrate an increasing level of independence builds the backbone of a competitive resume. Learn more about the general definition of Patient Care Experiences on CASPA.   

This list of questions can also help candidates assess whether a job is helping them gain skills and experience valued by PA admissions committees.  

  • Does the job require use of medical terminology on a regular basis? 

  • Does the job require knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology? 

  • Does the job require medical documentation and patient education? 

  • Does the job provide regular, direct, hands-on contact with patients in a health care environment?  

  • Does the job provide experience with a wide variety of disease states and organ systems? 

  • Are you gaining more autonomy and independence as you continue to work in a single location or as you change jobs?