Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to Use Your Clinical Experience to Get that First Physician Assistant Job

How to handle that first job interview as a new PA:

When is "no experience" really experience?

Answer:  When you are a PA student on clinical rotations and you are working everyday seeing patients with and alongside your preceptor.

Just because you haven't tackled your first job yet, doesn't mean you have NO EXPERIENCE. As a PA student, you have a unique and valuable experience (think how much you paid for it!).  You have seen the patients alongside your preceptor and had the benefit of your preceptors insight and instruction.

So when you are interviewing for that first job, prepare yourself before your meeting by going over your own resume or CV. 

Yes, review over your own experiences on rotations.  Think through each clinical month.  Recall the hospital days and maybe nights.  Recollect the kinds of patients you saw.  What kinds of clinical situations did you and participate in - urgent, emergent?  And how may these translate to experiences you may have in your first job.
How did you interact with these patients? What did your preceptors teach you by example. 

Treat your own resume like exam review notes- review them before your interview.

If you don't actually review all the information on your resume (and by now it should be a lot!), it won't be fresh and on the tip of your tongue when an interviewer asks you, "So do you have any experience as a hospitalist?"

Be prepared, by practicing with a classmate or friend, to answer these questions using the material from your resume.

By simply recalling these EXPERIENCES you will make yourself a stronger candidate.

Remember, you DO have clinical experience - just not paid experience....yet.