Jump to content

First time applicant. HONEST FEEDBACK PLEASE!!!

Recommended Posts

Have you ever just felt like you were merely meant to do something? I have! Ever since I first stepped into my orthopedic doctor’s office back in the fifth grade, it became my destiny. From this first exposure to the exhilarating world of injury correction, I knew my life’s purpose. As I matured, I decided on the occupation of orthopedic physician assistant. Then later, decided I no longer wanted to specialized but definitely still wanted to be a physician assistant. This career posses all my heart’s desires: the ability to help others, the experiences t fulfill my urge to diagnose and correct injury, as well as further my career by pursing other specialties of medicine as well.


            Before I could walk or talk, I felt ardent about helping others. This trait only grew as the years passed. My family told me numerous stories about me trying to console my cousin’s hurting whenever he cried. I can remember the stories of how, as an infant, I used to crawl to him with a pacifier, bottle, toy, blanket or kiss. In seventh grade, my close friend, Kateri, suffered with her parents going through a nasty divorce. I realized she was unable to escape the constant arguing, so I final talking to my parents and convinced them to allow her to move in with us. She moved into out home with a better environment for tree months before she returned to living with only her mom in a healthy home. No matter the hardship I’m going through, I always look past it and help other with struggles in anyway I can.


After about ten years of cheerleading, I fell doing a front handspring and hurt my right wrist in the fifth grade, my first of 17 injuries. When I told my parents about the accident, they did not believe anything went wrong; they thought I was being a hypochondriac. So I suffered for almost two weeks before receiving medical attention; my wrist quickly became hard-casted for six weeks due to a fractured growth plate. Once the day came to get my cast taken off, anxiety to be free rushed through my veins but terror of the saw overcame my joy. This young woman took the saw and ran it across his arm to ensure me of its safety. Then, she removed my cast and showed me my x-rays. I later found out this woman was a physician assistant. Ever since this visit with Amy, my life changed forever; I knew my heart beat to see injuries and heal them for the comfort of others.


My many visits with her over the years only confirmed my ambitious of wanting to be a physician assistant. We not only discussed the nature of my injuries as well as treatment plan, but also discussed the physician assistant profession. After one of my appointments with her I rushed home, grabbed my laptop and began researching the vocation known as physician assistant. It was love at first site. I was so grateful she had enlightened me. I will assist a licensed physician, allowing me to establish a more intimate relationship with patients, which is very important to me.


One year ago, I began to work as a patient transporter throughout a local hospital. My job had my in every department: Emergency Room, Psychiatry, Intensive Care, Surgery, Cardiology, Pediatrics and so many more. It was then that I realized I did not want to specialize and was reassured that physician assistant is the perfect career for me. I will learn about various specialties of medicine and have the ability to practice in whichever and has many as I want throughout my life. Since then, I have shadowed physician assistants in various specialties as they practiced medicine and performed procedures nearly solo as well as assisted in surgery.


My personality and life experiences have led me to my professional decision and what I wish to do with my life. I intend to approach this new journey the same as my previous academics: I will work my hardest to reach my goal. I have experienced numerous personal hardships throughout my life, but refuse to let those stand in the way of goals I set for my self and that is never going to change. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your first paragraph is wishy-washy. You want to be an ortho surgeon...wait you want to be an ortho PA...want you want to just be a general PA! It's not really a good look. You can't use an epiphany and then retract it in the next sentence. I would advise you to think of a better way to intro your interest in becoming a PA. Maybe expand on your interest in ortho, or fascination with the human body to segue into your goals as a PA. 


Honestly, your third paragraph could function as your intro. The first two paragraphs rely way too heavily on some sort of epiphany/life goal logic that comes across as flimsy at best. It's a slippery slope to say that your family/friends think you're a caring person- I would hope that everybody's family/friends would say the same thing! Your third paragraph needs some more action to draw the reader in, but the premise is solid. Injury=exposure to PA= rekindling of interest in the human body. I could get on board with that logic. 


Watch your grammar! Once you use "physician assistant" once, just say PA. Your tenses get confusing near the end, especially when you're talking about your job. Pick one tense and stick with it. Don't switch back and forth in the same paragraph. 


Your conclusion ends on a whimper, when it should end on a bang! Find some reasons that you want to be a PA and really drive the point home at the end of your PS. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have some good starts in there, but you really should read this, I know it helped me...


Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:50 PM

This is copied from paadmissions "Ask a PA Admissions Director." I found it hiding in the bowels of that forum (page 81), and I figured placing it here would make it very handy for those perusing personal statements and seeking advice.


Posted 20 May 2014 - 02:46 PM

Hi guys!

