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Re-applicant PS. Any feedback greatly appreciated!

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Tuberculosis. Hepatitis. Pneumonia. Dengue fever. Meningitis. These are just a few of the many infectious diseases that run rampant and cause many untimely deaths in the Philippines. In the more heavily impoverished areas, people have minimal – if any – access to nutritious food and clean water. Children and families are left homeless and forced to resort to living in dilapidated makeshift houses made of galvanized iron sheets that offer little to no protection against violent typhoons that frequent the islands. Healthcare has become more of a privilege than a right, as only people who can afford healthcare plans are able to receive medical treatment, while those who do not have the means are left to suffer or rely on natural remedies. Being exposed to such an environment growing up initially urged me to pursue medicine as a means to make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate. I believe that good health is the most valuable thing anyone can have and should be easily accessible to anyone.

            After coming to America over 8 years ago, I started the long and arduous journey to pursue a career in healthcare. Needless to say, it has been far from easy. In college, I was faced with a lot of doubt and negativity from being told that I would never make it in the medical field because my grades did not meet competitive standards. As a result, I fell into a period of dejection and found myself often doubting my abilities. I saw myself as average; ordinary; mediocre and thus, not good enough to be a medical practitioner. I still very much wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, so I packed up the last bit of confidence I had and trudged on. I realized that something had to change if I wanted to live my dream. I started to step out of my comfort zone and do things I never would have thought to do, one of which was run a half marathon. Crossing that finish line gave me the boost I needed to follow my dream of practicing medicine.

            Since then, I have immersed myself in the healthcare profession, learning as much as I can from every experience and every person I have come across, both clinicians and patients. In the past year, in addition to running 2 more half marathons, I have taken steps to expand my knowledge in both the science and non-science fields by taking more classes that will help me become a better PA. Working as a medical assistant for the past 3 years, I have grown and gained so much more than I would have ever imagined. I owe a lot of this to the people who come through the clinic doors everyday, whose resilience and determination taught me how to live passionately and purposefully. I owe it to Raymond; a sweet, carefree middle-aged gentleman who, despite being cancer-ridden and having heart problems, still manages to see the good in life and be grateful for each new day. I owe it to Gina; a wonderful woman with a bubbly, upbeat personality who, in spite of having lived with pain for so many years, hasn’t lost her sense of humor and love for adventure, and continues to have hope for a future of less suffering. I owe it to the parents of the young adults who have taken a wrong turn in their teenage years and have since been imprisoned by addiction. They have showed me what unconditional love truly means.

            Each new person I meet and each new story I hear further strengthens my resolve in pursuing a career as a PA. Through life, I have encountered people who were in the most vulnerable and desperate time of their life. Because of them and all that I have experienced, I can now say, with absolute certainty, that I am not average, ordinary, nor mediocre. I am much more than that. The great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “In a gentle way you can shake the world.” Just as my world has been shaken by the souls I have encountered in my lifetime, I, too, hope to shake the world as a PA one person at a time.

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I would re-write this statement without the second paragraph.  This is your chance to explain to an adcom why you are worthy of a seat in their school and should not include an exposition comprised of "I fell/felt sorry for myself."  Do not take this personally.  Your entire notion of "I used to feel low, but now I believe in myself" could be entirely condensed into a single sentence like "I overcame the self-doubt that others induced in me."


Are you Filipino?   You should state this explicitly in your narrative; you are within a demographic that is underrepresented within medicine.  If you are a first-gen college student, this is also significant.  If you have overcome an adverse family or socioeconomic status to get to where you are now, this is important.  Adcoms consider these things in your application, so you should find a way to explain these attributes without coming off as if you are asking for a handout.  Statistically, someone who meets the criteria I am asking you of is much, much less likely to become a medical professional than a white college student from a wealthy family of college grads.  This means that you, as a student, have worked that much harder than everyone else around you who, statistically, has it easier than you do.


Rely on specific experiences as your reasoning for choosing PA school as a profession, and explain how you understand the PA's role in healthcare.  Don't use Raymond's name, just be generic and refer to him as a "sweet gentleman" or something along that line.  Build your narrative around your experiences and your background, without dwelling on the self-pity, with the goal of explaining why your PA school should choose you over the person you are competing with who has better grades than you do.


Open with an attention getting storyline, use the body for explanation, close conclusively in a way that ties the entire narrative together as one cohesive thought.


You could knock em dead with the right narrative.


Best of luck to you.

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I have to disagree with the above. As a fellow Fil-Am, I've looked into this kind of thing, and being Asian isn't a demographic that is automatically sexy to adcoms. For instance, if you look at the stats for MCAT scores and acceptance rate for students, it shows that being Asian hurts you! For an Asian, you have to have a higher MCAT score than white males to get accepted! Yesh! I mean, to play up a certain demographic nowadays, you only have 3 options: black, hispanic, or native american. Those are still sexy and highly coveted. As for what's happening for incoming PA classes right now, I'm not sure. I wouldn't be surprised if simply being male is an advantage considering how many classes have a female majority. But that being said, don't rely on the color of your skin, the slant in your eyes, or the type of junk you got your pants to really help you. Let the focus be on what qualities you possess and why you're qualified for this opportunity.


What helps? 1st generation to go to college always helps! Especially for scholarships. And lower SES is golden too. Not that you have to cry, wah wah, we were so poor. Mention it quickly and move on - 1 sentence, 2 tops. Something like, "while my parents worked long hours at the kwik-e-mart, they always emphasized the importance of education and supported my dream to be the first one in our family to go to college." You get the idea.


Totally agree with the above that the 2nd paragraph needs to go. All it made me think was, gee, when this guy gets overwhelmed with didactic workload, what will his period of dejection be like then?


Also, I'm unconvinced why you want to be a PA. Actually, when pinoy nurses are a dime a dozen, why not RN? What about PT? OT? You mention healthcare generally, but don't mention why the field of PA is the right choice for you. I'm talking give specific instances - show, don't tell - about what excites you about the profession.


As a reapplicant, what did you turn in for your first go-round? Did you get interviews? Have you gotten feedback from schools, asking what you could do to improve your chances this year compared to last? a lot of ground you can cover: why you're a stronger candidate this year than last. what the sting of rejection taught you. Dig deeper than the whole "I ran a 1/2 marathon and now I'm ready to be a PA thing." You want to show maturity and insight as to why you choose this profession.


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