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First Draft- looking for content feedback!

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Hello! This is not exactly a "first draft", but the first draft I have been able to wrap up in the character limit. I would be really interested to hear thoughts on the content. Does it show my understanding of the PA profession well enough? Show why I want to be a PA specifically, and how I would be a good fit? Keep your attention? Anything else important to make sure it does? Any feedback is incredibly appreciated! Thank you!



“Why do you like running so much?”—After four marathons in two years, it’s a familiar question. Yet my motivation for running cannot be whittled down to one reason or “aha moment,” definitely not the abridgment most inquirers want. I credit an excellent coach for sparking my enthusiasm, but it was the subsequent years of accumulating challenges and personal experiences, that transformed a hobby into a passion.


“What motivates you to become a Physician Assistant?” feels remarkably analogous. My spark was a high school mission trip, but without the shadowing, leadership, and clinical experiences that followed, I would not have the fascination with medicine, or understanding of my aptitude for it today.


With a pediatrician and six-student team, I traveled to Zacapa, Guatemala in 2008 for my first true, hands-on experience with medicine. We successfully saw 289 patients in makeshift clinics that week, with no patient records, and nothing to prescribe but the multi-vitamins and NSAIDs we fundraised. Guatemala took me out of my comfort zone, but blessed me with a greater understanding and respect for a healthcare system and culture outside my own. I cherished the days our physician would take us, step-by-step, through problem solving unordinary cases, and I fell in love with caring for patients—especially the children, who kindly accepted my haphazard Spanish. This was my spark. I could not wait to learn more about medicine, and I could not wait to go back to Guatemala.


I began shadowing at the ----- Clinic, in every line of work they would let me—from medical assistant to physician, from occupational therapist to physician assistant. I found all the professions rewarding, but seeing patients is what energized me. I yearned for a career in which I could establish long-term relationships with my patients, not only see them for acute illnesses or injuries.


Entering -------, I was eager to jump in, and take advantage of every opportunity—from working with physically abused children at the Child Emotion Lab, to assisting the geriatric population at ---Hospital; from calming the worries of hundreds of prospective students and their families as a campus tour guide, to working alongside a reputable healthcare team at --------------. I even successfully made my way back to Guatemala on a similar trip, that this time, I helped organize.


Through these involvements, I not only stayed active in my pursuit to learn more about healthcare, but also grew in my professional and leadership skills. I learned that I enjoy independence, making some level of autonomy vital, but that I benefit from utilizing the resources around me, making the physician-PA relationship appealing. I learned that my interests are wide and varied, making the flexibility to work in any area of medicine attractive. And finally, I learned I am always looking for the next challenge, whether that is in running or my career, making me value the need for continuing education. The more I reflected, and discussed my goals, the more evident my fit for the Physician Assistant career path became.


One such goal is to be the primary care provider my Adapted Fitness clients have shown they need. Within the program, I have directed the course of care for a wide range of clients, with diverse abilities, but even more diverse personalities. I have learned the importance of individualization; some need to be pushed hard, while for others, it takes baby steps, showing themselves they can do it. In my own practice, I will always be assessing and thinking about these characteristics. Additionally, I will insist upon communication within the entire healthcare team. Living with a disability requires a range of therapy services, and these clients are seen under many specialty providers, who unfortunately, do not always correspond their care. A care plan must be more than beneficial; it must work with their lives, and other services. These clients deserve to be treated as a person, not a medical condition, and this is how I will care for patients. Wanting to put this idea into practice, I elected to pursue two degrees: one with a heavier clinical focus, Dietetics, and one that could complement it, seeing problems from a bio-psycho-social angle, Human Development and Family Studies. After a few twists, turns, advisor meetings, and bouts of persistence, in 2014 I will be the first UW student to earn a dual-degree in the fields.


I am eager to take the next steps in turning another spark into a passion. Entering a dynamic career, at a time of tremendous change in healthcare, I look forward to making a positive change in the lives of my future patients. I will continuously strive to be a compassionate and competent provider, whom my patients and providing physician will trust, and whom my Adapted Fitness clients would be proud to have. And lastly, I look forward to the day I can return to Guatemala as the teacher, maybe even helping a handful of students experience their own sparks.

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You have a strong, well organized essay here. However, you have fallen into the pit of comma overuse. It's often hard to tell where commas belong, but I usually read the sentence aloud and find where I would naturally pause if I were having a conversation with someone. Also watch for run-on sentences. If you can't say the sentence without taking another breath, it's too long! It's a strong essay though and conveys that you have had a lot of HCE, and understand the dynamic role of the PA. Well done, and good luck!

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