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First attempt and work in progress

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Hello all,


here is my first attemt. It needs a lot of work and I look forward to your opinions.



Working in healthcare is hard. There are emotional ups and downs that may leave you sobbing or jumping with joy. People are complex and scary and exciting and I absolutely love them. There was one case this past year that has struck out from all of the rest. It was Christmas Eve the clinic was slammed and a 69 year old male patient came in pale and sweaty thinking he had a kidney infection.  I immediately grabbed the PA I was working with and she helped me escort the patient back for triage, I was afraid that the large man may collapse without the extra help on the way back. Fast vitals and bilateral IV starts, she diagnosed what she believed to be a dissecting aneurism, and we called 911. I watched as she gracefully gave her report to a snarky and dismissive ambulance crew who stated that they would take the patient to be treated for their kidney stone. I went home to my family that evening with this patient on my mind; we very rarely receive follow up in urgent care.

Several days later working with the same PA I received some startling information. This patient had been transported slowly to the ED where the ambulance crew gave report of a possible kidney stone, the admitting doctor ordered toradol for the patient whom crashed three minutes later. This patient received three lines of blood and 8 hours of surgery to repair his abdominal aortic aneurism. He is alive. I continue to think of this patient when I have a hard day. My part in his care was so small yet so important and may have made the difference for him to crash in the ED rather than in clinic. The PA I worked with was so confident and competent I have no doubt that she saved this patient despite the other wonderful players in his care. She was firm yet poised when the ambulance crew dismissed her, she was the hero for this patient. Working in clinical medicine has shown me so much more of medicine from when I worked on the ambulance.

Working a 911 system in rural Oregon was an eye opener. I grew up in a small town where it was twenty minutes or more to the closest health care provider. I thought I knew what it was like to live in an isolated area, and then I worked 911 on the coast while I attempted to earn an online master’s degree. So much of field medicine is patch and go—keep running until you get to help—at the clinic you are the help. In both fields the effects of isolation and limited health care are glaringly obvious. Many manageable health problems go untreated in rural medicine where they may turn into life threats. Emergency medicine is exciting and sometimes heartbreaking. I have been exposed to many different practitioners working in the urgent care clinic and it has been the Physician Assistants’ who have out shone all others. I admire their compassion, quality of care, experience, and deep rooted love for their profession. I have learned so much from all of them and they have helped me discover I love what I do and I want to become a Physician Assistant so that I may do more. I am particularly interested in working in rural environments where access to care is limited by so many things including the people willing to work there.

It has been an interesting road which has brought me to writing this statement. I thought I knew what I wanted when I was younger and after an adventurous road of success, failure, lessons, love and, new experiences I have discovered the perfect fit for me. I have challenged myself along the way and some of the time it has worked well and the other times I have learned greatly from it. College was an adjustment to say the least. During my undergraduate I thought that I could do it all—have a social life, adventure, work, study, sleep—I learned that I needed to focus. This was a hard learned lesson about focus and dedication; it took me failing my attempt at an online dual master’s degree to truly evaluate my actions. I should have withdrawn when I had a broken arm and a hemorrhagic thyroid cyst, I unsuccessfully pushed on and the decision to withdraw was made for me. I have learned many things from this experience, I do not regret it. I have since taken classes and done exceedingly well after a hard learned lesson about what it truly takes to get where I want to be.  

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I think your overall message is a good one, but there are also some big issues. Regarding grammar and punctuation, there are a lot of errors, but maybe that's something you planned on cleaning up. I'd also look to break it up into more than two paragraphs. Lastly, I'd definitely take out the comment about about the snarky and dismissive ambulance crew. We all run into people that aggravate us, but it's not a good look to address it like that in your narrative. Especially since you're applying for PA, you want to be able to demonstrate that you're able to work as a team.

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Even though this is a rough draft, I commend you for the decent start! It's straight forward with no nonsense. Ideas are clear. No crazy long sentences that I have to reread 3 times to just get the gist. But most importantly, it shows really good personal reflection, maturity, some humility, and insight. Feels quite sincere. Grammar is easy to fix; things like lack of insight or maturity can't be hidden in draft after draft of re-writes. I think with some hard work yours could be really good. Here's some general tips.

  • I agree with the above. No snarky comments about the other professionals; these will be your co-workers and colleagues one day. Don't piss them off!
  • Show (don't tell!) your audience why PA's have impressed you. Quick little one liners like "the PA was always quick with a joke to make a patient smile" or "the PA always sincerely asked patients if they had any questions" is all you need to do. Snippets to paint a whole collage of the PA profession
  • Really go with the rural med thing. I remember reading a PS on here last year about an applicant who was inspired to change careers because one of her patients burst into tears because the PCPs in their rural community were always changing (residents would come for a few years and bolt to move elsewhere when the time was up). The writer went on to say that she was determined - not just to becoming a PA, but specifically to becoming a fixture of dependable healthcare for her community. You mentioned the rural med thing, so really commit to it and think of all the pros and cons there are, and write about it.
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