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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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Thanks for the input! And I do get what you're saying abt the baby thing. Although part of me also thinks listing accomplishments is really subjective. Who am I to say that what one person deems an accomplishment is not one by my standards. I guess it's all relative. How the person frames it. If you have a mother that says having children was b/c for years and years she has tried, with miscarriages and whatnot, and there was an emotional connection and passion-driven words, I would applaud that. Where as if I heard another person say, meh, I climbed mount everest, like it was no big deal, that's when I'd raise an eyebrow.
  10. I'm trying to organize my thoughts before my first interview next week. For the question that asks you to name an accomplishment, I'm having a hard time thinking of something super specific. How would listing that I quit smoking as an accomplisment sit with interviewers?
  11. Any thoughts on what to wear to the pre-interview reception? The dress say business casual, so I was wondering if it was more okay to wear something with more personality than the conservative garb for the actual interview day. Nothing inappropriate! No boobies or cooter hanging out! But if I wanted to wear my favorite dress (floral and modest) because it's fun and makes me happy and comfortable, would that be frowned upon?
  12. I would go with your gut. If adding something interrupts the flow of your piece, leave it out. Not to say you shouldn't try it - definitely try a draft with that other stuff in it because who knows, maybe with a little tweaking it the result goes even further than what you originally conceived. But if you give a good try and it's really just not working, don't force it.
  13. Undergrad Ed School: Bradley University (Major: Psychology, Minor: Studio Art) Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.76 BCP Undergrad. GPA: 3.73 Post Bachelor GPA: 3.74 W's: 8 (that's kinda a lot. not great... I know) CASPA verification: 7/24 Age at application time : 29 1st GRE (7/5/14): 155V (67%), 146Q (25% LOL!), 5W (93%) = 301 2nd GRE (8/25/14): 157V, 151Q, 4W = 308 Health Care Experience (as submitted to CASPA): CNA/Unit Secretary in ICU: 200 CNA post-acute neurorehabilitation facility: 1200 CNA home healthcare: 200 Child life volunteer for children's hospital: 40 Hospice volunteer: 30 Women's center volunteer: 10 Shadowing Hours (as submitted to CASPA): Surgical MDs: 6 Family practice PA: 12 Pediatric PA: 14 Post-CASPA Submission HCE/Shadowing: Family practice DO and PA: 22 additional shadowing hours CNA/Unit Secretary: 450 additional working hours Research Activities/Community Service: Child neuropsychology lab undergrad research assistant - 1500 Volunteer at hospital resale shop - 100 Children's hospital volunteer - 40 Women's center volunteer - 400 Elementary school kid tutor - 30 Awards, Honors, Professional Memberships, etc. Magna Cum Laude Dean's List PsiChi Honors Society VP PsiChi/Psychology Club Dean's Scholarship Artwork published in university's literary journal Schools Applied: UTSW, Baylor, UNT, UTMB, Wake Forest, Methodist University, University of Wisconsin Application Submit Date: CASPA submitted July 24 Interview Invites: UTSW (Oct double session), UTMB (early Nov), UNT (mid Nov), Wake Forest (Jan 2015) Denied: UTSW (ugh. terrible interview. just terrible) Withdrew Application: will update Waitlisted: will update Accepted: UNT Attempts: First
  14. Also, don't add some disclaimer in the title of your thread or the 1st few lines of your PS post instructing ppl to "be gentle" or "please be nice" or whatever. Sheesh. If you're looking for someone to pat you on the back and say, "nice job, sweetie!" then ask your mama to read it. But when you post it on a public forum, you are clearly and willingly subjecting yourself to criticism. Don't chicken out and say please be nice. You're looking for feedback for a reason. Now is not the time to wuss out and shy away from criticism just because it's harsh.
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