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About Topsy

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  1. Did you know right away after Shadowing, PA was the right fit for you? 100%? Or did it take a few settings and time to find out where you envisioned your dream specialization. I knew (even before shadowing!) that PA was the right fit for me. I think that is something that you have to determine yourself. Ask yourself: why not MD? DO? RN/NP? PT? Some times ruling out why other specialties are not a good fit for you can clarify why PA may be the right path. And before, during, and even after PA school I don't have a "dream specialization." So I wouldn't worry too much about that. Is it realistic to think I could eventually become a PA and get away from more of the 9-5 office setting? Something more fast paced and maybe shift work? Hospitalist and ER positions can be fast paced and pretty well-paying. Surgery can also be more varied; a few days in clinic and a couple days OR to break up the monotony. I believe the area where the clinic was located (in the ghetto) and demographic sort of played into the experience, is that a tale tell sign I could be wrong for the profession? I would encourage you to be open minded about the demographic situation. You don't know what school you'll get into, what rotation locations they have set up, etc. And you may find yourself changing your mind after interacting with patients. You definitely need to get some patient care experience - medicine can be gross: vomit, blood, diarrhea, necrosis, bugs, things that ooze and smell. So the question will be do you not like patient care, or do you not like touching "sick" patients. If it's the former, you could do research or medical sales without needing the PA degree. If it's the later, maybe consider psych or another specialty.
  2. Hey! Are you still reading and critiquing personal statements? I'd love to have some feedback, Thanks.  

  3. I have read this type of opening sentence over and over...and over in multiple PS. I would not recommend it.
  4. This reads like a regurgitation of a resume. Big no-no Why PA? why not RN? CRNA? You have to show why the profession is personally meaningful to you. What qualities do you have that would make you a good fit to be a PA? And what aspects of the PA profession would be a good fit for you? Take less time listing off your accomplishments and more time talking about what being a PA means in the big picture: connecting with patients, helping people at their most vulnerable, listening and really understand a communitites needs, educating and advocating about the PA profession... could go on and on. Maybe instead of focusing on, hey! here's why I'm super great! turn the tables to say yeah, I'm pretty awesome, but I'd be humbled and honored to join the PA profession because... Show the ad comms why they should take a chance on you. Think about what you can provide to others as a PA, not just what you'd get out of it personally.
  5. Woo! Thanks Toasty for paying it forward! I agree with lots of the comments that Toasty made. I will merely add on the existing edits When I set foot inside the oncology department, I wasn’t too sure about how I would like it. I’d been After watching medical documentaries and television shows for twelve years, and I had my heart set on surgery (I think I might lik this second sentence as an opener better than your first. That being said, I dunno how good of an idea it is to start off with that whole, cuz I liked it on tv it influenced my career. I mean, if that were the case I'd be back in the 50s inspired by the Mad Men bunch. I mean, on an interview if they ask why are you drawn to medicine, will you say tv shows and documenaries?? Just food for thought). But as a high school student Unfortunately, getting into the hospital’s internship program as a high school student was hard (challenging? competitive, perhaps?) enough, and the operating room wasn’t an option. I learned so much In in my first week, I learned so much, but I was still unsure of whether or not oncology would should be something I would to pursue (This sentence seems unnecessary because you previously mentioned you had your heart set on surgery; I think it should be deleted if you need more room to write). I got to sit in on sat in on scheduled appointments with the radiation oncology department, shadowing both nurses and doctors. Towards the end of my first month there, Once I had the opportunity to talk with some patients in the waiting room, while they were waiting for their treatments And that’s when it. my trajectory in medicine changed. all changed for me (I think you should be more specific with the “it” that changed for you, so I reworded the sentence). There was something special about these patients, something I had never seen in other specialties areas of medicine (Can you really compare patients to other specialties? You haven’t mentioned your experience talking to patients in surgical specialties, which is what you were interested in at first). <-- agree Optimism. Hope. Courage. These people were determined to give their all, no