As thousands of students submit their applications for the current CASPA cycle, faculty at Augsburg PA Program have suggestions and reminders to keep in mind! Take their advice to heart as they all have been in your shoes.
Trent Whitcomb is a clinical phase faculty member who returned to Augsburg PA after a few years away. Trent is a graduate of Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences / The Chicago Medical School. His three tips to follow are:
- Do not, under any circumstances, ever refer to a PA as a Physician’s Assistant. My license to practice, NCCPA board certification, and diploma all state “Physician Assistant”. Use of the apostrophe tells admissions committee members that you haven’t done your research.
- Have several people review the essay portion of your CASPA application as well as any supplemental applications that are program specific.
- Research the programs you are applying to and know why you are applying for each program.
Vanessa Bester is our Associate Program Director who has been in PA education since 2007. She graduated from University of Florida’s PA program and came to Augsburg from the University of Washington. She advises prospective students to remember the following:
- Most people applying to PA school have excellent grades, want to help people, and have some clinical experience. So what is going to make the faculty reviewing your application remember you? Think about: How do you align with the program’s mission? Why do you care?
- As an interviewer, I ask: As a human being, when I meet you, could I see myself trusting you with my loved ones’ lives?
Program Director Alicia Quella graduated from the University of Iowa Physician Program and has worked in PA education for many years. Dr. Quella urges students to be yourself! We don’t want you to say something you think we want to hear. In doing this, be sure you do not copy our mission statement; instead think of how you align with our mission and how you demonstrate it.
Professor Eric Barth has been with the Augsburg PA program since 2008 and knows what it takes to get into PA school. He completed his physician assistant training at Trevecca University and University of Nebraska, Omaha.
- First, all applicants need to understand and articulate that becoming a PA is about providing genuine care for other people. There is no room for selfishness or ego.
- Secondly, for re-applicants, avoid recycling applications. We all want to know what the you have done to improve your chances over the prior year. In addition, I think it’s a sign of maturity to articulate how it felt to be denied admission the prior year.
- Last is to always keep moving towards their goal of becoming a PA. Take or retake a class, get more patient care experience, go on a mission trip, job shadow, anything to improve your chances.
Professor Jenny Kluznik is alumni of the Augsburg PA program and came back as faculty and our academic coordinator. She advises “candidates to spend quality time on developing their personal statement and other essays required on an application for PA school. The personal statement and essays are the pieces of an application where the individuality of an applicant shows through. Applicants should take time to write these and fully represent their talents, goals, and background experience. Take time to write, rewrite, get feedback, and proofread.”
We wish you the best of luck as you all pursue your PA education!