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  1. I'm looking for feedback on my personal statement. Any feedback and harsh criticism is welcome!!!! Here is it: Junior year preseason was approaching as fast as my previous two years of college had flown by. I spent all summer preparing myself to finally play on the soccer field as a starter, but what I didn’t expect was the whirlwind of events that led to the end of my collegiate athletic career in soccer and track. It all started with what the athletic trainers thought were muscle spasms due to overuse and possible dehydration from the hot and humid weather, but it turns it out was much worse than what we thought. I was transferred from doctor to doctor and diagnosed with diseases such a mononucleosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. I was forced to stay in bed for long periods of time because of the fatigue and struggled to complete my activities of daily living. After several months of doctor’s visits and blood work, the doctor’s confirmed I had Lyme disease. They suspected I had it when I first walked through their office, but the bloodwork didn’t confirm the diagnosis and I was left with unanswered questions. This chronic disease took a lot away from me, but I continued each day to fight back. Doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to run track or play soccer competitively anymore and so I was forced to resign from each team and focus on my studies because my GPA suffered as a result of my illness. For me, being diagnosed with a chronic disease was a blessing in disguise and it drove my motivation to become a physicians assistant even more. What stands out to me the most in the PA profession is the flexibility to work in different medical specialties. Previously, I had the opportunity to shadow a pediatric PA as well as other PAs in emergency medicine, orthopedics and geriatrics from my time as a volunteer. I spent most of my time as a volunteer watching how doctors, PAs, nurses and technicians interacted with patients and it reminded me of teamwork. The field of medicine, just like soccer, uses teamwork as a key component of patient care. I noticed that the PAs had more time to spend with patients discussing rehabilitation options and infection preventions after their surgeries all while having the partnership with a physician to collaboratively work to treat patient. Lyme disease sparked my interest in diseases and as a PA I could play a role in developing a plan of action in regards to treatment that considered multiple influences and multiple methods for treating and preventing diseases, while also advocating optimal health and well-being. From volunteering to shadowing to working two jobs and still finding time to work out, I learned to manage my time and keep myself focused on my goals. Because I got sick, my GPA suffered and although I worked hard to maintain the grades I had that semester, I didn’t get the end result I ultimately wanted. Although I was no longer involved in athletics, I maintained the mindset to improve my grades as well as becoming more involved at my school. I decided to change my Spanish minor to a major to utilize my language skills in different healthcare settings in addition to adding a public health minor. Aside from academics, I volunteered more at St. Luke’s Hospital and Grace Park Senior Living and became more involved in the community. With a heavy course load semester by semester, I never lost track of where I wanted to be and improved my grades simultaneously. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to be exposed to different fields all while putting me out of my comfort zone. Through my experience as a volunteer at St. Luke’s I wasn’t positive if I could juggle the chaos that it brought. When I shadowed a PA at St. Luke’s Kids, it was calm and quiet, much different than the environment of the emergency room. I was able to watch a PA perform light procedures such as stitching and rectal exams. Another PA allowed me to feel more involved as she showed me her daily routine of obtaining medical history of the patient, performing physician examinations and discussing reasons for visit with the patient as she analyzed the condition. As a volunteer, I was lucky enough to be exposed to different settings within the emergency room that I became fascinated with the PA position. With a career as a PA, I know my answer to “how was your day” will always be, “life changing.” During my time as a volunteer, I was fortunate enough to change lives in similar ways as the PA I strive to be. Outside of my qualifications on paper, I have been told I am compassionate. Years from today, through my growth and different experiences as a PA, I will evolve to be a role model for someone with the same qualities and professional objectives as I have today. I chose PA because I love the flexibility it has and working as a team. As a volunteer, helping others made me feel like I had a purpose and as a PA there is no other profession I would rather be in. Admittance to a respectable program is not the beginning or end of my journey, but rather my next step to become a reflection of who I loo
  2. Do all my prerequisite classes have to be 5 years or under? I might as well go back to school and get a bachelors again. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Hello, I have a relatively rough draft that I was hoping someone could take a look over. I feel like I could use some help making it flow and also ordering the topics that I am writing about. Of course, any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated (seriously, if it's terrible please just shred me over it because I'll redo the whole thing if I have to) Thank you so much in advance! This forum has been a massive help with the application process. -Ethan EDIT: I don't want to post it publicly just since I've heard stories about anti-plagiarism software catching stuff from this website.
  4. Sorry for the messed up title Although this announcement is primarily military based, it effectively penetrates the PA profession - via admissions, current and prior service corpsman pride and the history of the PA profession. It's announced today that The title Corpsman is no longer going to be used. The Navy in an attempt to modernize the rankings system, and presumably " maintain tradition", is doing away with rates. There is no more YN3 or HM2, just petty officer. Also, corpsman are now.......medical technicians. http://www.militaryspot.com/news/navy-announces-enlisted-rating-modernization-plan Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Curious what everyone thinks about including quotes in personal statements and/or statements of purpose (in supplemental apps). Are they too lame to include or, if short and appropriate, a good idea?
  6. Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to review my essay.
