"To fight passionately for what we believe, but remain open to learning and growing. To be committed to helping people grow, deepen and behave more effectively in the world. This is The PA Life! " - Stephen Pasquini PA-C
The Physician Assistant Life Blog
The PA Life website was founded in 2012 as a simple blog dedicated to creating passionate PAs who want to make a difference in the world and affect positive change within themselves and in their communities.
We are, as all healthcare providers should be, patient advocates. We see the profession not as a job, but as an opportunity to fight passionately for what we believe, but remain open to learning and growing. To be committed to helping people grow, deepen and behave more effectively in the world.
Although the site has grown a lot, the mission hasn't changed a bit. I publish new blog posts weekly (at least I try to 😀). You can find all my latest posts by clicking here.
Where are you on your PA journey?
Click in the box below and bookmark your personal resource page with content geared specifically for you wherever you are along your PA path.
Whether you a perfecting your PA school application essay, finalizing your resume/cv, preparing for your first PA school interview, or studying for your PANCE or PANRE board exam, I have put together a collection of services to fit every budget and an ever-growing number of needs.
PA School Mock Interviews
Prepare With a Live, Recorded Mock Video Interview
Why do you want to be a PA? We have helped 100's of PA school applicants just like you answer this question. We offer affordable, recorded online interviews with an unprecedented chance for self-critique.
Here's How it Works:
- You will then have a 45-minute mock interview with and expert Pre-PA consultant. We use ZOOM web conferencing software which will alert you by email and text 24 and 48 hours before your interview.
- The consultant provides feedback after the interview.
- You will receive a link to watch and review your recorded interview.
- You’ll then have the opportunity to interview more times with your consultant based on that feedback, and receive additional feedback and advice on how to improve.
- Don't have a webcam? No problem, our software allows us to perform the interview over a phone or with only a microphone. You can do this on a tablet, PC, Mac, Android or iPhone; the point is you don't need a dual degree in electrical engineering to begin your interview. It just works.
Physician Assistant School Finder Website
The Free Interactive PA Program Directory and Match Tool
The Physician Assistant School and Program Directory is my FREE, comprehensive, and interactive guide for prospective PA school applicants and graduate students used to find information about every PA program and PA residency program all in one place.
This directory uses location-specific, categorical search and is updated continuously. You can search by program length, tuition, degree type, GRE requirements, prerequisite healthcare experience, GPA, CASPA participation, class size, and much much more.
Postgraduate PA Programs:
Search among the 84 Postgraduate PA Residency and Fellowship Programs
Interactive PA Program Match Tool:
Try the new interactive PA Program Match tool to narrow down your search using multiple categories in real-time!
PANCE, PANRE and EOR Exam Preparation
Smarty PANCE is our PANCE/PANRE and EOR exam preparation website built by PAs just for PAs!
Smarty PANCE is the only website that follows the exact NCCPA and PAEA Content Blueprints. It includes fourteen blueprint courses with over 482 lessons and 1,000's of integrated board review questions, quizzes, lessons, and flashcards along with 7 end-of-rotation exams and EOR review courses to help you navigate PA school.
Smarty PANCE offers an unprecedented amount of online review materials for an incredibly low price:
- Instant access to Five Comprehensive 250 Question PANCE and PANRE Practice Exams which mirror what you will see on exam day.
- 14 topic specific exams covering Cardiology, Pulmonology, Gastroenterology, Musculoskeletal, OBGYN, Psychiatry, Neurology, Dermatology, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Urology, Renal, and Endocrinology.
- Five exams built from the amazing PANCE and PANRE email series.
- A 5-hour "Virtual PANCE" and 4-hour "Virtual PANRE" Practice Exam!
- 100's of online blueprint flashcards via Quizlet
- Four sixty question advanced practice exams with interactive video, photos, links to outside resources and more!
- Are you a student on rotation? Instant access to seven Rotation Exams and a growing number of EOR courses.
- As a Smarty PANCE + ReelDX member, you will also have access to the entire collection of ReelDX case-based videos integrated into the Content Blueprint courses.
- As a Smarty PANCE + Picmonic member, you will have access to the entire library of Picmonic video cases and quizzes along with 12 months of access to Picmonic for PAs!
