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Personal Statement Rough Draft

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I know it is a bit long right now, but I have time to trim it down. I am just hoping to get some initial reactions.


So here it is. Please share your thoughts and critiques!


I have worked as a paramedic for the past 8 years. This career has given me the opportunity to serve those in need all over the world. The experience that I continue to gain as a paramedic provides me with unique insight into the role that healthcare providers play in the lives of their patients. I feel that combining my unique experience with the numerous lessons I have learned during my career positions me very well to become an outstanding Physician Assistant.


When I first began working as a paramedic, I responded to some of the most economically disadvantaged communities in Tarrant County. While serving these communities I learned that those in desperate need often have the fewest resources available to them. With this in mind, I sincerely understand that the privilege of being a healthcare provider must be approached with the desire to be a servant to our patients. The ability to provide empathetic care to patients across all socioeconomic backgrounds is an essential component of being an effective healthcare provider. Understanding this concept as I seek to begin my PA education places me at a distinct advantage over others who do not share my same level of experience.


I left the pre-hospital setting after 3 ½ years and began working in the emergency department at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Working as a paramedic in the Emergency Department allowed me to better understand how the healthcare team comes together to provide optimum patient care. Utilizing sound clinical judgment, standing protocols, and direct orders from the provider, I cared for patients alongside multiple disciplines, including: nurses, NPs, PAs, and imaging technicians to name a few. Learning how healthcare disciplines work with one another to provide optimum patient care really highlighted to me how every discipline, no matter the level of practice, is only one piece in the overall healthcare process for each patient.


After working at Cook Children’s I got the opportunity to work for Children’s Medical Center in Dallas as a critical care flight paramedic. I was a member of a multi disciplinary team that included a nurse and a respiratory therapist. My team collaborated with other health care professionals both at our own facility and at outlying facilities, providing specialty care of acutely ill and injured patients. Under the guidance of our medical directors, we integrated with multiple specialties including emergency services, trauma, pulmonology, orthopedics, cardiology, and neonatology to name a few, in order to treat and transport patients who would be followed by one or more of the specialties offered at Children’s. This built on my knowledge that not only must every discipline work together, but every specialty must work together also. Only when specialties effectively collaborate can patients with complex disease processes and injuries be appropriately cared for.


From Children’s in Dallas I traveled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to work as a flight paramedic. My primary responsibility was to educate newly graduated Saudi physicians and paramedics in the field of helicopter EMS. This was an amazing experience both personally and professionally. The lesson I learned from this experience was twofold. First, continuing one’s own education is critical as a healthcare provider. Healthcare delivery is dynamic and always changing as new evidence dictates. Working in another region of the world gave me the ability to reflect on the American healthcare system with the benefit of perspective. Second, the continuing of one’s own education should go hand in hand with the sharing of knowledge and experience with fellow healthcare providers. This is vital to the growth and advancement of the healthcare profession.


Now that I am back in America, I am working again as a critical care flight paramedic for Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. I participate in multiple committees that promote provider education, patient safety, and advanced practice. I also attend monthly Mortality and Morbidity lectures. Listening and lecturing at M&M has taught me that adverse patient outcomes always have a root cause, and no provider, regardless of experience or knowledge is immune from the possibility of making an oversight or error. Moreover, the hallmark of a mature healthcare provider is to avoid the tendency to be overly critical of the errors of others, and to take ownership of our own errors so we can share what we have learned with our colleagues, thus improving future patient outcomes.


When I evaluate my academic qualifications and healthcare related experience, I believe I am competitive on both fronts. If made to choose which aspect makes me a more qualified candidate to be a future PA, I would definitely highlight my extensive and unique healthcare experience. While academic performance is highly important when evaluating applicants, the lessons I have learned from real world experience are irreplaceable.


In closing, the most important lesson I have learned across all of my experience is humility. Caring for patients is a privilege that should be approached with humility. Once I am accepted into a Physician Assistant program, I intend to approach my education and my career with the appropriate level of humility and confidence that has served me so well these past 8 years. I thank you for taking the time to read my essay, and I look forward to further consideration for admission into your program.

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To be honest, it's fine, but it's BORING! you need to use words that make YOU STAND OUT!!!! Everyone applying to PA school has HC experience in one way or another. You seemed to focus on your paramedic experiences- which are cool, no doubt- and how they would help you get INTO PA school. You need to emphasize what you WILL DO as a physician assistant- how are you excited about the career, what are your interests in becoming a PA, etc. Why do you want to be a PA over any other medical profession? Be more specific! Good start though.


I'm just starting to write my personal statement so reading these helps me understand what to look for, too... thanks for submitting!

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Thanks for the feedback larsmans. I am glad to hear what you think as it is important to get many people's first impression.


PAMAC illustrated pretty well why I formatted the PS the way I did. I have plenty of material to place in the PS that would make it nailbiting and exciting, like saving a neonate with a ductal dependent cardiac defect (coarctation of the aorta) on the side of Dammam highway in Riyadh with no vent, oxygen blender, or infusion pump for sedation and prostaglandin, performing a surgical cric with makeshift supplies out of an OB kit in mid flight in order to secure the airway of a major trauma patient (this happened twice) etc. but I know that this will be behind me once I transition into the PA role, and I want to be very careful to illustrate that those experiences have made me a strong candidate and molded how I perform under pressure, yet I do not rely on them for job satisfaction, and I understand that as a PA I will no longer get many of the exciting opportunities I do right now.


I do agree that the PS did not illustrate specifically my interest in becoming a PA and what motivates that. I have re written that portion and hope to post it soon in the next week or so once I have gotten feedback from a few more people. I would definitely appreciate if you took a look again and let me know if you felt like it was more specific in identifying why I want to be a PA (which is definitely important) and hopefully the revised PS will keep you more excited! (tongue in cheek of course.)


Again, thanks to both of you for reading and giving me honest feedback. I really do appreciate it.

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