  7. Hey guys, I would really appreciate any thoughts and/or critiques about the flow and overall theme of my statement. Is there anything missing or not well expalined? The door flew open and slammed against the adjacent wall. I entered a darkened room where I could only make out the outlines of other patients and hear the noise of chatter and children crying. As my eyes adjusted to the sharp contrast from the glaring sun outside, I slowly made my way to the counter. “Sign in,” said a voice and I looked down to see a chewed-up pin and a pile of torn paper. I wrote my name and date of birth and handed it to the clerk, who pointed out seats against a wall nearby. "Have a seat; we’ll call you when we’re ready.” I took a seat alongside a crowd of young women and children and patiently waited my turn to be seen at my local health department. As a teenager without health insurance, I spent many years “in the system,” seeing first-hand the demand for affordable primary care. My experiences at the local health department made me dread going, never knowing if I would ever see the same provider again. Like many others in my situation, I eventually stopped going. After these experiences, I decided to make a career in healthcare, where I hope to be part of the solution of providing stability for the underprivileged and financially burdened. I began my journey as a pharmacy technician, a job that solidified my interests in the science of medicine and furthered my awareness of the huge role of primary care providers in the health system. This perspective grew substantially when I began working in registration at the emergency department of my local hospital. Just as I had at the health department years earlier, patients without options sat for hours to be seen for fevers and headaches. My observations pushed me to continue with a career in medicine. After graduating from college, I moved home to pursue my career, climbing from being a unit secretary to becoming a patient care technician. There I got my first hands-on experiences with patients. One morning as I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. I immediately called for someone to come in so we could check her blood sugar levels; it was 37 mg/dL. With the nurse at my side, we got the patient back to bed and gave IV glucose. It was a rite of passage for me; I was happy to have recognized symptoms and then reacted appropriately without hesitation. Moments like this led me to see that I wanted to not only treat patients but learn to diagnose as well. Many of us have mentors who helped guide us in our journeys. After nearly nine years in healthcare, I began working with Mike, a physician assistant on the cardiothoracic surgery unit. I watched him take the extra time with patients to go over each medication, not only to ensure there were no drug interactions but also to explain the purpose of each. When his patients need refills, instead of asking for “the little blue pill,” they can confidently ask for their blood pressure medication. I saw first-hand how understanding a patient’s problems and taking the time to address them can greatly reduce complications and improve the quality of life for those in our communities. PAs play an important role in this mission and they do so as part of a team. A team-based care system is very important to me. I learned the value of a solid support network while struggling after the death of my cousin. The pain of losing my best friend had a profound effect on me and my grade suffered. The personal disappointment I felt after failing two semesters made it difficult for me to continue on my career path. However, with the backing of my friends and family, I was able to push forward and overcome these trials. I was taught stress-management and determination through these hardships and they will aid me as I endeavor this challenging and evolving career as a PA. With my professional training in the medical field, I have a good understanding and appreciate everyone’s roles in healthcare. We come from several backgrounds and experiences that allow us to integrate together and ultimately provide better patient care. I am confident in my ability to translate my skills into my studies as well as future practice and become a successful PA. I am also confident in my ability to relate and help close the gap in available healthcare as a primary care provider. Thanks in advance!
  8. I hope this is it! I am now below the character limit and I feel that I have included everything I wanted to portray, I just need some grammar nazis to find my mistakes!!! Thanks for any help :) **PS- if there's something you think needs more clarification or rewording, please tell me** As a teenager without health insurance, I spent many years ignoring symptoms or making do with remedies I already had at home. My go-to was some leftover menthol cough drops in my tea to help open my sinuses and soothe my throat. Thankfully, I was generally healthy and could manage by going to the health department once a year. I understand why someone would rather ignore his or her symptoms than see a doctor. I dreaded going to the health department because I never knew if I would see the same provider. Many see preventative care as a luxury, and overlook how it could save their heart, foot, or even life. Some feel like they do not connect with their provider or cannot understand them. Sometimes, it comes down to what is more important right now: eating today or diabetes tomorrow. These observations led me to pursue healthcare, where I hope to provide stability for the underprivileged and financially burdened. Spending ten years in healthcare has allowed me to interact with a variety of providers. With this exposure, I have realized that it is to a physician assistant (PA) that I relate. PAs help close the gap of disparities within healthcare by providing an affordable means for treatment. Also, through its supportive nature, the physician-PA team uses the skills of each provider to improve patient care and experiences. Additionally, the well-rounded training that PAs obtain allows them to adapt to the needs of their community and even carry their skills globally. All these reasons are important to me, having seen many of these issues firsthand. After high school, I became a pharmacy technician. This position solidified my interests in medicine and helped me appreciate the impact of patient education. I remember patients requesting refills for medications they could neither name nor state their use. Once, an elderly man came in with a baggie full of empty pill bottles, the labels almost illegible. Upon further inspection, we noticed that he had redundant medications and a variety of providers. We sat down with him, consolidated his medications, and then explained to him the importance of seeing a single provider. This was a common occurrence in the pharmacy, and I always made a point to educate these individuals. I wanted more contact with patients and later began working in registration at an emergency room. I saw those without insurance sit hours to be seen for fevers and headaches. Coming from this environment as a teenager, I understood that this was the primary care experience for many. Also recognizing this, one PA in the ER paid extra attention to these patients. I watched him go over each medication not only to rule out drug interactions, but also to explain their uses. When his patients returned, instead of asking for "the little blue pill," they confidently asked for their blood pressure medication. I admire his respect for patients, and it inspired me to also advocate for them. Once, I noticed a patient was anxious over the cost of a medication they had just been prescribed and coordinated with his provider to supply him with samples and coupons. Later, I became a patient care technician on the cardiothoracic surgery unit. This position gave me the chance to more closely see the connection between patients and their caregivers. One morning as I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. Alarmed, I checked her blood sugar; it was 37 mg/dL. With the nurse at my side, we helped the patient to bed and gave IV glucose. I am happy to have quickly recognized these symptoms and reacted. Moments like this showed me that I want to not only treat patients, but also diagnose. Becoming a PA will be difficult, but I am confident in my time- and stress-management skills. I have held many jobs while attending university full-time. I recall getting off work, eating in the car on the way to class, and coming home to study all night. This continued throughout my college career and although it was tough balancing several obligations simultaneously, I was always proud to have successfully completed each semester. I have always known that the best tool for succeeding under stress is a strong support network. This was tested during my sophomore year when I lost my cousin to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Never dealing with death before, I was unable to cope with losing my best friend; eventually, I failed two semesters. Reflecting upon this hardship, I drew from the support of my family and friends to push forward. I succeeded in retaking these semesters and continued to excel in my studies thereafter. My experiences at the pharmacy, reception desk, and on the unit have helped me value what people contribute to a team. Our backgrounds and various skills allow us to provide better care through integration and empathy. Since my days at the health clinic, I have seen the needs of the underprivileged, and becoming a PA is my next step as a patient educator, supporter, and advocate. Thanks everyone!
