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  1. Any comments would be greatly appreciated, applying this coming cycle! Picture this: a first post-operative visit, open reduction and internal fixation of a tibia/fibula fracture with the dressing being taken down, and then a four year old vomits on my shoes, and he wasn’t even the patient; the patient, shortly thereafter, became lightheaded and proceeded to pass out. Despite this less than appealing day in healthcare I still want to be a physician assistant (PA). I’ve witnessed medical tragedy, triumph, and mundane days in healthcare, and at the end of all of them I am yearning to become a PA. I come from a diverse medical family and have been exposed to medicine my entire life. My father, a 35-year veteran firefighter/paramedic, and my mom, sister, and grandmother, all registered nurses (RNs), helped expose me to healthcare. My mother is a RN, but also a first assist (FA) as well as a practice manager for a very successful plastic surgeon. From a young age I was not only submerged into the lifestyle of medicine, but also allowed the opportunity to observe, what I would later realize was the foundation of my medical career. At the age of 14, I witnessed my first surgery, which was a facelift and chin augmentation. After that first real exposure to medicine, I knew that medicine was my calling, and finding what avenue of medicine would be my mission. Upon entering college, I began to search for what part of medicine I was meant to achieve. I began my journey spending three years of my undergraduate career shadowing a well-respected general surgeon who specialized in surgical oncology at Tampa General Hospital. Throughout those years I was required to become certified in sterile technique allowing myself to not only observe, but occasionally assist, as well as help set up surgeries. Additionally I rounded with the surgeons, residents, PAs, and RNs; and began to learn more about what the job of a PA really involved. In watching all the parts of the medical team work together in an operative and post-operative manner only reinforced my appreciation of collaborative medicine. Outside of spending my days at Tampa General Hospital, I also began to volunteer regularly at Shriner’s Hospital in Tampa helping coordinate and plan events for the in-patient children and their families. I was in charge of weekly volunteer days with a medical organization at school spending time with the kids helping them and their families get any amenities they made need as well as assisting the medial staff in any way possible. I was able to allow the family sometime to themselves while I stayed with the kids, whether it was coloring, playing video games, making crafts or just conversing about their day. Additionally, my observations of the PA’s that were interacting with the patients expanded my understanding of the role and leadership a PA has in healthcare. While in my final year of undergraduate, which has continued through to present day, I was given the opportunity to work in a major, high volume, orthopaedic practice helping perform various tasks within a clinical setting. On a daily basis I am involved in the perioperative course of patient care, including some outpatient surgical procedures. I interact daily with medical doctors (MDs), PAs, nurse practitioners (NPs), and other members of the clinic staff in helping diagnose and treat patients. Some tasks included triaging the patient, to assisting in minor in-office procedures, to relaying information to the MDs, PAs, and NPs. My experience at this orthopaedic practice has allowed me to take part in a team-based approach to patient care. Medicine has always been a part of my life, and becoming a PA is my next step towards a fulfilling career in healthcare. Working alongside PA’s has taught me many valuable skills such as communication, teamwork, and attention to detail. I know my dedication, determination, and willingness to learn will provide me with the essential tools towards becoming a successful PA.
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