I did a draft of my personal statement months ago when I started asking for letters of recommendation and now that it's time for me to finish up my applications I am back at it. I am probably a little different then the average PA applicant in a number of ways. One of which is that I have already attended graduate school and received my masters and specialists degree in Mental Health Counseling from UF. Despite working several jobs in my area of training I still feel a need for great clinical skills (would very much like to be able to treat the physical in addition to the mental). Not to mention I seek better work opportunities and a better salary (won't mention this in my PS though)...
In reading others personal statements I see a lot of the "one moment in time confirmed that I want to be a PA" sort of thing which I do not in any way identify with. Is this typical in a personal statement? Seems a little weird to me as I have a number of things that have influenced my desire to be a PA. Should I focus on one or two things or try to cram it all in?
I start my PS off by talking about my Mental Health Counseling background and how I still feel drawn to a more clinical setting. I then talk about my current job as a Research Coordinator on labor and delivery for 4 different studies, but mentioned that I still feel limited and still want to provide a higher level of care for people. I also included some things about how my study abroad program impacted my desire to become a PA, though I am wondering if I should include this? It seems to really clutter up my essay, switches tracks too quickly and I'm wondering if I should just remove it. Any thoughts?
Also, is it really necessary to talk about shadowing experiences? I have shadowed but it was some years ago, though I included it on application in the appropriate area? I also have over 7,000 patient care hours. There are so many things I would like to mention, but with only 500 words I'm wondering if it's better to just focus on a few of the bigger things and let the admissions committee see the rest of my application for other relevant things.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated :)
Thanks in advance,