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Personal statement please critique!

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When I was younger I had no clear direction for my future. So as many young people do, I joined the military. By absolute chance, I fell into a medicine oriented career path in the U.S. Army. The experiences there changed how I perceived my career goals and aspirations. My desire to learn additional clinical skills and improve my medical knowledge became unquenchable.


I began my career as a Licensed Practical Nurse/Combat Medic. This role helped me develop my clinical abilities as well as my interpersonal skills with patients. I enjoyed the position, but I felt a calling to become a clinician. Meanwhile, I had the urge to serve my country in a more direct role. Just after completing nursing school and seriously injuring my back in a mountain climbing mountain climbing accident, I volunteered for Special Forces Selection. The grueling pace and rigorous training tested me to my personal limits. It not only showed me the strength and weaknesses of others, but also brought my flaws to light so that I can truly identify and acknowledge them.


After successfully completing the Special Forces Qualification Course, I immediately rushed to deploy to Afghanistan. I left less than a week after graduation. During my multiple deployments to Afghanistan I had the most prolific experiences of my life. I finally understood the value of human relationships and the importance selfless sacrifice for others. It didn't matter if they couldn't speak your language, and if our cultures where completely different. There was a bond. They knew you and trusted you to take care of anyone and everyone they cared about. I can honestly say I had very few moments in my life as rewarding as those. In the midst of tragedy I discovered my destiny. Whether I was pulling someone off a battlefield for a mortal wound or just performing a incision and drain on an periodontal abscess everyday was just as amazing.


The job as a Special Forces Medic allowed me to understand how it is to work under a Physician and a Physician Assistant. I was given limits and protocols in order to guide me in my treatment strategies. I continuously badgered my battalion physician assistant to tell me how I could transition to a career in his field. I knew that the military was a wonderful time in my life, but I also knew that my goals and aspirations would not end there. I wanted to go beyond that, and be able to help the impoverished any where in the world. I knew that the road to Physician Assistant was the path for me.


So I made the decision in 2010 to take a step in this new direction. I left the active service, but the transition was difficult. I underestimated the challenges of the civilian world and higher education. In order to provide for my growing young family I needed a job and quick. So, I found a position in research and development for a medical device firm that functioned in the niche military market. It was absolutely new for me, working in the corporate world ruled by meetings and networking. Still, I didn't let that deter me from success. I learned manufacturing, design, business, and management techniques in a short period of time. I cooperatively developed three products, and launched a combat medicine course that was collaborated with multiple physicians. Within that year, I realized that my position was not guiding me towards my goal of becoming a Physician Assistant, so I decided to take a drastic career move in order to achieve my goals.


In 2012 I left my position at the medical design firm to venture to Afghanistan for a dangerous position. I made this decision because I knew that it would allow me to save enough money to get my family and me through Physician Assistant School. So off I went in the pursuit of dream again to my home away from home, Afghanistan. I was placed in authority over all of the medical domains within the compound and during convoy operations. I functioned as a remote paramedic under a Physician's license. In my short duration there I was able to create a medical evacuation procedure in direct coordination with NATO forces. It was a dangerous gamble. Not all of my co-workers where as fortunate. Directly after I left the position an improvised explosive device fatally wounded my Afghan team member.


Now, as I am writing this narrative in order to apply for physician assistant program, I pause to reflect on my journey to this point. I am truly blessed to be here, I am at this point only because the sacrifice and love of others, and a little luck. Now it is my duty to repay those who helped me and care for those who can't care for themselves.

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