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Final Draft, be harsh please!! any suggestions are welcomed

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Tell us your name and how you spent your snow day.” This was how my lab instructor chose to break the ice on our first day of gross anatomy. Boston had been hit with a blizzard that shut down the city, and as my peers offered answers amounting to “I slept in,” my day replayed in my head. I had used my “essential employee” status to ride to work in a police car, eager to spend time with Anthony (name changed with respect to HIPAA), an elderly heart-failure patient who emulated my deceased grandfather. As the snow piled up over the course of that morning, my role in caring for Anthony had gone from delivering him his pancakes to delivering his body to the morgue. I had left unscathed by death, never realizing how desensitized I had become until I saw how my peers would react. We watched as our instructor unveiled a cadaver, along with an obvious divide between them and myself. Their rattled expressions contrasted my composure, affirming my fitness for success in the medical field. I realized then that my acceptance of death is a testament to maturity and experience: areas where I have transcended the expectation for my age. 

Growing up in an Armenian household without any siblings, I quickly learned the value of family and respecting elders. My grandpa became my best friend, so when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in my third year of high school, I pushed my devastation aside to take on the role of caretaker. By then I knew I was interested in medicine, and while my friends studied for the SAT, I studied my grandpa’s symptoms, trying to understand the cause of each one. As I coped with quickly losing him, I found comfort in the PA managing his care. Because she was at each of his appointments, she learned about my relationship with him and his goals of care, leaving me with an unbeatable level of trust in the woman making choices for him. When he passed, this trust turned into confidence that she had cared for my grandpa as I would have, helping my grief transform into acceptance. This experience demonstrated the PA profession as one that will provide me the power to make medical decisions, as well as the opportunity to connect to my patients and care for them alongside my own family.

            My respect for the elderly has since translated to my work as a patient care technician, helping me to discover my affinity for geriatric medicine. In the heart failure unit, my patients are often in the hospital for extended stays as they approach the end of their lives. This awards me both the chance to get to know who they are beyond their medical records, as well as the opportunity to learn how to approach this special population. I have found that the most rewarding experiences have not been the times I’ve given CPR, but instead, the moments when patients have trusted me enough to talk about their grandchildren, their past careers, their military experience, or even the devastation of being widowed. With this information comes responsibility and I often find myself serving as my patient’s advocate, instructing doctors and nurses how to tailor their treatment to best comfort the patient and their family. Through shadowing across several specialties I have noticed that this ability to collaborate effectively with other clinicians is at the forefront of making a successful PA.

Though some have questioned how someone my age can already be sure of a career choice, I know that for me there was never really a choice. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason; through the loss of my grandpa I gained insight into the career that I wanted for myself, and my goals have not wavered since. I have watched myself transform into a clinician, emulating the PA that cared for my grandpa through the relationships I have built with my patients, the votes of confidence they have given me, and the skills I have gained along the way. I have never doubted the success I would have in the medical field, but my experiences prove that I have the passion as well as the mastery of interpersonal skills necessary to be trusted with making the best medical decisions for others.


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Don't take my advice too seriously, considering I'm just applying for the first time and am unsure with my paper as it is.

It took me a couple of reads to understand the first paragraph. I think you're trying to say that you went to gross anatomy where you reminisced about the death of Anthony, and then there was an entirely different cadaver presented to your class. I may just be overtired, but regardless, I think maybe a slight change of wording might help a lot with clarification/flow.

Also, I noticed a few grammatical errors while skimming through it. Have you considered bringing it to a writing center to be edited or have a couple extra eyes read it over?


I'm not sure if it's just because I could relate to it, but I really enjoyed this part:

"I have found that the most rewarding experiences have not been the times I’ve given CPR, but instead, the moments when patients have trusted me enough to talk about their grandchildren, their past careers, their military experience, or even the devastation of being widowed." 


Overall, I thought you did a great job! I hope that you're not applying to the same schools that I am because I have enough competition as it is! Best of luck!



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Haleyash


I really liked your essay!  As a first time applicant I am having a hard time making mine flow as well as yours.  Something I would definitely change however - you misuse the word "emulate" in the first paragraph.


