5 Things To Know Before Starting PA School 

PA School • May 24, 2023

Looking back, I wish someone had shared these 5 things to know before starting PA School, so I am here to do that for you!

Once you are accepted, it’s all about how you manage yourself and your time.

5 Things to Know Before Starting PA School

Are you considering pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant (PA)? Congratulations on taking this exciting step towards a rewarding profession in healthcare. However, before you embark on your PA school journey, there are a few crucial things to know before starting PA school. In this article, we will discuss the top five things I wish I knew before starting PA school. So, let’s dive in and ensure you’re well-prepared for this transformative experience.

Collaboration, not Competition

While it’s true that the journey to securing a seat in a PA program can be highly competitive, it’s important to shift your mindset once you enter the classroom. The moment you meet your classmates on the first day, remember that you are all in this together. Rather than viewing each other as competitors, embrace the opportunity to work collaboratively. As future colleagues, you may need to rely on one another for information and professional support. Building strong relationships with your peers will foster a positive learning environment and benefit you throughout your career.

Mastering Time Management

PA school is demanding, with a heavy workload and a plethora of information to absorb. To thrive in this challenging environment, mastering time management is key. Establish a regular schedule that allows you to make the most of your time effectively. Stay organized, prioritize tasks, and set realistic goals. By efficiently managing your time, you can strike a balance between academic requirements, personal commitments, and self-care. It is one of the most important things to know before starting PA school.

Embracing the Learning Process

Didactic and clinical rotations during PA school can be mentally and emotionally taxing. It’s natural to occasionally feel inadequate or doubt your abilities. Remember that it’s impossible to remember every single detail presented to you. Use available resources to refresh your memory and supplement your learning. Embrace the learning process, understanding that making mistakes and seeking knowledge are integral to your growth. Establishing strong relationships with supervisors and preceptors can also provide valuable mentorship throughout your student and professional career.

It’s Not Just About Grades

While academic performance is undoubtedly important, there’s more to PA school than just grades. Strive to understand and comprehend the material rather than simply memorizing it. Participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer, or get involved in student-run organizations. These experiences will not only enhance your education but also provide opportunities to network with fellow students, faculty members, and healthcare professionals. Building a strong network during PA school can open doors to future career prospects and invaluable connections within the field.

Prioritizing Self-Care

Maintaining your physical and mental well-being is crucial throughout your PA school journey. The program’s demands can be overwhelming, so finding healthy outlets for stress and prioritizing self-care are essential. Whether it’s regular exercise, meditation, reading, or engaging in hobbies, carve out time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Take care of your sleep patterns and nourish your body with wholesome food. If you find yourself struggling with mental health issues or experiencing burnout, don’t hesitate to seek help from your peers, faculty members, or counseling services. Remember, self-care is vital for your overall success and longevity in the profession.

In conclusion, one of the things to know before starting PA school is that it is an intense and challenging experience, but it also offers immense rewards. By staying organized, cultivating collaborative relationships, understanding the importance of continuous learning, prioritizing holistic growth, and practicing self-care, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your journey to becoming a successful PA. So, take these insights to heart, work hard, persevere, and soon you’ll find yourself on the path to a fulfilling and impactful career in healthcare.

Also read: 4 Best Non-Clinical Physician Assistant Jobs

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!