jperti Posted April 28, 2015 Share Posted April 28, 2015 This is my second year of applying. I loved my essay last year (and I think it's why I got some interviews) so this one was a tough one to write when looking back at that one. Be brutal and thank you all in advance! The call came over the radio around seven in the morning. The Emergency Room staff only keyed in on the highlights: “Thirty-two year old female. Cardiac arrest. Unknown downtime but she still has color. CPR is underway.” The radio went silent and then clicked back on – “The patient is pregnant.” There is always a pit that forms in your stomach with that last word. The stakes are infinitely higher. Immediately dropping what we were doing, we moved quickly and quietly into position, preparing for the controlled chaos that was to come. Respiratory was arrived. The crash cart lock was cracked. IV materials were prepped and ready. Moments later, the ambulance bay doors opened and the medics came running through. I moved into position and began CPR. This is one we have to save. As I did chest compressions, I could not help but think back on the journey that led me to that stool, on that day, with that patient. This journey has one stop – Physician Assistant school. It started for me on the track at Gettysburg College. I was a sprinter and as we began our warm-up that day, I felt a pop in my groin that would sideline me for the rest of the season and more. I spent the next six months seeing athletic trainers, surgeons, and orthopedic and family doctors to diagnose the injury. The frustration affected all aspects of my life and I began to lose hope as the pain just walking to class was unbearable; as these medical professionals told me “nothing was wrong.” Finally, a physician who introduced himself as Jason sat down, talked to me, and looked beyond the tests. He explained that, while everything was negative, there is more to medicine than just testing. In a long shot move, he referred me out to a specialist who diagnosed me with two hernias. Upon surgery, they found a third. This sanity-saving conversation was not with a physician at all, however. In my naivety for the profession at the time, I never realized it was with a Physician Assistant. I have always had a love of medicine and the great capabilities it gives one to help people through some of their darkest times. But, as esoteric as this seems, becoming a physician never seemed like the right fit. Inspired by talking with Jason and other PAs, I talked to a college advisor about becoming a PA and was told that I was too far behind in my science coursework; my grades were not high enough; and I did not have enough time even if I tried. I was too late and I should choose a different path. While I did not fully heed that advice, I also did not fully pursue this field at that time because of that conversation. This resulted in a confused collegiate career that underwhelmed academically as I fought to find my way to help people the same way Jason helped me. Unfortunately, I graduated a few years later, lost and further from my dream job, believing being a PA was out of reach. However, two months into a job at Merrill Lynch, I was offered an opportunity to return and coach track and field. Ultimately, I knew it was a chance to pursue the prerequisites necessary to go to Physician Assistant school. A few days later, I left and started on a remarkable, difficult journey with nothing more than a dream, a chip on my shoulder, and a car full of clothes. From the day I chose to pursue being a PA I have been fighting to prove that, beyond all doubt, I can handle the academics, stress, challenge, and all of the other rigors the programs present. I have been working in the field and have taken additional coursework, refining my skills along the way. I did not grow up wanting to be a Physician Assistant. I did not even enter college knowing what a Physician Assistant was. This is a career I discovered, fell in love with, chose amongst many others, sacrificed for, and fought for above all else. And, in this journey, I have had to make great sacrifices that have forged me into a capable and mature student and professional. Although difficult to admit, I have been homeless twice; I have worked well over forty hours a week while going to school full time, earning nearly a 4.0 in sixteen courses; I have missed far more holidays with my family than I have made; I have felt the sting of a patient dying; the power of a tearful thank you from the scared and the sick. I have endured the swing shifts and the sleepless days and nights while working in the ER; the failure and repeat rejection; and have been blessed with support and encouragement from remarkable clinicians, patients, and loved ones. That woman, and her baby, did not survive that day. As we sat silently in the break room afterward, some with tears, I continued to reflect on the path I had chosen and asked myself, “Is this worth it? Is this something I really want to do?” The answer was, and has, unequivocally been “yes.” That next morning, I rolled out of bed and smiled, knowing that I am one step closer to my dream and my goal. I keep what I learned from my old sprint coach close: Believe – there is greatness inside of you. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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