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FIRST DRAFT (1st time applicant)

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Any and all help will be rewarded with 1000 virutal hugs :) I am a 1st time applicant, so I admittedly have no idea what I'm doing! I know I need to "trim some fat" but I wanted to gauge if I was onto something good, or if I need to make major adjustments. Also, do I have to state anywhere that the names I've used have been changed for HIPAA compliance? THANKS MAJORLY DUDES!





On his better days, Mr. Hughes was one of my favorite patients. He was a middle aged man with a booming voice – I could usually hear him from the elevator before he stepped foot into the office. We would warmly greet each other, and converse jovially about his daughter’s wedding plans while I prepared him for treatment. But this was not one of his better days. On this day, my doctor informed him that he had developed neovascular glaucoma due to his diabetes.  Mr. Hughes was completely blind, and there was no chance at recovering his vision. He would not be able to see his daughter get married. My heart broke.


Wasn’t there more that could be done? We had collected every test, every blood panel work up, every image – there was just no changing his visual outcome. He would have been able to significantly reduce the risk of losing eyesight if he had better diabetes management, but it was too late. I began to sheepishly apologize, and he stopped me immediately. Tearfully, he said, “Elaine, thank you for your compassionate care. You have no idea how much of a help you have been for me.” Well, to provide compassionate care that made a difference, I would need to be on the diagnostic end of medicine. Encountering patients like Mr. Hughes was not unusual at my practice, but his situation motivated me to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant (PA) because I wanted to do more. With proper training and an advanced education, I would be able to help so many patients upstream of their disastrous health outcomes.


Since childhood, I have always wanted to be a doctor.  I had a strong attraction to science, an investigative personality, and a desire help people - at the time, being a doctor seemed to be the only fitting direction to take. However, upon further research in my undergraduate years, I became disenchanted with the job prospect. As more healthcare policies arise, more changes disturb the traditional physician-patient relationship. Despite their best intentions, many doctors are being increasingly handicapped by paperwork. In order to stay fulfilled, I turned to seek a position that allows me to have more interaction with the most important part of healthcare – the patient.  


When comparing the profession of a physician vs PA, I recognized one appealing standout difference: PAs often have more time to spend with patients in order to educate them about their health. This distinction is significant, as I believe that the practice of medicine does not equate to the number of medications taken. Holistic health prevention is just as important as any anti-hypertensive or anti-diabetic pill, as these medications are meant to supplement overall lifestyle changes. My curiosity further manifested into deep interest as I discovered the unique perks of a PA. The lateral mobility aspect will permit to me to explore a variety of specialties and avoid complacency in an ever-changing field. Moreover, the independence of a PA ultimately gives me flexible freedom to accomplish both professional and personal goals, which include having a family.


Unfortunately, while I was searching for a better occupational fit, my academic performance suffered during my first 2 years of college. I became progressively frustrated as I tried to earn the grades I knew I was capable of, but couldn’t quite achieve. I realized that I was pushing myself to study for the sake of studying, which overshadowed the appeal of the actual subject. My attitude towards school shifted when I began to fall back in love with the content I was being educated about. Studying now became about learning voraciously, and delving into the advanced sciences with increasing interest. More importantly, I now understood that accomplishment is a by-product of passionate learning, not a pre-cursor. 


With a refreshed approach on scholarship, I started shadowing Theresa (a PA who practices in a primary care clinic dedicated to an underprivileged community). I admired the fluid efficiency of this clinic, which was largely due to the partnership of all the clinicians.  Here, I witnessed a number of individuals who were non-English speaking immigrants, and had limited access to healthcare. A majority of these patients simply did not have the proper information and guidance to take care of themselves, but Theresa would firmly counsel them until they understood. Because of her strong personality, she commanded a respect that was admired by both the patients and I. By asking her questions, I was able to grasp and appreciate the fine details of the position. Like Theresa, I work best in a team environment in which I could be a key provider of care. My experience at this clinic was undoubtedly significant in solidifying my decision to pursue this noble profession.


There are thousands, millions of patients out there in critical medical situations that require assistance, and I want to make an impactful difference. I’ve been a science nerd, a volunteer, and a medical assistant – all of these experiences have cumulatively edged me forward to declare this vocation as my true passion.  I have a good understanding of what being a PA means, and that is the role that I want to assume: a facilitator and practitioner of compassionate care. Because if I had been able to work with Mr. Hughes prior to his ocular complications, I firmly believe he would be watching his daughter say “I do” through tears of joy, instead of indistinct blurry shadows.




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