  9. Hi, I'm a first time applicant and I really don't have anyone to read my statement so I'm reaching out to you for help. I'm over my character limit my 809 and I can't find where to cut. I'm also not sure if I'm going the right direction with this statement. I appreciate any comments!! As a teenager without health insurance, I spent many years ignoring symptoms or eking by with whatever remedies I already had at home. Sure, when these methods did not work, I was forced to see a doctor, however, this was rarely the case. Thankfully, I was generally healthy and could manage only going to my health department once a year. Unfortunately, this is not the circumstance for many, and chronic illnesses go undiagnosed and uncontrolled. I can understand why someone would rather ignore their symptoms than see a doctor. I dreaded going to the health department because I never knew if I would ever see the same provider again. Many just do not recognize the importance of preventive care and how it could save their heart, foot, or even life. Some just feel like they do not connect with their provider or just cannot understand them. Sometimes, it comes down to what is more important right now: eating today or diabetes tomorrow. These observations led me to pursue healthcare, where I hope to be part of the solution of providing stability for the underprivileged, underrepresented, and financially burdened. Having spent nearly ten years in healthcare, I have interacted with a variety of providers, but it is to a physician assistant (PA) that I relate. PAs help close the gap of disparities within healthcare by providing an affordable means to primary care. Also, with the supportive nature of a PA in the physician-PA team, they are available to allow for more time with each patient. This is important not only in forming a lasting relationship with patients, but also in giving them the knowledge to make healthy decisions. In addition, the generalist training that PAs obtain make them more flexible to adapt to the needs of their community and even carry their skills globally. All of these reasons are significant to me, having seen many of these issues firsthand. Upon graduating from high school, I became a pharmacy technician. This position solidified my interests in the science of medicine and furthered my awareness of the huge role of primary care providers in the health system. I remember, on several occasions, patients coming in and requesting a refill for a medication that they not only could not name but had no idea why it was prescribed. Others, having seen so many different providers, had redundant medications or even drug interactions. After several years at the pharmacy, I knew I wanted to be more involved with patients and began working in registration at the emergency department of my local hospital. I witnessed patients without options sit for hours to be seen for fevers and headaches, just as I had years earlier. For many, this was their primary care experience. One PA there recognized this and provided them extra attention. I watched him take the time to go over each medication these patients were taking, not only to ensure there were no drug interactions but also to explain the purpose of each. When his patients need refills, instead of asking for “the little blue pill,” they can confidently ask for their blood pressure medication. My perspective grew substantially due to this; I wanted to be a patient advocate. I moved home after college to further my career in medicine. Rising from a unit secretary to becoming a patient care technician, I got my first hands-on experiences with patients. This position showed me how rewarding patient care is, even if it can be messy and often thankless. One morning as I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. I immediately called for someone to come in so we could check her blood sugar levels; it was 37 mg/dL. With the nurse at my side, we got the patient back to bed and gave IV glucose. I am happy to have recognized these symptoms and react appropriately without hesitation. Moments like this led me to see that I want to not only treat patients but learn to diagnose as well. I know the path to becoming a PA will be difficult. A PA program is not only a science-intensive graduate-level platform, but it is in an accelerated format that involves a great deal of dedication and determination. As someone who has held two, sometimes three, jobs while attending university full-time, I am confident in my skills obtained in time- and stress-management. I recall, on several occasions, getting off work, eating in the car on the way to class, coming home to study all night, then doing it all again the next day. The ability to balance multiple obligations while still finding time for yourself takes practice, but is important for mental and physical health as well as success in such a rigorous program. For me, the most significant tool in succeeding under such stress is a strong support network. During my sophomore year in undergrad, I lost my older cousin. Never having dealt with death before, I was unable to cope with losing my best friend; eventually, I failed two semesters. Reflecting upon this irresponsibility, I was able to use the trust and support of my family and friends to overcome this hardship and push forward. These abilities, however, will help me succeed in this challenging new academic path. My professional experiences in several healthcare fields has given me a unique perspective of the process involved in patient care, from the moment they come in to after they leave. This has made me cognizant and appreciative of everyone’s role in said process. We come from several backgrounds and experiences that allow us to integrate together and ultimately provide better patient care. I am certain in my ability to translate my skills into my studies as well as future practice and become a successful PA. I am also confident that I can relate and help close the gap in available healthcare as a primary care provider.
  10. (This version is only 88 characters too long so I need help trimming it down a bit as well as see if it truly answers why I want to be a PA. Thanks for any and all input!) I was working in the usually busy Sentara RMH Medical Center Emergency Department at just past four in the morning. There was only one physician running the department on what was shaping to be a slow night. It was then that we got word of inbound ambulances from a motor vehicle accident involving two teenagers and one middle-aged man. The radio crackled that the injuries ranged from minor to severe. As his medical scribe, I went with the physician to the first patient and helped logroll the bloodied patient off of the backboard and onto the bed for a CT scan. The stat scan showed an acute intracranial hemorrhage, a very critical, time-sensitive injury. He needed urgent transport by helicopter to a tertiary-care trauma center. Fortunately, the other two showed only minor injuries. During this frenetic time, another patient with stroke symptoms came in by yet another ambulance. A frantic family in hysterics trailed this patient. The patient was in her seventies, awake but not responsive. As I recorded the history and the physician’s findings, I noticed the mute woman's eyes following me around the room. Happily, she began to improve, and when she was able to manage short sentences, she told me that I looked like her grandson and that she liked my bright orange shoes. That was a connection – not a caregiver to a diagnosis, but a person to a person. It made me hope even more for her recovery. I followed the physician through his fast-paced assessments of these and all the other patients that night. I efficiently jotted down for later transcription his evaluations for each of the patients, listening and learning to his differential diagnoses as well as the needed laboratory and radiologic studies. As he talked with the families, the nurses, and the specialist consultants about his assessment and plan, I watched closely to his manner and speech. After a busy couple of hours, each of the patients was where they needed to be having received the necessary stabilization and care. Once that shift ended, I knew that I was exactly where I wanted to be. I was excited to be working in this chaotic setting, helping physicians with diagnostics and treatment of patients. Mostly, I wanted to be there for the patients. Not the diseases or symptoms, but the person with the illness or injury. My time working in the emergency department and in the outpatient laboratory gave me an interest in diagnostics and care planning process and the direct interaction with patients and families. Working as a phlebotomist, I often see patient’s laboratory orders and I would try to come up with differential diagnoses, intuiting the thought process behind the ordered tests. What was this physician thinking? Why these particular tests? Where could they lead the diagnostician? There were many laboratory tests of which I had never heard, so I would research each one in between patients. The more I investigated, the more fascinated I became with the problem-solving process that goes into figuring out a patient’s condition. When I would work as a medical scribe, the physician would not only list tests and studies to order but also explain to me why they were ordered. Being able to see the patient and connect the clinical problem with the tests ordered gave me the opportunity to pick up on clues as to what questions to ask and what studies are necessary. These are invaluable experiences that will make me a better clinician in my medical career. Often patients talk to me of their medical histories and problems in intimate detail, seeing me in charcoal grey medical scrubs, symbolizing trust and security. They see me as caring and understanding, as someone who can help them through their crisis. Patients that came in weekly for blood work become very willing to share how their kidney transplant is going or how they almost bled to death internally from a fall while on anticoagulants. They asked me questions such as the difference between Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma, expecting that just because I held the needle, I also held all the answers like I was their doctor. This taught me a lot about what doctors tell them, what they do not tell them and what the patient with no medical knowledge feels about it. It also imbued me with the great sense of responsibility that trust requires. I must live up to their needs and I must be sensitive to their experience of the disease, not just the disorder. These interactions have taught me that there is more than “Patient presents with…” These are human beings with whom I can and must make a connection with. Becoming a Physician Assistant would give me the opportunity to make an impact with that connection, both by teaching them and by them teaching me. This is something that cannot always be done when there is high acuity, a crush of patients, and limited staff. Still, I want to be that person rushing about at four in the morning, working with harried physicians, managing the chaos, taking care of sick people, and waiting for that next ambulance to light up the glass doors with flashing lights.
