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First time posting my rough draft-Constructive criticism wanted

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As a child I have been engrossed into the field of medicine for as long as I can remember. My grandparents primarily raised me throughout my childhood. Coming from a poor neighborhood, toys were scarce and a blessing. My grandfather would go out of his way to buy the children’s doctor’s home health kit. It was fantastic, brilliant and exhilarating. My grandfather would allow me to listen to his protruding abdomen with my plastic stethoscope whenever he belched calling out: “I need a doctor, hurry help Mija”. Instantaneously I would run over and diagnosis him with over eating. Overtime I would notice my grandfather’s abdomen decreasing in size, his appetite deteriorating and his weight recede. Slowly the large funny man I had come to check on had become frail and cachectic. In 2005 my grandfather was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis.


 As a teenager at that time, I could not comprehend how my grandfather had become a frail appearing man in a short time span without showing significant signs or symptoms. He was treated with multiple blood transfusions for his chronic anemia as well as chemo and radiation therapy. Ultimately, with the combination of the myelofibrosis, diabetes, obesity, congestive heart failure, multiple admissions to the hospital and history of coronary artery disease, my grandfather passed away.  On this day I could not comprehend as to why or how this could happen. I was distraught and inconsolable. I lost my one supporter in my life long pursuit of education. What he left behind was a passion and a burning fire I needed to continue to stroke to keep his memory alive within me. Till this day I know he would want nothing more than to be with me helping me write this letter.


To ensure I wanted to become a heath care provider, I acquired a position in the emergency department as a scribe. As a scribe I have had the privilege to work closely with a diverse group of ER physicians, understanding their thought process and being actively involved with the plan of care of the patient. Working along the physician has allowed me to understand what imaging, lab work and physical findings are pertinent with a variety of patient’s cases based on their complaint and presentation. Over the past year and a half, I felt the opportunity to understand the dynamics of patient care was an invaluable experience. One of the benefits of working closely with the physicians, is the continuous education and elaboration on particular patient’s case. Physicians would often discuss their differential diagnosis and medical decision makings based off of the history of present illness, physical findings, laboratory results and imaging findings. 


My first hands on experience began as a Patient Care Assistant in the Emergency Department. The job of a PCA is tremendously strenuous and vigorous. We get the brunt of the patient, the beginning of their arrival and their departure. We receive the attitudes, the smiles, the laughter, the disappointment, the anger and the sadness.  Through being a PCA I have come to appreciate the diverse cultures of the patients and the ever changing hospital environment. On one particular evening, the emergency department was overcrowded and patients were being triaged into the Fast Track portion of the ER. In our Fast Track, nurse practitioners and physician assistants work side by side with an active ER physician working in rooms of 12 for non-emergent cases.


On this evening, I informed a patient I would be taking her back to the Fast Track due to the wait time and her chief complaint. At that time she asked me who would be seeing her. I informed her that our Physician Assistant of the night would be seeing her shortly. Quickly, the patient became agitated and remarked: “I want to see a doctor, not some assistant. Does no one take my illness seriously? This is outrageous”. Considering I have wanted nothing more than to become a PA, I could not understand her frustration. At this time I could only reassure the patient that the hospital’s PA’s handle each patient with care and work as a team with the physician providing her, the patient, a complete and thorough plan of care. The patient at that point waved me off and waited to be seen. The PA walked into the room, addressed the patient and her concerns. The PA was kind, courteous, respectful and most of all, knowledgeable.


After a battery of testing was obtained, the PA informed the patient she had an acute viral infection and would not benefit from antibiotics. The patient became agitated once again and was dissatisfied with her diagnosis. As the PA was leaving the room, the ER Physician walked into the room prior to the patient’s discharge to discuss the patient’s diagnosis. The patient ultimately began to berate the PA stating: “she doesn’t know what she is doing. I know I have pneumonia. I know I need to be treated with antibiotics”. At that time, the physician simply smiled and said: “Mam, I was just coming in here to say my colleague was correct and I one-hundred percent agree that you have a viral infection. I also agree with treating the symptoms you have now versus giving you antibiotics right away when you do not need them at this time. My colleague obtained every x-ray and blood work I would have obtained if I saw you myself. I agree with her plan of care and I am sorry you feel that way.” The patient simply looked stunned and nodded her head in agreement with the plan of care.


That evening I was able to witness the beauty of a successful partnership. In the instance in which the physician walked into the room and voiced their agreement with plan that the PA provided, it was relieving. In one instance, I was able to appreciate the instantaneous, unquestionable mutual respect, professional recognition and open communication between a PA and physician. After leaving the room the patient I walked up to the physician and PA whom were discussing the case. They worked simultaneously discussing the patient’s chest x-ray, laboratory blood work, differential diagnosis and their potential plans. They were in complete synchronization, bouncing ideas off of one another, agreeing on medications and ultimately enjoying the educational debate or lack thereof.   It was heartwarming and uplifting.  I felt great comfort in knowing as a PA, I can be a contributing member in a collaboration. I can participate in the dynamics as well as being an independent provider making decisions and feeling comfort in knowing I can discuss with my colleague to have an ultimate plan of care. To be a part of a team that genuinely appreciates the company of one another and shares a mutual respect would be a blessing and a privilege. 

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  • if you applying via CASPA, realize that your essay exceeds the max limit of characters by a lot (if not applying through CASPA then disregard). 
  • watch out for run-on sentences, you seem to have a lot in your essay.
  • proof-read your essay, and try to get someone who really knows his/her grammar to proof read it.  You have a few grammar issues (i.e.  "Overtime I would notice..." should read "Over time..."
  • Try reducing the size of your quotes.  In formal writing, most quotes are kept succinct (usually 10-15 words).  That is to say, get to the point.  You can accomplish this through use of ellipses.
  • Also, I would spend more time on the topic of why you want to be a PA instead of story telling.  A story or two is good, but keep it short and sweet.

These are just a few suggestions I have off the top of my head.  Take them with a grain of salt, becauseUltimately, the final decision is up to you.

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I agree with the above comment. Your overall knowledge and understanding of the profession is strong but you did not take the time to discuss how you fit into this role or why you want to be a PA.  I suggest restructuring the flow of your essay, and condensing the story you are trying to highlight. Also, consider rewriting your opening statement. I feel that it doesn't flow as smoothly as it should.

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