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Physician Assistants: The New Doctor-Nurse Hybrid

As a step towards regulating the influx of patients, there has been a significant increase in physician assistants as additions to doctors when it comes to patient care.

Not to confuse with physician’s assistants, physician assistants are medical providers who are licensed to diagnose and treat illnesses and prescribe medications.

So what do physician assistant recruiters look out for and how do you nail down a professional-looking physician assistant resume?

Here's a summary of the physician assistant resume blog to give you a slight head-start:

  • Choose the reverse chronological format to pass the ATS, and to win over the recruiters
  • Your resume summary should have under 4 lines of short sentences
  • In your work experience section, provide achievement figures in one-liners
  • Highlight your education section if you think it’ll be of particular interest to the recruiter
  • Mention your certifying examination in the certifications section in your physician assistant resume

As an aspiring physician assistant, do you doubt your abilities to make a good physician assistant resume? Do the questions below ring constantly in your head?

We'll be your guide to having a bomb PA resume!

Or, you could leave it to our Online Resume Builder to get a perfect resume for physician assistants that match your job description.

Is Physician Assistant a Good Career?

The U.S. News and World Report ranked physician assistant as second and third in best jobs overall in its 2020 ranking on best health-care jobs.

By ensuring proper delegation of work, a physician in collaboration with a physician assistant is better equipped to deal with a fast-paced environment, than the traditional practice of nurses and doctors.

physician-assistant-resume-what-is-a-pa

SOURCE: AAPA

Since physician assistants go through separate training and education, they can diagnose and treat patients on their own. Physician assistant jobs have seen a significant rise in recent years because of that alone.

Physician Assistant Job Description

Even though there is a distinction between a physician and a physician assistant, they can carry out all duties a physician would. ExploreHealthCareers say that their role extends to duties such as:

  • Take medical histories
  • Perform physical exams
  • Order and interpret laboratory tests
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses
  • Prescribe medications
  • Counsel patients
  • Assist in surgery
  • Set fractures

Physician assistant jobs are not restricted to primary care but extend to surgical and sub-specialities. They usually work in comfortable environments, unless in surgery, which would mean long work hours.

Is a Nurse Practitioner Above a Physician Assistant?

The post of a physician assistant can be confusing to some as their roles merge between that of a doctor and a nurse or a nurse practitioner.

While doctors have a separate and elaborate process, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are similar to Physician Assistants (PAs) in many ways.

The two factors that differentiate them are:

  • Physician assistants usually belong to the general medicine category but nurses must choose their field, like paediatrics or physiotherapy.
  • Physician assistants attend training programs modeled on medical school education but nurses have a separate Advanced Practice of Nursing to function as one.

What Does It Take to Be a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistant jobs require a higher degree of qualification since they work directly with patients.

To practice as a physician assistant, you must:

  • Graduate from an accredited PA program
  • Pass the national certification exam
  • Obtain a license in the state you wish to practice
  • Participation in supervised clinical training in one or more areas of medicine

Here's a list of PA programs by the Physician Assistant Education Association, updated in May each year to compare admission criteria and choose a program.

Physician Assistant Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 31% job growth rate for physician assistant jobs through 2029.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also says that physician assistant jobs earn an average salary of USD 116K annually.
  • Indeed says that physician assistant jobs bag an annual salary of USD 108K.
  • Whereas other websites like PayScale argue that physician assistants make an average of USD 99K per year.

What Is an ATS Compliant Physician Assistant Resume?

As a solution to the extensive recruiting process for any established company, The Applicant Tracking System or ATS works to cut down the time by a chunk.

The ATS screens the whole load of resumes that the recruiter receives, and scans them for keywords that match the job description put out by the company.

Your resume will land in the recruiters' hands only after passing this stage. So what can you do to ensure that your PA resume passes this test?

You can check out our blog on ATS Compliance to get a broader idea on the subject. You could also leave it to us at our Online Resume Builder, a physician assistant resume writing service and we’ll take care of the rest!

