Breaking Down PA School Interview Questions III

This weeks question was submitted by a pre-PA student who said she was asked this at an interview!  I was never asked this question; but, I can see programs with a primary care focus asking.

Q: What do you know about primary care?

What are they looking for?

  • This questions will likely come from programs who have a focus on primary care/underserved populations in their mission statement
  • Demonstrate understanding of day-to-day responsibilities of a primary care PA
  • Show interest in becoming a primary care PA
  • If you shadowed in this area, talk about it!

What NOT to say

  • Anything that would be negative about primary care
  • That you already know what specialty you want to practice in so you’re not concerned with primary care
    • First–you may practice in the area you are thinking about now but I can tell you I thought without a shadow of a doubt I would be an orthopaedic PA and I will probably never be caught dead in this area of practice (not saying anything bad just not my cup of tea)
    • I hope this is obvious to everyone as to why you shouldn’t say this 🙂

What TO say

  • Show interest in primary care–talk about a shadowing experience you had if you were able to shadow a PCP.
  • Importance forming relationships with patients and how being able to have continuity/longevity
  • Primary care is the cornerstone of medicine.  It is an individuals point of contact within the rest of the health care system
  • Responsibility for preventative medicine and managing chronic conditions
  • Generally fast paced with many patients in one day ranging from pediatric well visits to common colds as well as determining if sick patients with chronic conditions require a higher level of care
  • You can discuss the shortage and primary care physicians and how important it is to foster PA’s to go in to this area of medicine so that more people have access to care



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