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Health care professionals develop and utilize their skills as leaders to foster collaboration, enhance organizations, improve services, and ultimately to serve others, both colleagues and patients.

As a Pre-PA student, you need to develop your ability to lead and guide others in the achievement of important goals. Although professional schools differ in the emphasis they place on leadership experiences, all applicants will need to demonstrate leadership through experiences, usually more than one. We recommend having 1-3 strong leadership experiences. You will need to research the specific schools that you intend to apply to in order to evaluate the kinds and amount of leadership experience they prefer. If a school does not explicitly talk about leadership in their admission requirements, you may want to look at the school’s mission, vision, values and objectives. For example, the University of Utah’s PA program lists leadership under its values and includes the following in a list of program objectives for its graduates: “Promote and cultivate the PA profession through leadership, scholarship, and service.”In addition to leadership, many professional schools value teamwork and collaboration. This is particularly true of schools that employ a Problem Based Learning (PBL) curriculum. Be prepared, especially during your interviews to show evidence of how you were an effective and contributing member of a team. As with all experiences necessary to be a competitive applicant, choose to pursue leadership in areas and organizations that you truly care about. You are preparing to become a leader in health care, not simply checking off the boxes to be admitted. Remember the purpose behind these expectations. Learn the skills, lead others, and then you’ll be better prepared to write about and communicate these experiences in your application and during your interviews.

Examples of possible leadership experiences:

  • Church missions (any leadership with training, district/zone/training leaders, AP)
  • Employment/Being a TA
  • TeachingMentoring
  • Coaching
  • Tutoring
  • Research lab teams
  • Sports/Athletics
  • Clubs
  • Church callings