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There are several qualities and characteristics that PA programs are looking for in the most competitive applicants. Here is a list: 

  • Accountability 
  • Adaptability 
  • Ability to handle stress
  • Assertiveness
  • Academic ability   
  • Analytical thinking 
  • Attention to detail
  • Balance
  • Collaboration
  • Cooperation
  • Confidence
  • Compassion
  • Caring
  • Discipline
  • Diversity         
  • Empathy
  • Energy
  • Ethical
  • Friendly
  • Humility
  • Hard-working
  • Knows when to ask for help
  • Leadership
  • Life-long learner
  • Listener
  • Mature
  • Proactive
  • Problem solver
  • Service oriented
  • Strong interpersonal skills

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It is one thing to know what these quality's are, and another thing to demonstrate that you have some of them through your past experiences. If you are able to infuse these qualities into your essay or at your interview, you will be way ahead of the competition.


It is important, however, to research each program that you are applying to, and discover which of these quality's is most important t to them, not you! For instance, one program may really emphasize diversity, analytical thinking, and collaboration. So in your essay or interview, you would want to mention that you have these qualities by giving specific examples of how you've demonstrated them in school or other experiences. 


Most applicants will not do this.


If you look at my Interview Section, you'll see a much more detailed explanation of why these quality's are important, and how to use them to your advantage.