  11. You guessed it! I am a first time applicant and you guys are the only ones that can help me with critiquing my personal statement. Im actually pretty surprised I stayed under the character limit for my rough draft. Please look it over and tell me how bad it stinks! The door flew open and slammed against the adjacent wall. The room was dark and all I could make out were figures and the noise of chatter and children crying. As my eyes adjusted to the sharp contrast in darkness from the blaring sun outside, I made my way to the counter. “Sign in,” said a voice and I looked down to see a chewed up pin and a pile of ripped up pieces of paper, on which I wrote my name and date of birth. The voice came out again “have a seat; we’ll call you when we’re ready.” I turned to see a room, no bigger than a two bedroom apartment, full of young women and children of various ages. I took a seat and waited for my turn to be seen at my local health department. As an adolescent without health insurance, I have seen first-hand the demand for providers that can offer available healthcare. My experiences at the local health department made me dread going, never knowing if I would see the same provider again. Like many others in my situation, I just stopped going. After these experiences, I knew I wanted to be the stability for the underprivileged and financially burdened. I began my role in healthcare as a pharmacy technician. It was this job that solidified my interests in the science of medicine. It was also this exposure which showed me that primary care providers play a huge role in the health system. However, it was not until I began working in registration for the Emergency Department of my local hospital that I could see just how important this role is; patients sitting for hours to be seen for a fever and headache because they do not have any other option for healthcare. These observations pushed me to continue in medicine. After moving home to pursue this career, I climbed my way from a unit secretary to a patient care technician where I had my first hands-on experiences with patients. I remember a particular incident where while I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. I immediately called for someone to come in so I could check her blood sugar levels; it was 37 mg/Dl. With the nurse by my side, we got Ms. Kay safely to the bed and began treating her with intravenous glucose. I was so excited and proud of myself for recognizing the symptoms and being able to react without hesitation. It is moments like this one that I recognize my desires are not only to treat patients, but also diagnose illnesses. After working closely with many health providers for nearly ten years, none stood out to me like Mike, a physician assistant on the cardiothoracic surgery unit. I have seen him take the extra time to go over every medication a patient had not only to ensure there was no drug interactions but to explain and write down the uses of each for when they returned home. When this patient needs a refill, instead of asking for “the little blue pill,” they will confidently ask for their blood pressure medication. Understanding these problems and taking the time to address them through patient education and support can greatly improve the quality of life for those in our communities. PAs help to carry out this idea of preventive medicine over episodic care as a team. A team-based care system is very important to me. I learned the value of a solid support network while struggling after the death of my cousin. The pain of losing my best friend, and the personal disappointment I felt after failing two semesters, made it difficult for me to continue on my career path confidently. However, with the backing and trust of my peers, much like a PA in their practice, I was able to push forward and overcome these trials. I was taught stress-management and determination through these hardships and they will aid me as I endeavor this challenging and evolving career as a PA. With my professional training in the medical field, I have a good understanding and appreciate everyone’s roles in healthcare. We come from several backgrounds and experiences that allow us to integrate together and ultimately provide better patient care. I am confident in my ability to translate my skills into my studies as well as future practice and become a successful PA. I am also confident in my ability to relate and help close the gap in available healthcare as a primary care provider.