Which Resume Format Do You Pick for Your Physician Assistant Resume?

The key to perfecting your resume for a physician assistant is to choose the resume format that matches your requirements. These resume formats do not show what and what not to categorize, but how to do it. You can pick what works for your PA resume.

physician-assistant-resume-format

Reverse Chronological Format

We recommend the reverse chronological format for your physician assistant resume. Not only is it a ticket to pass the ATS, but it is also recruiter friendly and easier to prepare.

A reverse chronological format will help your physician assistant resume in these ways:

  • Your physician assistant skills and experience will be in reverse chronological order
  • It is ATS friendly and is the industry standard
  • Due to the structured listing, preferred by the recruiters as it is easier to parse through
  • It puts your recent work experience as the most recent, which is of more interest than your older experiences

Check out our post on Reverse Chronological Format to have a better understanding of this format and ways to prepare it.

You can also use a physician assistant resume writing service at our Online Resume Builder and leave the confusing parts of preparing a resume to us!

Functional Format

You might not have a clear trajectory of work experience, and maybe you don’t want it to show. In which case, you can use the functional format for your physician assistant resume.

As functional format highlights your skills more than your work experience, you can pull the focus to your certifications or skills instead.

The one downside to this format is that is not ATS compliant, but if you still want to move ahead with it, you can check out our post here for a better idea.

Combination Format

If your skills and work experience are equally highlight-worthy, this format can do wonders for you.

By presenting the first half of your physician assistant resume in reverse chronological format and the second half in functional format, the combination format gives you the best of both worlds.

However, it is time-consuming to prepare and not on par with most company guidelines.

Our post on Combination Format will give you all the details you need on this format, and you can pick your winner for your physician assistant resume.

Too anxious to risk it? Sign up for our Online Resume Builder and get a wide range of pre-filled physician assistant resume templates, and experts to give you a shortlist-worthy resume for physician assistant.

How Do I Write a Resume for a Physician Assistant?

In a fast-paced field like health-care, where recruiters can only spare a few seconds, you must ensure that your details are categorized properly. With attention to detail, you can ace your resume for physician assistant.

Given below are all the sections that can come under a resume for physician assistant:

  • Header
  • Personal Information
  • Profile Title
  • Summary/Objective
  • Key Skills
  • Professional Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications (if any)
  • Awards & Recognition (if any)
  • Additional Information (if any)

physician-assistant-resume-sections

You can take a quick look at Hiration's Guide to Sections in a Resume for a deeper explanation.

How to Add a Header in Your Physician Assistant Resume

Rather than using words like Resume or CV in this area, boldly state your name as it is the first piece of information on your resume for physician assistant.

To stand out, we would suggest a size range of 16-20 points in a clean and minimalist font. Leave a single space between your first and last name and enter just the initial of your first name.

If you need more information, you can check out our post on Resume Headers to nail down your physician assistant resume header.

Or you can check this physician assistant resume example for a header:

physician-assistant-resume-header

Include Your Contact Information in Your Physician Assistant Resume

In your resume, this section will tell your recruiter how they can contact you. So, make sure that you list details that are accessible for you.

The personal information section of your physician assistant resume includes:

  • A readily available phone number
  • Your professional email address
  • Location in city, state format

Check our post to know exactly how to add those details!

Given below is a physician assistant resume example for a well-crafted personal information section:

physician-assistant-resume-contact-information

If you don't know where to draw the line, use our Online Resume Builder and get 100+ pre-filled physician assistant resume templates to make the job x100 easier for you!

Give Your Physician Assistant Resume a Profile Title

This section of your physician assistant resume shows your job role. A profile title to go for in your resume can be Physician Assistant.

Keep in mind that it is the second more important text in your resume for a physician assistant, so make sure it is loud and clear. You can add it in a size range of 14-16 points and capitalize the first letter of both words.

A physician assistant resume example for a profile title is:

physician-assistant-resume-profile-title

Craft a Bomb Physician Assistant Resume Summary

Written in about 3 to 4 lines, your physician assistant resume summary is a brief of all the details that you would mention in your resume.

