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Second Draft - Any advice/comments/criticism appreciated!

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This is my second-ish draft of my PS. Any help is greatly appreciated. I tried to do something a bit different so let me know if it all flows well or if anything needs to be taken out or added. I am pretty close to the limit of 5000 characters. Thank you!!




I stepped off a plane and into a place unlike anything I had seen before. Everything surrounding me was different shades of green and all natural beauty. I was in awe of how different things could look outside the United States, especially since Costa Rica was my first experience outside of the country. I was extremely nervous to be in a new country without a single known person, but excited to be a part of something remarkable: a mission trip to set up free clinics and provide medical services in underserved communities.


To me, the medical field has always been appealing. It first started as a love for animals. A love so strong that being around them and wanting a pet of my own was all I could think about. Throughout my childhood, science classes were the ones that caught my attention the most. I constantly imagined myself as a veterinarian, working with and caring for animals every day, but then I was introduced to the subject of human anatomy and physiology, which sparked a whole new interest of mine.


The trip was something to help me ensure that the medical field was the right path. It was also a way of giving back to those in need and to provide me with the opportunity to learn a little more about myself and the world around me. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was going to see on that trip. Within just about forty miles, the beauty started to dwindle away. The feeling of excitement that overtook me my first couple of days being introduced to the area and the people was replaced with sadness and disbelief. I didn’t think it was possible to build a house out of a few pieces of sheet metal and some chunks of wood; I guess it follows the saying, “don’t believe it until you see it.” Murky streams were flowing through the cluster of houses and it was unsettling to see young children with torn, dirty clothes drinking from them as if it was something they did regularly.


I spent the first half of my college education seeking out just the right career for me to pursue. With my growing interest in anatomy and physiology, I thought the medical field would be perfect for me. I landed my first patient care job at a behavior health facility. It was here that I first discovered my love for working with patients. Just over a few short months, I deeply connected with one of the residents. One night at the end of my shift, she came up to me and said “Thanks Ashley for being such a good friend to me and someone that I can trust.” At that moment, I knew that I had had a meaningful impact in her life and I was grateful to have a job with such a fulfilling purpose.


My heart melted as I saw two big, innocent eyes look up at me, changing from wary to trustful as I placed the stethoscope onto his chest so he could listen to his own heartbeat. It was our second day in the clinic and I had seen more children sick and in pain than I could bare. I felt terrible for never truly realizing just how little some people have, but being in the clinics and the communities opened my eyes to that and a whole lot more. Seeing the smiles on the patients’ faces as they left the clinics with a little more hope was such a rewarding feeling. I felt blessed knowing that we were able to help change the lives of so many people and even more blessed from having those people change my life as well. The trip was not just about how I was able to help others, but also how others helped me to see a clearer view of the world and learn more about myself as a person, and future health care provider.


Knowing I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, I decided to look into getting a job in a more clinical setting. Nurse technician seemed like the perfect opportunity to get what I was looking for while also maintaining the close connection with patients. Every day I am able to work closely with a variety of patients and clinicians and I know this is the type of setting I would love to spend a lifetime in. I have been given the opportunity to learn and grow as a healthcare provider and gain the necessary basic skills I will need in my future career as a Physician Assistant.


There is nothing more satisfying than being involved in another person’s life. I have been directly involved in health care for two years and every day has been a wonderful blessing. I have bonded with patients and their families, heard endless heart-warming stories, and seen faces glaze over with happiness as patients reach a new goal in their healing process. For me, it doesn’t get any better than living a life where I get to experience this every day.  Hearing from patients how much of a positive influence I have had in their lives is what keeps me going and I aspire to be this kind of influence for many more to come. Becoming a Physician Assistant is more than just my desired career path. It is about living out my passion at the benefit of others and touching the lives of other people, just as so many have touched mine. 

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Overall, you have a solid narrative.  Your writing style and thought process are clear, and the entire passage flows as one thought from beginning to end.  If you are worried about being so close to the character limit, you might try deleting superlatives and make explanations more concise.  However, colorful explanations are clearly your writing style and your personality shows through in that way, so I wouldn't necessarily change it.


The one thing I would ask of you in response to your narrative is this:  I gather that you want to be a PA to help those in need, but why not become a nurse, doctor, PT, OT or clinical pharmacist?  You could also help vast numbers of those in need by getting involved in public health, biostatistics, social work, dietetics, or patient advocacy.  Why specifically do you choose PA over any other profession?  What is it about becoming a PA that draws you over another practitioner's title?


I wish you the best of luck!

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