matter how rough the road would get for them. They knew were informed of their statistics, of their odds of survival and of their grueling treatment plans.. They knew that the treatments were grueling, and Despite the inevitably tough road faced by them and their loved ones, they showed up to their appointments ready to fight as hard as they could to defy the odds given to them. would not be easy for them or for their loved ones. But they showed up for their appointments, ready for what was being thrown their way. They understood what was going to happen, and how their lives would change. And they ready to fought as hard as they could to defy the odds that were given to them. (a lot of these statements were repetitive so I combined a few) These patients gave me hope and courage for my future, and I started to realize that if they could face something as utterly terrifying as cancer, I could face my biggest fears as well. In Throughout my six months that I spent as an intern interning in the oncology department and the years I returned there as a volunteer, I slowly but surely fell in love with the field of oncology. (From “….something I had never seen in other specialties…” to the end of this paragraph, I think the whole idea suggests that you wouldn’t care about patients with other types of medical/terminal conditions because you don’t think they have “optimism, hope, courage.” Maybe reword the transition.) This is really touching. Really good work. I think what would make it more powerful is writing this in present tense - these people are determined... they show up... they give me hope... Using present tense verbs let's readers know that you understand these are ongoing things) I had never considered really thought much about becoming a Physician Assistant (PA) until I had requested a job shadowing opportunity at a shadowed a local oncology practice. On the day that I arrived, (sorry I had to link it; immediately popped in my mind as I read that) instead of being greeted by the main physician at the practice, I met the PA that worked there. She greeted me, and Although I knew little about the PA profession, I learned a lot in that eight-hour day. I sat in on various procedures and appointments, all of which she performed and took care of without batting an eyelash. Meanwhile, the physician was in his office, writing out notes and making phone calls. Take this sentence out. It sounds demeaning to physicians (your future collegues) so don't bother putting it in; that way you don't have to worry about offending anyone.It was then that I really discovered how much better suited I would be for a PA program rather than for medical school. (These last two sentences give me the impression that you think a doctor only ever sits in his office to write out notes and make phone calls. Maybe describe that you know that physicians can also provide patient care, except they spend MORE time in their office than PAs do.. or something like that. However, I’m not sure if that statement is even true for the PA profession). take the time to develop what about the PA profession was so meaningful to you; similar to what you did in the above paragraph Being a very hands-on person, I often thought I wanted to become an artist (this is a sudden topic to bring up. Also, I thought after 12 years of watching medical shows you had your heart set on surgery?) I loved the precision and execution of doing something on my own- but I also valued communicating with others. I loved helping people, but I could never see myself as a teacher (teacher? I thought we were talking about you wanting to be an artist). I loved lending a hand when needed, and especially loved to help people feel better. Which is why I ended up considering becoming a surgeon. (oh I see, we’re going through how you narrowed down your decision to become a PA.) The hands-on experience that I craved, coupled with my passion for helping people steered me in the direction of medicine. I still have a pretty intense interest in surgery, due to these reasons. However, while shadowing the PA, I realized that she performed in-office procedures, such as bone marrow biopsies, which fascinated me as well. (I think this whole paragraph can be deleted or at least redone with a better transition and also more in depth reasons why you switched from Artist à teacher à surgeon à PA; as it stands, it is not very convincing) totally agree. get rid of it; the jumping around just is not convincing. it feels more like coincidence - well, I ruled out this, that, and the other, so the only thing left was medicine/PA. NO. you want to convey that this is a deliberate choice, not an after-thought. or if you really want, maybe use only 1 - the artist - and use it as your intro. You could tie it to surgey, showing how they are similar, and then showing how the leap from hands-on art to hands-on medicine isn't that big of a leap at all. To help me prepare for becoming a PA (this is weird sounding to me. Maybe just: To help me pepare to becom a PA...), I obtained my certifications as both an Emergency Medcial Technician and a Certified Nursing Assistant. (Describing