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1st Draft and First time applicant, PLEASE CRITIQUE

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First time applying to PA school, trying to stand out but not sure how to tie my statement together, here is a rough first draft. Please critique and tell me how to improve!!



It was less than a month until summer, the spring air was crisp on my skin, I had goose bumps crawling up and down my tired dehydrated skin. My energy was diminished and my body weak from overexertion; I could barely remember the last time I ate a meal that did not consist of only vegetables.  Looking in the mirror was a nightmare, so my days were spent exercising and repeatedly checking the scale hopeful to see the number go down. To say my self-image was distorted is an understatement, I had entered high school weighing in at 110 pounds on my 5’2” frame and finished 9th grade at 145 pounds. I felt like the outcast amongst my friends, embarrassed at my size jeans compared to theirs and the comments whispered behind my back. It was that summer that changed the way I saw myself forever, I was determined to lose weight and set out on a long and painful journey through my teenage years. Countless nights of sit-ups and denying myself the foods I loved had rewarded me with a loss of 45 pounds and a boost of confidence by the start of my sophomore year.  This confidence was short lived however, feeling invincible in my method I began to permit myself to eat more of the things I craved, until one day saw the fat girl in the mirror again. My mind had begun to deceive me and instead of realizing that my weight was in a normal healthy range, all I could see was the number on the scale reflected in my image.  I did not know what I was doing was wrong until I saw the toll this pattern of extreme binging/restricting my diet had taken on my body. Determined to make a change I researched the power of nutrition and picked up my first set of weights, setting out on a path to a healthy, fit lifestyle.  Since then I have had a desire to share my passion for health with those around me and clarify the very misconceptions that led me to believe starvation was the key to a healthy life.


Living a lifestyle dedicated to health and fitness has taught me how the results you strive for do not get handed to you and are not easily earned, you work hard and in return you receive only according to the work put in. In the same way becoming a PA takes determination and hard work, a desire to do your part and serve.  Initially I considered a career in nutrition and exercise in order to help others reach their goals, however a career as a PA is appealing to me because of the diagnostic aspects of medicine, but also because of the flexibility to work in several different disciplines in medicines. Serving on a variety of mission trips has opened my eyes to see the tremendous need in under-resourced communities and as a PA I would be able to make a difference to people who mostly depend on each other for care. 


Throughout these mission trips I’ve observed that every individual plays a different role but overall each role contributes to the end goal of the whole team. From our group some of us would sit down and listen to a person’s story and complaints, other healthcare providers would treat a patient and provide medication, and many other volunteers babysat children and helped teach hygiene to the community we were serving. However at the end of the day, together as a team each of these roles contributed to the overall enriching of the village and made an impact that helped improve their quality of life.


Spending my time involved in numerous church activities and mission trips has stirred in me a desire to make a difference wherever and whenever possible. My first encounter with a PA was during a routine doctor’s visit for one of the geriatric residents living at my mom’s assisted living facility. This PA demonstrated what it meant to communicate and empathize to a scared and confused patient in order to gain their trust and make them feel safe- it reflected the patient’s trust in me as a caregiver to accommodate their life because in the same way the patient depended on the PA for their judgment and treatment. It was fascinating to see the amount of time the PA spent getting to know their patient before treating them.  After this appointment I proceeded to get involved in healthcare as an EMT and then ER scribe in order to observe more PAs in action.


After scribing for PAs in the emergency room for over a year, I’ve observed the emphasis they place on preventative medicine. As opposed to the doctors, they spend more time getting to know their patient’s history and then counseling them on preventative measures needed to maintain their health.  It is the PAs who tend to see specific patients that return to the ED for multiple visits, and with the same patience and understanding they explain complex medical information in a simplified way.  Shadowing a PA in an underserved clinic and comparing it to the pace of the ER, I’ve had the opportunity to experience different paces of medicine, but most importantly to see an important constant in each setting- that the PA is an extra set of hands for the doctor and together they strive for one common goal. There is a harmony between the attending doctor and PA, and as a PA I look forward to having a constant mentor that will push me to be my best, much like a trainer at the gym. Having a fit lifestyle is made up of many components that all come together to form a common goal; it takes diet, exercise, motivation, and hard work. Each component has its own important role, and optimal results are achieved when a person utilizes each role. This reflects the same teamwork utilized in a hospital and how each provider has a role to play that all comes together for the patient’s best interest.



My personal experiences helping myself have strengthened my self-discipline and also sparked a desire to help others too. It takes a lot more than being knowledgeable to be an effective health care provider, and I believe that I’ve developed valuable qualities that would enhance my role as a PA such as knowing how to listen to patients, having compassion for others, and exercising a lot of patience My determination to improve my own health and live a life of fitness will reflect into all aspects of my career as a PA and as I seek to improve the health of my patients.

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