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I have gotten two VERY different pieces of feedback on my draft. One of which was from an academic advisor (who knows what the admissions committees are looking for) and the other was from a writing center advisor (who knows the structure and grammar). I am desperately trying to steer away from the majority of PSs I've read on here, such as "ever since I was young.." or a list of traits that I plan on demonstrating when I actually become a PA. So, what I'm trying to do here, is center all of those traits and reasons for wanting to be a PA around a story of a shadowing experience that I had. When the PA entered the procedure rooms, she took off her white coat. So I'm using that to say that this showed me she was a regular person just like anyone else, she did not use the coat as a physical representation of arrogance, etc. I know I should use basic sentences and get straight to the point, but if I only do that, the piece loses personality and ability to portray emotion. I know that the flow is pretty bad right now, but that's why I'm asking for help. I'm also over the limit a bit. Brutally honest opinions are appreciated!! Here it is: The white coat ceremony: the day in which the delicacy of a future planned for, fueled by years of dedication and passion, is firmly grasped by a panel of professionals who believe in the apprentices and will solidify their paths to becoming physician assistants. As this white coat is draped over one’s shoulders, visual symbolism is emanated. It honors the end of a quest to the pinnacle of prestige, intelligence, trust, respect, and ascendency. A white coat enhances a patient’s sense of trust for their provider; that their provider has the knowledge to help them. A dream seemingly far from reach, I thought to myself for years, “Could it ever be possible for me to be the one chosen for such an honor?” The summer before my senior year of college, I was given the opportunity to shadow a PA who specializes in hematology/oncology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. She prescribed chemotherapy to patients suffering from ruthlessly aggressive cancers, such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I could feel the austerity in each room as I entered, but the PA’s comforting nature provided temporary relief. One patient and I shared the experience of our first bone marrow biopsy; for me, it was observing, for her, she was the recipient of the painful procedure. As soon as I walked into the cramped room, I could sense the austerity as the patient and family members, including her 5-year-old daughter, waited anxiously. They asked question after question, with feelings of apprehension, uncertainty, and bravery displayed on their faces. The PA explained that after she received the procedure, she would be admitted that very day for a month-long stint with chemotherapy. I would not only remember the biopsy method, but the volumes that were spoken from one particular act of the physician assistant. It is the first image that comes to mind when I contemplate why I chose to pursue this profession. She entered the room, prepared for the procedure, and removed her white coat. I failed to realize my ignorance and distorted perception of the essence of the white coat until I pondered what I had just witnessed. By taking off her coat, the PA made the patient feel totally comfortable and unwound any pretense of superiority. She was at odds with a society uses professional uniform as a schism for social standing and intelligence. There was no longer a physical representation of separation between provider and patient; she valued each of their lives as much as her own. In that moment, I realized the type of physician assistant I would aspire to be and envisioned myself in the moment of my own white coat ceremony. Upon being adorned, I would not consider the coat to portray entitlement or imply competence, but rather be a pleasant reminder of hard work and of the duty I have to help people. As my time at the cancer center concluded, I reflected on the start of my journey and the culmination of experiences that have bolstered my unwavering passion to pursue this career. Time spent mentoring underprivileged children as well as working with disabled patients has filled my heart with humility and fortitude. The way in which I have learned each personality: their essence, their spirit, their wants, needs; was by actively listening and simply spending time together. Three years as a shift leader at a rehabilitation home for the developmentally disabled and brain-injured has prepared me to thrive as an effective team player for both during and what lies beyond PA school. The incidental erratic and unpredictable behavior of the clients I aid has been a test of patience and cohesion amongst staff. All of the training, the mental list of protocols for crisis response, can at times be futile, emphasizing the importance of flexibility and adaptability. I have never been able to see myself at a desk job, playing mindless computer games and pretending to look busy until the clock strikes five. What a waste of a mind; so precious, limitless, and capable to do great things. Instead, I am eager to demonstrate my tenacity by contributing to this rapidly evolving and brightly projected field. I anticipate establishing a respectful and trusting relationship with physicians, who will feel confident in my talents for the delivery of efficient and effective care. The essence of autonomy will allow me to achieve personal goals, avoid complacency, and increase awareness of and clear misconceptions of the PA profession. My belief is that a provider and patient must have a fiduciary relationship; a mutual ability to effectively communicate symptoms and diagnoses. Going beyond the superficial, I desire to reassure those who put all of their trust for what is so out of their hands, into my hands. With a pursuit of personal mastery, I see change as opportunity, think systematically as part of the greater whole, and remain deeply inquisitive. The time has come; my dreams of one day receiving my white coat hold the potential to become reality. With appreciation, I reflect on the invaluable lesson learned during my shadowing experience. It was the day in which I captured the true essence of what it means to be a physician assistant. If I am believed in and chosen to emblazon my own white coat, I vow to fulfill my duty to not only provide technical treatment, but also demonstrate empathy, solicitude, and parity with each patient I ameliorate.
I’ve struggled for many years towards trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Medicine had always being an interest for me and I thought of becoming a doctor, but quickly learned that it does not suit me as the individual that I am. I wanted to work in a field of medicine that took on an ample of responsibility like a doctor but that takes a different approach towards patient caring. Physician Assistant fits that perfectly because it allows the individual to work in a setting that is both driven and humbling. I’ve seen great characters in the few of the PA I’ve shadowed. The patience that they demonstrate towards their patients and their humbling spirit when interacting with their supervising physician. My interest for medicine derive from my love of patient caring. That is what drove me to do what I am doing now, EMT. During the brief moments that I spend with my patients, I try my very best to make them count. I put great effort towards treating my patients with compassion, care, and respect. I understand that my scope of practice is very limited on what I can do for their better health, but all I can do, I do. The thought of changing someone mood if only for a second just by showing to them that you do really care about their health makes a great difference. Though patient caring is a great deal for me, I wanted more responsibilities around the health fields such as prescribing medicines and diagnosing. During my volunteer experiences at Caridad Center, I gained a great perspective on why I so desire to become a PA. I first started to just volunteer at Caridad offering my services on doing whatever they wanted me to, but soon I got certified as an interpreter for Creole speaking patients who needed the help. It was such a blessing to my heart to be able to help those who absolutely could not help themselves. I could not do much for them in other areas of their lives but doing what I can for the moment felt amazing. As a Haitian immigrant myself, I was able to better relate to them. My heart goes out to all immigrants because just a language barrier can stop them from so many opportunities that can be given to them. I remember when the tragedy of the 7.0 magnitude hits Haiti and how my house in United Stated took an emotional quake on its own. We could not sleep or rest until we heard from the family members we have in Haiti. That semester for me was just as startling and it shocked me a lot academically. It was the worst semester that I went through and my grades took a deep plunge. I don’t use that as an excuse but more of an explanation. So much of my past has shaped me into the person that I am today. I grew up in the city of Port-Au-Prince in the island of Haiti. My dad left for better life to the United States when I was only two years old. My mother left also to the US when I was only four. I was then left to stay with my aunt and uncle under not the best of care. My aunt brought family members form the country to stay at my parents house. At times there could be over 20 of us staying in the same house using the resources my parents were sending from the states. It was not until the age of 10 that my parents were able to fly me to the United States and I was able to be one with this wonderful country and its endless possibilities. These possibilities are what make it possible to pursue a career in Physician Assistant with a strong passion unlike anything else I’ve pursued. My determination, perseverance and my faith are my best weapon towards achieving my goals and they have not let me down.