specifically how these jobs have helped you prepare for becoming a PA would be helpful - E.g. ability to adapt and work in stressful environments as an EMT, ability to handle patients delicately as a CNA) <--yes Most recently, I worked at a Girl Scout Summer Camp as their health director, taking care of both children and staff members who were sick or injured. I had to think quickly to address issues with both children and adults, and I had to make vital decisions on whether or not a health concern in a camper or staff member could be taken care of in our health center, or if further, specialized medical attention was necessary (see, these are good examples from your girl scout expereince.). I took vitals, and learned how to perform basic exams on patients who came in on the first day of camp. I also obtained Medication Administration Certification training, and I was authorized to give medications to children as directed. Working in this setting was both an amazing and rewarding experience. I also gained valuable leadership and critical thinking skills, as I had to make decisions fairly quickly and take initiative in all cases. It even gave me a newfound interest in both pediatrics and in primary care, in addition to my interest in surgery and oncology. For someone like me, I believe that Becoming a PA is the right decision for me because of my passion for helping others, as well as my sincere interest in oncology, surgery, pediatrics and primary care. many different fields in medicine. I am a very hands-on person who enjoys working on her feet and solving puzzles and mysteries, especially when it comes to patients. I am also very good at following directions, and I respect figures of authority, which is an important aspect of being a PA (I am indifferent about mentioned these things as skills to highlight, because it doesn’t take much effort to follow directions or to respect figures of authority). <-- yes. I also crave the expansive options that PAs have once they graduate; I won’t ever be stuck in the specialty that I choose (being “stuck” in a specialty has a very negative tone that contrasts with your interest in specific fields that you elaborated on earlier, so I would take it out and replace it with this last sentence, which as a more positive spin on it) I’ll have the freedom to explore my varied interests and put my skills to good use. I understand the sacrifices that I will have to make for my career, but there is nothing in the world I would rather do. I am a firm believer in the quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” And that is my goal. Toasty has lots of good notes! definitely take them into consideration that being said, this whole PS seems a bit self-centered to me. you talk extensively about how you got to this point in your life, why you'd be good, your relevant experience... but that's just a teeny tiny part of the big picture you need to cover. take it 1 step further think about framing what you'd get out of PA into how you can pass that on to someone else. for instance, you say "I crave the expansive options... so I won't get stuck," which is entirely negative in tone and quite selfish. if you merely tweak it to say "I crave the expansive options so I will be able to adapt my skills and specialities to my communities needs" <-- BAM. That's how you take things 1 step further. also, now that I think about it, I would just cut out the long winded story of being interested in surgery, peds, etc. emphasize oncology because that was your great anecdote, but you can mention the other specialties in passing: "Although I am passionate about oncology and helping patients in their most vulnerable time of need, I still like the idea of having the skill set to be flexible to be able to serve my community in whatever capacity I can. From pediatrics to surgery, I know a strong edcuation as a PA will prepare me for...." Now that I think about it, I think you need to do some rearranging: I would seriously consider opening with the "I wanted to be an artist." then you can go into details of what about art appeals to you, and be sure to use descriptions that can be also used to describe medicine. then say, "despite my passion for art, I realized that I was missing out on an integral aspect of life - interacting on a personal level with people. And then tie it to medicine. then 2nd paragraph talk about shadowing the PA 3rd/4th paragraphs details about oncology experience, PCE, etc. not sure which should go first. I don't think it matters, as long as the transitions are there to help it make sense conclusion - there's a lot of things you can talk about, just think past yourself and how you can pass on the benefits of you being a PA to others. some people talk about preventative care, education, etc. you can talk about being an advocate. you can talk about why not only you'd be a good PA-S but also what you'll do to further the profession as a PA-C. Be as specific as possible where it counts.
  6. No problem. You worked so hard and it really shows. I think your final draft was stellar. Good luck! Keep me posted when you get accepted into your #1 choice!