  12. FINAL draft any help, suggestions, comments, criticisms are all appreciated, Thank you!! As I sat in the Food Stamps and Welfare office, filled with feelings of fear and disappointment that I hadn’t attained self sufficiency, I looked around observing all walks of life enduring their own personal struggles, and I realized we share a similar destiny: we’re trying to make it on our own -- to be independent. My father was a migrant and a veteran, and being the backbone of our family, he has instilled in me the charisma and ambition to not settle for anything less than my full potential and to strive further, especially in education and interpersonal relationships. His inspiration has influenced me and changed me, provoking me to progress (persevere) by challenging myself academically and investing in valuable relationships. Academics and relationships are the building blocks of self-sufficiency, and with each day that passes I am closer to that (my) goal. Independence comes with a lot of hard work, devotion and responsibility, all things that I’ve worked on tirelessly in order to get where I am today (in becomingg a pa). During Fall and Spring semesters of 2012 -2013, I struggled living in a community that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Being displaced and without a home, with my newborn son, I felt extremely challenged in properly balancing my family and academic life (lives). Looking back, I’m proud at how I stayed focused and achieved my personal and academic goals (objectives), despite the very difficult time that was brought on by Hurricane Sandy. This episode taught me valuable lessons in overcoming (diffucult) trying times. (A patient’s independence can be strained at times, and my aspiration is to be there for them in their time of need, and to give them the encouragement and hope to endure.) I have a specific interest in primary care, because I want to be able to interact with various diverse patients, and hopefully develop longer-term relationships with them. While working in Jackson Memorial Hospital, located in a low-income area, I witnessed the impact a PA can have on the lives of the underserved and underprivileged. I therefore want to work in hospitals with underserved and underprivileged populations in order to assist many patients in their pursuit of health and well-being. While shadowing PA Dara Bernstein in the NICU, where many tough cases both medically and emotionally were presented, I developed a strong sense of the skill of uniting compassion and medicine. My desire to help others is commensurate with my great interest and knowledge of medicine. Witnessing PA Bernstein collaborating and communicating with a team of physicians and other medical professionals, I noted the important link a PA plays in the medical chain. The capacity to communicate clearly and concisely is pivotal to the success of a PA’s relationship with their patients and the medical staff. I have worked on improving my communication skills through being a tutor and a guide to high school students. Tutoring has sharpened my ability to effectively present information, because I must organize and explain concepts into terms that my students comprehend and understand. Additionally, I am a mentor for at-risk youth where I have seen the emotional and mental struggles of students trying to break free and forge their own paths in life. My goal was to guide them towards emotional health, facilitate their overall welfare. My devotion and compassion for them has carried over into my medical career where my desire is to give the patient the medical care, support and treatment needed for their well-being. I believe that I’m mature, motivated and intelligent student who will display dedication for both science and clinical medicine. I recall numerous times, at Jackson Memorial, where I would review in-detail the various cases presented, in order to broaden my knowledge of the medical field. My enthusiasm and awareness are matched by my integrity and commitment in caring for the patient’s needs, both physically and emotionally. My motivation to practice as a PA comes from my fascination with the sciences coupled with my compassion and sensitivity towards others. Medicine is an art - an art I am captivated by --an art I want to master and nourish from. Art requires countless time and effort, and I have spent countless hours studying and analyzing the sciences, and researching and discussing pathologies with my healthcare mentor. Throughout my experiences, I have spent hundreds of hours shadowing and volunteering in healthcare offices and hospitals to further my background in the healthcare system. Integrating my experiences, and applying them to my life’s work as a PA is a privilege I yearn for. I look forward to the day when I can amass the knowledge and skills towards becoming a Physician Assistant. Being a healthcare professional has been a dream of mine since my adolescence, and I am enamored by the opportunity to materialize my aspirations. I am confident that my care and compassion for people coupled with my love for the health sciences will help me become a first-rate PA.
  13. Does anyone know an average salary for a PA with 0-2 years experience in Internal Medicine / Family Practice outpatient??
  14. It is estimated that approximately one in four adults experience mental illness in a given year. Approximately twenty percent of adolescents experience severe mental disorder in a given year. Yet approximately sixty percent of adults and almost fifty percent of adolescents with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year. What does this have to do with my aspirations to become a physician assistant? No, it is not a cheap ploy to display an impressive ability to regurgitate facts. Nor is it my attempt to set the stage for an emotional rollercoaster recounting my life experiences. I find my passions lie in mental wellness. I have always been known for my caring and compassionate nature – my nickname all throughout high school and college was “momma bear”. From holding a friend’s hair back while they were sick to providing hours of “talk therapy” to friends and family, I have made it clear to all that know me that I am dedicated to making the lives of others better in more than the traditional means. As many do, I underwent a few changes in character growing up. I have developed into what I feel is a confident, motivated, ambitious young woman. However, my kindness, encouragement, and altruism have remained constant aspects of my character from a young age. I have always found fulfillment in making someone feel better, in both physical and mental ailments alike. So, I naturally gravitated towards the medical field. What better way to do what I love than to dedicate my career to helping people? More than that, however, I aimed to find a profession that would allow me to improve the quality of someone’s life in a significant way. Mental illness has had pervasive impacts on my life in sundry ways. Growing up, I was privy to the secrets of my closest friends and family. Such a degree of trust meant that not only was I entrusted with helping these individuals on a regular basis, but that I ultimately talked these individuals down from suicide attempts. Being the person others turn to in their time of need is both an enormous compliment and a responsibility I do not bear lightly. I was not immune to the stresses I was saddled with in life either. Specifically, my first year of my undergrad career was an enormous undertaking for me. Between the transition to living away from home (an especially difficult feat for a sheltered Middle Eastern girl) and all the changes that come with it, I was struggling. This was also the year that my PCOS was diagnosed, and managing its symptoms came with its own challenges. These factors, coupled with more personal reasons I will not disclose, resulted in a depression I was not sure how to handle well. I was on the flip side of the coin I felt so comfortable with previously, and instead of taking the advice I had dished out to others myriad times, I decided to do what many do in my same situation: nothing. My grades fell drastically compared to my marks in high school, and my relationships with family, old friends at home, and new friends at school faltered. Eventually, I decided enough was enough and I sought assistance through therapy options offered to me through my university. When I mentioned my aspirations of entering psychiatry and therapy as a PA, my therapist responded with: “Any therapist will tell you, we don’t much trust the ones that are not in therapy themselves”. With these words, she reminded me that there is no reason to stigmatize mental illness, and that therapy is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength. With her support and guidance, I was able to get back on my feet; my grades rose, I restored my relationships with family and friends, and I maintained healthy behaviors throughout the remainder of my college experience and beyond. I was able to graduate from my university in three years with two degrees, began working as a volunteer EMT (at a rescue squad that I frequently refer to as my second home), and experienced the joys and sadnesses that come with growing into a healthy, contributing member of society. This begs the question, though: why physician assisting? The simple truth is that every aspect of the career appeals to me, from the high level of patient interaction, the close level of care and monitoring, and the team-oriented approach the position provides. Not only do I work well in a group setting, I also thrive independently; the profession provides me with the luxury of having both, a rare level of balance not found in other vocations. Moreover, I recognize that my interests may change as my time in PA school progresses, and that I already have vested interests in multiple medical specialties (some being neurology, orthopedics, emergency medicine, and family medicine). Working as a PA provides me with an unparalleled career motility that allows me with the chance to thrive in any field. I believe I embody all of the necessary characteristics a PA requires in order to be successful. I am hard-working, shrewd, and industrious. I relish an opportunity to be intellectually stimulated and take every opportunity to challenge myself mentally and physically; give me a brain teaser and I will be sure to work it out within minutes. I enjoy “people-watching”: I pride myself on being observant of others, their feelings, and their behaviors. I find satisfaction in learning about someone and finding ways to help them. I am a social chameleon, primed to adapt to any environment, and maintain a good head on my shoulders in high-stress situations. In short, I have not been able to see myself in any other profession since learning about physician assisting, and will do whatever it takes to realize my goals.
