Q: What kinds of references should I get and how do I send them in?
A: Applicants need to submit three (3) recent references to CASPA from healthcare professionals who can comment on their qualifications and aptitude for the PA profession.
CASPA offers the opportunity for references to submit letters electronically. Once an applicant has identified the references they would like to use in their CASPA application, CASPA will send a link to those references. References will be asked to complete the form and provide a letter for electronic submission. There will be a space on the reference permission form to enter the date by which the applicant will need to have the reference submitted. MEDEX encourages applicants to put the date as being at least two (2) weeks before the application deadline to avoid their application being delayed due to late receipt of the reference.
MEDEX prefers references from both a physician and a midlevel provider. We would prefer to have a reference submitted by a PA. Ideally, these should be from people who have worked closely with the applicant in a medical setting and are able to evaluate their medical skills. Applicants may submit a fourth optional additional reference as part of their MEDEX Supplemental Application. Remember to follow up with references. The fourth reference will need to be sent directly to MEDEX in paper form as we are unable to process electronic reference letters at this time.
DO NOT use the MEDEX supplemental reference form to send references to CASPA. CASPA will not accept references completed for individual programs. MEDEX does not need a copy of the references you submitted to CASPA. CASPA will forward the reference letters to MEDEX with the applicant’s completed, verified application.
Q: What is the Supplemental Application personal statement?
A: The MEDEX Supplemental Application statement should speak to why an applicant feels he or she is a good candidate for the MEDEX program, specifically. It should be logical, persuasive, personal, and grammatically correct. The personal statement should tell us something about the individual that we cannot see in transcripts and job summaries. It must be entered into the online Supplemental Application, not sent separately.
Q: Is there a preference for geographic origin or underrepresented populations?
A: MEDEX is committed to training physician assistants who will serve where they are most needed. We give preference to applicants from the WWAMI service region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) and Nevada, and from other rural or medically underserved areas. MEDEX looks for prior work experience in an area that is medically underserved and gives preference to applicants who seem likely to continue such work.
Q: Does community service or leadership matter?
A: Community involvement includes activities outside of college or an applicant’s professional job in which he or she has participated for the betterment of the community. Specifically, this means volunteer service, i.e., community service organizations such as community councils, grange, PTA, professional organizations, boards, committees, and any other types of volunteer work. We use this information to gain a broader view of candidates as potential MEDEX students. PAs, as primary health providers, are active, integrated members of their communities. Evidence of previous community ties and involvement can indicate an interest in continuing that role as PA.