  7. This is not a bad PS. There's good sentence variation, it flows fairly well, and no crazy grammar errors or anything. That being said, it sounds... self-centered. And I know that sound silly because these statments are kinda like a cover letter, but I think if you really want to stand out, you have to go beyond the simple listing of qualities as to why you'd be good as a PA Let's look past why you'd be good. Don't look into what you'd get out of it ( phrases like, "as a life long learner, becoming a PA would quench my thirst of knowledge!") and instead focus on what others would benefit from ("as a life long learner, I look forawrd to constantly being on point with the new research that's out there to be able to educate my patients about the latest advances in healthcare") see the difference? It's going from "here's-how-it-will-benefit-me" to "here's-how-it'll-benefit-me-and-how-all-my-patients-will-benefit-from-that-as-well." Also, maybe touch on some other ideas if it's appropriate: what kind of PA do you want to be and why? how will you be an advocate for the profession? why would you be a good fit/what do you have to offer to your class of PA-S? what do you have to offer the community? just some ideas to think about that I think would really help hone in and focus your PS
  8. If you're looking for general advice, in the personal statements forum there is topic pinned to the top called "Personal Statement Advice from Ask a PA Admissions Director" Here's what I did for my PS: 1. Researched lot of PS. read many on the forum, looked in reference books at the library, etc. I was looking for inspiration, what styles I liked, and what I thought made a successful PS. 2. Go to this website! http://www.mcw.edu/Medical-School/Current-Students/Academic-Support-Services/Sample-Personal-Statements.htm It has some really great PS (#13 has my fav intro) 3. I quickly wrote down my story and what I wanted to convey. I edited relentlessly and 14 drafts later I submitted my CASPA app in June. I don't know what your situation is specifically. Are you applying to late? Are you applying to enough schools? Have you gotten feedback from the programs that rejected you - they will give you details as to why you were rejected and how you can strengthen your application for next time. Also, I recommend since this is your 3rd go round, your PS should probably touch upon rejection: how you handled it, how you over came it, and how you are a better applicant this time than your were those last 2 times.
  9. Pls help, need feedback would be great! Thanks! Sam’s beeper fervently went off reading the message: 64 y.o.m. with hypertension at 202/90, pls come see pt. A subtle smile masked by a stern look appeared on my face, “going to our first call Sam?” I asked with a disciplined tone trying to hide my excitement. A grin appeared on his face, confirmed with a head nod to answer the obviously enthused question, “yup you got it,” said grinned Sam. We rushed two flights of stairs to the orthopedic floor to a group of nurses concerned about the patient being paged. I stood silently, yet attentively next to Sam to see his next plan of action. He We received verbal report from the charge nurse and examined the patient’s vital signs. I could tell by Sam's his reaction the patient was not doing too well. He introduced me to the nurses and they all looked at me with a welcoming smile. “Alright Eddie, let’s embark on our journey,” he emphatically said. We marched into the patient’s room and presented a warm introductory greeting, “Hello, my name is Sam the Physician Assistant and this is Edward a pre-PA student who is shadowing me tonight. Is it alright if he is here with me while I take a look at you?” Sam asked. The patient gestured a thumbs up to me and a wide smile that raised his nasal cannula that was tightly snug under his nose. I immediately pulled out my pen and pad and began taking notes. “This is awesome,” I thought to myself. The patient complained of severe pain, and upon Sam’s physical assessment he noted hematoma on the right lateral aspect of his neck with moderate drainage from the incision site, but didn’t appear to be obstructing his airway. Still concerned, Sam contacted the ortho-resident and made him/her aware of the clinical finding and switfly directed the nurses regarding a plan of treatment. The night continued with swift and coordinated actions between the nurses, the ortho-resident and Sam (is this sentence regarding the 62 y/o pt only?) . The night grew steadily busy and I could not have been happier that I had my running sneakers on that night. I discovered a profound new meaning of power-walking after going up and down flights of stairs answering pages Sam received. The first day of shadowing felt rather second nature to me because the very reasons why I wanted to become a Physician Assistant (PA) were strongly reaffirmed by every action that I saw that night shadowing a PA (passive - instead of saying the reasons were reaffirmed, say that this day confirmed your reasons.) There are three main reasons why I want to be a PA. Firstly, as a team-oriented person I understand and admire the PA role in the medical field. I recognized (why past tense all of a sudden?) there is a higher hierarchy of command a PA must follow, and there is a boundary and limit a PA must work within to provide their standard of care. I am comfortable with working as a part of a team and following the higher command. Secondly, I have a profound interest in how things are connected particularly when trying to find out what is wrong with the human body when it is not in good health. While interning with the EMS Fallon Ambulance