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2nd Draft..please critique

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So here is my second draft. I wrote a little bit much, so please let me know what is unnecessary.


      It was a warm summer day in 1997 when my best friend Cam and I were running around in the yard playing a game of tag without a care in the world. "Tag! You're it!" as I poked Cam in her arm. She screamed and ran away before she tripped over a stump in the tree. Cam scraped her knee and I consoled her while helping her over to sit on the porch. I concocted a "healing" recipe of dandelions and other assorted weeds to spread over her wound, just as I had seen on an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. As a child, I have always loved to play doctor. One day while I was in high school and was pondering my career choices, a teacher who knew me well suggested that I look into becoming a physician assistant. This was my first time hearing about this profession and the description sounded like what I would like to do.

      It was not until the end of sophomore year of college when I finally decided to utilize my certified nursing assistant license that I had earned during high school. I worked in an assisted living facility part time while in school where a physician assistant would come once a week to visit the residents and addressed any medical concerns that they had. This is when I developed a deeper understanding of the role of physician assistants. I did not expect to gain so much knowledge when I accepted a job in the memory care unit of the assisted living facility. After classes I would care for the elderly residents who had dementia, Alzheimer's, and other diseases. A lot of the residents did not have any family to visit them even on holidays; evidence of sad cases of "granny dumping." Seeing the residents on a regular basis helped me develop a relationship with them as if they were all my own grandparents. I learned their likes and dislikes as well as got a glimpse into their youth whenever they would reminisce about their days. Gloria, one of the more difficult resident in the unit, was once a college student at Duke University. She would always ask me for directions to different buildings on the Duke campus and I would play along with her. Often times she refused to eat during dinner, so I would offer her a hot cup of plain black coffee. One day she grinned with the biggest smile and unexpectedly told me, “You're going to be a great doctor." Those words struck a chord in me and I kept replaying her words whenever I felt exhausted after studying for multiple exams in one week.  After a year of working there, I decided to leave the job because of schedule conflict with school but would always think about my residents and how they were doing.

         One day while taking my mom to visit her friend, her friend was complaining about her swollen ankles. I knew that she had a lot of health and heart problems, so I told her about the prescription drug called Lasix. I remembered from working as a medication aide that a few of my patients were prescribed the drug for their swollen legs. After a few weeks had passed, my mom’s friend told me that she asked her doctor about that prescription and the doctor gave it to her. It had relieved her swollen ankles and she was happy that I had suggested it. I was overcome with happiness and knew that this is another reason why I want to become a physician assistant. My mom, who is a Vietnamese immigrant and is illiterate, needs a lot of my help with taking her prescription drugs. She has hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, and suffered a stroke. I feel that a lot of minorities and immigrant need more attention in the medical field. When I become a physician assistant, I would like to focus a lot of my attention to this underserved population.

          I was an unmotivated college student prior to this job, but after caring for my residents and patients and seeing the type of impact that I can make on their lives, I knew that being in the health care field is what I am intended to do. I also saw how a physician assistant can work autonomously to care for all of the residents in one facility. She only called her supervising physician when she had questions that she could not answer on her own. This is when I decided that I really needed to raise my GPA by changing my study habits and making life changes. My grades suffered during the first couple of years of college because I was immature, did not have real motivation, nor the proper study habits needed to excel in difficult science courses. However, the added motivation to become a physician assistant from my job helped me prepare for better grades. I knew that I had to work really hard and make sacrifices to prove that I could understand and excel in the pre-requisites. After working in various settings as a CNA, medication aide, and sitter in assisted living facilities and hospital, I encountered many physician assistants and saw their responsibilities on a daily basis. I am continually fascinated by the medical realm and look at the physician assistants with admiration whenever they visit patients and help them feel better when they prescribe medications that work.

          I did consider becoming a nurse before college, but after working as a CNA, I did not feel like it was what I wanted to do. I wanted to do more for patients, just like the physician assistants that I have encountered. I like the idea of being able to prescribe medicine, order labs, and have the autonomy with a higher level of care.  I want to work on the medical side of the health care field, yet I like the idea of having a supervising physician to be there whenever I had questions. Working with a team of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and other health professionals to help a patient heal is what I envision myself doing forever. I have taken the many pre-requisites in a short amount of time to prepare myself for the rigor of PA school. I believe that I have the experience and determination to do whatever it takes to become a PA. The relationship that I had developed with Gloria and other patients, I hope, was mutually enriching. Gloria has shown me what it feels like to change someone's life with patience and compassion.  Just as Cam and Gloria felt better after I helped them, I want to use my knowledge as a physician assistant to help patients and make a difference in their lives.

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I really like your intro. It's cute and different and catchy


Change this sentence: As a child, I HAD always... Or Since childhood, I have..... Had is the wrong tense :)

You jump to high school pretty quickly, try changing this to a smoother transition, maybe like "It wasn't until high school ..."


Second paragraph is really really good. Shows what you know and why you want to do this. I'd take out the sentence "I did not expect to gain...." It just doesn't flow that well and isn't really needed. If you want to, add it into the second sentence by saying you worked at a memory care unit of an assisted living ...


You jump into your third paragraph without any transition really, try to make this smoother. You then jump into wanting to work with diverse populations...try to make this smoother too.


Honestly, your content is great! You show the reader how your experiences have prepared you and that's really what the admissions committee wants. I'd just work on smoothing the paper over at this point. Good luck, let me know if I can help any more.

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I'm going to write the dissenting opinion on this one...I hope you don't take it personally. 


 It's cute and different and catchy




Your introduction is good writing, but I don't think it has any place in a PS. The fact that you liked to play doctor when you were a kid shouldn't be any part of your motivation to be a PA. As a reader, it makes me wonder if you've really given your career decision the mature consideration that it deserves. I'm sure you have, so there's no reason to derail your statement with a story like this. If you want to open with an anecdote, I'm sure you can find one that's related to your experiences to make your point. 


Good luck.

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