For those that asked about my personal statement, here it is. It was tough with the word limit on CASPA. I had to cut things out I wanted in there and felt as there wasn't enough on my experiences relating to why I specifically want to be PA, as well as why I am so passionate about becoming one... Please let me know what you think. I had it proofread from multiple English professors and peer reviewed my students. I received feedback from Thomas Jefferson that it was a strong statement letter, but now I am feeling very nervous about it.
“So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I used to dread this question as a child; mostly, because I never quite knew how to answer it. I thought that maybe I wanted to be a cheerleader, or a gymnast, or a basketball player, but I always knew that none of those things were the answer that adults were looking for when they asked such a question.
One night when I was a freshman in high school, my dad and I were over at my Pop Pop’s for dinner. Grandma had been gone for a few months now and although Pop Pop was doing well, I had never seen him so sad. That night he pulled me aside and began telling me how much I was starting to remind him of my grandmother, which I was ecstatic about because she was my absolute hero. Then he said to me, “Kia, you know why God gave you two hands, don’t you?” I asked why and he said, “God gave you one hand to help yourself, and he gave you the second to help others.” He gave me a big hug, and he went back to the table and let me finish watching my show. I was just a teenager and I did not think anything of it at the time.
A year had passed and I was finally realizing my nightmare. My Pop Pop was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer. Dad and I went and visited him every day in the hospital and, as I watched him become weaker and weaker, I would see more and more of the hospital staff come in to check on him, to change his bed pan and to bring him food.
Towards the end, I could see that all of the little amenities, while present, did not concern my Pop Pop so much -- he was tired. I could see though, how much it meant to my father. I could see in his face the gratitude and the comfort he felt in knowing that his father, his hero’s last days, were spent in the hands of people who really seemed to care almost as much as we did. I could see how thankful he was for everyone who cared for my Pop Pop until the day that we received the news that he had passed.
A few months later I found myself sitting in my guidance counselor’s office, once again being asked, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I stopped, and I thought hard for a few minutes, then I looked down at my hands and remembered what my Pop Pop had said. I immediately looked up, smiled, and said, “I want to do something meaningful. I want to be able to help care for people.” Because of the quality of care that my Pop Pop had received, I could be confident that his final days were as comfortable as possible. I knew that because of the people providing the care, my family could rest at night knowing that someone was always there for him, and there for us. Because of the people in that hospital, I too wanted to be there for people, helping them get better and helping families through their struggles. Because of my Pop Pop, I knew I wanted to use my second hand to help others.
I have never wanted to be someone who simply commutes to work to do a job and get paid, but rather, someone whose life serves a true purpose -- someone whose life holds a true value to others. I know that by becoming a Physician’s Assistant, I will be working as the same kind of person my father had so much appreciation for. I know that by becoming a Physician’s Assistant, I will be making my dreams come true, making my grandparents proud, and most of all I will be making a positive impact on the world around me. I know that attending the Master of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Program is the best way to continue my pursuit of these dreams, and I look forward to the day that I can finally say that I am living my life for more than just me.
UPMC Altoona marks my initial steps into the healthcare world. I volunteered at the hospital early in my college career and later received an externship in their Emergency Department. My role involved shadowing numerous PA’s in the ED in addition to the trauma rooms. I was able to observe and learn an abundance of new information in regard to the important role that Physician Assistants play in the healthcare field. This experience also served as an excellent platform for my understanding of the healthcare industry as a whole.
While I was still building my qualifications in the last round of PA school applications, I did not let that deter my motivation. Instead, I looked at it as an opportunity to fulfill more patient contact hours and to gain critical patient contact experience. Additionally, I adopted this path with the confidence that I would learn new information that will only help me in my future goals of becoming a PA. On top of working, I enrolled three additional courses through Montgomery Community College in order to add weight to my application. I continued to hold my Medical Assistant position at Center For Dermatology as well as receiving a new position in Mohs Surgery at Yardley Dermatology in November of 2017. The experience I have gained this past year has truly been amazing and I know that it has served to expand on the qualities that make me a great prospective candidate.