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scankidofhell

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  1. General comments (don't take these too harshly/personally, just trying to make it better): You're PS is too unfocused, and talks about way too many things in your life. Because of this, it doesn't really have a clear theme and is hard to follow You talk about: 1) an ER encounter you had, 2) being disgruntled working at a job, 3) how you got initially interested in medicine, 4) your volunteer opportunity at Habitat for Humanity, 5) an excruciating long story about Valerie and her son, 6) how you had no idea what you were doing in college, 7) how deciding on pursuing the PA profession made you excel in your academics and your PCE/volunteering/jobs, 8 ) getting your EMT license, 9) how you felt limited by just being an EMT 10) experiences with PAs, 11) how you want to give better care for your patients which is why you want to become a PA, 12) a random last sentence about Valerie and how it sort of relates to your motivations for becoming a PA Honestly no one is going to remember or have time to dissect all of these different directions that your PS is taking us. Furthermore, none of these elements connect at all in any way and it seems like they are sort of just "empty" words that don't have much meaning/weight. With that being said, it do If your life story was a whole pie, only serve a slice of that pie, and only serve the slice of that pie that is relevant towards describing 1) why you want to become a PA specifically, and 2) why you would be an excellent PA. You wrote all of these words and I still have no idea why you are pursuing the PA profession specifically, as opposed to any other healthcare position (MD/DO/RN/NP/DNP/PT/OT) where you can also help patients. Critical error: DO NOT USE CONTRACTIONS (I'm, wasn't). This is a professional piece of writing that is going to be read by professionals. Critical error: DO NOT CALL THE PROFESSION "Physician's Assistant", also DO NOT CAPITALIZE IT ALSO. It is physician assistant. You will get auto-rejected for this mistake/severely judged. Generally it is just not a well-written personal statement and needs revision and more focus and needs to stick to the prompt (why you want to become a PA and why you would become a fantastic PA). That is all that matters. No one is going to care about some ER encounter/your volunteer experiences/your trials and tribulations/basically anything you write about if they have nothing to do with why you want to pursue the PA profession and how your past experiences have shaped you into becoming a fantastic future PA. Note: this is not me saying that these personal experiences you have written aren't important in your journey to becoming a PA, I am just saying that at its current state, your writing does not exemplify/demonstrate why you want to become a PA and why you would become a fantastic PA. More specific comments (let me dissect your essay): "Suddenly, I’m enveloped into an embrace with an elderly woman; we maintain our stance for several minutes without parting. When we finally divide, I am held at arm’s length. The remnant of tears trace down the side of her cheeks as she speaks softly. “It will be okay, thank you.” Her words are reassuring, although I am unsure if they are truly allocated for me. We had attempted to resuscitate her husband in the emergency room for an hour without success. It wasn’t the sudden loss of life that caught me off guard, but the magnitude of the heartbreak I felt for the woman’s family that continues to resonate with me. This experience is part of what has made me realize that providing care within my community drives my passion to become a PA." -Not impressed by the hook/story. Does not relate to anything else you said in your PS. Do not use contractions. Very cliche. "This experience is part of what has made me realize that providing care within my community drives my passion to become a PA." -So non-specific and cliche, especially when this statement could have been applied to any other healthcare profession (MD/DO/RN/NP/PT/OT/etc.) You can provide care within your community by doing any of these jobs. So why PA specifically? "After six years of climbing the corporate ladder I came to the realization that I was spending the majority of my day agonizing about a bottom line rather than truly serving our clients." -Do not put any type of negativity in your essay. It just sounds like you hated your previous job. There are more tactful ways of addressing issues/difficulties you've faced in other professions. "My position required hours of analyzing medical records in preparation for trial. I would become engrossed during my review researching patients’ diagnosis and treatment options." -Sounds like you are copying parts of your résumé/CV, which is inappropriate for the personal statement, especially when it does not relate to why you want to be a PA "I received the privileged, behind-the-curtain, opportunity to discuss their plans of care directly with physicians during depositions. This experience made me interested in medicine." -Also part of your job description/résumé. Why specifically was this important besides that it got you interested in medicine? "During this time, I also began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, which is where I had the experience that inspired me to change career paths altogether.  