  15. I just finished my first draft. Are the ideas in my personal statement too general? Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks! Feel free to message me feedback or post it on this thread, anything you can offer would be great. Here it is: I work in a psychiatric hospital. When I mention this to those outside the always locked double doors, it often conjures up the widely adopted vision of sterile, concrete hallways and shackled beds. They think of needles, caretakers reminiscent of Nurse Ratched and some kind of indefinite, twisted eternal fate reserved only for the “insane.” We hear about the aggression, the suicide, the psychosis; we discuss the dangers of working with the mentally ill, and as a public body, chastise the treatment options that are available. As a technician on a psychiatric medical floor, I find this reputation repulsive; not only does it foster a misunderstanding of what we seek to accomplish, it instigates a negative attitude that promotes the public to treat those afflicted with mental illnesses differently. Often, the stigma associated with mental illness blinds people from understanding what being afflicted with mental illness means. We often don’t hear about are the difficulties that these people face in living with their illness; beyond medical histories, these are real people with their own joys and families and stories. Consider the man with Huntington’s, wheelchair bound for his own safety, whose father and brother were similarly afflicted with the disease, or the self-harming 30-year-old, arms covered in long, thin scars, whose psychological stressors eventually led him to a life on the streets. There’s the deeply religious mother of four amidst the throes postpartum depression, unable to even feed herself. When we step back, we do not see the whole picture, but instead the violence and injustice and sickness that exists. What people often miss is that psychiatric hospitals do not seek to confine these people, but instead aim to allow them to thrive. Amidst the darkness of mental illness, it can be difficult to find hope, to remember that people support you, and to recognize your own strength. It can be difficult to see, and sometimes impossible to believe, that there is hope, even in the most disparate of situations. The most rewarding aspect of working in this field is restoring that hope that has been lost within the throes of mental illness. It can be difficult to imagine the chronic despair of depression or constant torment from auditory hallucinations without experiencing them personally. I hope to never know what it is like to experience their pain, but what I do understand is that feeling listened to and cared about is perhaps the most effective medicine of all. There’s nothing better than seeing the eyes of a depressed woman light up as she reunites with her children upon her discharge, or finally meeting the man who was locked into a catatonic state for weeks, or helping a once bedbound patient walk again for the first time. This is why I love working in healthcare, and why I am pursing the physician assistant profession. As a physician assistant, I hope to become more effective and more highly involved in the treatment of my patients, and continue to develop my clinical skills. I consider myself a continuous learner and have many interests inside and outside the medical field: I am a former collegiate athlete and a future marathoner, an advocate for environmentally responsible farming, a front-porch enthusiast, and an aspiring Francophone. Professionally, I am interested in several medical specialties, including pediatrics, psychiatry, and child psychiatry, international medicine, emergency medicine, and medicine for the underserved. These specialties in particular present social challenges in addition to medical ones, and through my mental health background I have gained a passion for lessening these barriers. My goal is to provide my patients with care that benefits them not only from a medical standpoint, but also form a relationship that allows patients to feel valuable and involved in their care. Working in mental health, my understanding of wellness has changed significantly. It seems that the distinction between physical and mental health is an abstract one, and that the complexity of medical treatment goes beyond the medicine itself. Ultimately, it is this understanding that drives me to become a physician assistant—there would be no greater reward than to be able to do meaningful work healing the wounded, emotionally and physically.
  16. Hello! I'm looking for advice on how to strengthen my personal narrative. I've always considered myself somewhat of a weak writer and I'm honestly not sure what to write about. A little about myself: I'm 30, married, I have a 6 year old son, finishing up my BA in Natural Sciences/Mathematics, working as a CNA in oncology at a local hospital.... Any suggestions on how to spiffy this up? Thanks! I wasn’t the most studious high school student. I had terrible grades. It isn’t that I wasn’t capable, but I had lost interest. I did very well up until high school but for some reason I began to lose enthusiasm for learning. I didn’t see the importance of a good education. I eventually graduated and went on to receive my associate’s degree in Information and Network Technology. I still felt that something was missing. There was a certain curiosity that I had growing up but lost touch with as I got older. It wasn’t until I struggled with my own health that I became inspired to learn again, not only about human physiology but about the world around me. I was 24 years old and obese. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and couldn’t spend much time on my feet without getting out of breath. I was depressed and I isolated myself from my friends, family, and my wife. My wife and I began talking about having children and I was scared at the idea of not being healthy enough to keep up with them. I also wanted to set a good example. I started reading books by various nutritionists and dieticians and signed up for classes at a local group workout gym. I was afraid of what the other people in the gym would think of me, but I was more afraid of what would happen if I didn’t begin to take control of my health. In about a year and a half, I lost over 100 pounds, reduced my blood pressure and my blood cholesterol levels. I had even gotten to a point to where my doctor and I felt that I no longer needed medication. I felt like I was on top of the world. This experience inspired me to go back to school for a health related career. Soon after looking into various career paths, a friend of mine told me about physician assistants and how one helped him take control of his health. I knew that I wanted to help empower others to take control of their own health. I was fascinated by human physiology. I began taking science and math courses and realized early on that I did well in these subjects. Volunteering in the hospital solidified my desire to be in medicine by giving me the opportunity to interact with patients and connect on a personal level. For me, medicine is a perfect blend of two important things that I value and that inspire me on a daily basis: science and compassion. As a physician assistant, I would get the best of both worlds. I would get to continually learn new things while caring for those who are often at a vulnerable time in life. While my interest lies mainly in primary care, I am someone who is interested in all aspects of medicine and being a physician assistant gives me the flexibility to work in other specialties. I value independence and autonomy, but I also like the idea of not necessarily being the final answer. The inherent collaborative nature of being a physician assistant affords me the opportunity to work with physicians to come up with a plan that works best for the patient. In addition to my healthcare experience, I worked in IT for several years and I believe this experience will make me a better physician assistant. Humans are immensely more complex than computers, but my experience troubleshooting and solving complex network and computer issues gives me the tools to be able to think critically and analytically as is needed in a physician assistant. As a physician assistant my enthusiasm for medicine would be apparent in the work that I do. I know that I would care for my patients in a way that we all deserve to be treated; with respect, dignity, and compassion. I sincerely want to thank you for your time and consideration.
