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3rd draft. Any critique appreciated. Will return the favor!

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It was a normal, hot summer day when the phone rang.  My mom anxiously grabbed up the receiver, listened, and began to quietly cry.  My aunt, her sister, was calling with her biopsy results, positive for breast cancer.  I was 12 years old.




To claim that there was one defining moment that led to my decision to become a Physician Assistant would be disingenuous. Rather there were several life events that brought the idea of working in the medical field and more specifically, becoming a Physician Assistant, to the forefront.

My journey (story) began growing up with a nurse in the family who instilled a desire to focus my studies in health care. Observing my aunt’s role as a nurse demonstrated her deep commitment to excellent patient care and treatment. Her role dramatically changed when she received the devastating news that she had breast cancer.  In just a few words, she went from being the caregiver to being the patient.  During this difficult time, our family decided to move to the Tampa area to help with her care, treatment, and eventual full recovery over the next several years. I saw firsthand the important balance of medical treatment, patient care, and compassion shown by her medical team. 


At that time, I had already begun my studies in biology at the University of South Florida and was still undecided about which field of health care I wanted to pursue.  I was working with Dr. Matar doing research in Cardiovascular Angiography when he recommended that I consider a career as a Physician Assistant.  I was offered an internship in USF’s highly regarded Medical Student Internship Program located at Florida Hospital North Pinellas. There I did rotations as an assistant to several doctors in a wide variety of specialties. I observed the difference in how doctors interact with their patients. This helped mold the kind of health care provider I wanted to become. The most significant experience was when I worked with Dr. Umstead, an OB/GYN, where I had the privilege of delivering five babies. One of our patients was pregnant with twins and ultimately required an emergent C-section. The doctor allowed me to step into the position of a Physician Assistant by assisting (aiding) with the surgery and delivery. This became the defining moment when all of my experiences came together and I knew I wanted to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.


Following my internship and entering into my final year of college, I felt a profound purpose in my education.  I began to take the necessary steps required to be a competitive applicant for a Physician Assistant Program. Prior to graduation, I began building my patient care experience working in a pediatric office.  After being there for almost a year, I made the strategic move to my current position as a medical assistant floater with Florida Medical Clinic. Being a floater requires that I know and understand numerous specialties along with their terminology, testing, and procedures specific to that office. This position allows me to work under many different health care providers including Physician Assistants. I love the challenges and experiences of this job and I look forward to expanded opportunities to build patient care relationships. My work experience as a medical assistant has only reinforced my career decision.  As a Physician Assistant, I will be able to have a more commanding role in my patient’s health and be able develop a rapport with my patients.


To gain further insight and understanding of what it is to be a Physician Assistant, I began shadowing Janelle Griffith PA-C who specializes in orthopedic surgery. The first surgery I observed involved the removal of a rod from a twenty-two year old patient’s broken leg. The patient presented with the inability to verbally communicate and walk due to his childhood diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.  Janelle collaborated with the attending physician to develop a plan of care that involved the removal of the rod and the recovery of the patient’s leg. Since this patient was unable to communicate through conventional methods, Janelle learned the common gestures and American sign language used by the patient.  She stayed by his bedside to make sure he saw a familiar face when he woke up to minimize any fear he might be experiencing. I was inspired by her work ethic as she went above and beyond to care for her patient. She demonstrated that healing is not just a physical process but requires emotional support and empathy.


After seeing the profound effect of coupling medicine with compassion, I plan to continue my education with a Master’s in Physician Assistance so that I can incorporate what I have learned into the way I care for future patients. I have never been more motivated to work in this field and that dedication grows stronger every day. These and many other experiences have strengthened the values I hold for patient care. Since my career in health care has been focused to being a Physician Assistant I have accrued over 3,000 hours of patient care experience, increased my GRE score, acquired PA shadowing hours, and by the time of matriculation, I will have acquired a second bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences to strengthen my science foundation. I am both equally excited and prepared to face the demands that a Physician Assistant program entails.



Any advice on whether I should change the opener from what is written and specifically a stronger way to end it? I feel my ending is weak so any help there is appreciated.


Also, I have lots of volunteer work and most recently have been volunteering my time at a free clinic. I couldn't figure out a way to highlight this information. Any advice on a good place to put that or whether to just leave it out?

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To claim that there was one defining moment that led to my decision to become a Physician Assistant would be disingenuous. Rather there were several life events that


I have read this type of opening sentence over and over...and over in multiple PS. I would not recommend it.

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Your opening can use some tweaking, as the attention grabber I feel like you could put a little more thought into it. Aside from that, I liked your closing, its breif, but I feel you touch on the most important parts. Overall, I really liked it! Good luck, you sound like a very competitive applicant.

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