I was able to take the patient’s vital signs with the supervision of the EMT and interact with patients with various medical problems. It was intriguing putting together pieces of the puzzle. From taking the patient’s vital signs with the findings from the primary assessment, we were able to figure out the possible cause of the patient’s chief of complaint and pre-treat the patient before hospitalization. Shadowing Sam I notice as a PA you have to make those connections with all of the findings of the patient as well as working with a team of healthcare providers. Thirdly, because I enjoy interacting with people, I have developed a strong skill in communication. During the ambulance rides I liked conversing with the patients to both find out their chief of complaints as well as make them feel at ease and comfortable. Working as a Unit Coordinator in Newton Wellesley Hospital, I was constantly interacting with the staff and non-staff of the hospital, so I was able to see how important it is to have strong communication system with a healthcare team in order to make prudent decisions to care for the patient. Shadowing Sam, I clearly saw how a PA communicated within the scope of practice. The next day when I went for shadowing I was eager to find out what happened to my first patient Sam and I had that night. Sam told me he ended up in the ICU that morning shortly after I left. He progressively became worst and eventually expired that afternoon. I was saddened to hear the news. Even though my very first patient passed away, it was seeing the efficient teamwork and the great communication handled effectively by all healthcare providers associates with the patient that made me feel confident in the role I would play as a PA. It was midnight and not a sound was heard. Sam and I talked about our favorite sport teams and suddenly his beeper went off. He smiled at me and asked “Are you ready?” you're a very good writer! no grammar issues, good sentence variation. your style/content makes for an easy read. I agree w/ umbPA's and paproof's comments above. remember, you will be one applicant of a sea of other EMTS and paramedics. let's assume that they refer to applicants by noteworthy statements made in the PS (similiarly to how ppl tend to refer to patients by their diagnoses) - while others may be referred to as "student who went on missions trips to Haiti" or "40 y/o paramedic," base on this PS you will be... EMT...with sneakers...who liked shadowing from day 1.... I don't know what you're thinking about that title, but it sounds a little underwhelming to me. sell yourself like you would in a cover letter/resume (obviously not so stale!) you're spending 3/4 of your space recounting 1 story, and while you tell it well, it just comes across as 1 looooooong introduction, and then a quick paragraph about why you want to be a PA. Content-wise, I think the focus should be flipped around. you talk a lot about what you'd personally get out of being a PA (which is fine!), but if we're looking for content here, why not try to think about what being a PA and working in healthcare really mean in the big picture of things. for instance, you say you embrace the idea of working on a team. what else cound that mean? does that mean that you will simply work together with nurses/doctors and like it? or could that mean you will take specific steps to ensure that each and every one of your fellow PA classmates will succeed thru such a rigorous program? I think you really touched on why you'd be a good fit for PA and why it's a good fit for you. so really take it further. think about why you'd be an asset to a class of PA students. what can you offer the community as a PA? do you know what field you intend to practice, because if you have a specific mission in mind, that'd be good to know too. do you intend to be an advocate for this profession? addressing questions like this really help not only a PS, but help you know who you are for your interviews. it will show total strangers that you have great insight and maturity - when you can show that you've truly thought about all the angles about being a PA and what that really means - all the responsibily, the great impact you could have with such little gestures, etc - you'll know that you really "are ready"
  10. No problem! Let me know if you ave other drafts that you'd like me to check out. I'd be more than happy to do so
  11. I've been getting a fair amount of questions lately. Just to clarify: YES. I will help you with your personal statement. No need to ask! No I wasn't an english major, and nor have I been on an ad comm or anything (hopefully I will be one day in the future). I am simply a PA-S with UNTHSC class of 2018 (woot!), and I have no problem reaching out to PA hopefuls and future colleagues. Plus I'm a total nerd and don't mind doing this type of thing. Please note: I will give honest criticism. It may come across as harsh or brutal, but my intention is not to insult anyone. I will reply fairly quickly - within a few days, for sure. If it takes a while, don't be insulted. I might be stumped on what pointers to give you. Or swamped with personal statements? (I'm not sure how many of you are interested in my feedback.) If you want me to read other drafts as you continue to make changes and get feedback, I can glance over those too. You could post it on here if you're not shy, or just let me know if you've posted it already on the forum and I'll find it. Or if you prefer, you can PM me. Oh, this is a limited time offer, btw!!! I start school on July 20th. So I'll probably only accept new edits until July 18th, so I can get them done before school starts.
