Hit the Ground Running: From PA-S to PA-C

By Alexa Llewellyn, PA-S

Jan. 19, 2016


My name is Alexa Llewellyn and I am a second-year Physician Assistant student from the University of Pittsburgh. I am currently finishing my final clinical rotation and will be taking the PANCE on February 27, 2016. I completed my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Lock Haven University in 2013. Prior to embarking on my journey to becoming a PA, I worked as a nurse aide on a med/surg and orthopedic unit at my hometown medical center.

Hit the Ground Running:

Anticipating graduation in mid-February, I began applying to various PA jobs near my hometown in November. By the end of the semester, I had a few interviews scheduled to take place over my winter break in December. I interviewed for positions in hospital medicine, gastroenterology, and occupational health with two major health systems near my hometown. My experience interviewing was wonderful. I had always imagined that my first PA interview would be, well terrifying, but it was actually very relaxing. Unlike interviewing experiences in my past (especially my PA school interviews!!), I felt that during my PA employment interviews I held more cards in my hand than I would, which made me feel comfortable and easier to be myself. About two weeks after my interviews, I was asked to provide professional references from previous preceptors, advisors/instructors, and my program director. About a week after submitting my references, I received my first job offer in occupational health at the work center in my hometown. Hearing the details of the job offer was like being a little kid hearing your parents discuss details they are planning for your first trip to Disney – I could hardly contain my enthusiasm! Knowing that I have a job opportunity after graduating is one of the best feelings in the world! I am waiting to review the full details of the job offer before I make a decision.

Other than that, right now I am working on packing and moving out of my apartment near Pittsburgh. My fiancé and I have an apartment back in my hometown that we are moving into on Jan. 23, so I am trying to make sure that I have everything packed up and squared away! I am also trying to fit a couple of hours of studying for the boards in each day, which can be a little tough especially since I am working 40 hours a week at my last clinical rotation site. I am starting my second week in my rotation (five weeks total) and so far it’s pretty laid back so I do have a little time for studying during the day. But for the most part, I’ve been working on practice questions at night before bed. Right now I’m feeling pretty good with my progression, especially since I’ve learned that everyone in my class that took the PANCE at the beginning of January have all passed! (Congrats everyone!!) In the meantime, I am going to try to take things one day at a time and do my best to prepare for boards! Only 41 days until the big day!

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