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  1. This is my second draft so far, and though it has improved from my first, I still feel like I may have been too vague. Please let me know what you think, and I will gladly do the same for you! Life is a collection of experiences. While some are merely prosaic pieces of today, others carry such significance that they shape our aspirations for the future. These events often influence us to take action, make a decision, complete a goal, or pursue a career. Within the past few years I have collected a variety of experiences, many of which have had lasting impacts on my future goals. Among the most influential of these experiences are those that have strengthened my desire to become a physician assistant (PA). One of my most valuable experiences occurred during my second month as a medical assistant in pediatric urgent care. I remember hearing the distinct sound of the chime on the front door, and looking up to find a panic-stricken woman holding her young son in her arms. The boy’s face was swollen beyond recognition, and he was grasping his throat. Recognizing these symptoms as an anaphylactic reaction, I quickly escorted the pair into an exam room and alerted my fellow staff members of the emergency. As my coworkers filed into the room, I assessed the patient's breathing, obtained his vital signs, and administered oxygen. I then assisted the team of doctors, PAs, and nurse practitioners as they worked to stabilize the boy’s condition. This experience was enlightening in that it allowed me to observe the roles of various healthcare providers in a high-stress situation. Amidst the crowd of seasoned professionals, I was most impressed by the significant role of the PA as an intermediary between the doctor and the patient. I watched while she held the boy’s hand as the doctor administered epinephrine, and listened as she reassured his mother. Through these small and simple actions, the PA illustrated her cooperative, complementary relationship with the doctor, as well as her compassionate, supportive one with the patient. Each time the boy smiled at her, it became more clear that his experience was enhanced by her presence. After witnessing this improvement of patient care first hand, I immediately imagined myself fulfilling the same role. Though my adolescent dream was to attend medical school, experiences like the one above have confirmed that the PA profession is more well-suited to my aspirations. As illustrated by this event, doctors are beginning to serve more of an administrative role in health care, while PAs have a greater opportunity to build positive relationships with patients. In my future career, I want to diagnose and treat patients with the freedom to spend a considerable amount of time interacting in a more personal way. I too want to improve the quality of patient’s experiences by making them smile, as the PA did for the boy and his mother. While I was initially attracted to its several advantages, such as flexibility in future specialties and the support of a supervising doctor, I now have a better understanding of the PA profession and its contribution to health care. With this understanding comes confidence that I am meant to be a PA. In the subsequent year since my first exposure to a medical emergency, I have continued to work alongside physicians and PAs in a variety of situations. With each new encounter, I reassuringly become more confident in my decision to become a PA as I strengthen my own analytical and interpersonal skills. Shadowing PAs in primary care and dermatology has allowed me to observe the processes of patient assessment, diagnosis, and post-treatment communication. These observations sharpened my own ability to think critically and maintain professional conduct, and the PAs set a positive example of how to practice with knowledge and humility. More recently, working as a medical assistant has further broadened my skillset. Working in pediatric urgent care has exposed me to the challenges of treating children during medical emergencies. Personally comforting young patients through pain and fear has reinforced the gentle, nurturing aspects of my personality. It has given me an appreciation for patience, sympathy and compassion as important aspects of quality patient care, and I expect this to translate well in my future relationships with patients. Working in a team dynamic has strengthened my ability to communicate and take direction while also making independent decisions. These traits are essential to the PA profession, as they are all key elements in the working relationship between patients, doctors, and PAs. Seeing evidence of these traits in myself gives me the ultimate assurance that I can effectively practice alongside a physician to provide optimal patient care. Within the past few years, my involvement in healthcare has given me some of my most valuable experiences. Though some seem but minor observations, all have contributed to my admiration for the PA profession. Most importantly, my experiences have intensified my dream to pursue this career, and continuously drive me to move forward in making it a reality.