It was a blistering summer day and we were in the final stages of restoring a dilapidated home. My few short months of involvement with Habitat for Humanity were beginning to feel more fulfilling than my corporate. I was wearing a blue hard hat and Habitat shirt which was stained with streaks of grey paint from the day’s work. The home owner, Valerie, waved me over for a cold glass of lemonade which I graciously accepted. As I sat down to enjoy a break from the heat, she relayed the story of how she became the recipient of Habitat’s philanthropic efforts. Valerie, a single mother with two smaller children, described her youngest son’s severe disabilities, which had left him confined to a wheelchair. She discussed the difficulty of maintaining a job while tending to her son’s full time needs. She went on to explain the many hardships the family had as a result of financing his costly medical treatment. The paint brush in my hand almost seemed to shrink in size as I realized how minuscule my contribution to the community actually was. That day, with Valerie’s story burning in my head, I returned home and enrolled in school to become an EMT." -Way too long of a story. Also the story is super cliche and doesn't really get into your specific motivations for pursuing the EMT profession (let also the PA profession, which is what this essay is supposed to be about). This essay is not about Valerie, or her son. This is about WHY YOU WANT TO BECOME A PA AND WHY YOU WOULD BE A FANTASTIC ONE. Make it FOCUSED ON YOU. "I could not have fathomed that I would pursue a career in health care, and it is due to my trials and tribulations since completing my undergraduate work that health care has become an interwoven part of my identity. During my undergraduate program, I became discouraged, pursuing unfulfilling majors in multiple career paths. I lost my way during this time and felt disheartened with my education. Since I ascertained my devotion to become a PA I have excelled in my prerequisite course work and contributed over 1,000 hours to the underserved within my community while maintaining a full-time job. " -Super cliche. Also way too many flowery/emotional/unnecessary words ("could not have fathomed", "trials and tribulations", "interwoven part of my identity", "lost my way", "disheartened", "ascertained my devotion"). Also do not list you worked >1000 hours in an underserved setting, that is very inappropriate for the personal statement. "While volunteering at Puget Sound Christian Clinic I began to realize the restrictions of my EMT license. I lacked the education necessary to fully care for my patients that required ongoing medical treatment." -Just being devil's advocate, but what happens if you are a future PA, and you do not have the education (for example, compared to trained MDs/DOs) to fully care for your patients because they are very critically ill with many complex comorbidities that you have not been accustomed managing as a PA since you've only got 2-3 years of education versus 8+ years as an MD/DO? Would you then go pursue an MD/DO so that you can get the full education/training to fully care for your patients? (I'm just being picky, but just trying to point out the cliche-ness of the whole "lack of adequate training/knowledge" aspect of any job). "I was provided with the opportunity to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team and had my first interactions with a PA. My path to becoming a PA was illuminated after observing our PA’s calming demeanor when faced with managing patients chronic medical conditions while navigating difficult language barriers." -You can also manage patients' (this is the appropriate punctuation, not "patients") chronic medical conditions by being an NP/DO/MD. This is not specific to the PA profession at all. You also can navigate through difficult language barriers as an interpreter, so why PA? "Recognizing the limitations of my EMT license, I strive to assist my patients at a higher level of care and offer greater support to the underserved as a PA. I look forward to using what I learn in a Physician’s Assistant program to lessen the burden of health care expenses for individuals like Valerie and continue to connect to their families in my community in their times of hardship." -PAs have limits in patient care as well. You can assist patients in many healthcare roles, so why PA? DO NOT CAPITALIZE physician assistant, and definitely DO NOT CALL US a physician's assistant. You can connect to families in your community in their times of hardship in many other roles besides the PA profession. So I have to keep asking you... why specifically PA? Anyways, hope that me overanalyzing/dissecting your current PS helps you come up with a better essay! Don't take any of these comments personal, they are mainly just thinking points/points of contention that potential readers in any ADCOM would think of when trying to deny you an interview to their program. Remember, they are trying to find any reason to deny giving you an interview, as there are many many competitive applicants! Good luck. Feel free to comment if you need me to elaborate on anything I've said (For reference, I got 9 interviews and I am going to my top choice this year)! (I also hope this helps anyone else trying to write their own PS as I touched on a lot of points that could be applied to other people writing their drafts of their essays).
  2. Somehow I also used music as a way to show the relevant skills/traits that are necessary for me to function as an outstanding PA. Feel free to PM me if you want to read my PS and compare mine and yours to see how I weaved all of this together into a coherent and unique essay (9 interviews this cycle, going to my top choice this year).
