Selection Factors and Preferences

The MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant program is mission-driven and is committed to educating experienced health personnel from diverse backgrounds. Each application is reviewed holistically including assessment of the following factors:  

  • Ability to communicate, professionalism, problem-solving ability and maturity  
  • Community service  
  • Interest and experience in rural health, underserved populations and/or primary care  
  • Motivation to become a PA, and interest and/or commitment to the MEDEX mission  
  • Review of overall scholastic record, including GPAs and, TOEFL score (if applicable)  
  • Review of direct, hands-on patient care experience  
  • Review of letters of recommendation  
  • Review of personal statement and supplemental application statements  

MEDEX strongly encourages applications from persons from all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, religious, and educational backgrounds and from persons from groups underrepresented in medicine. In addition to these considerations, MEDEX gives preference to the following applicants:  

  • Current and/or previous residents of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho (WWAMI) and Hawaii  
  • Non-residents of WWAMI and Hawaii who have a regional connection to these states such as family who are residents, or military service in these states  
  • Veterans and/or active duty  

Profile: A Competitive MEDEX Applicant  

This profile is meant as an overview of the strengths of common competitive applicants, not to capture all acceptable or required elements in an application. Not all listed items are required to be a successful applicant to the MEDEX program, but all recommendations are designed to help applicants best prepare a competitive application.  

Remember, MEDEX is looking for applicants who demonstrate that they are thoroughly prepared both academically and clinically to succeed in an intense, scientific, professional medical curriculum, where they can ultimately become qualified healthcare providers.  

Academic History:  

A competitive MEDEX applicant will have a comprehensive science background; upper division health-related science coursework is preferred.  

Science prerequisites will be recent; within 5-7 years of application.  

Overall, science, and 90 credit GPAs will be at or above a 3.45.  

Clinical History:  

To be competitive, a MEDEX applicant will have 4,000+ hours in a direct hands-on care capacity. The most competitive positions will have significant patient care responsibility that includes development of clinical skills and medical decision-making.  

The most common accepted examples of these positions include: military medicine (corpsman, healthcare specialist, medic, etc.), emergency medicine (paramedic, EMT, ER tech), nursing fields (RN, LPN/LVN), respiratory therapy, and medical assisting.  


Competitive MEDEX applicants will have a history of volunteerism and connection to their community. While individual short-term volunteering opportunities are valued, applicants with long-term volunteering commitments will be viewed as more competitive.  

PA Shadowing:  

A competitive MEDEX applicant will have spent hours shadowing or working directly with a PA in order to understand the role of the profession. The strongest applicants will have experience with PAs in various medical specialties in order to develop a broadened exposure to healthcare.  


A competitive MEDEX applicant will have 3-5 recent references from healthcare professionals who can comment on qualifications and aptitude for the PA profession.  

The best references will be comprehensive from a source that knows the applicant well, with at least one from a PA.  

Geographic Connection:  

A competitive MEDEX applicant will live (or have lived), have a strong connection to, or a desire to work in the MEDEX service region of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho or Hawaii. MEDEX looks for applicants who have a commitment to serving the healthcare needs of the WWAMI and Hawaii regions 

Personal Statements:  

Competitive MEDEX applicants use the personal statement on the CASPA application to clearly explain their goals in becoming a PA, including their understanding of the profession. The best personal statement will tell MEDEX reviewers something about the applicant that is not apparent in other sections of the application.  

MEDEX Mission:  

Finally, a competitive MEDEX applicant will understand the MEDEX mission and how their personal mission aligns with the goals of the program. Stated personal missions or connections to the MEDEX mission should be echoed in an applicant’s work, shadowing, or volunteer history.