A physician assistant recommendation letter is a document used to highlight a person’s work history and abilities as a health care professional. If you are a physician assistant (PA) and are in search of a better position within this line of work, you should obtain as many letters of recommendation as you can to strengthen your application. The person in charge of hiring new PA’s will choose only the most promising candidates for interviews and a great letter of recommendation weighs heavily in your favor. This letter should be personal, well thought out and should speak to the applicant’s professional abilities, strengths, accomplishments, and attitude in the workplace.
Table of Contents
- Who to Select?
- How to Write (Format)
- Physician Assistant Recommendation Letter – Sample 1
- Physician Assistant Recommendation Letter – Sample 2
- Physician Assistant Recommendation Letter – Sample 3
When selecting someone to write a physician assistant letter of recommendation, it’s best that the requester ask someone who has firsthand knowledge of their qualifications and who can speak on behalf of the work habits relevant to this particular medical field. The letter can be written by a doctor, another physician assistant, a practice administrator, a patient or anyone else who might be able to properly assess the PA’s abilities. A more detailed letter of recommendation will warrant closer consideration by the recruiter, therefore the stronger the relationship between the writer and the applicant, the better the chance of acceptance. It is beneficial to select someone who is respected and admired in their field and can properly articulate the intentions and qualifications of the applicant.
Much like other recommendation letters, the formatting of a physician letter of recommendation is broken up into three parts; an introduction, 1-2 body paragraph(s), and a conclusion. This letter should give the reader a good idea of the applicant’s eligibility for the position for which they are applying. The author should describe the context in which they know the applicant, the length of their relationship, and the applicant’s qualities/skills (providing they relate to the health care profession). If the PA in question has worked in many departments, and has performed a wide range of duties, including as many as possible will increase their chance of acceptance. There is no need to include any background information unrelated to the field of medicine; keep the tone professional and write in the style of a traditional business letter.
An introduction will include your name, the applicant’s name, your relationship to the applicant and duration of said relationship, as well as your reason for recommending them. This paragraph should be brief, between 2-4 sentences, and should always begin with a formal greeting “Dear [name],” or “To whom it may concern,” depending on your knowledge of the person handling the applications.
Below is an example of a good introduction, which clearly states the relationship between the doctor and PA, and the intent of the letter.
To whom it may concern,
I am Dr. Richardson, ER doctor at Lexington Hospital, and I would like to recommend Jared Townes for the PA position you have available. I have seen Mr. Townes improve as a physician assistant throughout his 4 years working here. He is a bright, talented, dedicated young man who has become a vital member of our team. He will be sorely missed.
This next example is brief and to the point. The author knows who is in charge of recruiting new applicants, so a personal greeting is used.
Dear Mrs. Peabody,
My name is Aditya Mangalam, practice administrator at Brookdale Family Care Center. It is with great pleasure that I recommend Angella Panretti for the physician assistant position at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. I have watched her grow into an invaluable PA over the course of the past 6 years, playing an important role at our health care facility.
The majority of the content of the letter will be found in the body paragraph(s), where the writer can go into greater detail concerning the candidate’s demeanor, work ethic, and their responsibilities at work. The body should consist of 2-3 paragraphs and, for the sake of clearer formatting, shouldn’t comprise of more than 3-5 sentences each.
Be aware of the specific job the applicant is applying for and provide examples of the applicant’s experiences to effectively showcase their ability to perform the duties that will be required of them. Describe their positive characteristics, attitude in the workplace, their rapport with patients and coworkers, and their knowledge of medicine. It is not necessary to include a candidate’s hobbies or interests outside of work, no matter how impressive the individual’s experiences or talents are. If they are not pertinent to this particular field of medicine, the information does not belong in a physician assistant letter of recommendation.
Richard has a deep understanding of the field of medicine, and has been a huge asset to our emergency department. He is quick on his feet, and always ready for action. I have worked at this hospital for 16 years and Richard appears to be one of the most talented PA’s I’ve seen. He is a highly-educated individual, and has a calm and confident demeanor.
Richard is efficient at evaluating and treating patients, and he is able to complete these duties while preserving the patient’s comfort. He has assisted me in multiple surgical procedures and makes sure everything I need is readily available. We deal with life and death on a daily basis and Richard has the ability to focus and perform without error despite the potentially severe consequences.
Example #1 is written by an ER doctor that has worked closely with this particular PA and he lists a few of the applicant’s responsibilities, providing sufficient examples to effectively demonstrate his competency.
Mr. Delaney is devoted to his job and completes his duties with urgency and certainty. Whether it’s monitoring a patient’s condition, performing histories and physicals, issuing treatments and medications, or providing assistant coverage, Mr. Delaney’s performance is impeccable. He also strives to stay on top of the latest developments and medical technology; it took him no time to become well-versed in the new electronic medical records standard that has been recently incorporated into our medical offices.