Keep in mind that this is not a place to stuff all of your details. Cherry-pick the ones that stand out the most, and is also of relevance to the recruiter.

While drafting a summary, ensure that it is:

  • Concise and not wordy
  • Packed with meaningful phrases and power verbs
  • Does not exceed 3-4 lines
  • Mentions your work experience in cause-effect methodology

Aside from a resume summary, you can use a physician assistant resume objective if you have less than three years of experience.

Those with long gaps in their career can also use a physician assistant resume objective as it places less emphasis on work experience.

The following is a good physician assistant sample for a summary section:

physician-assistant-resume-summary

If this seems confusing, you can check out our Resume Summary Guide or use our Online Resume Builder to make things a ton easier for you.

Highlight Your Skills in Your Physician Assistant Resume

It’s not all education and technical knowledge that paves the way to become a physician assistant. Working closely with patients entails a degree of control over several soft skills as well.

An established website for physician assistants called Link PAs divides the skills in the following ways:

Medical Skills Soft Skills Professional Skills
Understanding of Complex Patient Presentations Independent & Collaborative Practice-Based Learning
Investigative and Analytical Mind Interpersonal Communication System-Based Learning
Foundational Knowledge Compassionate Critical Thinking

Apart from the functional skills you can also create a separate section or a subsection under the key skills section and add your technical skills.

Technical skills can be all those skills that are either mechanical or technical in nature.

For example: Your knowledge of Excel Sheet or knowledge of medical equipments such as handling (electrocardiogram) EKG, taking X-ray, etc.

Be it any skill, make sure that the ones you mention fall in line with the job description. Customize your physician assistant resume for every job description and their requirements.

Here’s a sample physician assistant resume from our experts to give you an idea:

physician-assistant-resume-key-skill

Seems complicated? Check out our post on perfecting your key skills section to get a deeper insight!

Add Your Work Experience in Your Physician Assistant Resume

Professional experience is the section that gets zeroed in by all recruiters. It is of relevance as it shows where you’ve worked at, the roles that you adopted and the kind of work that you did, as a direct connotation of your dedication to work.

You can include details like:

  • The number of patients you had counseled on a daily basis
  • The area of medicine you worked in, like EMT, paramedic, medical technician and so on
  • The job title, clinic name, location and dates of your work experience

A few ways to optimize your work experience to make it seem more catchy are:

Use Powerful One-Liners

With what can be called power verbs, your resume for physician assistant can instantly create a positive impact on the recruiter.

You can use words like verified, documented, monitored, recorded, ordered to give the recruiter a direct idea of what you did.

By using one-liners instead of overdrawn sentences, you can convey yourself to the recruiter in far less time, which is what the recruiter wants as well.

Grouping and Highlighting

Instead of hitting your recruiter with a wall of text, consider breaking them down and grouping them into categories.

The idea of this tip is that you group your experience from a specific company under a heading and bold words that you think are important.

You can highlight any quantifiable results so that it directly shows the recruiter the experience you have had.

Use the STAR Format

This technique is effective as it paints a picture of your problem-solving skills to your recruiter, an important skill to have in any role.

By presenting a cause-effect methodology, you can impress your recruiter.

The STAR stands for:

  • The Situation you have executed the task.
  • The Tasks that were assigned to you.
  • Any Actions you undertook to perform the assigned task.
  • The Results or outcome of your action.

Here’s a sample physician assistant resume for a shortlist-worthy professional experience section:

physician-assistant-resume-professional-experience

You can find our very detailed post on power verbs and the selection of the right words to match your physician assistant job description here!

Or leave it to a physician assistant resume writing service at Hiration’s Online Resume Builder with 100+ pre-filled physician assistant resume templates, and stop worrying about getting it right altogether!

Enter Academic Details in Your Physician Assistant Resume


Ideally, a physician assistant starts working after attaining a masters degree. The prerequisites for that include a bachelors degree as well as completion of courses in basic and behavioral sciences.

