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Updated 30 y/o journey to PA - need help cutting approx 600 char!

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UPDATE 6/13/14: this essay sucks balls. It is useless drivel; a mere regurgitation of my resume with footnotes sprinkled in to gloss over the suck-factor that is my life. Don't waste your time reading it!!! (I hope to update it with something more appropriate in the next week or two)


“Will you go to nursing or medical school?” Growing up in a Filipino household with a physician as a father, I was raised in a culture that viewed picking a career as choosing medicine...or medicine. When I was young, my parents beamed with pride when I'd say I wanted to be a doctor. Little did they know that I only said that because it was what dad did; if he was a garbage man, I'm sure I'd have the same zeal for discarded furniture and old tin cans. But in reality, as I grew older I wasn't sure what I wanted. However, one fact was certain – I wanted absolutely nothing to do with medicine. Being immature and rebellious, I initially went to college with casual intent; I'm ashamed to admit that I'd sign up for classes because they were easy, and drop others if I didn't feel compelled to do the work. Much to my parents' chagrin, I was an ingenuous graduate who worked random jobs. It didn't matter to me; I was thrilled that I had escaped the insufferable constraints of parental expectations to live life based on my terms.


But much to my surprise, as much as I tried to avoid medicine, medicine found me. When you're working three jobs in Chicago with no health insurance, if you get sick, without a doubt you'll be visiting a public health clinic. I'd never been to such a facility before – I had always been fortunate enough to have access to esteemed medical care. So I was stunned when I walked into that public clinic to find a security guard looming at the door (what were they expecting to happen?!), a ticket dispenser reminiscent of the butcher shop, and a waiting room that appeared more intimidating than inviting. These conditions merely hinted at what I was to encounter inside; my doctor's visit was hasty and embarrassing, and the overall experience left me feeling deflated and confused.


From that point, I was determined to pursue a career in medicine. I wanted to give my community access to the sort of high-quality treatment I was lucky enough to receive while growing up. Everyone deserved positive healthcare experiences, regardless of their ability to pay $5 or $500. I knew that I could provide that caliber of care, but it required returning to school. Over the next few years I completed the prerequisite coursework, but unlike my initial efforts, I excelled from motivation and resolve. I no longer withdrew from multiple courses at once, just to avoid hard work. But spring of 2012 proved challenging. My father – a man I admired, illustrious in my hometown for countless years of service as a Family Practice physician – passed away. I was beyond devastated. I didn't know how to cope. I withdrew for the semester. Eventually, I learned how to manage, and I convinced myself that I needed to emulate my father and finally become a physician. However, as I filled in each line of that medical school application, instead of feeling vigor and excitement, I grew more apprehensive and withdrawn. The visceral rejection to the idea of becoming a doctor was abrupt, but it got me asking a simple question: Why was I really doing all this?


I was doing all this because I wanted to provide continuous, comprehensive healthcare to families in my community. Family Medicine had consistently been my ultimate goal, and practicing in this field didn't require a fancy title or going into vast amounts of debt. Becoming a doctor wasn't the most direct means for me to achieve this goal – PA was clearly the best option.


This time, as I filled out the PA application, my enthusiasm reignited; only then did it dawn on me that this career choice encompass the veritable culmination of my life experiences. My struggles have thoroughly prepared me for a career as a PA. I know what it's like to have graduated college and find it impossible to land a job, or to work three jobs and live paycheck to paycheck. While others may view such moments as setbacks, those struggles endowed me with the maturity and adaptability required to endure the rigors of PA school.


Furthermore, my dedication to the community and work experience are strong indicators of the type of PA I will be – compassionate, persistent, and flexible. As a volunteer for Rape Crisis Services, I know the compassion required to be there while a survivor waits in the ER. Working with hospice patients, I understand that persistence is vital for developing rapport with patients. As a CNA, I must constantly exemplify the flexibility to work both autonomously and harmoniously on a team. As I continue to acquire more PA shadowing experiences, I look forward to observing directly how PAs make deliberate medical decisions, and how they embody the patient-centered approach in their irreplaceable role in healthcare.


I'd be honored to get the chance to become a Family Practice PA. Without a doubt, I am ready. Ready to intertwine scientific know-how with the practice of medicine. Ready for opportunities to build indelible relationships with generations of families. Ready to grant every patient the individual attention, respect, and time that each one deserves. Actually, I'm ready to make Mom and Dad proud, because let's face it, every kid – no matter what age – hopes to make their parents proud. 

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Ok, heres some short things you can trim out:

  • The word "but" that starts your 5thish sentence, start it with "In reality"
  • "f he was a garbage man, I'm sure I'd have the same zeal "
  • Delete But at the start of your second paragraph
  •  "Everyone deserved positive healthcare experiences, regardless of their ability to pay $5 or $500"
  • ". But spring of 2012 proved:"
  •  " I no longer withdrew from multiple courses at once, just to avoid hard work."

Thats not a lot, just extraneous words, I'm sure you can find other examples in your essay, don't know if you'll find enough to cut 200 characters though.  Overall I think your essay is really good, have a hard time saying which part in total should be cut to make less characters.   

Good luck!

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