  3. I’d say definitely not in the personal statement. That being said, the personal statement should answer the question “why PA” specifically, so your essay should be tailored to why the PA profession (and not include any cliches/generalities about healthcare that applies to MDs/RNs/NPs/DOs.) With that said, I was asked the question “have you ever considered any other profession in healthcare besides deciding on PA” in multiple interviews, and I straight up told them I wanted to become a doctor in undergrad but outlined the many events since that time which made me reconsider the MD/DO profession and decide on PA. I eventually got accepted to all of these programs so I think they appreciate your honesty and your ability to reason and rationalize your decision to pursue the PA route. I would say that it is not necessary to bring it up if they do not ask that question specifically. Hope that helps answer your question!
  4. Recently gave up my seat to this program so hopefully there's some movement on the waitlist!
  5. I also did a quick read and I don't really like your personal statement at all because it's just not what ADCOMS are looking for in the essay. I do think that asides from cutting the characters down, you will need to edit/delete most of it as it is very cliche, doesn't tell me specifically why you want to be a PA, and many parts reads like a résumé/CV. Some general comments: First 2 paragraphs are way too long. Just get to the point: you were sick, saw a PA who helped you, and that inspired you to pursue the profession. Don't use fluffy emotional words. Like the previous poster said, it's physician assistant, not physician's assistant. You will get auto-rejected for this mistake. Furthermore, do not capitalize the profession (Physician's Assistant), as well as your majors in school (Biochemistry, Public Health) 3rd paragraph is irrelevant besides the last 2 sentences where you actually talk about why your public health background is important for your future PA success ("My public health background now gives me the confidence that I can provide optimal care that stem from different influences. As a PA, I will be able to become that link in a healthcare system where medicine meets interventions and education to treat present health issues and prevent future ones.") Like literally you can delete the whole paragraph besides those 2 last sentences and add a bit more about why public health relates to you becoming a PA and why it is important as a future PA. 4th paragraph sounds like you are just rehashing things that are on your résumé/CV ("In my role, I have been introduced to many health care disciplines such as: phlebotomy, respiratory care, use of EKG machines. I have learned how to use and identify medical equipment, effective methods of infection control, and gained experience with geriatrics. Not to mention, my instinctive traits that are required to ensure patient safety and recovery have been emphasized like strong attention to details, communication skills, and having a good memory.") Yes, it is true that these skills may help you as a future PA, but you are kind of just listing them like you would on a résumé, instead of demonstrating to the readers how you exhibit these characteristics. You need to give specific examples, not just list out things. 5th paragraph, like all of your previous paragraphs, does not connect at all to the rest of your essay. Once again, we do not need to know everything about what you did throughout your life. The personal statement should not be a chronological autobiography of all of the things you have done to prepare yourself for PA school (e.g. I was sick when I was young, a PA treated me, that inspired me to pursue the PA profession. I went to undergrad and changed my major from biochem to public health. Public health will make me a better PA. I then worked as a patient care technician, and then I worked as a tutor. Once I finish PA school, I want to work in pediatrics or women's health). It's just super cliche and doesn't tell us anything about 1. why you specifically want to become a PA, and 2. why you would become a fantastic PA. You need to make your personal statement connect and flow throughout. You are giving too many slices of your life that they do not all connect in a logical manner. 6th concluding paragraph is super cliche. Also, ADCOMS don't need a rehash of how PA programs are structured ("I look forward to completing clinical rotations in internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics and OB/GYN. I anticipate gaining my Masters in Physician Assistant studies at a program that I believe will encourage their students to be public health leaders while teaching them to adequately apply medical principles.") Update: after a second read through, ADCOMS may ask you why you are pursuing PA instead of a career in public health since you’ve emphasized a lot about public health. Just make sure you have a good answer to some of these potential questions, as I had an MPH and was asked in my multiple interviews why I got an MPH and why that specific degree was important in my pursuit towards becoming a PA.
