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My journey through the Navy to PA School constructive advice for narrative

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After many twists and turns in my life, I understand now why I want to be a physicians assistant.  Many years ago while going to college majoring in animation, I began to feel that the road I was on wasn’t the right one.  While studying I began working at a nursing home and made the realization that, in working with my patients, I wanted to be able to do more.  I wanted to be able to help others in a more profound way, which left a lasting memory in their hearts.  After leaving college abruptly, I joined the Navy in the pursuit of a more developed career in medicine.


After graduating from navy boot camp and hospital corps school, I continued my education with the Marine Corps.  I requested to be sent to Field Medical Service School to learn emergency procedures so I could be an asset in a war zone.  One year later, deployed in the middle of Iraq, I had the honor of working with some of the finest people in the world.  My doctor, the hospital’s commanding officer, had taken me under his guidance and began to teach me the finer points of patient and emergency care.  After being deployed for 5 months, tragedy struck and I found one of my friends had been severely injured in an attack and now he was on my emergency table.  We tried for what felt like hours to keep him alive, but losing him was one of the hardest things to watch.  The problem was that watching was the only thing I could do.  I swore from that point forward that I wanted to be the one that was helping, not the bystander watching on unable to do more.  Another event in my time in Iraq was one involving a young corporal who was wounded in action.  He was severely shaken after the event and it seemed that even being in the care of his brethren he could not seem to calm down.  There were no drugs, no comforting words that could help this young man to understand he was going to live.  After stabilizing him and awaiting his transport to a higher form of care I asked him “what will help you, we are all here for you?” and to my surprise the only thing that he wanted was his favorite song to listen to.  I’ll never forget that sometimes when medicine isn’t capable of helping sometimes it is just the comfort from home that helps to ease the mind.  After going to get my music for him he calmed down, he began to understand he was okay. 


Upon returning from deployment I requested to attend surgical technologist school.  After graduation I began working in Urology for 3 very wonderful doctors.  One day in the operating room my doctor said to me, “Branson, what do you plan to do with the rest of your life?” and I didn’t honestly know.  I told him how much I love my work as a tech, but there was still more I wanted to do.  He responded back to me “there is someone you need to meet” and after surgery he took me to meet a PA that worked for Ortho.  She immediately caught my attention.  Her story led her down a road that was not unlike my own, and she told me about the PA program.  She told me of all that she was capable of doing for her patients.  As a PA she could intervene with patient care, help in the diagnosis of problems and follow her patients through the process of intervention and recovery.  In that moment, I found the answer to my doctor’s question.  As a PA I would have the ability to help, be involved more profoundly in my patient’s lives, and be able to leave a lasting memory for them.

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First off, THANK YOU for your service. There is no way to thank you enough for being one of the few who undertake the risks and sacrifices that grant the rest of us safety.


Your last paragraph is excellent. Consider starting with that one, going back briefly and explaining the rest of your journey. Then go into why you want to be a PA (not something else in medicine). Instead of giving a biography, use your stories as examples highlighting specific points you want to make about what you've learned, what sets you apart, and what kind of PA you want to be.


I hope this helps! I'd be happy to read any additional drafts you write.

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