  2. I will thoroughly proofread anyone's personal statement in exchange for you voting for me in this scholarship competition!! Quickly!! Voting ends tonight, April 29, 2015 at 11:59 EST 1. go to: www.diplomaframe.com/FMF2015-Naguit 2. click on "Vote for This Entry" 3. enter your email address (1 vote per email address, so if you have multiple email addresses, please vote for me multiple times!) 4. check your email to confirm your vote 5. pass this on to get others to vote for me! Msg me your personal statements after you finish voting! Thanks for the support!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Hey Everyone, Thanks in advance for taking the time to help out. This is my very first draft/attempt and I mostly just want to get a sense of whether or not I am headed in the right direction. I know there are several problems (feel free to point them out!). It's short, and lacks some cohesion but like I said, am I heading down the right road or do I need to change gears entirely? Thanks Again! _____________________________________ When I looked down all I could see were dark clouds sweeping up the valley like a tsunami of cold rain and bad memories about to be made; bad news for two rock climbers a thousand feet off the ground in the Canadian Rockies. Decision time. Do we risk the weather and try to finish the last 500 feet to the summit or do we pack it in and rappel down 5 hours work climbing Ha Ling Peak with little chance of attempting the climb again. I was always told the best climbers are the ones who make it home. Realizing were now subject to the whims of the fickle spring weather in the Rockies, we headed down, all the while looking up. Several years later I found myself stuck on the side of a very different cliff with bad weather moving in fast. My wife, who was 6 months pregnant, had developed bilateral pulmonary emboli (PE). It was uncommon for me to find her with tears in her eyes but one Sunday night she woke me up and while struggling to breath, told me that she couldn’t lie down because her back hurt too much. Frightened and unsure what to do, I did my best to diagnose the problem. I had been trained as an EMT but that provided only a little help under such circumstances. I was suspicious that she had developed a pulmonary embolism but her legs showed no signs of deep vein thrombosis. We made the decision to visit the emergency department and after many hours and many tests, the diagnosis was confirmed and treatment began. It was exactly one week later that my wife called me from work with identical symptoms. At this point I had learned much more about PEs and according to the statistics, I became fairly certain I would soon have to say goodbye to my dear wife. I distinctly remember this terrible, wrenching feeling in my gut, the kind you get when your big brother punches you for being his little brother. Never in my life had I a wished that I could do more for a person than at that moment. It certainly wasn’t a light bulb moment. In fact, I had decided I wanted to be a Physician Assistant (PA) almost a year prior but while dodging traffic on the way to the ER, I realized that this need to help was a magnified version of what I had felt with all of my patients. Each interaction we have provides an opportunity for us to react and our reactions are predicated upon our desires. Getting caught on a cliff taught me that. My wife taught me how to react with kindness and a sincere desire to help those in need. I have been caught on the cliff many times. From developing a successful business only to leave it behind to pursue a career as PA to working closely with doctors and PAs to care for patients in the best way we could. I have worked in several therapeutic areas of healthcare and clinical research and all of these experiences have cultivated in me a need to care for people. To help those who need it. That feeling, that desire to help, to save, and to care for has stuck with me like the need to breathe. I never finished climbing Ha Ling Peak and finishing was probably never the point. Everyday there are limitless factors that are out of our control and I think our success in life is dependent on how we react and adapt to a change in our circumstance. We are shaped by moments, tiny portions of our everyday lives that form the majority of who we will become. I guess if you put these moments together you might call it experience. Whatever it’s called, my moments have fixed in my mind a determined resolution to become PA. _____________________________ dadruski 18NOV2014
  4. I considered a residency. But, then I had the opportunity to speak with HR departments in 3 different hospitals as to the benefits. Basically there's a pay scale for PA's. With no experience you start at the bottom of the scale. With a lot of experience or a residency under your belt, you start higher up on the scale. Regardless, the scale is only so large and therefore with a residency you hit the max cap quicker. Benefits??? You hit the cap in 2 years instead of 3 years. I'm not going to deny the fantastic, dedicated, individual experience one would receive in a residency, but if your goal is to use a residency to get ahead in the payroll side.....it's not worth the time or energy.