To draft a good physician assistant resume for new graduates:

  • Mention the name and location of the university
  • Add it in the (mm/yy - mm/yy) format of the start and end date
  • Attach the names of relevant course modules

If you have years of experience as a physician assistant, you need only mention your degree, university, location and date.

In a sample physician assistant resume, an updated education section can look like this:

physician-assistant-resume-education

Include Relevant Certifications in Your Physician Assistant Resume


How do you put NCCPA on your PA resume?

Physician assistant jobs require a certifying examination after the completion of a masters degree to practice.

It is the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), which the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) administers.

If you have other physician assistant qualifications that are relevant, add them!

For the certifications, follow the format of
Certification | Certifying Authority | Time Period

Given below is a sample physician assistant resume for a certifications section:

physician-assistant-resume-certifications

Add Extra Information to Enhance Your Physician Assistant Resume

Have more to add? This section is your place to shine!

Here is an example of how you can craft the additional experience section in your physician assistant resume:

physician-assistant-resume-additional-information

Anything from language skills to volunteer experience to achievements or awards are accepted here. Try not to add irrelevant information and keep it professional and suitable to the physician assistant job.

Draft an Outstanding Physician Assistant Cover Letter


A professional PA resume with an equally bomb cover letter is a power duo!

It is the surest way to stand out from the rest of the applicants because of its customization. Unless requested by the company not to, sending a cover letter can boost your chances of getting a shortlist.

Here’s how you can frame your physician assistant cover letter:

  • Use simple sentences to make it easily readable
  • Try not to include anything absent in the resume
  • Do not exaggerate your achievements
  • Try not to repeat irrelevant details as your physician assistant resume will have all your details
  • In addition to talking about your achievements, talk more about how you can contribute to the company
  • As the recruiters will not spend much time on your cover letter, keep it short and concise

cover-letter-physician-assistant-resume

Don’t want to take the risk? Use a physician assistant cover letter service with 10+ ready to use cover letter templates that are perfect for physician assistant jobs!

Use the Hiration Resume Review Service

Upload your physician assistant resume on our Online Resume Builder and get suggestions on how you can improve it, along with a range of physician assistant resume templates!

You can match your PA resume to the physician assistant job description and ensure your resume guarantees a shortlist!

The team of experts at Hiration will review the following parameters with respect to your resume:

  • ATS Compliance
  • Performance Assessment
  • Resume Formatting
  • Design Compatibility
  • Content Relevance
  • Global Compatibility
  • Compliance with industry norms
  • Conversion Scope
  • Recruiter Friendliness

Make the best use of a physician assistant resume writing service at our Resume Review Service to get your own physician assistant resume sample and customize your resume to the best of your needs!

Hiration's Online Resume Builder

If the perfect PA resume seems like a mountain you can’t climb, we can do it for you!

Hiration’s Online Resume Builder is a physician assistant resume writing service that has tons of features to make your process pleasant, such as:

  • 100+ pre-filled physician assistant resume templates
  • 1-click design change
  • Auto bold feature
  • 25+ resume designs
  • Full rich-text editor
  • JD-resume matcher
  • Intuitive next text suggestion
  • Unlimited PDF downloads
  • LIVE resume editor
  • Option to save unlimited resumes
  • LIVE resume score
  • A sharable link

Not only that!

We provide a range of services to help you bag that job, such as:

Physician Assistant Resume Sample

Before you plunge into all the details, here is a sample physician assistant resume to give you a basic idea of how your resume for physician assistant should look!