  12. My life began in Caracas, Venezuela at the Metropolitana Hospital and it almost ended there. My life almost ended exactly where it began - in a hositpal in Caracas, Venezuela. From the day I was born, most of my time was spent within the cold walls of a hospital room, . It took undergoing multiple tests to figure out what was wrong with me: discern why I would not eat and why I was always sick. Intravenous fluids were the only things keeping me alive. (how long were you on IVFs? was Grandma feeding you while you were in the hospital? or is the bathtub filled with flour only came into play after the docs sent you home?) Although I do not recall this experience, it is something that followed me for the rest of my life. every time my grandmother visits, she tells the story in Spanish, “I would place you in the bathtub with flour in hopes to distract you while I attempted to sneak a spoonful of food in your mouth. I did everything for you to be able to survive and I am so grateful you are alive. You will never understand that feeling.” I hug her and smile, “Thanks to you, (insert comma here) Grandma, I am fine now.” When I was two, my parents desperately Eventually, my parents took me to Boston Children’s Hospital and discovered my severe lactose, sugar and gluten intolerance. After undergoing extensive treatments, I finally began to enjoy a normal childhood. While my health continued to improve, my grandmother’s medical issues worsened. (nice transition!) My grandmother suffered from life-threatening facial melanomas on her face, leaving her disfigured from multiple surgeries. She rarely goes outside and never joins us on vacations because the sun is her worst enemy (change this "her worst enemy" to a non-cliche phrase. also, why is this sentence suddenly in present tense?). Finding my passion for medicine early in life, I was lucky enough to Luckily, at that time I began an internship with the Dermatology Research and Practice Scholars at (cut this out to cut down on characters) Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee. I was taught (passive; change to active voice) to use Photodynamic Therapy to rid patients of precancerous lesions and immediately on my way home that day, it hit me. I told my grandmother about the treatment and her visit could not come soon enough. I had the privilege of performing the procedure on for her. Her eyes lit up as she watched me in scrubs, As I applied the medicine gently on her face, gently, and holding her hand during the procedure. a tear came down her face rolled down her cheek as she held my hand and thanked me. In that moment, I realized how much I am able to impact a person’s life. (I feel like this is a missed opportunity - instead of vaguely saying impact a person's life, try something that conveys you were able to reciprocate the treatment that were once so lucky to receive. it'll convey that you are humble, mature, and grateful) My grandmother was not the only patient that made an enormous impact on my life. As a Patient Care Assistant at Tallahassee Memorial, I assist patients with daily activities such as bathing, feeding and hygiene, ones that are no longer as effortless as they once were. I still remember shedding tears as one of my stroke patients, expressed in disjointed speech how sad it is that she could not verbally express her thoughts due to her stroke. “I loved to talk,” she cried. As I held her hand, I tried to fight back the tears (you sure tell a lot of stories that involve tears and hand holding...) and reassure her that I would be there for her. Every patient I cared for left an imprint in my heart, instilling in me the values of care and compassion and how important these are to the well-being of patients. They have motivated me to study harder, to serve more compassionately and to work relentlessly. (this anecdote isn't...good...or bad...just meh. I would cut this paragraph out except the last 2 sentences, but move them down to the conclusion instead) Patients were not the only people to impact my life (weak transition). Several physician assistants helped me to realize I could care for people as a career. During my frequent visits to the dermatologist, it was Michelle L. Baechle, PA-C, whom I spent my visits with. It was through her that I first heard of the profession. Not