Physician Assistant Admissions Book Reviews: Introduction

February 5, 2011 in PA Pals, Prospective PAs

It’s very exciting to think about the Physician Assistant profession!  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is expected to grow by 39 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Furthermore, CNNMoney.com ranks PA as the second best job in America and projects it to be the third hottest (fastest growing) occupation over the next decade.

With so many individuals learning about this exciting profession, there has never been more applicants. I can attest to this first hand as I recently screened through candidate after candidate. The program where I work received over 700 applications for only 34 seats this past year. This is roughly a 20:1 ratio. The ratio for other programs can be even higher. We have dedicated much of this website to facilitating the process for Prospective PA Students as they work through researching, applying, and preparing for PA school. We hope that you find the information and tools we provide invaluable. That being said, we want to make sure you’re aware of other resources that are available as well! With this series of posts, we give you our thoughts on three popular PA Admissions Books!

Before we get started, I would like to share with you our approach to reviewing these titles.  We asked a few important questions to help us work through the thought process of how to best present this series of posts:

Who would be able to provide the best review for these kinds of books? It didn’t take long to answer this question.  We felt that those reading these reviews would relate best with other Prospective PA Students, especially those who were currently in the process of applying to PA School.  We also felt that a Current PA Student would be able to provide some great insight.  Introducing our three reviewers:


What would the Prospective PA Student want out of a PA Admissions book? This one took a little more thought than the first question.  Before diving in to analyze these titles, we put our heads together and came up with a list of review topics that we thought would be extremely helpful for the reader.  With each book, our reviewers explored the following:

  • Personal Statement/Narrative: Does the book help the reader understand how to approach the narrative and provide helpful examples?
  • Interview Process: Does the book discuss the purpose of the interview, how to think about it cognitively, and how to prepare?  Does it provide examples of questions?
  • Desired Candidate Qualities: Does the book explain what PA schools really look for in an applicant?
  • PA Profession Description: How well does the book explain the PA Profession?
  • Application Process: Does the book help the reader to understand the entire application process including components and timelines?
  • Readability: Is it a good read or will it bore the reader to tears?
  • Choosing a Program: Does it highlight differences that exist amongst PA Programs and what the reader should look for?
  • Goal Setting: Does it help the reader to establish a game plan?
  • Overall Impression: How did the reviewer feel overall about what the book has to offer?

So let’s get started!  Click on the link of the PA Admissions Review Book you’d like to read about:

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