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First time applicant. Advice appreciated!

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Thanks in advance to any feedback!



An enthusiastic, cheery man walks up to the counter, the first of the day. He is a regular here, routinely coming to the pharmacy, and he is my personal favorite patient. I have never met anyone who had such a radiating presence, making everyone around him smile. He does this, despite his own hardship; he is HIV positive. I ask him how his morning is, we exchange conversation and I complete his patient history. I help him to his over-the-counter medications, retrieve his prescription, and send him on his way. He did not come in the last few months I was working at the pharmacy and I never got to express to him how much his positive attitude had brightened my life. He, along with other pharmacy patients, was a major drive that sent me to the physician assistant profession. I realized healthcare was not just about treating and healing the patient. It was also about being compassionate, developing relationships and impacting the patient’s life, beyond what I could do in the pharmacy.

This relationship with patients can be achieved in a variety of professions, however. Therefore, my path to determine my place in the field was neither a straight nor easy one. It consisted of continuous research and a process of elimination. My experience volunteering at a local hospital was great in order to gain some exposure to the many professions in the field, mainly nurses. Throughout this volunteer position, I realized I was extremely interested in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient, which eliminated the idea of becoming a nurse. During my internal debate regarding MD/OD versus PA, I began shadowing a urology physician assistant, Erin. She explained to me that since graduating from her PA program, she has been an emergency room PA, neurosurgery PA, and a urology PA, which is impossible for a physician to do without completing additional residencies. The autonomy of switching specialties was essential in my choice of PA over MD/OD.

Through shadowing several PAs, I gained a thorough understanding of what a PA does on a daily basis. While shadowing an orthopaedic PA, Sonny, I was pleasantly surprised by the dynamic and multi-dimensional role that she played. I observed Sonny order and read lab imaging, distribute steroid shots, and make diagnoses based on physical examinations. She assists the surgeon in the operating room and closes up after he is finished. At the end of the day, I had learned so much from her regarding the multi-faceted importance that physician assistants have in the treatment of a patient and how being a compassionate and respectful healthcare provider can have a positive influence on patients’ lives.

Growing up with a father who was climbing the corporate ladder, I have moved across the country at pivotal times in my life and been exposed to a wide multitude of people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Becoming acclimated to new situations and building new relationships became second nature to me. Despite all of the relocations, our home will always be a tiny town in northern Minnesota. Through my years of visiting our hometown, I have seen the lack of health education people possess in rural towns. Because of this, I am passionate in providing effective and efficient healthcare to people of all different walks of life. I believe my sense of acceptance and compassion will enable me to provide this for my patients someday. 

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