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needing help with first draft

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H!  I would really appreciate any thoughts, good and bad, about this first draft.  I have a lot I could say but I need to make sure that it is clear and not rambling.    Thanks for your input.




As we sat in a window lit room, many of the Kazakh village women began to wander in and find their spot around the long, low table.   When everyone was settled, the American pediatrician and I began to teach them about women’s health, childbirth and infant care.  We had promised a free clinic after the lesson so the women were eager to stay and listen.  Over the course of time, we learn that what little education they had was passed down from the women in their family or from the old Soviet system. 


Maybe at one time, the Soviets were leader of the scientific community but that age had past and Kazakhstan was now filled with out dated information and medical licenses that were bought instead of earned.  As we listen to these women and their stories, it became clear that their lives were more complicated and worse off because of the misinformation and lack of true medial knowledge.  For instance, if a doctor noticed a newborn’s stool was not fully formed, the new mother was told to stop nursing because her milk was “bad.”  Because she wanted to do the best for her baby, the mother obeyed, only to be left with the hardship of trying to create a homemade gruel because she could not afford store bought formula.  The babies were often weak and failed to meet milestones.  Infants, red faced, sweating and crying, were swaddled in wool in the hot arid summers because of fear that the baby would be cold.  Antibiotics were prescribed for the common cold and flu.  Not only did this waste a portion of what little money they had, it was useless to treat the infection.  Children had no dental care and were given candy to the point in which they stopped eating table food.  Their teeth were black and rotten often by the age of five.  Tuberculosis and brucellosis were rampant because the local cows were sick with the diseases and farmers lacked the resources to maintain healthy livestock.  Because local teaching stated that eating dog fat would cure tuberculosis, the disease continued to spread.    Over the seven years that we served as overseas missionaries, I was continuously faced with the fact that good health care comes not just from treating those who are sick but from making sure that each person understands health, prevention and has access to basic care. 


In 2005, my missionary term was ending and I knew that I was going to have the opportunity to pursue a medical degree upon returning to the states.  The American pediatrician and I talked at length about the possible career paths that I could pursue.  In that discussion, she introduced me to the existence of the PA profession. 


When I was in college, the Physician Assistant (PA) program was in its infancy and was not well known as a career path.   The main choices were to become a doctor or nurse.  Although I am a very task oriented person and enjoy working with a team, I do not want to be left without a voice or opinion when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients.  Nurses are often highly skilled and have good instincts but they are not given a voice or authority to make decisions due to the limits of their scope of practice.  Nurse practitioners do have that ability, but because I already hold a bachelor’s degree, it does not make sense to pursue that course of study.  After working alongside a doctor for so long to both treat and educate patients, I know that becoming a PA will be a good fit for me. 


Although I began to pursue a medical degree as soon as I returned from overseas, my own family situation put those plans on hold.  At the age of four, one of my sons began to display behavior that was out of the ordinary.  It being my third child, I was used to temper tantrums and meltdowns; these were different.  By the age of five, his symptoms were so severe that I sought medical attention for him.  For the past 8 years, I have been managing his disorders.  Countless hours have been spent managing his behavior, his meltdowns, and his medicine.  One year ago, my oldest was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  I have helped him work through fears and panic attacks, while challenging the obsessive thoughts and actions that plague him.  Up until now, pursuing a career would have been selfish and irresponsible.   My first priority is to the health and well-being of my family.  Through time, maturity and medicine, my family is now stable, allowing me to begin to pursue my own career path again. 


On the surface, it may seem that I have not obtained many patient care hours since being back in the States.  The patient care I have been giving is not typically put down on applications because there is no supervisor or organization.  It is not a paid position or one that earns achievements or accolades other than a colorful drawing on the refrigerator.  It is the position of a mother of four, sister and daughter who has helped her family with each medical crisis as they have occurred.  I have bathed, fed and cared for my mother-in-law after open heart surgery.  I have helped care for my nephew as he prepared for tests and surgery due to complications of ulcerative colitis.  For years, I have researched medical issues and counseled family members dealing with hypertension, Meckel’s diverticulum, ADHD, OCD, DRESS syndrome (due to a severe reaction to Zoloft), depression, alcoholism, suicidal thoughts, ulcerative colitis, J-pouch surgery, broken bones, Shingles and autism.  During each event, I have helped my family understand the issues at hand and how to proceed with the treatment prescribed by their doctors.  Medical terminology and diagnoses are complicated and confusing to patients.  With each new medical crisis, I found myself pouring over medical articles in order to help them understand what they are facing and how to take each step in their recovery. 


For the past 6 months, I have been retaking the prerequisite classes required by the program.  It has been a good test to see how studying and commuting would affect our home.  Despite having to manage my home and children, I have been able to excel in each of the classes.  My children have stepped up to learn how to cook and to help with the house and each other.  We are ready for the challenges of PA school.


My ability to gain access to those who are in need is dependent upon obtaining a medical degree. Without it, I am just an educated, well-intended mom with good instincts.  I am determined to gain the knowledge and the authority to help others in a professional capacity both in America and overseas.  I am ready to move forward.  

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I think this is a wonderful PS! I really think you played your strengths up nicely and love the blurb about the school and family because god knows they will ask! I even like your "on the surface paragraph"! I think your ending needs a little more. Its lacking the why PA answer I think. 

Start there then repost it! Ill look out for it and read it again! Send me a message even when you do! 

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