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Final Personal Statement NEED FEEDBACK PLEASE!

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As I prepare to step on the block where countless practices and sacrifices provided me with only a few moments to shine, the silence was deafening inside the natatorium. Exhilaration enveloped me and my heart raced with such speed that my body seemed to sway to and fro before the start exploded. As a competitive swimmer, my journey began at the early age of five as a hobby but by age eleven, my hobby evolved into my passion. At fourteen, I became one of the youngest female participants at the 2000 U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. Through high school, I traveled around the world competing in various swim meets including the World games, Pan American games, and Nationals. Swimming also provided me the valuable opportunity to attend college as a full scholarship student-athlete. While at Louisiana State University, I set a school record in the 200 butterfly, where I finished in the top five swimmers in school history and was a NCAA qualifier. Michael Phelps once said, “Swimming is normal for me. I'm relaxed. I'm comfortable, and I know my surroundings. It's my home.” I have a special appreciation for his observation because swimming was my life for 18 years. During that time, swimming offered life lessons that have molded me, including the importance of working relentlessly toward goals, and learning to be a leader, as well as a team player. As the time to hang up my swimsuit approached, I made a deliberate decision to enter into a health care field that allowed me to construct meaningful relationships, and have a positive, lasting impact on others. Additionally, my work and career choices provide the sense of accomplishment that competitive swimming also gave me. As I look to advance my work and education, I consider the role and responsibilities of a physician’s assistant very appealing. This role would afford me the opportunity to utilize my commitment, care, and compassion to help others as they navigate health stressors and work toward their health and wellness goals. I believe that my background and experiences have contributed to developing the qualities necessary to succeed in as a physician’s assistant. After many years of swim training, I understand the focus, determination, and hard work that is required to achieve a significant goal. As Michael Phelps once said "I wouldn't say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it, and put the work and time into it". Talents that have helped me succeed in sports, school and work include the ability to absorb knowledge and skills quickly, and effectively manage my time. At LSU, we had to manage a full academic load, perform community service, daily four hour swim practice, and participate in weight training. Currently, I live and promote a healthy lifestyle in my work as an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, and sports activities enthusiast. I am confident these traits will be fundamental in preparing me for the demanding course load in the physician’s assistant program of study.In August 2009, I began to pursue a Master of Science degree in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise physiology. I had the opportunity to volunteer at a research facility that focused on preventive medicine. I became intrigued with research processes. During my graduate studies, I enjoyed researching the responses of subjects during exercise, but my passion was encouraging and helping patients adopt healthier lifestyles. In January 2011, I had the opportunity of working closely with two orthopedic surgeons and a physician’s assistant. In May, 2012, I relocated to Houston, TX where I was able to broaden my knowledge at a dermatology office assisting another PA. After that experience, I was convinced that the work of a physician’s assistant is stimulating, challenging, and a desirable career option for me.I believe my ability to work as a team member was developed in my swimming career. “There is no ‘I’ in team,” was the swim coaches’ favorite motto. We were encouraged toward common goals, much like the patient and provider as they work together toward healthy objectives for the patient. My experiences have strengthened these skills to accomplish my goals and achieve a strong background in healthcare. When looking toward a lifelong career, I desire the inspiration and challenge I found with competitive swimming. The physician’s assistant role has everything I desire as a health care provider. I look forward to the opportunity to explore various fields of medicine as a PA student, spend essential time with my patients and build strong relationships. I believe that my diverse and unconventional background gives me desirable skills for optimal performance as a physician’s assistant. I believe that I have been able to accomplish goals in my life because of the dedication and discipline I acquired through my swimming career. Becoming a PA would make me feel at home, although this time not in a pool.

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