only did Mrs. Baechle treat my acne but she was there for me when I experienced a sudden loss of hair. The doctor diagnosed it as alopecia areata, but she gave me the support I needed when the painful needles were inserted into my scalp (again, is this a missed opportunity? instead of saying support in general, frame it in a way that shows she had true empathy - knowing how acne could make a young lady feel self-conscious, but alopecia on top of that?? surely she had some kind words to tell a young, impressionable person concepts regarding self-image, self-esteem, etc. I would stick with describing your interactions with her to expand upon the supportive, caring, and knowledgeable traits that PAs hold). I looked forward to her many visits and more significantly, the visit where I would tell her that I wanted to become a PA. Tristan Hasbargen, a dermatology PA I observed, allowed me to witness patients’ joy as their skin cancers were removed in just a few minutes. As Tristan removed the skin cancer and placed sutures, I was impressed by the vast amount of responsibility and independence a PA could have. It was heart-warming to observe the relationships that are formed and how much his patients truly appreciated him. They have showed me the kind of practitioner I want to be: one that is supportive, caring and knowledgable. Passion and perseverance eventually allowed me to accept my position as a Clinical Assistant Student at Dermatology Associates for Angela Franz, PA-C. Entrusted by the team of doctors, she supervises the Cosmetic Center, providing photodynamic therapy for precancerous lesions lasers for various skin conditions such as rosacea, Botox and many other treatments that allow patients to regain their confidence. I am able to assess these patients, give options for treatment and refer back to the PA. I am able to witness the autonomy she possesses but also the assistance that is provided by the doctors in the practice if needed. It brings me joy to see these patients’ conditions and self-image improve simultaneously. Seeing these conditions firsthand, I find passion in spreading awareness on skin care and skin cancer prevention. (again, I don't think this good...or bad... it just doesn't really add much. I think you could get rid of the whole paragraph, especially if you really hone in and develop a very specific story regarding PA Michelle.) All of these experiences, the patients I had the pleasure to care for and the physician assistants I worked closely with, shaped me into who I am today. These combined reaffirmed my passion for helping others and my love for knowledge and left me with supreme confidence and immense joy in the path I chose as an aspiring physician assistant. This career will allow me a good balance of autonomy, flexibility and knowledge to care for patients. I am confident that one day I will be the one changing the lives of others as mine once was. (do you specifically want to do derm? perhaps mention that here?) overall, not bad at all. good flow. captivating intro without being overly dramatic. very easy ready that conveys maturity and thoughtfulness. very genuine. this might sound a bit hokey, but maybe think about what it could mean to be a PA in the big picture. not the autonomy and flexibility and over-used words like that. from your anecdote I felt that not only do I have an idea of who you are, but you sound like a person who wants to...share? reciprocate? give back? ummm... like the idea that you are grateful to have been cared for in a time of great vulnerability and you'd like to bring that feeling to others. I mean, that's the message that I got from reading your PS, but perhaps I'm reading to much into it. maybe I'm just kind of torn from the advice that the 2nd year PA-S have been peppering with me all this week (I'm a first year PA starting this month). they all keep on talking about studying this and memorizing that, and tests and stress and all this small crap. and I couldn't help but think to myself today, how come not one student has mentioned the bigger picture of things: yes, it's hard. yes you have to memorize these things. why? because people's lives will be in your hands. people's lives will be in your hands. just a thought. (am I the only one who is awe-inspired/humbled by that thought?)
