A HELPFUL ARTICLE
How to Find a Physician Assistant to Shadow
You have done your research and you want to become a Physician Assistant. You’ve probably even thought about other healthcare careers like nurse practitioner or medical doctor, but something in your heart is telling you PA is the right choice for you. You start hammering the internet looking for resources, compiling your hours of healthcare experience and taking all of your pre-requisites. All of this is necessary and practical, but before you spend thousands of hours and dollars on applying to PA school, you better damn well know this is your dream job. In my opinion, the most important thing you can do to solidify your desire to become a PA, is to shadow a practicing PA. Until you really see a PA in action, how we function as part of the healthcare team, how we work with our supervising physicians, can you really get a true feel for the profession. It may be everything you had imagined, but in some cases it may not.
With that being said, identifying a PA that would be willing to let you shadow can seem like an insurmountable task. Maybe you are like me and are the first one in your family to go into the medical profession. Maybe you probably feel super annoying asking or think it is an inconvenience. Well, I am here to tell you that as a practicing PA, I am NEVER annoyed by this request. And if you really want to get into PA school, you will need to get over yourself and get out there!!
Here are my recommendations for finding a Shadowing Opportunity NEAR YOU:
>> Reach out to your local, regional and state PA chapters are excellent resources. They often have a list of PAs willing to take a pre-PA student.
>> Research local MD offices and hospitals in your area to see if they have practicing PAs..Hell, walk into an urgent care or ER and you are sure to find one in there! Be resourceful.
>> Dig into your extended family and friends for resources..someone has got to know a PA!!
>> SOCIAL MEDIA..What an amazing resource to look for shadowing opportunities. The PA community on Instagram is amazing. You can also find resources on LinkedIn and Facebook. (if you don’t follow me there..GO NOW!
>> THE PA POSSE… When a Star or Superstar, I will assist you in finding your shadower wherever you are in the US… for FREE!! Dont know what Im talking about? Find info on The PA Posse page