Blog Post 5- Tips From a PA on Getting Into PA School
When I tell friends that I’m an Integrative Physiology major, one of the first questions that usually follows is, “Are you going to medical school?” Well, to be honest, I’m not sure yet. I would absolutely love to go into some sort of post-graduate schooling, whether that is Physician’s Assistant (PA) school, Physical Therapy (PT) school, or Chiropractic school. I think it is essential to have post graduate schooling in addition to an Integrative Physiology degree. With these ambitions I have a lot of questions about the process that need to be answered not by an academic advisor, but by someone who endured the trials and tribulations of post graduate school and came out victorious. I briefly interviewed Bryan Myers, PA at Kaiser Permanente after a regularly scheduled appointment and hoped he could help me answer some of these questions.
I asked Bryan what advice he would have for future PA school applicants regarding cover letters, letters of recommendation, and résumés. The first dish of advice that he issued me was to take the cover letter seriously. Without a meaningful and well directed cover letter, schools will not consider you immediately for an interview. He also mentioned that cover letters are what the reader sees first, and it must have focus and clarity directed to the school that we want to apply.
I was also interested in how he chose people to write letters of recommendation for him when applying to PA school. He advised me to choose friends and colleagues you are confident will write a strong and meaningful letter that will highlight your personal strengths and display your achievements. He also told me that if we don’t get accepted initially into a program to go and meet with a faculty member to discuss your application and how to address the weak points and how to fix them.
I wish that Bryan had more time to answer more of my questions that I had prepared for him, but after hearing the screaming child next door, I couldn’t blame him for having to leave so suddenly. It was very helpful to hear firsthand from a PA school graduate some tips and tricks for applying. As for the question I proposed earlier, “Are you going to medical school?” I’m still not entirely sure, but I hope to incorporate some of the advice that I learned from Bryan into my current resume and cover letter to become more appealing to post-graduate schools.