Top Physician Assistant Student Resources & Experts for 2021

Regardless of where you are in your Physician Assistant (PA) journey, knowing where to turn for news about the field, advice from other professionals or students, and even reviews for the best new scrubs is important.

Along with Picmonic for Physician Assistant and trusted colleagues or classmates, having some of the best PA online resources will help you excel in your career, whether it’s just beginning or you’ve got a few years behind you. To help ensure you’ve got everything you need, here are our top six PA online resources for 2021. Enjoy!

The PA Life

The PA Life is exactly what it sounds; the life of a PA starting at the very beginning and lasting throughout your career. Wondering if pursuing a PA career is the right path for you? Want to know how to get started in this career? What about picking a PA program or applying for grad school? The PA Life has information to guide you through these questions and then some. They have free content and paid content but there’s something for every future and practicing PA.

A few of the things we really like about The PA Life include:

  • PA School Mock Interviews – these recorded online interviews allow applicants to practice and prepare with the opportunity to reflect and adjust your presentation.
  • Essay Help – your personal statement is such an important part of your application so they offer a review service to make sure your statement reflects the best of you.

Adanna The PA

There is so much to Adanna The PA, which is what we love! Adanna is an honest, enthusiastic, smart physician assistant who shares her insights and experiences with future PAs and her peers in the field. She dives deeply into PA school with an entire section dedicated to the year one Didactic Year content with topics like a live look at a class and how to manage PA school with kids at home. Her year two Clinical Year collection gives visitors a look into her different clinical experiences like general surgery, trauma, primary care and pediatrics.

Beyond what to expect during your PA program, Adanna shares her personal experiences like graduation, learning the results of her board exam, loads of Q and A videos and even timely topics to help in your PA practice.

American Academy of PAs

The American Academy of PAs or AAPA, is the national professional society for PAs with more than 131,000 PAs from throughout the U.S. The AAPA is focused on growing, enhancing and advocating for the profession, and for supporting PAs throughout their career. AAPA also offers members an online community and support from peers to grow your network or find colleagues and classmates.

What you can expect from AAPA:

  • The Student Academy has a student board of directors made up of current PA students.
  • Their Career Central has resources for every phase of your career from pre-PA to your advanced career.
  • A number of events from large, in-person conferences to on-demand Continuing Medical Education (CME).

As a PA, AAPA will be an important resource for different reasons during different phases in your career.

Be A Physician Assistant

We love great resources that offer amazing free content along with their premium content. Be A Physician Assistant is one of those! Ryanne has been a PA for more than 13 years and covers so many topics in-depth that we know you’ll find a lot of value here.

Her free content for pre-PA students and current students includes PA program profiles, funding PA school, being a second-time applicant, student loan forgiveness and more. She also offers services like interview prep, personalized plans, application support, and her “5 Keys to an Effective PA School Essay” guidebook along with other highly-recommended outside resources.

For topics to help you through your career, her free content has information about managing PA burnout, understanding specialties in the PA field and ways to advocate for the profession.

Matt JJ PA YouTube

Matt shares his experiences and passion as a PA with you on his YouTube channel and it’s definitely worth watching! He dives into pre-PA school prep, PA shadowing, choosing the right program, and lots of studying tips – including how Picmonic worked well for him because of the visual learning aspects and switching studying modes! Matt also talks about his first job, tips for some of the real-world work and personal experiences.

We love the authenticity of his videos which range from around 3 minutes to around 23 minutes and are solely focused on helping current and future PAs navigate their PA program or their career.

PA By Day

Kali and Queen are PAs living in Houston and share their love of the medical field as well as how they balance it with travel and the fun! They review scrubs and medical equipment, share insights about timely medical topics, study tips – including Picmonic! – and more. Then there is the travel posts. Whether or not traveling is your way to unwind, it’s a nice break in-between the more serious content PAs are studying. Scrolling through their Instagram is a great mix of Physician Assistant life, a little fun, and beautiful travel. It’s almost like being on a vacation – almost.

Now that you’ve kicked off your PA program, here are a few great resources when you are ready to start thinking about prepping for the PANCE.

Smarty PANCE

If you are currently in PA school, you’ve probably heard about Smarty PANCE. There’s a reason thousands of PAs have relied on Smarty PANCE to pass their PANCE or PANRE exam; it was created for PAs by PAs. You can break down your practice exams in different ways, like topic areas including cardiology and dermatology, or use comprehensive exams, practice legacy exams and receive daily email series exams. What’s really reassuring is that all this studying with Smarty PANCE replicates exactly what you will see on test day.

Here at Picmonic, we support you using the tools, methods and routines that will help you study and retain information more efficiently, which is why we really like Smarty PANCE. And, you can now integrate Picmonic into your Smarty PANCE allowing them to work together to maximize your studying.

PANCE Prep Pearls

PANCE Prep Pearls was created by Dwayne Williams, a practicing PA since 2002. He is committed to helping PA students pass their PANCE exam by serving as the director of didactic education and as a clinical preceptor for his alma mater Long Island University, and as didactic year adjunct professor for PANCE review courses at Weill Cornell Medical College.

What you will find with PANCE Prep Pears is more than 8,000 clinically-based questions to help enhance your skills and improve your test-taking abilities. We love that, like Picmonic, you can tailor your practice exam because everyone learns differently and has different areas that need more attention than others. A fun bonus, Dwayne also created The Ultimate Medical Mnemonic Comic Book, combining over 150 cartoons, bullet points, and humor to review and retain important medical information.

Being a PA means you’ve worked hard, in undergrad, in graduate school, studying for exams and every day in your job. No matter where your career takes you, we know you’ll do well. Having resources and peers to share and learn from, and the Picmonic visual learning system by your side, will make the journey even more enjoyable and successful. Get started with Picmonic for free today!

Brent Hawkins
Brent Hawkins, MPAS, PA

His career as a physician assistant began in the clinic but has taken him places he never would have imagined. He worked as a PA in family medicine for two years after graduating from the University of North Texas Health Science Center PA Program in Fort Worth, Texas. Over the past ten years, he’s had the unique opportunity to help health professional students in their training through writing, editing, and creating educational content. His time in health-professional student education has allowed him to be involved in video production, medical illustration, and curriculum development. His specific focus is on developing test preparation for PANCE and USMLE.

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