Laural is a first-year PA Student at the University of Manitoba’s Masters of PA Studies (MPAS) program. You can follow her journey at @lkthepa.
Laural’s Pre-PA Stats
- University of Manitoba Masters of PA Studies
- My undergraduate degree (with honours) is in nursing from the University of Manitoba.
- I also completed my primary care paramedic certification through the Justice Institute of BC.
- 4.03 out of 4.5 on the Manitoba GPA Scale
Health Care Experience Hours:
- My healthcare experience includes working as a rural paramedic in Manitoba for the past 6 years.
- Additionally, throughout my nursing degree I completed 1500+ hours in various clinical areas including; long-term care, geriatric rehabilitation, medicine, surgery, labour & delivery, postpartum, community health and chose to do my senior practicum in the pediatric ICU.
Why I decided to pursue the PA profession
I was initially attracted to the Physician Assistant role during my nursing clinical placements. Through my rotations, I have had the opportunity to work alongside several PAs. Their knowledge, professionalism, and scope of practice were impressive. I was immediately intrigued and utilized every available opportunity to ask questions about their roles and responsibilities.
I am always the student hovering over the physician’s shoulder asking questions, trying to understand each intervention, prescription, diagnostic test and procedure, and how these impact the patient’s care plan.
During my shadowing shift, I was able to appreciate the true scope and depth of the PA’s practice. Being able to perform a variety of interventions is one of the main driving factors that initially made me interested in having a career in healthcare.
The concept of being able to practice to the full scope of your supervising physician is an exciting aspect of the PA profession. Not only would this level of education and role allow for me to provide higher quality care to my patients, but it would provide me with the opportunity to continue to develop professionally while helping to bridge some of the gaps in the current healthcare system.
What I think helped me stand out on PA Admissions
I definitely feel that my experience in healthcare helped me with a lot of the components of my application. During interviews, it is very helpful to be able to draw on personal experiences when you encounter a question you haven’t prepared for!
I also believe my letter of intent made an impression (although I cannot confirm)- I tried to make it very personal and tried to make the first few lines catching.
My tips for Canadian Pre-PA Applicants
Utilize every available opportunity to ask PAs questions about their roles and responsibilities.
Continue to do your research by exploring program entry requirements, the various available programs in Canada, job prospects, regulation, competency profile and the impact of PAs on the healthcare system.
If you can, spend time networking, connecting with current students, recent graduates, and find an opportunity to shadow!
Most importantly, don’t give up! Applying is a very difficult and lengthy process, but if you work hard and give it the time it deserves, you can be successful.
Now it’s your turn!
Thank you Laural for sharing your incredible journey to gaining acceptance into PA School!
Have questions? Leave it in the comments below.
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