  13. My life has been an array of challenges, self-development, and upmost extreme happiness. (This opening sentence is vague and unmemorable - could apply to anyone.) As a freshman at the University of South Florida I was not yet certain on my final career path, eighteen years of age I was not passionate about many long-term goals. I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, as I am very intrigued with the social aspects of the human mind. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary social sciences, I felt I needed to continue my education immediately. I jumped into an internship with a law firm in Killeen, Texas. Within only a few months I could tell the study of law was not for me, I felt lost and hopeless. Growing up in today’s society (growing up in today's society? what does this phrase even mean?) I always learned to keep moving forward, to take the next step and then the next step. Therefore I completed my internship and moved back home to take the next step, I got a job. I worked at a prestigious dental office presenting treatment plans to patients, helping them with prescriptions and preparing them overall for dental surgeries and each appointment before and after. I enjoyed my job but always knew I wanted to do be more involved with the patients. I had my routine down and thoroughly appreciated working with my patients and building new relationships every day. (this is a big leap. where's the transition from law to medicine? also, this is very long winded. what you say in the paragraph could be summed up in 2 sentences to maximize impact without losing info. don't take a whole paragraph to mention a tiny tidbit of your life. furthermore, where's the passion??! this is merely a list: 1) college, 2) graduation, 3) law firm, 4) dentist office job. no no no. do not use your PS as a change to list your resume in sentence form.) One evening our family received a phone call that my Uncle Chris had become worse. Uncle Chris had been diagnosed with hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver a while back but it had escalated quickly (why do we care about Uncle Chris? was he your favorite uncle? did he give you your first anatomy book? . Our family flew out to California to see him. On the second day at the hospital we were placed in a small meeting room. A doctor entered and proceeded to explain that a liver transplant was uncle Chris’s (be consistant with capitalizations). only chance of survival, adding that children are usually placed first on the list and that “even famous baseball players had passed waiting for a transplant”. I was devastated; our whole family was devastated, watching our own family member suffer so greatly. The next day I was in the worst of spirits when I met the most genuine woman I had ever met, her name was Lisa (run-on sentence). It was through her that I first learned of the profession (how did you meet Lisa? why is she telling you about the PA profession? or is she a PA herself? be specific). Lisa went out of her way to be there for my family, all four hundred questions (I don't see the need to exaggerate this. 400 questions? really???) my aunts, uncles and parents had and myself she was more than willing to answer and she was very knowledgeable. Exactly 6 (spell out digits lower that ten) days later uncle Chris received his liver transplant and Lisa was by our families’ side every step of the way. I had never met anyone as uplifting and passionate about his or her career. That week in California changed my life, it was than that I realized at twenty-two I did not have to have everything planned out perfectly and instead of simply taking the next step just to take a step, I was aloud (aloud refers to sound. allowed means permitted) to back track. I decided to returned to the University of South Florida and take the necessary classes for PA school. I also began to shadow multiple doctors at a local surgery center. This experience has helped me learn more about the PA/doctor relationship and the roles of each position. It has also strengthened my desire to be in a surgery setting. (this still tells nothing about who you are. why would this meeting with some lady named Lisa suddenly realize you want to be a PA? you could substitute this story with you meeting a nun named Jane, who suddenly inspired you to follow the church and become a nun as well. take the time to develop your story. show (don't tell!) why the PA profession is meaningful to you. describe what has drawn you towards not only a medical career but why your are specifically choosing PA instead of EMT, RN, DO, etc.) I have never been more passionate about anything as I am about the medical field. I have also found that knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life opens your eyes to true self-happiness. My experiences at the dental office and my new shadowing experiences have taught me the value of a relationship with the doctor you are working for as well as the relationship with each patient. All these unique situations and experiences have reaffirmed my desire to pursue my goal and dream of becoming a physician assistant. overall, if I were on an ad comm and read over this PS, I would dismiss it because of the blatant grammatical errors. why? call me OCD or waaaay to particular, I do not care - if applicants can't take the time to pay attention to the details in their PS, their applications, etc, how could I assume that they would have the wherewithal to notice details (however minor!) that may influence a patient's overall health and well-being?? furthermore, this PS really doesn't tell me anything about who you are. what did you see while shadowing? what volunteer experience do you have that are relevant? why PA? why is this a purposeful choice and not something you stumbled upon by happenstance? don't try to convey this by listing qualities about PAs that you picked off of some blog. just scrap it all and start over. be insightful, mature, and precise. read other personal statements to get ideas and an understanding of the difference between a good personal statement and a great one. if you shadow PAs, have them read over your draft. you'll know you're on the right track when it could be clear to a stranger why not only is this the career the right fit for you, but also why you are a good fit for this career.
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