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  1. Hello all , I'm a recent graduate from UTRGV Class of 2017, Passed PANCE February 8th and now officially a PA-C. Im passionate about sharing my journey in every aspect and I have a blog. Below i shared today's blog if its something you enjoy please follow my blog and email me im here to help melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com Face your Fears- Live your Dreams I have noticed a constant pattern of the e-mails I've received . Either for people applying to the program , people in the program , or people preparing for the PANCE fear is something that I get constantly asked. Fear of not getting an interview, Fear of not getting into school , Fear of Failing during the program , Fear of preceptors , Fear of not being prepared for your clinicals, FEAR of failing PANCE. I myself have gone through ALL THESE STAGES OF FEAR. But I've learned that FEAR Is the # 1 reason one fails. Fear paralyses us and clouds our judgement. Let me share a personal story. I've share with you all my ANXIETY. But my anxiety truly stems from fear of failing . About 2 weeks before my exam I had a complete breakdown , My husband was the only one who witnessed it. I usually bottle in all my emotions and then POP, I burst . I was getting upset about I don't know what, But in reality I wasn't upset about anything other than I was anxious about my exam. He brought that up to me and said "I think the whole issue is your test." And He was right. I was in a full out anxiety panic, Crying, hyperventilating, nauseaus, and I felt so vulnerable. I didn't understant why I was so scared when all I did was Study ! Reality was no one was pressuring me but myself, I demanded perfection. In person majority of people see me as a happy, bubbly, posiitve person and really that is the best side of me, But when I get anxious I become the opposite. I was so scared of failing , I felt if I failed , I would fail my parents, sister, husband , friends, professors , and patients I made connections with. When my support system would say something positive to me I would freak out , like if they were adding pressure on me but they weren't. I WAS. During this panic attack, I thought ot myself how is my husband dealing with this so calmly? I would be irritated with me If I was him . And He told me " What's the worst case scenario , you fail this exam. So what you take it again. " I remember him tagging me on a facebook post , It was a statement NFL Football Player Russel Wilson said , it states : " I don't see this as pressure. My dad in coma and my mom tyring to help him, That's pressure. This is football , this is something I love. " My husband constantly reminded me that yes It was stressful but I GET TO practice medicine , that's a blessing. Once I started seeing it in that light, studying for this exam is pressure , it's what I got to do so I get to do what I love. Seeing my patients sick, seeing my patients pass away, having to tell someone they have cancer that's pressure , this exam isn't pressure. When you start feeling bad for yourself and allow that to take over you aren't you anymore. My advise is wake up every morning with a purpose, what has helped me is waking up every morning and looking for a positive quote and live my day off that. When I feel that anxiety creeping up, I have to remind myself of everything I have and I get to do. YES I was scared, every minute and second up to the point of when i found out I passed I was scared. BUT I've learned that in moments when you are scared and unsure those are the moments to kneel down , bow your head and pray. GOD has never failed me , even when I think im not deserving he surprises me and shows me his love abundantly. I don't know what I have done to have all the blessings in my life but I do know that every day I thank GOD for my blessings. KICK FEAR in the face and GRAB hold of your FAITH. YOU CAN DO THIS , Do NOT give up. No matter the challenges. You will get there, it may not be when you want It but it will be right when its supposed to happen. Today's quote of the day: BE FEARLESS IN THE PURSUIT OF WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE.
  2. Hi Im Melissa Gutierrez-Perez MPAS-PA-C. I have a blog and thought I would share today's topic on this thread. IF you like it follow my blog - melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com STANDING OUT Hello all, another recent thread I've seen in my e-mails is people asking what helps their personal statement stand out. Honestly this is the only part of your application that shows your personality and a little about yourself, Everything else is grades, resumes , experience BUT what I believe will help you stand out -- a good personal statement. Often we all write about how passionate we are about helping people and how much we love medicine -- if you are going into this proffesion that is honeslty expected , truth is they want to know the WHY. WHAT in your life made you so passionate about medicine , WHY is this your calling ? I was trying to find my personal statement for PA school but I couldn't find it but I do remember my WHY and WHAt made me so passionate about this field . Thought I would share and hope it gives you some insight on what you can include in your personal statement. I always knew I wanted to do something in medicine when I was in High school , it wasn't until I was in Freshmen in college that I realized what a Physician Assistant was and suddenly I knew I found my niche. There was many things that aspired me to help others- #1 was the upbringing I had with my parents. We came from Monterrey , Nuevo Leon Mexico . My parents decided to come over here in order to work and be able to help take care of my dad's parents who were both starting to have some medical issues. At this young age I didn't understand the concept of being undocumented, I would go to elementary school and I seemed to be just like the other kids - I felt American. It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized I was not like everyone else. Not even like my own sister. She went to Driver's ED and got her license , would travel, and got to visit colleges. When I came to high school I couldn't get a license, work , or even think of going anywhere else for college. It hit me that my opportunities would be a little sparse, but my parents are the definition of Resilience. I knew that I wanted to go to college and study medicine , regardless of my immigration status. This resilience was the reason I had the drive and fire to enter this career. Reason # 2 was My Padrino ( Godfather) -- I've shared this on my blog before but I had a very unique and special relationship with my godfather. It's almost unexplainable unless you were around us. You would think I was his daughter. He himself was so passionate about medicine, he studied medicine in Mexico didn't finish his full career but I remember going to his house in Monterrey and seeing his medical bag -- with stethoscope, bandaids, tounge depressors, reflex hammers. I wanted to be like him. And he would tell me that I had the ability to help people . My padrino got very sick when I was in high school with liver cirrhosis -- I saw him deteriorate in front of my eyes , I saw someone that I loved slowly be taken away from me. He urgently needed a liver transplant which he received In 2011. I thought to myself YES ! He's going to be okay--- but he wasn't . He suffered from Cardiac arrest in October 2011. 