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Narrative Essay Draft

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Any feedback would be great, let me know what you think.



My father passed away in November of 1996 when I was 4 years old.

When I consider all the events that have shaped my life, this obviously is the first to come to mind. My mother went back to work and enrolled in graduate school. My brother and I had added responsibilities and a lot of autonomy, which I believe helped me to mature early and become self-reliant.


In 7th grade I joined the wrestling team and have been part of the club team on the collegiate level. My involvement with the team throughout high school taught me the importance of eating healthy, exercising, leadership, and most importantly perseverance.

I sustained several injuries as a wrestler, and consequently met physicians and physician assistants whose knowledge of their profession I admired. It was usually the physician assistant who took the time to explain to me my injuries and educate me about prevention. Through wrestling I developed a passion for understanding the human body – not only how it responds to nutrition, physical conditioning, and injuries, but also how it responds to psychological stress. I was a physically tough kid who practiced hard and did great in the wrestling room. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I finally became a competitive wrestler and understood the mental side of the sport. I believe that wrestling and practicing medicine share some common qualities that you need to be successful. You need to be alert and ready to react as well as have a hunger for success, a passion for what you are doing, and a strong belief in yourself.


Entering college, I was interested in nutrition and personal training, but I did not want to pursue a career that had limitations. I spent some time at my brother’s medical clinic in Florida to gain a sense of what his job entailed. It was not until I transferred to Stony Brook for a health science degree and became an EMT that I knew for sure that entering the field of medicine would allow me to pursue all of my interests.


To gain first-hand experience in the healthcare field I began to volunteer with two local ambulance companies. I have been on dozens of calls, some routine and some involving life-threatening situations. It is through these experiences that I have developed a basic foundation in patient care. Riding the ambulance has given me a good understanding of how a medical team works together to satisfy a patients needs


One important lesson I learned came during my first ride, in Flushing, Queens, only a few weeks into my EMT training. We were responding to a respiratory call, and pulled up to find a man on the side of the road extremely anxious and distressed, but not apparently facing a medical emergency. He described to us that he felt like something was clamping down on his throat and he stated that this had been a reoccurring issue. We brought him onto the ambulance and ran our initial assessment, took a thorough patient history and checked his vital signs, all of which were normal. At this point it became evident that he needed help not medically, but emotionally. He was breathing quickly and rapidly and he believed he was unable to adequately breathe. On this call I utilized some of the skills I had learned to calm down before a wrestling match. I began to talk softly to him with a calm and reassuring voice. I kept my hand on his shoulder and had him breathe with me. I continually engaged him in conversation and praised him for following my breathing rhythm. By the time we reached the hospital he was calm and breathing normally.


This spring I shadowed an orthopedic surgeon and his PA for several weeks at the Long Island Hip and Knee Center. While this office doesn’t deal with life-and-death situations, they perform surgeries that have a major impact on an individual’s quality of life. The PA took a comprehensive medical history, gave an initial diagnosis, and discussed treatment options with the patient. I felt that the PA had the opportunity to develop rapport with the patients because of the time they spent together. The physician and the PA compared X-rays, discussed patient histories, and expressed their opinions on what was best for the patients. I also had the opportunity to shadow a PA at Bellevue Hospital on the cardiac care unit. I was drawn to the fast-paced environment and observed first-hand how important it is to be able to assess a patient and develop a treatment plan.


With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, the delivery of healthcare is changing. Physicians will have less face time with their patients relying more on the PA to provide primary care: care that establishes a trusting and supportive relationship with the patient, while practicing medicine at the same level as a physician.

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Here is some of my thoughts and constructive criticism:


I appreciate how your story is told chronologically, which provides order for the reader to follow. However, there needs to be a stronger underlying theme. I would love to see the thesis stand out more - something that will resonate after reading your statement. I would definitely edit that last paragraph. Those statements can definitely be argued and seem to serve as more controversial than anything, since it is more opinion than fact. Basically, it is arguable and I think you can definitely put in a stronger ending tying it back to YOUR strengths and why YOU want to be a PA, rather than something that is more general.


I hope that helps, and I wish you the best! :)

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