Smarty PANCE is an amazing value and if you are studying for your PANCE/PANRE the exams alone will prove invaluable.
The PANCE and PANRE NCCPA Content Blueprint Checklist
The 2021 NCCPA™ PANCE Content Blueprint is made up of 14 organ systems (ranked by percent of exam content) along with 105 subsections (within each organ system) and 482 diseases/disorders.
There are 14 organ systems » 161 subsections » and 482 diseases/disorders
- Cardiology 13% » 11 subsections » 51 disorders
- Pulmonary 10% » 8 subsections » 31 disorders
- GI and Nutrition 9% » 14 subsections » 38 disorders
- Musculoskeletal 8% » 9 subsections » 36 disorders
- ENT 7% » 26 subsections » 61 disorders
- Reproductive 7% » 11 subsections » 46 disorders
- Neurology 7% » 13 subsections » 34 disorders
- Endocrinology 7% » 7 subsections » 17 disorders
- Infectious Disease 6% » 8 subsections » 41 disorders
- Psychiatry/Behavioral Science 6% » 16 subsections » 18 disorders
- Genitourinary 5% » 10 subsections » 25 disorders
- Renal 5% » 7 subsections, » 14 disorders
- Dermatology 5% » 14 subsections » 55 disorders
- Hematology 5% » 7 subsections » 15 disorders
Total: 13 organ systems and 467 topics (diseases)
FREE PANCE and PANRE Board Review in Your Inbox
Get 60 days of FREE PANCE and PANRE Board Review Questions & Answers delivered daily directly to your inbox. It is a great and fun way to learn.
Are you short on time? Sing up for the FAST TRACK and get 3 PANCE and PANRE review questions delivered daily! Sign Up Here
Free PANCE and PANRE Practice Exams
This is a complimentary set of 80 Interactive PANCE and PANRE Board Review questions. This is a wonderful way to test your knowledge, and best of all it's totally FREE!
- PANCE and PANRE Comprehensive Exam 3 (30 Questions With interactive Answers and Hints)
- PANCE/PANRE HEENT Exam (50 HEENT topic specific questions)
- Practice Exams 1-5 + Legacy Exam 2 + Topic Specific Exams + Audio Board Review + SMARTY PANCE (Academy Members Only)
The Audio PANCE and PANRE Physician Assistant Board Review Podcast
The Daily Eponym Email Series
The Physician Assistant Essay Collaborative and Review Service
Clickable map of all 56 AAPA State Constituent Chapters
Physician Assistant Exam Review Podcast
Brian Wallace PA-C runs a website and podcast that focuses on topics covered on the PANCE and PANRE. Check out his site, the podcast is great as well!
- From a PA Tumbler blog with a hidden gem of great study guides (look at the links in the sidebar). I have compiled his study guides into my own dropbox folder to simplify the process. It includes things such as this simple yet brilliant Orthopedic Cheat Sheet.
Free Patient Health Handouts
- Did you know Epocrates Online offers an amazing collection of English and Spanish Patient Resources? Check it out it is amazing! Epocrates Patient Literature Library
Physician Assistant Job Search
- Google Jobs
- Check your state chapters most of them have job postings
- AAPA Job Source
- NCCPA Career Source
- Craigslist: Not what it used to be but still has some listings not found in other places
- iHireMidLevelPractitioners: similar to many of the other PA and NP-specific sites and very limited
- DocCafe: an up and coming employment solution for PA and Physicians
- PayScale.com: A fantastic resource for PA Salary comparisons
- Check individual hospital/practice websites (some organizations only post on their own career site)
Physician Assistant Shadow
- PA Shadow Online: Find a PA to shadow, or become a PA to shadow. This is such a great idea!
- Picmonic: Better than flashcards, Picmonic is the study tool of choice for learning thousands of the most difficult to remember and most frequently tested topics, board exam prep and more. Research shows that studying with Picmonic resulted in a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.
- Rosh Review: A killer question bank with detailed explanations.
- Smarty PANCE: Yes, I know, it is my site, but I also think it is an incredible resource, with rotation exams, quizzes, PANCE, and PANRE prep, audio and video lectures... and the list goes on.
