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  1. Help! This is my second time applying and due to family stuff I am applying later than I wanted to. If anyone is willing to edit my personal statement I would greatly appreciate it. Sending good vibes, Tegest :)
  2. My advisor has said that it is very important to mention being a reapplicant and what we have done to improve ourselves as a candidate. Beyond gaining more experience at my current job and a some more volunteering, I haven;t done a whole lot though. In honesty, I feel like poor interviewing skills is what held me back, not so much coursework, grades, or experience. That being that case, I have worked to improve on these skills, which in my eyes the most important thing I could have done. All of the grades, experiences, etc. won;t mean much if you interview poorly! What is your opinion? Thanks!
  3. While winding down the pre-op area of outpatient surgery, a worried mother and father unexpectedly arrived with their young son from the emergency room. While eating cashews, the young boy, John, began choking and aspirated a piece of the nuts. He was unsuccessfully trying to cough it up and needed surgery to remove it. John was uncomfortable but not as nervous as his parents. As we prepared the young boy, the surgeon introduced his team including a physician assistant. As a patient care technician interested in a career as a PA, it excited me that PAs could play such a significant part of the surgical team. To everyone’s relief, the nut was retrieved safely from John’s lungs, preventing any further complications or infection. This example of teamwork between PAs and doctors in the surgical setting further enhanced my resolve to become a PA. Admittedly, this level of commitment was not present during my first semesters of college and my grades suffered. I needed to make a change. I refocused my efforts and with the help of my family, invaluable study partners, and excellent teachers, graduated with honors. My college career taught me a great deal in self-discipline and accountability. Throughout my husband’s frequent deployments with the military, we both learned about adaptability and self-reliance. Much like a PA collaborates with their physician, my husband and I communicated with each other to help maintain the household and discipline of our daughters. Now, as a civilian family, we see ourselves as lifelong learners, each on our own path of building healthcare experiences. As a re-applicant, I have focused on building my skills on all fronts. As a volunteer at a free neighborhood medical clinic, I have joined others to provide much needed medical care for the surrounding community. It has become such a personal joy to see my fellow volunteers, translators, and patients every week. Each clinic may run smoothly or be a night filled with challenges but no matter the circumstances, I always leave with a cheerful heart. One evening, a provider asked me to draw blood from a patient named Elena. Phlebotomy is an art that is learned with time and practice and two pairs of eyes are always better than one so I asked a nurse to help me find a vein to draw her blood. I remember Elena’s graciousness as we attempted and failed to get blood from her. Four venipunctures later, we finally got the blood we needed. Afterwards, Elena was not irritated about the situation or the time it took, but instead thankful for our services. Not only did we feel extremely humbled by her reaction but proud to serve a community of people that showed such faith in our ability to serve them. As with any great healthcare provider, I desire to have strong relationships with my patients, building rapport with them over time so their health improves. Our job is to listen to our patients and work with them to achieve common health goals. Mary, a family practice PA I shadowed, taught me not only how to effectively listen to patients and their concerns, but how to better communicate so they feel comfortable with our proposed care plan. She knew some of her patients so well, we could review their history before their appointments without even looking at their health record. When Mary walked in the exam room, her patients would burst out in excitement about her pregnancy and ask her all about it. Mary’s empathetic nature and great ability to listen to her patients resulted in excellent care, whether it was for our pediatric patient with a fever and cough or our patient that needed to go to the emergency room for appendicitis. She also helped me better understand the juxtaposition of autonomy while collaborating with a supervising physician. Mary saw many patients on her own during the day, but if a patient presented with complicated symptoms, she could brainstorm with her doctor to come up with the best plan of action. The more time I spend shadowing, the more I feel that a career as a PA is best suited for me and my abilities to communicate, listen, show compassion, and attention to detail. As a patient care technician in an emergency department I continuously use the opportunity to collaborate with my coworkers and strengthen my clinical decision making. When a critical patient comes in, it is paramount that the doctors, nurses, and techs all pull together for the most beneficial outcome. We put a strong focus on teamwork so there is no delay in our patient’s care. Paul, a patient complaining of dizziness and diaphoresis recently came in to triage. He had no complaints of chest pain but after completing the EKG, we saw what appeared to be a STEMI. After the doctor confirmed the ST elevation, we quickly brought the patient back to prepare him for the cath lab. A controlled chaos surrounded Paul as I helped to undress him and place him in a gown. A nurse entered the room to place IVs and the doctor also came in to explain to Paul that he was having another heart attack. A pharmacist stood by with vital medications to be administered. As the cath lab confirmed their readiness, another tech went to hold the elevator. When a patient such as Paul comes through our doors, time is of great importance. I greatly enjoy being a part of the healthcare team that makes such a difference in someone’s life. After learning about the physician assistant profession in college, my desire to pursue this career has continued to grow. From my various healthcare experiences, I decided that my skills as a confident, compassionate, hard-working, problem-solving team player best suit me to the PA career. The lifestyle, job mobility, and satisfaction are also important aspects of this field that I believe match well with my family.