  6. Just got the call and was accepted after the January 12th interview!
  7. Too risky. Don't do it. You do not have to feel like you're dishonest for not including it as your personal statement really just needs to answer two questions: why you want to become a PA and why you would become a fantastic PA. You can definitely use your veterinary experiences over the last 16 years to exemplify this, and a matter of fact, these experiences would probably make you stand out from the crowd, which is what you want. I would say as a reader and on an admissions team, reading statements such as "I chose to leave veterinary medicine" because of "terrible debt to income ratio and the high incidence of depression and suicide" would probably turn me off and not offer you an interview. Just say that out for a moment and repeat it to yourself and you'll understand why that just sounds off-putting and very negative. You do not want to come off as a negative person in your personal statement, regardless of whatever past hardships you have endured. As an ADCOMS reading your paper, I would question your commitment to any profession if you wrote your essay in that type of tone, regardless if you were being truthful and not dishonest. There are ways to address your desire to leave veterinary medicine that can be painted in a more positive light instead of blaming it on low ROI and high depression/suicide rates. Addressing this in the interview would be a better place to do that instead of on the personal statement. Medicine in a nutshell is a high stress job, so the PA profession would also probably have somewhat similar stats on depression (though I do not believe that there are formal studies that were done geared towards specifically PAs). Anyways, you probably get my viewpoint by now (this is coming from a person who has gotten 9+ interview invites this cycle + accepted at my top choice). Main things to do in your personal statement: Be positive No phrases such as "I chose to leave veterinary medicine" because of "terrible debt to income ratio and the high incidence of depression and suicide" Be unique Use your veterinary medicine experiences to exemplify this! Answer the prompt questions: why you specifically want to be a PA and why you would be a fantastic one Please let me know if you want to see an example of a stellar personal statement (mine)!
  8. Was just accepted off of the waitlist!! My gosh now I have a difficult decision to make...
  9. I just received the honor of an acceptance from this amazing program and a program that is very dear to my heart (I am a UC Davis alumni 2x). I will most likely be declining this offer as I was recently also accepted to my top choice of program, so I hope this opens a spot for another qualified and wonderful candidate from the waitlist! Congratulations to all that are accepted to this wonderful program, UC Davis and Sacramento will always have a dear place in my heart as I start my professional career elsewhere! I have nothing but amazing things to say about the staff, faculty, and students of this program.
  10. Check out all of the community colleges near your area. They are cheap and affordable. What you can also do is take one class in Spring semester and then the 2nd class in Summer semester, however, you basically would not be able to submit until after summer. Best to try to knock both out before you apply in the summer. Having a pending class is a huge detriment even if schools don't outwardly say so. You can technically be screened out by not having A&P done, even if you are an otherwise stellar candidate (aka your app won't be even read because schools have so many applicants that have all of the prereqs done by application submission). Without having the prereqs completed, you aren't a qualified candidate (no exceptions). Like the previous person said, If you get A&P done before summer next year, you will have a decent shot (assuming you have stellar LORs, personal statement, etc.). If you don't, I would say wait until next cycle. Potentially if you applied early you may have a shot at interviews, but since the majority of your schools require A&P, it is best to apply when you have the most qualified/complete application.
  11. If you are firmly set on applying next cycle, if possible, find a local community college and take those two prereqs before you apply (most CCs teach A&P year-round). Try looking specifically for a CC that teaches anatomy and physiology as separate courses (e.g. take human anatomy and human physiology instead of A&PI and A&PII). This is so that you can knock them both out at the same time and not have to wait to take A&PII after taking A&PI. The only schools I applied to but did not get an interview invitation were those that I had pending prerequisites in. There is never enough experience until you actually get into PA school. You should be constantly trying to improve your resume until you get that acceptance letter (whether that's accruing more hours or switching to a higher quality PCE/HCE). That being said, it seems like you have a lot on your plate if you are trying to take anatomy and physiology before June of next year, you are trying to finish your undergraduate degree, as well as shadow PAs and asking for LORs (you should not bank on a PA that you have not shadowed yet to write you a LOR, I did, and the PA said no so I was ineligible to apply to 5 other schools I wanted to apply to). Not to mention you will have to write a bomb personal statement and fill out the CASPA app, which is immensely time-consuming in itself. Since you are still in college and you already have 3500 hours, just focus on the pre-reqs and get straight A's so you can boost your GPA to above 3.5. You can always wait another year before applying so that your application is much stronger, especially if you cannot find a community college to take anatomy/physiology next semester. No harm in that. You may be wasting your money applying if you don't even meet the prereqs for the majority of your schools.
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