  17. Hi guys, Quick question...just need advice on who to choose for my 3rd LOR (both have agreed to writing one). Currently I have a PA that I shadow, and my supervisor (a Physical Therapist) both writing one. Here are my options: 1. My community college anatomy professor from about 1.5 years ago. She remembers me and offered to write one, but we have had little contact since. However, she could speak to my work ethic and ability to work as a team. I took a role in the class of really helping out the other students who sat at my table in lab. Her letter might be a good idea considering my transcript from years ago is not very strong due to just being an unmotivated teenager just out of high school. I just don't know how personal she can really get. 2. Another PT who is a close coworker. I work with her patients on a daily basis, and we are close. She would have no problem writing a really detailed, great letter. However, I already have a PT (my boss) writing one, and they might focus on similar qualities. I'm leaning toward my professor, but wanted to get opinions. Thanks a bunch!
  18. recent thread, 3geronamoPA wrote (edited for brevity) .... and pursue issues that I want addressed then I'd be interested. We have a similar thing going on in the Army currently. We have a bunch of our senior people making decisions that will pull PAs out of clinical medicine and into administration for the purposes of career (rank) advancement. They never asked the lowly types that became PAs to take care of patients (God forbid) what they wanted. Now we have a mass exodus of PAs from the Army because they don't want to do Healthcare Administration for 3+ years. which got me to thinking... is an administrative tract for PAs a bad thing?? i would propose that THAT is what we want: -- a seat at the head table -- a voice in the organizations in which we work. -- an opportunity to influence PA working condidtions and the delivery of health care in general? -- a counterbalance to forces of evil ( apply whichever initials you desire there...r and n admin come to mind) I admire 3 geronimoPA's dedication to actually doing that for which he was trained: taking care of patients. he, and the apparent droves of fellow army PAs who are leaving due to this, are true trenchers (as am I). however, sometimes a trencher at the admin table aint a bad thing.. sometimes he can provide a cogent arguemnt to an issue being discussed. once, the EM reprepresentative to the department of orthopedics monthly meeting, when the chief of ortho was blasting the head of lab and admin about the turn around time it was taking for micro to complete hip replacement bone sa mples (gram stains etc), he lamented, that there is nothing more urgent for the lab to be doing than processing a sample from a patients open hip. I mentioned that maybe analysis of spinal fluid might be one example of such a circumstance.. trencher experience over admin experience.. the point is.. the more we become a part of the administration, the more admin will see us as actually having "skin in their game".. and (my argument) the more they will actually listen to and be concerned with our ideas. instead of merely considering us as meat moving fodder. so, i would like to open it up: (my position is in soft opposition to 3 geronimoPA's lament against administration for PAs (actually he seems to be against the decision having been made without PA input.. which sorts makes my case, doesn't it?) should we, as a profession, be advocating an administrative role for PAs within the local organizations that we work? Should we be pushing for this? in the army, it appears that this role will become a needed ticket punched for advancement. Should we be taking a position that PAs in the field become administraors? Should there be an "administrative PA" role? nationally? locally only? should our goal be that ONLY (former) trencher PAs be allowed to become an "Administrive PA (APA)"? to avoid hospital administrators from hijacking the positon.. just for your pondering.. davis
  19. I have always wanted to work inthe medical field one way or another. It took me a while to figure out exactlywhat I wanted to do in the medical field. I became a pharmacy technician aboutfour years ago. Mainly because I needed a job that paid more than minimum wagesince I am a single mom going to through college. The other reason was to findout if that was something I would like to do as a career. After working in apharmacy for a few years I realized counting pills is not what I want to do forthe rest of my life. I knew I wanted to help people but the pharmacy is not theway I want to help. I want to have way more patient interaction than Icurrently do. I did not learn about what a physicianassistant was until I had my own experience with a physician assistant. A lightbulb went off after that encounter. So I decided to do some research about thecareer field. After learning what a physician assistant role was I decided thatit was the career I would like to have eventually. In my experience receiving carefrom physician assistants, I realized that physician assistants have themedical training to be confident in their field and provide excellent care totheir patients. I learned that physician assistants can greatly enhance thequality of care provided in a doctor’s office and hospital setting by splittingup the care between them and the doctors. My experiences with physicianassistants have led me to have a great appreciation for this career and I ammotivated to become a physician assistant. As an adult, and mother; myfamily and I on more than one occasion was cared for by a physician assistant. Ihave witnessed that a physician assistants have the ability and willingness totake the time to explain conditions, understand concerns, and answer questionswhich I find as an incredible relief. I believe that because of theoverwhelming patient load on doctors, sometimes they are unable to give thesame important attention that the physician assistant can provide. My positiveexperience with these physician assistants awoke a desire in me to provide thesame service to others.
