Like the title says, my Personal Statement has been through one round of editing so far by an advisor at school. I would appreciate some more feedback before I go through another round. Thanks!
When I first entered college I had initially declared myself as a business major. Medicine had always been an interest but I falsely assumed that business would be more enjoyable for me. Just before my junior year, I finally made the decision to forego business and seek becoming a PA. What finally brought me to this decision were my experiences in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, a newfound interest in primary care and a recommitment to my Christian faith.
The Corps of Cadets is a leadership organization centered on military-style instruction; much like a military academy. We conduct physical training at 5:30 in the mornings, wear uniforms to class, organize, and partake in various military proficiency events. Learning to balance cadet life and student life for four years was difficult but very worthwhile. It pushed me to improve my work ethic and become better at handling criticism and failure. I also became better at navigating the intricacies of a complex team environment while dealing with many different personalities. As my self-confidence and college career progressed, I began to reconsider pursuing business. Though business was exciting, I found that medicine provided the challenge and fulfillment I had always been looking for.
I soon began shadowing and became attracted to primary care, especially the preventative care aspect of it. I learned that the corporatization of healthcare may not always benefit the patient and one of the best ways to save lives is to simply keep them healthy and out of the system . Patient empowerment and education is integral in achieving this and while it occurs in all specialties, it is particularly true of primary care due to the opportunity to form longer lasting relationships. I relate this to my role as an upperclassmen in the Corps. One of my many duties was to teach everything I had learned to the freshmen just joining the Corps. To push them mentally, physically, and academically when they had given up. Part of that process was really getting to know the person and figuring out what motivates them. Likewise, simply knowing a patient a bit more can be highly beneficial in treating them. I could tell with one of the PAs shadowed that the patients she had known for a while really trusted her and were very willing to follow whatever recommendations she suggested. When it came time to convince one of these patients to start a healthier diet, I could tell he took her advice seriously even though it was clear he really didn’t want to. The next day there was a similar patient who was also in need of a diet change as part of his treatment plan. He was a new patient and it was much harder to convince him to stop certain habits. The idea of turning the second patient into the first through a little time and effort is appealing. It makes everyone’s job easier and everyone wins.
Though my interest is in primary care I am certainly open to working in other specialties. In our current healthcare system however, physician assistants are poised in a unique position to help alleviate the nation’s primary care shortage and I want to be a part of that.
I soon began working as an EMT. Dealing with the stress of not knowing anything, constantly learning new treatments, making mistake , and then slowly becoming confident was very valuable in helping me understand some of the psychological demands of being a provider. The first few times I splinted a broken knee showed this to me. I was constantly fumbling in front patients, trying to figure out which of the many splinting methods I should use and then trying to apply the splint correctly without looking like a fool. Under the guidance of more experienced EMTs I eventually found a splinting method that worked well for me and became much quicker and smoother when applying splints. Although it was tough, it solidified my desire to become a physician assistant.
Throughout college, I also found a rededication to my Christian faith. In the future I anticipate splitting my time between working as a PA, attending seminary, and then working part-time in some sort of urban ministry. The ability to provide for the physical needs of my outreach population while also attending to their spiritual needs greatly appeals to me. I foresee my PA and ministry career working in a mutualistic relationship; each endeavor bettering the other. Becoming a PA will allow me a solid base of medical diagnostic skills and the chance to engage in ministry works earlier on in life. Ultimately, I found that the role of a physician assistant aligns with my strengths and personality and I believe it is the best way for me to serve others.