Healthcare Experience

Competitive applicants are recommended (but not required) to have a minimum of six months full-time healthcare employment, or 1,000 total hours of hands-on patient care experience and/or community service in a healthcare setting.  Preference is given to applicants having experience that requires a period of training and results in direct (hands-on) patient care.

  • Examples include: EMT, Paramedic, Registered Nurse, Medical Assistant, CNA, ER Tech, Physical Therapy Aide
  • Hours associated with the completion of academic degrees, certifications, or training will not count

Evidence of community service (i.e., healthcare for under-served populations, medical mission trips) is highly valued.

PA Shadowing

Applicants are encouraged to "shadow" a PA to become knowledgeable of the role of the physician assistant; this experience does not count as patient care experience.  Due to legal considerations, the Yale University PA Program is not able to assist PA Program applicants with obtaining PA shadowing experiences.  Applicants may consider contacting local physician assistant organizations for assistance and networking opportunities.

CASPA Application Tip

For the class entering in the fall 2012, hours of healthcare experience (including volunteer) ranged from 100 to 18,000 total hours. When submitting an application through CASPA, applicants are asked to categorize their experiences as either Patient Care Experience or Related Health Experience, and should follow the instructions provided by CASPA at that time in order to assess the distinctions and select the appropriate category.