I've put together some hints for writing a good personal statement below. These hints were gathered from several medical school websites and from our own experience with our program. Hope this helps!


The personal statement is required as a part of any application to PA school. Many applicants make writing a personal statement a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Below are helpful hints and topics to avoid that can help you write a good personal statement. Topic: Why you want to be a PA?


Personal Statement Helpful Hints:

· Engage the reader and create interest.

· Get to the point. There is a character limit for personal statements. One page is usually all it takes to make your point.

· Avoid using flowery language and/or big words throughout your statement.

· Make sure the statement is structured in a logical order and flows nicely so it is easy to read.

· Do not restate your resume.

· Incorporate how your healthcare experience and non-healthcare experience (academics, volunteer, and leadership positions) prepared you for PA school.

· Be insightful and analytical about your understanding of the role of the PA. Use your clinical experiences to draw this conclusion.

· Call out the elephant in the room. If you had a “hiccup” in your academic career, you should BRIEFLY address it (i.e. death in the family, immaturity factor, poor study habits), state what you did to overcome it, and what you have done to sustain an upward trend in your academic performance.

· If you have a strong desire to enter a certain field of medicine, explain why. For example, if you want to go into primary care, what have you done to prepare yourself for this field (i.e. clinical experience opportunities, skill sets, are you from a disadvantaged background, etc.), and the challenges PAs face, if any in the particular field.

· Have more than one person review your statement. An advisor, career services representative, or a writing center are good resources to utilize.

· Avoid contractions.

· Avoid acronyms that the common person would not know (this is especially true for military applicants).


Qualities to Portray


· Maturity

· Reflectiveness

· Honesty and integrity

· Clarity of thought

· Passion

· Individuality

· Positivity

· Logic

· Distinctiveness

· Commitment

· Ability to relate to diverse people

· Insight into the chosen health profession

· Compassion and empathy

· Genuineness and sincerity

· Leadership

· Insightfulness

· A realistic perspective

· Lessons learned

· Self-awareness



Themes to Avoid

· Clichés: Avoid starting a statement with a famous quote or with cliché’ filler statements like:

“I want to be a PA because I like science and I want to help people...”

“Ever since I was five I played with my mom/dad’s doctor’s kit..”

“I loved to play the game Operation as a child and that sparked my desire to be a PA...”

“As I watched my beloved family member pass away, I knew then I wanted to be a PA...”

· Restating your resume’: We have already read the majority of your application up to this point, so do not retell your life story again.

· Story Time: Limit your personal stories about a patient or incident in the clinic to ONE no more than TWO. The statement should focus more the topics mentioned above.

· The “epiphany into medicine”: Your pursuit of the PA profession should be based on your adult experiences up until this point, NOT an instantaneous realization.

· Manifest Destiny: You have not always known you want to be a PA and the fact that someone tells you “you’ll make a great PA one day” does not justify why you should be a PA.

· Grandiosity: Claiming that you plan to eliminate all the healthcare problems in an area is not realistic and shows a grave lack of understanding of the profession.

· The “humble brag”: Of course you’re special, but claiming “you probably do not see many applicants like me” is not only arrogant, but is likely untrue. We’ve seen it all!

· Remember your audience: Remember people do have other biases and views that may not agree with yours so avoid controversial topics and statements that could offend someone. Also, remember the admissions committee can be made up of all types of members of the healthcare team. Avoid statements like “I want to be a PA because PAs spend more time with their patients in comparison to physicians.” These types of situations are not always true and you do not want to stereotype an entire profession when you’ve only been around .00000001% of them.

· “I am a victim”: Victims are never attractive applicants and any difficulties along the way should be dispassionately addressed. These explanations should be brief and also address what you have done to overcome the situation and what you learned from it.

· Excuses: Never, ever blame anyone else for difficulties in your life or academic career.


Topsy's 2 cents:

  • Show, don't tell. Don't tell me you're great at multitasking. Show me! Describe it instead: "Despite having to care for my ailing mother at home, work the graveyard shift at the hospital, and help victims of abuse at the women's shelter, I still managed to keep my by grades by merely studying instead of sleeping."
  • What makes the PA profession personally meaningful to you. Do not reiterate catch phrases like autonomy, flexibility, and all those other words that you can find on countless websites/blogs. Do mention personal things you've seen! Like the time you shadowed a PA talking to a family who was strapped for cash, and the PA was sensitive and attentive enough to notice the dilemma and was kind enough to provide their family with ample samples. Again, show, don't tell.
  • Overall, a great personal state can be achieved by getting the reader think - yes. I want to meet the person who wrote this.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More