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Would love some feedback for my narrative.

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If anyone can please give me some helpful feedback it would be much appreciated! My friend that just got into PA school said I should focus more on aspects of why I want to be a PA vs. just medicine in general so I may change it a little but I would love any feedback!




            My passion for medicine arose from one of my other greatest passions: surfing. One day while I was surfing I looked back and saw a large wave about to crash on me, as it did I felt a horrific pop in my knee. When I reached the surface I immediately noticed a deformity of my patella. I floated helplessly in excruciating pain as waves crashed on me, and I screamed for help. Another surfer came and carried me to the beach where a man was waiting. He stated “I’m an ER doctor, I’m here to help you.” He proceeded to calm me down and explained that If I wanted, he would pop my patella back into place. I told him to do it and immediately I was relieved from the pain. At that moment I realized I wanted to help people like this man helped me.

            Out of high school I did not get into a university that I wanted to attend. I decided to stay in my hometown, attend community college, and continue to work as a kitchen supervisor. My mother was a respiratory therapist since she was 19 so I looked to her for advice to acquire some health care experience. She suggested that I volunteer at the local hospital. As a volunteer I did small tasks like bring patients food and blankets and often I would talk with patients who were alone in the emergency room and wanted to be comforted. This is where I began to realize how important showing patients attention was, and how much they valued this.

            After two years back home, I moved to Los Angeles and attended a community college in hopes of having a better chance at getting into UCLA. In need for a job, I decided to get my phlebotomy certification so I could maintain that patient interaction which I enjoyed.  After being certified, I volunteered for a month at the clinic where I completed my externship. The clinic was in a very low-income area where the patients where primarily spanish-only speaking. With a decent background of Spanish, I was able to continue communicating with patients while also improving my Spanish. While looking for jobs, I received a call for an interview for a job as an ER scribe. I was excited at this opportunity because I had heard great things about the vast amount of information and exposure that scribes acquire in the ER. 2 months later I was accepted to UCLA as a biology major.

            Working as a scribe is where I really learned about the practice of medicine, and the role of a PA. After over 2 years in the ER I have seen over 4,000 different cases ranging from lacerations and fractures, to STEMIs and strokes. I was able to observe and document the entire patient stay from initial interview and exam, procedures, diagnosis, all the way to disposition. I would work with some physicians who would see up to 40 patients in an 8-hour shift, while others would see under 10. It was easy to see that patients were much more satisfied with their stay when they physician spent more time with them. As a scribe I was able to help with this immensely because the physician would spend less time charting, and more time with the patient. Often I would also reassess the patient for the doctor and report back to the physician.

            For the last 6 months as a scribe, I worked as a lead scribe, and helped implement a scribe program in a hospital that had never had scribes before. I loved this experience because I was able to teach physicians and PAs how to exactly utilize their scribes in order to be more efficient. Once the providers realized how much we could help them, it was great to feel like a valuable member of the team. Another exciting thing about working in this new hospital was that I had never worked with PAs before. This role was very appealing to me because as a scribe I enjoyed working closely with physicians, but at the same time I admired the decision-making and critical thinking skills that the ER PAs employed. I also realized that many of the PAs made an effort to spend a lot of time with the patients because they realized how much the patients valued this. The PAs made an effort to personalize with the patients and this was something I enjoyed doing as a volunteer and a phlebotomist. Another observation in the ER was that many of the patients did not have PCPs, and so they used the ER as a clinic. Occasionally I saw PAs come to the ED who were PCPs for patients, and this seemed like an ideal solution for the shortage of primary care physicians.

            All of these experiences have led me to the desire to practice as a PA. As a scribe I was able to be part of a team that effectively not only treated, but satisfied patients. The flexibility of practicing as a PA would give me the ability to fill the need for primary providers but also still have the option of practicing in the ED. As a PCP I could maintain a strong personal connection with patients over a long time span. Practicing in the ED I could service a larger quantity of patients while maintaining a similar connection with patients with urgent needs. Whatever scope of medicine I fall into, it will be practicing as a PA. 

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