Emulate means to imitate someone in a positive way - so your patient would have had to know your grandfather.  Find another word that means "reminds me of."  I would say "evoked memories of my grandfather"


How you use it in the last paragraph is correct.  Better not to use a word like that twice anyhow.  Good luck!

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Interesting read that provides insight into who you are and why you want to be a PA!


I would, however, recommend finding another word for clinician in this sentence: "I have watched myself transform into a clinician..." since clinicians are typically thought of as physicians or other highly skilled medical professionals who diagnose and treat conditions - which is what you will be at the end of PA school.



Good luck and I look forward to reading the final draft!


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You seem to be proud of the fact that you are unperturbed by death and suggest that it shows you have the maturity to enter the medical field. Whether true or not it comes across as a bit macabre, insensitive and immature. There is a lot of misuse of words. Example: "This awards me the chance" should be "This affords me the chance.."

You set up a group of straw men, your classmates, and then throw them under the bus, asserting that the sight of a cadaver rattles them while you remain unfazed, and then assert that your impassive nature makes you ready for a career in medicine.

Finally, why do you feel you should, or even could, make the best medical decisions for others? When I see a doctor, PA or any other provider, I want a diagnosis, treatment choices and, hopefully, a prognosis or likely outcome for each choice along with some professional guidance. I don't want anyone making medical decisions for me and would consider you presumptive or even arrogant if you thought you were going to do that.

Your statement reflects a general tone of over confidence. Heck, why even become a PA when, as a tech, you are already telling the doctors and nurses what to do.

If lanime is correct and your statement does give insight into who you are then you have revealed an unattractive side of yourself.


Sent from my KFAPWI using Tapatalk


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I agree with PAproof. Your into is the first of two times when you throw your lazy classmates under the bus to demonstrate your superiority. Then, you point out that, because your are an essential employee, you got a police car ride to work. I'll bet all those MDs who drove themselves were thrilled to see you had made it in. What would they do without you? You need to lose your sense of self importance and gain some humility, grasshopper.

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I have to agree with JohnnyM2 and the above. I began to read your statement, and was immediately turned off by the tone of arrogance and (dare I say?) entitlement. I stopped half way - was simply uninterested in the rest.


We all want to become PAs. We all feel we deserve it because we've worked so hard towards it. We all love the sciences, get excited instead of repulsed at the sight of blood and raw muscle, and overall long to learn for more. Yawn. Tell me something new.


Tell me something that will set you apart from others - the ones with 10 years of experience as a paramedic, keeping a kid's vitals stable while flying loop-de-loops in a helicopter. Or the mother of 3 who wants to be a PCP in her community that has seen residents come and go, without being invested in the people. Or the tri-lingual athlete who was somehow meshed her love of running with the half a dozen mission trips she's taken to various developing countries.


The competition is steeeeeeeeeeeeep, and the last thing you want your PS to say why you are better than you classmates or whoever else. That is small in comparison to the big picture of this whole endeavor of life! Tell the adcoms something else. For instance, one of the beautiful sentiments about the idea of being a PA is the notion of camaraderie - there are too many PS on here that talk about the "team effort" and "working together." Based on what you wrote, it seems you want a pat on the head as a star pupil, and don't care if your classmates are shunned aside. No thank you! Some of those classmates you cast aside could be your future fellow PA classmates. Do you really want to bash your fellow co-workers?! Watch what you say.


Instead of selling yourself as, Gee, I sure am better than my fellow classmates for reasons xyz!, think about promoting yourself in a different way. Perhaps as a team player: here is what I will do to ensure that not only myself, but my fellow classmates will succeed through PA school. Here is what I have to offer to your incoming class. Show humility, but also practicality of how you can be an asset to an incoming PA class as well as to the PA profession as a whole.


I think when you take the time to really look inside yourself (yes, super hokey, I know), and see how what you have to offer as a person to the entire PA profession, it really shows a sense of maturity and thoughtfulness. Sincerity with humility. It's a tough goal to hit, but once you do, I assure you will just know that your PS has hit that perfect note. That it gives the overall sense of, yes, I want to meet this person. And from there you won't be able to stop the interview invites from rolling in.

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