- Medbullets: Beautiful, succinct summaries and millions of questions with customizable Q-banks.
- Osmosis: These videos are so good they will make you cry! Honestly, they break down complex topics in a way you will never forget.
- Geeky Medics is a medical student learning platform that aims to make revision less painful and more productive.
- Patients Like Me: An amazing idea: Bring patients together and let them document their symptoms and what helped. This is set to revolutionize the way we do healthcare!
- The Stanford 25: Demonstrate one or more of the 25 technique dependent physical diagnosis maneuvers, then have the residents perform, demonstrate, perfect and show us how they teach. This is a cool site!
- RxAssist: A wonderful resource for free and discounted medications for patients. Search by medicine to find discounted pharmacies. This tool is priceless!
Free Medical Spell Checker for MS Word
- Free Medical Spell Checker For Microsoft Word, Custom Dictionary: You will be typing a lot of medical papers in your lifetime. This free custom dictionary by civil engineer and medical transcriptionist "Raj" is wonderful. Just follow the instruction on the page, it is easy to install.
- I also use Grammarly, which offers a feature-rich set of spell-check and proofreading options in their free web app. They also have an MS Word plugin that will take your spellcheck to the next level.
Physician Assistant Blogs and Forums
- My PA Training: An excellent student site ran by Paul Kubin. He has some excellent books for purchase along with the wonderful PA Insider Podcast.
- The PA Platform: Run by Savanna Perry a collection of excellent blogs with guest posts and a very active social media presence. She also hosts a wonderful podcast.
- Beaphysicianassistant: Ryanne, is a prolific writer in the PA space, her blog posts are extremely thorough and well written. This is a must-read for anyone pursuing the PA profession.
- Reddit: So much good information on here! For practicing PAs subscribe to physicianassistant and for Pre-PAs subscribe to prephysicianassistant.
- The PA Startup Podcast: Chris is amazing and his podcast is to0. Available on iTunes and wherever podcasts are played.
- Trust me, I'm a PA Student: As a student Paul, form "trust me I'm a PA student" wrote some of the most detailed blog posts on important topics covering all aspects of our profession. Since graduating he has been blogging less but as an archive, there are still some amazing pearls of wisdom.
- The Physician Assistant Forum: The "Gold Standard" when it comes to PA forums. I frequent this one often and so should you.
YouTube Channels Worth Subscribing to (Pre-PA)
- James Kim The Fresh Prince of Healthcare: Great videos covering all types of PRE-PA questions. He also is very active on social media and Instagram
- Adanna The PA - Just subscribe, enough said!
- Day with a PA: A current PA student with lots of great advice covering a ton of topics.
- Pre-Physician Assistant Student HELP: Hasn't been updated in a while but Kelly has some timeless info that I refer people to all the time.
Global Health Resources for PAs
- Grassroots Volunteering: Connecting travelers with local causes and communities
- Physician Assistants for Global Health: I am a bit biased since I am on the board. But this website is about to get an update, and it will soon be the best resource for PA's wanting to network with other PA's and work abroad as a PA.
- CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The go-to resource for travel medicine.
- Partners in Health: The wonderful home of Paul Farmer. If you are interested in Haiti start here. This book is what got me started, if you are interested in global health it is a great read!
- Health Horizons International: A great place to find volunteer opportunities as a PA or NP.
- Relief Web: Where is the greatest need for international volunteers? Here you will find your answer.
- Lonely Planets Free ebook and Maps Page: This link is to download maps to your e-reader. But is a great resource regardless.
Safety and Security Abroad
- Registration of Traveler Emergency Contact and Itinerary Information
- Transportation Security Administration
- U.S. Department of State
Helping People Resources
- Feed America: Yes many people in America are without food. This site will be an eye-opener.
My Notes and Stuff
- Dermatology Atlas - is an online source of over 23,000 images of skin disease brought to you by Loyola University.
- ECG Library is an online collection of realistic-looking recordings that can help clinicians improve their ECG skills. It contains detailed information about how to recognize and interpret abnormal ECG findings.
- Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopedics is the largest, most comprehensive online medical textbook on orthopedics with 11,000 pages of text and over 5,000 images.