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Pleas critique!!! Thanks! :)

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Just finished the rough draft of my PS, please give me honest criticism and advice! Thanks!


My parents gave me advice when I was young about finding a career that is self fulfilling and personally rewarding. Their advice has stuck with me for many years, and has been a major motivation for me to become a Physician Assistant. The many different experiences I have had over the years have inspired me to pursue this goal.

My first experience working with patients ignited my desire to pursue a career in a health care environment. During my senior year at ***, I worked at a Physical therapy and sports medicine clinic as a Physical Therapist Aid. The experience was valuable, as I was given the responsibility to stretch out patients and lead them through specific exercise routines. Some of these patients were recovering from various surgeries, while others were victims of sports injuries or were marathon runners in need of massages and stretching. I particularly enjoyed working with patients who were post operative, because it was rewarding helping them progress each week from when they first entered the clinic to when they left. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this experience I knew that physical therapy was not the right career for me. I desired to work in a medical setting, interacting and communicating alongside doctors, nurses, and patients.

My work in medical research over the past two years has given me a unique perspective on the medical field. It has given me the opportunity to explore complex ideas and methods, and gain insight and inspiration from research fellows and scientists. One of my research experiences after college involved working in a cardiac surgery and tissue engineering research lab, assisting research fellows in the operating room harvesting heart tissue samples from sheep. This was an exciting experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed being an assistant in these surgical procedures. My involvement in this research, as well as in my current position working in an AIDS research lab, have given me a broader perspective and understanding of biology and have strengthened my curiosity and confidence in science. However, my passion still lies in helping others and working with patients in the scientific field.

My father’s and uncles recent major surgeries have also made me realize how much I want to be part of a medical team that helps patients in need of urgent care, and performs these types of life changing surgeries. Having the ability to turn a patient and their family’s lives around from when they come into the hospital to when they leave is extremely rewarding to me. Being a family member to the patient in both of these surgeries has given me a greater appreciation and realization of what it takes to excel at patient care. During the time my family was in the hospital, I was impressed by the constant care and communication the medical team had with patients and families, and I am eager to contribute myself with others on a medical team.

The opportunity to shadow a PA has been beneficial to me, and I have gained more insight into this career. I was able to see firsthand what the roles of a PA are, which was very exciting to me. The PA took care of every issue by asking questions to the patients, listening to their words, counseling and educating them about their problems, performing medical exams, examining x-rays or prescribing medicine. I was inspired by the amount of time the PA spent with each patient, and I could see the satisfaction and relief on each patient’s eyes as she communicated with them. I learned that working in the medical field takes patience, confidence, intelligence, motivation, and communication, all of which I know I can contribute to the medical community.

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It lacks zing :(


The first paragraph starts off with your experience of getting to do actual patient interaction and yet you lament about the lack of a medical setting with doctors and nurses. After you lament about the lack of doctors and nurses, you go into research..where the patient is missing from the equation.


You mention the surgery of your family members and tell us how you saw a need for those folks, but don't describe at all how you helped them, or what sort of help you felt they were needing (this would give the reader a view of what YOU plan to "bring to the table"...what you would like to do as a PA.) The "ability to turn their lives around" is a real vague statement. You can make or break a patient/family hospital visit by just making sure the room is picked up, they are clean, and have cold water to drink. What did you see/do/experience that really sets you apart from just a fly on the wall?


The section about your PA shadow experience...it's the same information that every other applicant is putting down on their statement. It's generic, generally describes a weak idea of what a PA may do, but doesn't describe at all how that differs from any other medical provider. It doesn't tell the reader why PA is the ticket for you, verses MD or NP or DO or whatever. What about the PA part stands out? By fleshing out the PA specific part, it allows the reader to see that you do understand the difference, and thus the actual job, of a PA. The satisfaction you saw in the patient is the same look they give their doctors, nurses, EMTs, and a decent waiter...it's gratitude for a job well performed. Again, not specific to a PA interaction.


The PA profession was formed under the premise of taking people with prior direct patient care experience and building upon that base knowledge and creating a mid level provider who works as an extension of a physician.


You had a job delivering direct, hands on care to people who were truly in need of quality help (I am a HUGE proponent of physical therapy) but you didn't like it. You left that and went into research..while worthy, it's not the realm of being a mid level provider. You liked the PA who took care of patients with their autonomy of doing exams, reading xrays, and prescribing, but mention nothing of any other unique aspect of being a PA...


You could simply replace PA in your essay and insert MD and it would read the same. Doesn't show me, as a reader, why you want PA verses MD. I am in no way saying you don't deserve to be in medicine, I am not just convinced that PA is the fit for you.


Ssssooooo...I know that sounded a little harsh but life has me on a time budget now. I should be studying for my test on Tuesday and I don't feel motivated to re write my thoughts in a more touchy/feely way. Hopefully you are able to read between my lines and flesh out my point of "further research of the role of a PA is needed, and your essay needs to better reflect your understanding of the role".


Best of luck


ps: your status as a PA is considered misleading by the forum owner. They have requested that people label their status to reflect their true status. Failure to show the correct status can result in termination of your account, per the forum rules.

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Ok I completely agree with everything you have said, and appreciate your feedback. I have a lot to offer from my experiences, but I guess I need to pick out more relevant examples and not linger on the obvious. I will work on this and hopefully i can get some more feedback from you.


also, thanks for noticing the PA title...i didn't even notice!

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