2011 was a hard year for my family, we lost my grandma July 2011, My dad's brother August 2011 , and my godfather in october 2011. I experienced so much illness and loss -- and it hit me that this is exactly the career path I wanted. I wanted to be help my patients in their best and worse moments of their life. I wanted to help their families and their loved ones. My Padrino was my WHY . Still is till this day. I don't think I ever got to tell him how much he actually influenced me but I know he is looking down on me. Reason # 3 - I Am passionate about my community and helping improve it. I live in the Rio Grande Valley , A community that is largey undocumented and undeserved . There is a huge lack of patient education -- which Is a key indicator of why i think patients don't get better- they don't even understant their illness. I believe that if you take the time of day to explain to patients what's going on why their lifestyle modifications are so crucial to their health there's a huge improvement in patient compliance. Often in medicine , we are so RUSHED, have to get to next patient ,next surgery, next meeting but the patient in front of you deserve your full time and dedication. I'm so blessed to have been trained by Dr. Griego and his staff, their clinics are the definition of busy , BUT they take the time to educate their patients and explain everything to them. I made sure to explain in my personal statement that not only did i want to help others but in specifically the community in which I was receiving my training from. Reason # 4 - I have the drive of a lion. My family and I didn't have it the easiest, especially financially. My mom was undocumented as well, only my dad and sister were documented. My dad would work from Monterrey and my mom would take care of my sister and I . Eventually things in Mexico got pretty bad and his business over there started going down, this was a huge obstacle that we weren't expecting, We experienced a lot of difficulties in paying just simple things like water, electricity. I remember having to heat up water with boiler outside and my mom would have to rush it to restroom so i could attempt to shower. OR having to go to my boyfriends ( now husbands) house to shower and do homework afterschool . NEVER once did i feel defeated or emberassed of our difficulties , my parents handled this with class. During these times it just so happened that we also experiened our family losses that i mentioned above. At this point I did see my father break, he lost his mother and two brothers in a span of 4 months. I remember feeling defeated espeically with the loss of my godfather. BUT i couldn't break because He was breaking . The man who was holding everything down on his own was officially broken-- not only did he suffer loss and heartbreak but we were having a hard time keeping our home and paying our bills. I could tell it was stress that was finally crumbling him-- my mother never once brought him down, she was still grilling me to excel in school and sports. She was still focused on getting me to pass my SAT to get into college. That summer we officially moved out of OUR home , it was our home for almost 10-12 years. It was sad , we had so many first in this home and I knew my parents had a hard time because it was all their years of hardwork all GONE. We moved to a simpler and smaller home , one that we could afford. I had everything I needed a roof, food, car, water, a bed. At this point our next goal was to become legal US residents, this was our best opportunity to a better life. That's when I knew that more than anything I needed to bust my butt in order to give back to my parents for everything they sacrificed and given me. I set a goal for myself - I was going to get a 4.0 every semester - A goal that i almost met. The only semester I didn't reach this goal was my first, missed it by one class. I know that for many GPA wasn't the most important , but to me it was. I wasn't going to have the experience other had because I couldn't work to get medical experience or apply to programs or research things because i was undocumented , SO my graded needed to be perfect. We struggled a lot to figure out how to fix our legal status -- this was a fear of mine . All this hard work may mean nothing , what If i graduate but im undocumented ? I won't be able to apply to PA school , It would mean nothing. But my parents promised me that we would figure this out, and we did , 6 months before applying to PA school I became a US resident-- and from that moment on I knew nothing was going to stop me. Everything in my life shaped me to be who I am today. Which is why I say I have the drive of a lion-- because no matter how many times they say no I was going to fulfill this dream. I wanted them to get to know me through my personal statement, when I first applied I was waitlisted-- I was so sad . But I didn't give up I would go to campus weekly and talk to different professors and hope that if a position would open I would get in. I talked to One professor In June of 2015, I was in her office for an hour we went back and forth sharing our experiences. She went on to tell me I was 21 , young and didn't have that much experience they though I could use some more hands on and to just keep applying -- I remember telling her almost in tears , " I know that i may not have the resumes other people do but I can assure you no one has the passion and drive I do. I've been thrown curve balls throughout my life and I did it, graduated at 20 years old with honors with a Bachelor's in Biology and a minor in psychology. I can handle this program ." I almost was emberassed that I got so emotional but she went on to tell me .... look out in your e-mail you may be getting something. The next day I received an acceptance letter . Moral of the story is make sure they get to know you, make sure they read that statement and they remember you . STAND OUT !
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