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Personal Statement Please Read

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I am hoping for some feedback on my personal statement. Criticism and advice is greatly welcomed. Let me know what you think


               Finding one’s path in life is rarely a simple task.  The search carries on, marring one’s plans with unexpected twists and turns which eventually lead us to our purpose.  Often times, while caught up in the chaos, we find ourselves unable to discern the “big moments” that shaped our fate.  Even now, as I am fully able to reflect on where my life has led me, the direction I have taken still amazes me.   

                Originally, my path was set upon becoming an art therapist.  I had hoped that by honing my artistic talents and knowledge of psychology I would grow to be a person capable of making a profound impact upon others.  However, I realized that in pursuit of a master’s degree in art therapy I would emerge limited by the confines of the profession.  My ability to impact the lives of others would be minimized.  Early in my life I had resolved to be a difference maker, to help others, so I set myself in a new direction which would allow me to do so. 

                The decision to become a Physician Assistant (PA) was an obvious one.  Initially, I became attracted to this profession when I recognized the diversity this career offered.  As I examined the varied fields of medicine, the attraction that drew me to become a PA was the broad reach of the profession and its’ focus upon diagnostics.  From experience, I knew fluidity in my future profession was essential.  I wanted a career that would challenge me to mature throughout my life and change direction if need be. Where other disciplines in medicine felt rigid, the career path of a PA seemed to be a Cinderella slipper fit for my curious, knowledge seeking personality.

                Although the two seem the antithesis of each other, I found that the attributes which helped me succeed with my art provided me with a basis to excel in medicine.  As an art student I worked vigorously on each of my creations.  Often I found myself experiencing a sense of flow, pouring over a project late into the night.  I was meticulous with each stoke of my brush and worked without waiver until I deemed the project beautiful.  Similarly, I encountered areas of science and medicine that were new and challenging to me.  Again I experienced the “flow” that had driven me with my art.  When I countered difficulty as I had before, I immersed myself completely in the subject matter.  I worked until once again I could consider my efforts, my knowledge, beautiful.   

               Though I had a natural efficacy for learning the material covered in my science classes, working at Ecumenical Retirement Facility made me confident in my new career decision. I spent many mornings helping residents get ready for the day and cheering them on as they worked through their therapy sessions.  I aided the medical associates in taking vitals and helped administer medications.  With my bright disposition and willingness to motivate it is no wonder that my new nickname, Miss America, stuck with the residents.  While many happy memories were made during this time, I encountered some of the most difficult experiences of my life as well.  The loss of life, although inevitable, is a painful lesson to endure nonetheless.   

               One of the residents who had a profound effect on my life was Betsy.  Betsy was a woman who did not need many words to convey her feelings, but could communicate her thoughts with just a glance.  I’d laugh at the way her eyes lit up at the simplest things.  She had a generous, friendly nature which made her unique and special to me.  Only later, after working with Betsy for some time was I told she was a hospice resident. The months that followed were arduous, and served to enlighten me to the difficulties faced by Betsy and others in her situation.  Each morning I was there to hold her hands tightly in mine as the nurses tended to her bed sores and swollen legs.  I had never before seen such strength in a person as I viewed in Betsy.  Unfortunately, her decline was rapid and soon she was hard to recognize as the woman I remembered.   On our final day together, I struggled with how to say goodbye to the woman I’d cared for and admired so much.  Eventually, I took her hand as I’d done many times before, kissed her forehead and whispered in her ear “Love you Betsy girl, you did such a great job hun.”

                In that moment my choice of career had been confirmed.  In that instant I would have given anything to help the woman lying in front of me.  All I had to give her was my compassion, and so I gave it freely to Betsy.  Knowledge and proper diagnosis are essential when it comes to healthcare, compassion is equally important.  Compassion drives us to fight for our patients even when the opponent is a terminal illness.

                Over the past year I have worked in the healthcare field and shadowed PAs in a variety of settings including the ICU, the ED, and urgent care centers.  The dedication, ardor, and empathy I’ve witnessed while watching these PAs work is heartening and mirrors what is in my own soul.  I possess great initiative. I possess solid ambition.  Grant me the education, provide for me the skill set to fight for my patients, and be content in the knowledge that when given this opportunity, I will persevere.   

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I would re-write the entire first 1/3 of your statement.  It sounds like you are pre-emptively answering the question "why do you want to be a PA instead of x?"  Focus more on why you want to be PA and leave your other prior interests out of it unless it helps your narrative along.  After leaving the pre-med scene, I suffered a bit of an existential crisis and considered a few different occupations before coming back to my right mind, but none of that is in my statement, and none of it will be mentioned in whatever interview I may have the chance of attending.


You mention that you want to be a difference maker - I would counter that anyone can make a difference in the life of another, regardless of occupation.  A biostatistician can potentially help many more people that a single PA or doctor ever could, and anyone could volunteer at a soup kitchen.  I do not think that wanting to make a difference is reason enough to be given a seat at your prospective school.


Best of luck to you.

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