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Shadowing a PA in Massachusetts

Pre-PA students are frequently encouraged and required by many PA schools to explore the role of the physician assistant.  Finding a PA to shadow can be quite challenging.  MAPA does not maintain an active list of facilities or individuals that will accept shadowers, as local policies frequently change and it is up to each practicing PA if they are able to accept a student for shadowing.    

However, there remains a number of options and opportunities in the state to set up shadowing experiences.  The following suggestions are not meant to be all-inclusive but rather provide some guidance on how to gain this experience.

  1. Join MAPA and attend our local conferences.  Many practicing PAs attend our conferences to network and all it may take is a simple hello to be on your way to your first shadowing experience.
  2. Many students contact their own general practitioner or primary care provider office as PAs frequently work in these offices.
  3. Local hospitals in your geographic area may have an established internship or shadowing program set up.  Search their webpage or contact them for available opportunities.
  4. Physician Assistant Shadow Online is a resource that allows students and practicing PAs to create profiles and communicate to set up a shadowing session.
  5. The Physician Assistant Forum has a section for “shadowing opportunities” where students can post their location in search of a local PA to respond