  4. EDIT: Have interviewed at 3 programs so far and have 1 coming up next month. Just found out last week I've been ACCEPTED into an amazing school that's close to home and I could not be happier. For those who are still persisting, don't give up and use my story as an example. Third time was a charm for me and I can't wait to start next summer! :) For anyone that wants advice- please feel free to PM me!
  5. The radio tones sounded for a three-wheeler accident with injuries a half mile from my home. I grabbed my responder bag and radio and raced out the door. As I approached the scene I recognized a vehicle and bystander. A friend’s teenage son, on the ground, holding his brothers’ head, looking at his face, watching his chest rise as he told me what happened- “I saw him crash! The bike flipped and Levi went flying and landed funny. I stopped and he was not breathing! I moved his head a little and got him breathing again! Hurry!” The ambulance is 30 miles away. As Roman held his brother’s head I did a quick survey for injuries. He is lucky- only neck pain and a possible head injury. As other responders came with equipment, I moved to take his head. I directed the others in my team to work together to package our patient. I had to maintain his airway, keep his spine from moving and let him know we were there. I held his head all the way to the hospital. Every bump of the ambulance on the rural road had me hoping he was stable enough. Levi survived a “hangman’s” fracture of the cervical vertebra. His spinal cord was intact and it was awesome to see him come home from the hospital many weeks later- in a halo but walking. He would be all right. I watched him grow up into a fine young man. As a young, working parent with a terminally ill spouse, I had not been serious in my studies. My early college GPA reflects that. I worked for many years volunteering in Emergency Medical Services and inpatient hospital care seeing a variety of trauma and medical patients. The hardest thing I have ever done is holding my husband in my arms as he died. After his death, I took a break from medicine. I did not realize how much I missed it until a drunk driver hit a young family in front of my house on a winter day. While caring for 3 patients in the winter cold I knew I had to go back to medicine! The first PA I worked closely with was Natalia. An older Alaska Native, she was the fishing season PA in one of the villages I go to work in the summer. In 3 weeks we see at least 300 patients together in the tiny clinic. Normal in the off season in this clinic is 15 per week. From minor injuries, to life threatening accidents and illnesses, medivacs and non-English speaking patients- we see it all. We have no X-ray and minimal lab tests we can perform but we have a well-stocked pharmacy and plenty of sutures! We learned to work together as a team in the short “sprint” of fishing season every year. When needed we would consult the Dr. in Dillingham via telephone or Telemedicine cart. As fishing slowed down there was time to review cases and she taught me more about a particular injury or illness. One day we had a patient that was a mental health risk who had torn up the clinic the year before. Since there was no local law enforcement we called in our husbands to be our back-up in the office. Safety is always our first priority. I am passionate about well-woman care and maternal-child health. In the 30 village clinics in Bristol Bay there are over 23,000 visits by Community Health Aides and Practitioners (CHA/P) every year. The CHA/P is the person on the care team that is usually closest to the patient. We work closely with the assigned village Dr. or PA, case manager, pharmacist and others to make sure we provide the best possible care for our patients. It can be as much as 9 months between Dr. Visits to the villages and it is very expensive to fly to Dillingham to the hospital for care. As a result, many women are not current with well-woman exams, pre-pregnancy care is limited and prenatal care for non-native residents is expensive. The young teachers that come to the villages often have to travel by air many miles to the nearest facility that can bill their insurance. Even though many CHA/P’s provide care nearly to the PA level they are not billable for most insurance companies so non-beneficiary patients have to pay out of pocket. I also look forward to volunteering with a medical mission group to work with traditional midwives and to train midwives. Over 60 million women give birth at home with no skilled birth attendant. Thousands of women and children die every year many of these deaths could be prevented with better care and sharing of knowledge and skills. I have been the primary health care provider for my village of over 75 people for over 6 years. While I have served the people of Pilot Point, I finished my Certificate and Associate Degree and Community Health. Since my first interview for PA school I have finished 3 additional science courses and adopted an 8 year old son. Through my years of training I have discovered I am a didactic learner. The PA training program fits me well. After moving to a rural village and starting this new adventure in health care, I have not looked back- rather I am looking forward to an awesome future as a Physician Assistant in Rural Alaska!
  6. Does anyone know if adcoms are aware that you are re-applying to their program? There's obviously a chance that a committee member might remember reading through your essay or a previous interview, but I'm wondering why the designation portion in CASPA asks whether you are re-applying or not.
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