I need help. First off, this is the draft I liked the most out of many that I've written up. 1.) I need to condense this by 1000ish words 2.) I need to focus more on why PA I think...but Its honest and probably the most personal essay that I can come up with. ANY constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated. I'm still working on making this something I will be proud to apply with...and yes I know there are grammar mistakes, but feel free to fix those too.
It was during my junior year of college that I had begun physical therapy to rehabilitate my recently discovered herniated disc in my lower back. The pain was excruciating. I remember getting out of the shower one morning, walking to my room and almost passing out from the pain it took to just move. Needles shooting down my leg, radiating from my back each time I sat, made sitting through class unbearable as well as any relaxation time outside of school work. I began to do homework standing up that semester because it was the most pain free way to get things done. I began having to sit out of events with friends because I was unable to cope with too much movement and began focusing more on my health. My Physical Therapist was doing her best to get me back into normal form and I was committed to rehabilitating myself, but it was an extensive and long few months. After months of conditioning and stretching, the pain gradually subsided with commitment from myself and my therapist. Although this was a very unpleasant time for me, I also had time for my own personal reflection. I noticed that even before my ailment, I had felt that something in me was missing. An emptiness, a void something that is difficult to explain yet provided a driving force for change.
Feeling a lack of control and vulnerability made me think about my life and the path I was setting for myself. This event triggered, my realization that my life began to feel to circular. School, vacation, work, friends and repeat. Going from point A to B to C was routine and a sense of routine normalcy left me unappreciative of my surrounding environment. The tunnel vision I had previously developed, was withholding me from the possibilities the world has to offer.
I have always been goal oriented and have enjoyed accomplishing challenging feats that I set for myself. Throughout college, becoming a Physician Assistant was the major goal. It was on the forefront of my decisions. Participating in the Baystate Education Partnership in high school which introduced me to the field of medicine was invigorating. Witnessing a cesarean section for the first time as well as observing a pediatrician sparked my interest in the field.Successfully receiving my EMT-Basic certificate put the responsibilities of quality patient care in my hands. Working as such through UMass EMS, allowed me to put my skills to use. Volunteering at Baystate Medical Center’s ER has kept me constantly moving to assist all types of patients with personal attention. Shadowing Martha, an Emergency Room PA herself, allowed me to discover what the occupation further entails and kept me moving forward. I have a passion for medicine. I have been reaching for my dream to become a PA for quite a while. But during myperiod of dormancy, I began to realize that I needed a change of pace.
Feeling huddled within a society that was constricting my potential to veer off the path I was set on, a fear of exploring what the universe has to offer, it was my turn to shy away from the ordinary and the comforts of my life.I asked myself what I wanted from potentially traveling overseas. What could I achieve over there, that I cant here? I thought to myself, “If there is one thing I want to take away from this experience, its to just explore.” 7 months later, I was flying to Spain and beginning a small chapter in my life. I was set to live with a host mother in Sevilla and meet a group of other college students ready to take on a new adventure as well.
These 4 months provided an invaluable learning experience for me that I could not have achieved anywhere else. Sevilla is the heartland of tradition, romance and “siesta.” In Sevilla, not many people speak English, so learning to communicate with others everyday was a challenge but rewarding.Charades was a powerful tool I developed and I began to react to body language alot more. I gained knowledge of different household customs from my time spent with Carmen, my host mother. She treated me with compassion and a warm heart. Coming back from class she woul say “buenos dias hijo” or “good day son”. I felt welcomed and apart of her “familia”. I tried foods that I had no idea what I was ordering, hiked in regions I’ve never heard of and met people I may never speak to again. The friends I acquired helped to craft an unforgettable experience.The lessons I learned are invaluable. I learned to take it easy at times and reflect on the present during “siesta.” Most important of all, living each day with benevolence for your neighbor and self. I have improved myself as an individual through this experience by adapting to unfamiliar situations, becoming exposed to how people live outside of the U.S. and walking through parts of the world many will never see. Traveling to other various European countries added to the cultural experience and the personal adventure.
To sum up my experience, it was an emotional, spiritual rejuvenation. I came back to the US more confident than ever in knowing who I wanted to be and was provided wiht a clarity of how I wanted to live life. I have used my knew knowledge in every aspect of the way I live now.
Currently, working as an EMT-Basic at American Medical Response in Springfield, I have put all of the lessons I have learned from my travel experience to the test. I have successfully helped a patient, a mute stroke victim, list of her medications through gestures and charades. I use my knowledge of the Spanish languauge countless times to understand patients chief complaints. I empathise with the many homeless patients I treat just by listening to their stories, conversing with them and providing the best patient care I can . Working with patients from every background, I meet people from all corners of the world. I believe that my open mindedness has been enhanced from my travel experience and has allowed me to strongly connect with people of different backgrounds. With the knowledge and skills I currently possess, it is my desire to dig deeper.
It is my interest to work in medicine, but it is my passion to become a Physician Assistant. I have made it another goal of mine to not only continue traveling, but to serve the underprivileged areas of the world while doing so with a PA license. The flexibility this occupation provides along with a focus on the underprivileged, will allow me to continue my journey. If accepted, I will dedicate myself to success, for the benefit of the patients, and the benefit of the school.