  20. When my student volunteer team first arrived in Nicaragua at our makeshift clinic and the faces of the poverty-stricken citizens peered into our van, I was immediately overcome with excitement and eagerness. After our abbreviated training on clinical assessments, local diseases, and pharmacology, we brought our equipment into the church, set up our stations, and began seeing patients within minutes. It was the first time anyone on my team had performed hands-on care, and while we were all eager to be assessing patients on our own, at the same time we were nervous. However, we quickly learned that in Granada, Nicaragua, the patients were willing to take medical advice from anyone who offered it. As the week went on, I became much more comfortable and even confident in performing physical assessments, consulting with my group, and diagnosing patients along side a local physician. I quickly realized that I really enjoyed being a part of a medical team, and as expected, the reward of being able to help people who had next to nothing was invaluable. Before the mission trip, my exposure to healthcare settings as a patient certainly attributed to my desire to be a physician assistant (PA). Because of a few surgeries and a two-year battle with chronic tonsillitis and sinusitis, I have had the chance to interact with several physicians and PAs. I began shadowing several of my healthcare providers, and quickly grew more attracted to the PA career. After seeing the differences between physicians, PAs, and nurses, I immediately saw myself fitting in best as a PA. The challenge of diagnosing patients is exciting to me, and having a physician to collaborate with is reassuring. After shadowing, I see that not only do PAs have a vast knowledge of the medical field, but they also have an observable passion for the job and earnestness toward their patients. The PAs I know have an enthusiasm for their work that I do not think I could find elsewhere. PAs are a valuable part of the medical team, and they are well received by the patient population. Along with the mission trip, the time I have spent volunteering at a primary care clinic for indigent patients has driven me to further develop my critical thinking skills and gain a more practical understanding of medicine and health education. I have benefitted from being able to put my mind to the test and solve problems alongside a physician. Working with impoverished patients at the primary care clinic and during the mission trip, I had a chance to see first-hand how many people are not educated on their own personal health. It is shocking to see such a lack of health education, even on topics as simple as knowing what to eat as a diabetic patient or someone with elevated cholesterol levels. As a PA, it will be a priority of mine to spend time educating patients on specific details regarding their conditions. In the medical field, the opportunities for teaching are endless, and it is a goal of mine to serve as an educator in order to help those who are uninformed. Being a PA would allow me to take up the role of an educator and ensure that the patients are learning how to better their health by making more informed decisions in their lives. Being the youngest child of older parents facing new health issues of their own has made me realize that this nation needs more health professionals, and soon. The aging population and the recent changes in our health care system are beginning to overwhelm current physicians, and this country needs more health care providers. Since shadowing, volunteering, and serving on a mission trip, I can see myself fulfilling this role as a PA by combining the values of teamwork, compassion, and determination. I have always been a team player and enjoy collaborating with others for the betterment of the group. For example, in Nicaragua, teamwork was a key component of our success. I am excited about having a career where I can help people each day by educating patients, performing surgical procedures in the operating room, or diagnosing patients in a primary care setting. I believe I possess the qualities needed to be a successful PA. I will use my experiences, knowledge, motivation, and if accepted to a PA program, my education, to become a valued part of the PA profession.
  21. Is non-clinical volunteering/ community service required or recommended to gain admission at certain schools? Is there a number of hours to aim for?
  22. I have shadowed four PAs in varying fields of medicine but all for brief periods of time (about three days at the most). I enjoyed most of my experiences shadowing but I felt as if they were too busy to schedule more days to observe them. I feel as if shadowing a PA was repetitive. Aside from the medical information they were giving me about patients and such (which was way over my head sometimes but REALLY interesting), I was hearing over and over again about grades, the application process, and what a PA's responsibilities were. My question is, should I continue trying to shadow? There aren't a lot of PAs in my area but maybe I'm doing this shadowing thing wrong if I'm finding it to be repetitive. My thoughts are that the purpose of shadowing is to learn what a PA does and I feel like I have become knowledgeable of what a day is like for a PA.
  23. So I am in the process of re-applying and I'd like to knock this PS out of the ballpark to make up for a low GPA and GRE score. I feel that its missing that certain something that makes it memorable but not sure what..... Any type of input would be helpful! Thanks! Imagine moving to a foreign country and settling down with nothing more than three suitcases and the clothes on your back. My parents did exactly that. They immigrated to the U.S. in hopes of providing an exceptional education and a better lifestyle for my brother and I. My parents always told me that I could achieve anything with hard work and dedication. I witnessed first hand the sacrifices and hardships my parents had overcome and it translated into my own work ethic. The diagnosis of my brother’s neurological disorder sparked my interest in healthcare. The innumerable trips to the hospital unveiled the clinical setting and gave me a chance to observe the medical team in action. The ability of doctors and nurses to work hand in hand to remedy what seemed to be impossible corralled my attention. Healthcare has been a significant part of my family and I knew this career was something special that I wanted to be a part of. I began this pursuit at the Pennsylvania State University and became the first college graduate in my family. I enrolled in a variety of classes from anatomy to genetics to feed my curiosity of the human body. Along with a full course load, I volunteered at various hospitals, stayed active in the community and shadowed an assortment of medical professionals. Getting to observe surgical procedures and understanding the mechanics and resiliency of the human body made healthcare even more alluring. My first taste of hands on experience was at the campus clinic where I was able to learn elementary skills such as examining x-rays and knowing the importance of different lung sounds. I felt a degree of satisfaction but believed that I could contribute at a higher capacity. After college, working as an Emergency Medical Technician gave me the opportunity to work with a more diverse patient population at a higher acuity level. The demanding environment was intimidating at first but I was determined to succeed. The pressures associated with pre-hospital care exercised my knowledge of medications and procedures as well as sharpen my communication skills. Presently, I have been working at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with kids affected by an array of psychological and neuromuscular diseases. It has been fulfilling to help bring a smile to children and families affected by illness just like my own. CHOP has exposed me to a spectrum of patients from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. This clinical research incorporates a medical perspective as well as elements of social work and laboratory skills. Raising patient awareness and being involved in outreach programs sponsored by CHOP added to my well-rounded experience. My contributions as a researcher will help future generations but my passion lies in being able to deliver medical attention to those directly in need. Being around hospitals for some time, I came across the Physician Assistant profession. After researching the position, I appreciated how versatile PAs could be moving between different medical specialties. Another benefit was their ability to cooperate with doctors and nurses to choose the best course of action for a patient. Mentoring and being part of the medical community also stretched their impact beyond the exam room. Learning in a medical model that is based on general health practice was their most impressive quality. Taking time for patient education while rendering a higher level of care has led me to believe that the role of a PA fits my personality, strengths, and abilities. A rejection letter from the last cycle was a disappointment that gave me time to reinforce my reasons for entering this profession. Taking additional classes, attending grand rounds with medical students and staying up to date with current issues regarding PAs while working full-time reflects my dedication to the PA profession. Growing up, I was taught the importance of a good education and that learning does not end after you receive a diploma but is lifelong. I believe my experience, amiable nature, and perseverance my parents have instilled in me will enable me to become an exceptional future PA.
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