Ross Wilson
Physician Assistant
SUMMARY
3+ years experienced NCCPA certified medical professional armed with a postgraduate degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Adept at conducting medical examination and interpreting X-ray & laboratory reports as part of suggesting effective treatment plans. Proficient in analyzing patients' medical history and maintaining departmental records as part of streamlining medical processes & facilitating patient care. Skilled in conducting research to develop cutting-edge medical techniques for increasing patient satisfaction while ensuring compliance with industry's policies & quality standards.
KEY SKILLS
• Patient Care • Health Assessment • Process Improvement • Patient Education • Illness Diagnosis • Treatment Planning
• Medical Record Management & Reporting • Medical Compliance • Documentation • Medication Administration • First Aid
Technical Skills: EMR and MS Office Suite
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Physician Assistant
South Georgia Medical Center
Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
    Founded in 1955, it is a non-profit regional hospital with 250+ beds and has ~2500 medical staff members
    Key Achievements
    • Received Physician Assistant of the Year Award in '20 for demonstrating exemplary services to the community
    • Acknowledged with Humanitarian of the Year Award for the year '19
    • Played a pivotal role in developing advanced medical techniques leading to an increase in patient satisfaction score by 30%
    Patient Care & Medical Reporting
    • Assisting in determining health conditions by interpreting results from patients' X-rays reports and laboratory studies
    • Conducting regular follow-ups and examining ~20 patients daily under the supervision of a senior physician
    • Educating patients about their health conditions while examining and diagnosing their injuries and illnesses
    • Performing non-invasive treatments in adherence to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons guidelines (AAOS)
    Medical Treatment Planning & Documentation
    • Identifying complications and prescribing medications to patients' for promoting & maintaining their health conditions
    • Aiding in diagnosing illness and developing & managing ~50 treatment plans while ensuring smooth medical procedures
    • Playing a key role in acquiring, updating, and studying patients' medical history to recommend courses of action for patient care
    • Rendering support in documenting patients' medical and departmental records while ensuring optimal accuracy
    TRAINING
    Certified Athletic Trainer
    Mayo Health Center
    Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
      It is one of the top heath centers in the United States providing fitness training program to 5k+ individuals in a month
      Rehabilitation Program Planning & Health Assessment
      • Planned and implemented rehabilitation and strength training programs for curing short & long term injuries
      • Rendered support in assessing injuries and assisting with applying tape, bandages, and braces to protect or prevent injuries
      • Liaised with coaches and medical professionals to evaluate athletes' physical health condition to suggest treatment plans
      • Developed and maintained records relating to athletes' diet & training plans while setting up health and fitness goals
      EDUCATION
      MS in Physician Assistant Studies
      Milingan University
      Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
        It is one of the top 10 universities in the United States with an enrollment of 4k+ scholars and 500+ teaching faculty
        • CGPA: 3.8/4.0
        BS in Health Sciences
        Albert University
        Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
          One of the oldest universities with an enrollment of 2k+ students and has 300+ staff members
          • CGPA: 3.6/4.0
          CERTIFICATIONS
          • NCCPA Certificate of Added Qualifications - Orthopaedic Surgery | Jun '21
          • NCCPA Certificate of Added Qualifications - Emergency Medicine | Dec '19
          VOLUNTEERING
          • Member of American Medical Association | Augusta, GA | Jul '19 - Present
          • Coordinating with 10+ volunteers for advising patients on preventative care and ensuring optimal health practices
          • Volunteer | Child Care | Augusta, GA | Aug '19 - Sep '20
          • Assisted in raising ~USD 20k funds by collaborating with ~15 volunteers
          • Rendered support in teaching English and Mathematics to 150+ children-at-risk
          ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
          • Languages: English (native) and Spanish (working proficiency)

          You can also choose our Online Resume Builder to get your own physician assistant resume sample in a breeze.

          Key Takeaways

          • Make sure that your listed contact information can reach you at all times.
          • Choose the right resume format to go with your career trajectory for your PA resume.
          • Add your certification details correctly so that your recruiters know you're qualified for the physician assistant job.
          • Use power verbs and one-liners in your professional experience section and highlight the important points.
          • Ensure that the skills and summary listed in your physician assistant resume syncs with the job description.
          • Make your PA resume is ATS friendly by using certain keywords mentioned in the job description.

          You can always reach out to us at team@hiration.com for any queries.