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Personal Statement help please

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Hi everyone,


I did a draft of my personal statement months ago when I started asking for letters of recommendation and now that it's time for me to finish up my applications I am back at it. I am probably a little different then the average PA applicant in a number of ways. One of which is that I have already attended graduate school and received my masters and specialists degree in Mental Health Counseling from UF. Despite working several jobs in my area of training I still feel a need for great clinical skills (would very much like to be able to treat the physical in addition to the mental). Not to mention I seek better work opportunities and a better salary (won't mention this in my PS though)...


In reading others personal statements I see a lot of the "one moment in time confirmed that I want to be a PA" sort of thing which I do not in any way identify with. Is this typical in a personal statement? Seems a little weird to me as I have a number of things that have influenced my desire to be a PA. Should I focus on one or two things or try to cram it all in?


I start my PS off by talking about my Mental Health Counseling background and how I still feel drawn to a more clinical setting. I then talk about my current job as a Research Coordinator on labor and delivery for 4 different studies, but mentioned that I still feel limited and still want to provide a higher level of care for people. I also included some things about how my study abroad program impacted my desire to become a PA, though I am wondering if I should include this? It seems to really clutter up my essay, switches tracks too quickly and I'm wondering if I should just remove it. Any thoughts?


Also, is it really necessary to talk about shadowing experiences? I have shadowed but it was some years ago, though I included it on application in the appropriate area? I also have over 7,000 patient care hours. There are so many things I would like to mention, but with only 500 words I'm wondering if it's better to just focus on a few of the bigger things and let the admissions committee see the rest of my application for other relevant things.


Any thoughts would be much appreciated :)


Thanks in advance,



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im having the same issue actually. i just finsihed my essay with about 1200 words... and am now working on editing/narrowing it down to 650 words. (its 650, right. not 500?) but i think its best to get all your ideas out entirely and then pick and choose what sounds best and what you want the admissions committee to really know about you. thats my take at it, at least... everyone works different! good luck

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Hi! I wouldn't worry about what is "typical" in a PS. Yours should reflect who you are and why you want to be a PA. I feel how you tell it is your call. Besides, do you really want your PS to be similar to everyone else's? Nope. I didn't have an "Aha!" moment either and I still think my PS was awesome. :) I wouldn't necessarily discuss shadowing unless it relates to what you're writing about. I agree, your PS should be more streamlined than a random mess of "here's everything I've ever done." The comm will have all of that info, so just address your motivation for becoming a PA. I can't stress that enough: why you want to be a PA, not a nurse or doctor or any other member of the medical team.


And the CASPA narrative is 5000 characters, not any specific word limit. I think mine was ~700 words and only ~4800 characters.


Good luck!!

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