  5. Again, this is a very very rough draft. Just wanted to see if I was on the right path and if anyone has opinions. Thanks so much!! I asked my 7 year old nephew if he had a girlfriend at school. He looked at me, with this serious look on his face and said “No! I don’t need a girlfriend. I have grandma and she is my best friend!”. I couldn’t help but laugh and think about my relationship I had with my grandmother. Growing up I would spend countless hours with my grandmother, and as with my nephew and my mother, she was my best friend. My grandmother had been in and out of the hospital throughout the years, as she had been diagnosed with emphysema, most likely caused by her years of tobacco use. I remember asking my mother every time my grandmother was in the hospital, when my grandmother would be coming home. As a child I did not understand the seriousness of her condition. As years went by, my grandmother’s conditioned worsened. She was unable to care for herself. Soon, my grandmother needed a home health aide to care for her. The home health aide’s name is Annie. Annie by far exceeded our expectations of a caregiver for my grandmother. This position of taking care of my grandmother was clearly much more to Annie than just a job. She was extremely caring, patient, empathetic, and trustworthy. I believe she had increased the quality of my grandmother’s life in her last years, not only by taking care of her physically but also taking care of her by emotionally comforting her. After seeing what one person can do to change another person’s life so drastically, I had the ambition to do the same. I was indecisive on which direction in the medical profession I wanted to pursue, so I began college as a Liberals Arts and Sciences major. While attending school and working 2 full time jobs seemed exhausting at times, I knew I had to keep going. Unfortunately, during this period of time while trying to balance everyday life and school, I did not excel academically; as I know I could and should have. I feel that this was also caused by my lack in an exact career goal, which caused me not to push myself to exceed past the minimum requirements. As the saying goes, “Everything happens for a reason”, so happens my career path to becoming a Physician Assistant. While going to my primary care physician’s office for my annual physical, I had got into an in depth conversation with my “Doctor” whom I had been going to for years. Turns out after all these years of thinking she was a Doctor, she was actually a Physician Assistant. I had picked her brain about the profession and what she actually did. After I had left my appointment, I had gone straight home and researched everything I could about Physician Assistants. After taking in all this information, I decided that a career as a PA was for me. After researching the requirements I needed to take to become a PA, I took my first steps by getting direct patient care hours as a medical assistant. After trying many outlets to get these hours I was offered a volunteer position as a medical assistant in the Bronx. Since I did not have prior experience in this area, I was trained for this position by the staff. Not only was this a great experience for me to work directly with patients, but it also allowed me to get a different view of working with patients that come from under privileged homes. It gave me great feelings of fulfillment being able to help these patients and give them comfort when need be. Working as a medical assistant, I now understand how important it is to work as a team with other medical professional to provide top care for our patients. This was also shown to me while shadowing a PA. I shadowed Marissa, a PA at the family practice I was volunteering at. As I observed Marissa, I noticed her confident yet humble nature. Not only was she incredibly proficient in clinical problem solving, she was never insecure about asking for a second opinion from her colleagues. This is a perfect example of the different between a PA and a Medical Doctor. PAs work better within a team setting, while doctors are said to work better alone. In addition to obtaining direct patient care hours while being a medical assistant, I have also obtained a job as a physical therapy aide. While being an aide, I have been able to work with patients who have had previous surgeries and/or are recovering from an injury. Many of these patients have a difficult time doing exercises prescribed to them by the physical therapists because of the pain they are in while doing them. I love to help these patients persevere through these difficult times. When they come back after weeks of physical therapy, boasting about how much better they feel, it proves that the effort becomes well worth the reward I feel for being able to help them. I have learned to work through those challenging situations in order to provide quality patient care. After becoming a PA had solidified to me as what my future goal was, my grades have improved tenfold. I have always had the ability to succeed academically, I just needed to find my goal that I was striving for to push me to be the best that I could be. I have always embraced a challenge, for life would be boring without a constant need to adapt and think swiftly and effectively. I have learned a great deal about myself on this journey and know that my need to better those around me pose many challenges to which I embrace. So my desire to attend your PA program means much more to me than pursuing a career as a healthcare professional, but an inherent need to help and change those around me and to lead altruistic lifestyle.
  6. 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.
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