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second draft. critique away!

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I'm currently at 5860 character count, so I need to shave some parts off =/

all suggestions are much appreciated! thank you so much


“Biopsy!” Yelled the attending physician as the endoscope’s camera revealed a pooling of undigested food blocking my little sister’s esophagus. As my fellow surgical assistant rushed to grab the biopsy forceps, I desperately clung onto Caitlyn’s lower jaw, stabilizing and holding it in place. While frantically looking back and forth between the endoscope camera and her calm and lifeless face, nearby objects and soon unrecognizable voices began to fade into the distance. The next thing I knew, I was alone with my sister in the recovery area, holding onto her hand as tears trickled down my face. Almost two years have passed since that eventful day and I still vividly remember how helpless I felt as I stared across the procedure room in horror at the TV screen displaying that unforgettable white pool of white pool of material. Little did I know that it would be this experience that would ultimately catapult me into pursuing a career as a physician assistant.


My sister was diagnosed later that day with achalasia. This condition causes the muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter to remain tense, causing difficulties for entry of food into the stomach. Fortunately, due to the quickness and precision of the diagnosis, she was able to make a full recovery. A month later, Caitlyn underwent laparoscopic surgery at Cornell Medical Center during which a piece of the sphincter muscle was cut off and the blockage was relieved. She quickly gained back the 20 pounds she had lost during her time of illness, and I make sure it’s there every time I hug her.


In the prior 5 months before that eventful day, I was perfectly content working at the Flushing Endoscopy Center as a gastroenterology surgical assistant. Being immersed in the healthcare world, the words responsibility, compassion, focus and composure changed from muddy concepts into memorable actions. I proudly served alongside doctors, PAs, and nurses who worked selflessly and tirelessly as a cohesive group day in and day out. Together, we aimed to provide speedy and quality healthcare to a tremendous but also underserved Flushing Asian population. Surrounded by such an experienced and fearless medical team, I was shown by example the way to succeed in the face of adversity. They instilled in me courage and perseverance to conquer my nerves and fears and overcome many initial mistakes, traits that I had desperately lacked when I stumbled through my freshmen year of college with a 2.1 GPA, immature and utterly unprepared.


In the recovery area, I was compelled to make sure every patient completely understood the results of their procedures and safely left the surgical center with assurance and ease, despite my battles with social anxiety. In the procedure room where a few seconds can have a tremendous impact on the outlook of an sedated and ill patient, I quickly learned to multitask, prioritize, and master instruments as if they were a third hand. I recall one emergency endoscopy procedure when we discovered a large chicken bone deeply entrenched in an elderly male’s bloody esophagus. The bone was too large to retrieve using regular biopsy forceps, and the attending physician quickly had the nurse manager scrambling into the storage rooms, looking for larger forceps in the newly established surgical center that was still lacking in supplies. With time being of the essence, I quickly deliberated and made the call to bring out a medical clip normally used to achieve hemostasis. With the attending physician’s approval and the instrument in hand, I was able to assist in breaking the bone in half and later safely retrieve both pieces, ultimately saving the patient from both a lot of pain and further complications.


After my intimate experience with my sister’s condition, I knew that in order to make a larger impact in the healthcare field, I needed to expand my medical knowledge and move forward with my career; this led me to take special interest in the diagnostic and treatment portion of the healthcare profession. In addition to assisting with surgeries, I began to take on extra responsibilities such as scribing procedures and this allowed me numerous opportunities to converse with physicians and PAs about treatment planning. Instead of simply waiting for instructions, I would often challenge myself and raise questions upon finding an illness what the best options of treatment would be. “That seems like a very superficial ulcer, would you like 2 weeks or 4 weeks of PPI?” “Does those cobweb structures in the linings of the fundus indicate a possible Helicobacter Pylori infection?” It was at this point in my life that I began shadowing and became well-acquainted with the role of a physician assistant and immediately fell in love with the profession.


As a physician assistant, I can work autonomously but also always have the guidance and advice of a physician, whenever the help is needed. While I aim to lead by example, I believe that learning is a lifetime goal and always having that student-mentor relationship will be extremely valuable and rewarding. I also believe that the career of a PA is more flexible than a physician, allowing concentration on only the healthcare portion of the practice as well as having more time outside of work to focus on providing a larger impact to both my family and community.


With the experiences that I’ve had in both the surgical healthcare field and my personal life, I hope to one day combine my passion for helping people and my love for medicine to possibly become a surgical physician assistant. I will never forget how I felt with my sister back in my arms, healthy and cured. I am now ready to take the next step and pass that feeling on a thousand-fold, and fulfill the role of a medical provider, a student and a mentor, and a man of responsibility to my community. All I need is a chance.


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At first glance, you could pare down the exposition in the introduction.  Think less of this as a story and more of you giving a specific explanation about why you want to be a PA and what about you would make you a good PA.


The first two paragraphs are a good story, but it seems to me that it serves more to demonstrate your exposure to medicine than to provide a reason as to why you deserve a PA school seat.  There is also a lot of explanation of medical conditions and exposition of procedures; again this doesn't serve to explain why your school should let you in, it seems to me more of a demonstration of knowledge.


To be honest with you, were I in your shoes I would completely re-write the entire statement.  I did this for my own PS after reading it aloud over and over, and asking myself if I followed the advice I give to others on this subforum.


However, I am not a PA, not on an admissions committee, and my opinion is after all only an opinion.


Best of luck to you.

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