Mr. Delaney also gets along with the hospital staff very well, setting a good example for the younger nurses and PA’s. He has a very relaxed disposition that is reassuring to everyone around him, especially patients. Mr. Delaney holds himself to high standards of ethics and integrity.
The second example does a convincing job highlighting the PA’s wide range of capabilities and their sensibility in the workplace.
This section of the letter should be brief, consisting of 2-3 sentences. The idea is to wrap up any final thoughts about the PA’s abilities that will help persuade the person reviewing the applications. Reiterate your willingness to recommend this individual and explain again why they would be a good fit for the job. Provide some contact information before ending the letter with a formal sign-off, signature, name, position, and place of work.
Please take the time to consider Tina Kwalinski for the physician assistant position in your OR department. Her organizational skills and alertness in this field will be a great asset to your institution. If you have any doubts about her qualifications, feel free to contact me at .
Mr. Thomas Little
St. Mary’s Hospital
This practice would not have run this smoothly without the exemplary dedication and efficiency of Mr. Cole. He has my highest recommendation and support in his application for physician’s assistant at your hospital. If further information is needed on Mr. Cole’s work here at Unity Healthcare, please contact me via phone ) or email ().
Diane Reed, M.D.
To whom it may concern,
I am writing this recommendation letter on behalf of Sylvia Nguyen who has worked as a physician assistant here at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center for the past 7 years. My name is Dale Carter and have been overseeing Sylvia’s progress throughout her time here. I have been a PA in this hospital for 18 years and it has been an honor to work alongside such a professional, honest, and caring individual.
During her first few years, Sylvia provided excellent service to patients in all departments. Sylvia is very experienced in patient care; admitting patients, performing histories and physicals, and discharging patients. She is able to multi-task to a high degree and is able to relay numerous patient evaluations by memory. Up to the point when she was reassigned to the critical care unit, patients would often request Sylvia specifically.
Sylvia gained a great deal of knowledge working in the critical care unit, where she was able to demonstrate her skills and efficiency. Doctors were impressed by her natural talent in this department and, before long, she was performing minor surgeries and setting simple fractures. Sylvia works well independently as well as with other PA’s, nurses, and doctors. She brings energy to the team, knowing when to take control and when to provide support to her coworkers.
Please give Sylvia your closest consideration for the position you have available at Meadowbrook Hospital. I will miss working with Sylvia, but I know she’s destined for greater things. Please contact me at if further information is required for her application.
Dale Carter, PA
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center
Dear Dr. Halton,
Jonathon Mulrooney has earned my highest recommendation for the position of physician assistant at your clinic. Mr. Mulrooney has been an excellent addition to our team here at Perlman Clinic, providing great patient care with his kind and compassionate demeanor. During his 3 years working as a PA, he’s proved to be a patient, knowledgeable and hard-working individual.
I demand quality care at my clinic, and I expect my team to work diligently and effectively, while ensuring that patients are comfortable and relaxed. Mr. Mulrooney receives outstanding reviews from patients as well as other doctors and assistants. He has amazing problem-solving skills and is experienced in performing a multitude of tasks and examinations for a wide variety of situations. Mr. Mulrooney is committed to the field of medicine, constantly educating himself on developing technologies, procedures, and innovations in patient-care.
It’s been a pleasure working alongside such a bright, young mind. Mr. Mulrooney is full of life, always promoting healthy living and positive thinking. Patients and staff alike are touched by his kindness and empathy. Mr. Mulrooney has gained a lot of experience working here, but I believe we’ve learned just as much from him.
This clinic has improved due to Mr. Mulrooney’s time here and I’m sure he will have the same effect at his next job. I recommend Mr. Mulrooney without hesitation. If further information is needed, my work phone number is .
Stephen Perlman, M.D.
To whom it may concern,
I, Lisa Morgan, recommend Leana with confidence for the PA position available at Rose Medical Center. I hired Leana 3 years ago straight out of her PA program where she was top of her class. She has helped lighten the load of our physicians here at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, and has done so with the utmost professionalism
Leana can work efficiently in high stress situations and can adapt quickly to new patients. She is able to perform all the necessary duties including conducting patient rounds, treating patients, issuing medications and administering physicals. Leana is deliberate in her actions but has a gentle touch and a calming demeanor which is a prized quality, especially for treating children. I’ve had many parents approach me and comment on Leana’s gentle disposition, deeply moved by her sincerity and warm-heartedness.
If hired, Leana would make an invaluable addition to your staff. She has provided excellent care for our patients and we are all sorry to see her go. Please contact me at if you have any further questions concerning Miss MacDowell’s eligibility.
Mrs. Lisa Morgan
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children