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1st Draft...Criticize away PLEASE!

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  Hi! I'm new here so this is my first draft....please do NOT hold back any criticism, I will welcome it all.    




        "Stop being such a retard!” my cousin snickered at her sister. My aunt came rushing into the room, seething with fury as she reprimanded her daughter for emitting words that would insult my uncle who has an intellectual and physical disability. Already at a young age, I was exposed to the discrepancies of overall health that existed between people, and my curiosity was sparked.


           I was too young to hold a job, so over a course of seven years, I volunteered from sixth grade through high school with a local religious education program for special needs individuals called SEARCH, which my uncle attended. By volunteering, I was exposed to a number of individuals with whom I had to accommodate differences in verbal and non-verbal language and levels of understanding. By developing relationships with these people, I was compelled to earn my certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification and then become a direct support professional (DSP) at a set of four group homes through a company called ARC-CSS.


            While working towards my bachelors in biological science, I was employed as a DSP over summers. During my employment, I was introduced to different professions in the health care field such as RNs, LPNs, NPs, MDs, and physician assistants (PA). Upon discovering the role of a physician assistant, I eagerly began shadowing a PA at a primary care clinic in a rural area. I recall a patient telling me that he made a one hour commute just to have a regular check-up because all of the local clinics were full. By listening to these patients, I learned about the high esteem they shared for the PA, the value of a trusting relationship between a patient and care provider, and the need for accessible medical care providers in rural areas like my own. 


           As I continued to observe the PA for the remainder of the summer, I admired how he communicated with his patients to help them develop a better understanding of their medical concerns by counseling and answering questions with helpful feedback, established positive relationships with his patients by having conversations yet remaining professional, and showed empathy and compassion by listening and providing effective care when a patient was concerned.


            At the clinic, I was also exposed to the roles of nurses and physicians and was able to distinguish similarities and dissimilarities between the professions. As a PA, I am able to diagnose and provide treatment to a patient, while also having the availability of a physician to consult with if uncertainties arise. I highly value the relationship between physicians and PAs as they are both integral parts of a system that works in unison to provide quality medical care. During my undergraduate education, I was a part of a research team in the biochemistry lab of the exercise science graduate department. Just as I would have the freedom to conduct my own experiment and consult my research professor for methods and ideas, a PA can consult a physician for treatment plans and opinions. I would also have the flexibility to achieve personal and professional goals, such as establishing a family without limiting my health care providing abilities. Also, my background in pre-professional science courses acts as a stepping stone to a wider scope of practice as compared to nursing.


            Throughout my shadowing experience, I noticed that I possessed certain qualities that are exemplified within the PA profession and this resulted in strengthening my desire to pursue the profession. Through my involvement in the undergraduate research team and as a DSP who is part of a health care team, I have learned to become an effective communicator by relaying my thoughts and sharing opinions with respect to others’ views. I work well in teams that allow me to have a voice in shared decision making, such as the daily care that is provided to my residents. I also enjoy learning about new medical treatments and managements as expressed through my research interests. I also share a passion of learning and educating others.


             As a PA I would actively play a role in implementing preventative measures and disease management by passing on my knowledge to a patient. Exceptional health care not only consists of quality treatment but also of effective communication. Having been immersed in the lives of the disabled population for ten years now, I have learned the significance of building trusting relationships, being compassionate, and effectively communicating in order to increase their quality of life. I believe that all of these qualities are imperative to providing excellent care and are the foundation for a successful career as I contribute to the medical community by one day fulfilling the responsibilities of a physician assistant.  


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I am not a fan of your intro story. I feel it would look better if you told a story about when you had a sincere emotional connection with one of your patients as a CNA. There's a lot of acronyms that seem unnecessary. It makes me feel like you were just trying to fill your paper to get closer to the 5000 character limit. The 4th paragraph is just one run-on sentence. I did really like your paragraph about why you wanted to be a PA vs. nursing. Lastly, and this is something I struggled with too, I feel there needs to be more showing and less telling. Show why you work well in teams. Show how you are compassionate towards your patients. I found that writing this paper proved to be more difficult than ANY paper I had ever written in college. I hope I didn't sound too harsh! Good Luck!

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I have a few thoughts from a quick read through:


1. Scrap your first story. It doesn't add anything, and nobody really wants to be hit in the face with a derogatory statement as soon as they open the document. You definitely should talk about your uncle and his impact on your goals, but try to frame it in a positive light. 

2. The SEARCH program sounds interesting! Try to put that into your intro, and maybe highlight the fact that your uncle was a participant. He seems to have had an important role in your life, so I would highlight him more. 

3. Your forth paragraph is one sentence. Holy comma splice! Try to break that up, and it really shouldn't stand on its own. There's not enough content in the paragraph to make it its own entity, so look into combining it into another paragraph. 

4. You spend a lot of time going over your resume instead of talking about why you want to be a PA. The Adcom will have your CASPA information, they don't need you to remind them of all of your roles. Try to explore why those roles were important to you, and go into detail about how your personality fits in with your understanding of the PA profession. 

5. The conclusion needs work. Your thought about the importance of communication is a good one, but your delivery of the idea makes it fall flat. Link your emphasis on communication to a tangible goal that you have, and show how that can help to improve patient care. 


I'm just another applicant, but I thought that I could help out. Take my advice if you want, but good luck either way!

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I agree with what has been said above. I also found this odd: "RNs, LPNs, NPs, MDs, and physician assistants (PA).” Why write out physician assistant (PA), but not the other professions? No need to list all of them anyway, it would be much better to condense these into three categories: nurses, physicians and physician assistants (PA).


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