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I'm crafting my personal narrative now, and I've having difficulty discerning how to avoid being too long winded about a part of my life that greatly influenced my desire to become a PA. My exposure to the PA profession and my experience with observing PAs in varying specialties began with my father suffering a major spinal injury requiring surgery, as well as two ischemic strokes he suffered, all within my time as an undergraduate. I do have other experience that I've been able to flesh out in the essay, including work as a medical scribe in the ED and a mental health tech at a psychiatric facility. Writing the introduction to this narrative has been difficult, because I want to avoid focusing too much on the health problems of a relative, but the complicated diagnoses are what initially brought these different medical specialties to my attention in the first place. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Anything that intrigued you while working as a scribe and also as a MHT? Did you enjoy your patients or were you constantly thinking about your father?

 

I personally view illnesses [that affect family members] reasons to pursue a career in medicine, but its interacting with strangers [patients, families, and health care providers] in the health field that pushes you to continue on such journey.

 

You can include your father's illness but...there has to be more to it. You're not entering the medical field to help your father's situation...you're entering it to offer adequate quality of life to strangers.

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The scribe work definitely served to open my eyes to a facet of medicine that I was interested in. The sheer volume of patients I saw on a daily basis with the physicians gave me so much experience regarding how many patients come to be seen in the ER because they cannot afford insurance, and therefore never end up seeking out a primary care doctor. It helped me to learn that educating patients can play a key role in helping them manage preventable disease, which can have an effect on overall healthcare costs in the long run. My work as an MHT is still ongoing, and it is my first position that has provided hands-on patient care, as well as involvement in conducting therapy groups. Observing the progression patients who arrived to the facility in a state of psychosis, but drastically improved with medication compliance and participation in therapy groups has been amazing. Being actively involved in the treatment plans of patients with various diagnoses has built my confidence that I can work successfully in a dynamic environment that's fast paced and usually fairly stressful.

 

That last point you made is very valid, and its what I'm trying to avoid doing, while sharing that its how I met PAs who worked in orthopedics, neurology, and internal medicine. I hope that makes sense, and thank you so much for your response.

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So the best method is to briefly introduce your father's situation (as a starting point that directed your focus to medicine). Then maintain your reasons to embark on this journey with supported experiences from being a scribe + MHT. Link how being a scribe allowed you to know what tests/labs to order based on a patient's presented signs & symptoms, H&P and how being a MHT allowed you to become comfortable with counselling patients. Shed light on how both will enable you to become a better clinician. 

 

This should take up majority of your statement if executed properly. It's also great you've met PAs in different specialties, but make it about you. 

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