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Second Draft! Help Appreciated!

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        This is my second draft and I would really appreciate any feedback possible! Thanks!          




                 The CBC showed an abnormally high white blood count and a conversely low count in both red blood cells and platelets. As she approached the reception desk, her hands were shaking and her eyes were dilated. At 23 years old, the woman was remarkably weathered and fatigued. After providing me with her name and appointment time, she stared at me with curiosity as she inquired about my age and purpose of being there. Providing a quick synopsis of my interest in medicine and desire for opportunities to gain experience in the field, she shook her head in what seemed to be understanding and acknowledgement before returning to her seat in the waiting room. This was not the last time I would see this woman, and as the weeks passed and her presence was more and more frequent, I began to learn more about her previous life- that is, before the diagnosis. Having been a student, like myself, of medicine for three years of undergraduate, her unexpected illness progressed with alacrity, forcing her to return back home. Aggressive treatment was taking a toll on her physical state, and the failure to recognize the symptoms earlier hindered the effectiveness of it despite the efforts of the persistent network of healthcare providers involved. No familial relation- simply an acquaintance with a special bond- her death weighed heavily on my heart and mind. It was then that I knew I had chosen the right path.

                  The death of my grandmother in 2003 from metastatic breast cancer as well as that of my stepfather in 2009 familiarized me with the profession at a very young age. Prior to these challenging events, my perception of medicine was founded solely on the principle that medicine is a scientific, straight-forward, one way approach to “fixing” a physical problem. Through these incredibly difficult times, however, I came to realize what is really required in quality medical care. Good medicine treats the whole person. Good medicine is as much art as it is science. Furthermore, a profession which centers on the assessment and treatment of social, physical, and emotional health is what renders medicine a true art; a learned practice with perfected techniques through the application of experience and interpretation. This was an essential recognition that allowed me to depart from the pain and instead focus my attention toward the larger perspective. I witnessed the remainder of my loved ones lives’ extended in comfort under the guidance and reassurance of the compassionate and skilled healthcare networked team with whom they consulted. They were not just healthcare providers but healers in every sense of the word.

                  It wasn’t until my junior year of undergraduate education that I considered exploring the duties of a physician assistant, much less even knowing what exactly it was. It was the summer of 2014 that I was first introduced to the position and was subsequently able to evaluate my potential options within the health care profession. Acquiring a job at a local Oncologist’s office, I was designated as the “administrative assistant” to the physician. At the same time, I was volunteering in the local hospital, and one that worked closely with the Oncology clinic of which I was employed. When at the office, I was able to observe the physician, but simultaneously was given the opportunity to shadow the PA within the hospital setting. In this arrangement, I was able to contrast and compare the responsibilities and duties of both professions. I was instantly enthralled by the principal aspect that drew me to medicine in the first place with my few prior experiences-patient interaction. The physician assistant achieved a patient interaction that facilitated an intimate and comfortable atmosphere. She was able to expedite the most efficient communication and interaction-across all specialties-so as to ensure the realization of the pinnacle of patient treatment within the hospital. This is something that I have sought to accomplish from the very start of my exploration of medicine.

                I strongly desire to continue development and appropriation of the attitude and mindset that I have seen transpire so many times within a medical setting. Ultimately, a physician’s assistant, together with the physician, must delicately intertwine the unique elements of each patient’s history into a treatment considering each avenue of health. It is the responsibility of the physician’s assistant, as I firmly believe, to enhance the efficacy and intricacies of the treatment network through interaction, expertise, and commitment. With this privilege, however, comes great responsibility; one that I have worked to understand on a much more intimate level through the experiences that I have undertaken. As a student within the physician’s assistant program, I would continue to strive to become a key contributor to the betterment of the community and to improve the lives of those that need it, as I have come to know first-hand the remarkable capabilities of modern medicine.

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