As the sound of the saw cut through the room, I sat wide-eyed staring in disbelief at the technician removing my hot pink cast. Though this was not the first wrist break, nor would it be the last, that sound and memory is something that has forever stayed with me. It was from a young age that I realized hospitals were a neat, organized, well-oiled machine and I wanted to be a part of one. Growing up, my mom and I would watch the television show House, and even though it was a fictional portrayal of a not-your-typical doctor type, it caught my interest early on. Throughout my education, the idea of a career in the medical field fascinated me - until I was a junior in high-school. During that summer, I was outside with my mom doing yard work when she dropped a pole on her foot and cut it open. The cut was no more than an inch wide, but deep enough to see the bone; I thought I was going to pass out! After that incident, I felt less confident in my ability to pursue medicine. Admittedly, I was afraid.
Beginning college, I changed directions and pursued a degree in Forensic Chemistry - still giving me the ability to pursue medicine if I wanted, but, from a pharmaceutical/laboratory standpoint. During this time, I was also on the college’s women's golf team traveling every semester while maintaining class attendance and GPA standing. The experience of playing an individual/team based sport brought me out of my shell, as I had always been considered an extremely shy person. It was not until I was in my last few semesters, I realized I was not interested in forensics and that I yearned for more than monotonous lab work. I realized that I desired the human interaction of helping someone. Once I graduated, I took a year off to figure out what I wanted as a career. I spoke with many people in the medical field and spent some time doing my own research on different programs/careers; I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies. I researched program requirements and enrolled as a post-baccalaureate student in order to complete prerequisites needed to apply. I decided this was the field for me because the PAs purpose in healthcare was what I had been dreaming of all this time. The realization that as a PA, I would have the ability to bridge the gap between patients and doctors by ensuring that patient care is the utmost importance, being there to speak with the patient directly about their symptoms and assist them through their situations. For a long time, I have known that I want to do more than just figure out what brings a patient in for care; I want the ability to treat, care for, and diagnosis a person, especially those that have been turned away for care in the past or have not found the right diagnosis for a persistent problem.
Currently, I work as an ophthalmic assistant/medical scribe at an Ophthalmologist owned practice. I thoroughly enjoy working in the field, being that I have learned a great amount and continue to be curious each day. The best part is that every patient brings in something new: a new symptom for the same diagnosis, a new symptom that is not noted in their history, new terms and diagnoses that have not been present in prior cases. As well as working alongside doctors, I have had the opportunity to shadow cataract surgery and clinic days following a PA in Dermatology. Both of these experiences have solidified my choice of pursuing this degree; although completely different, watching the level of care provided to the patient during each procedure is the exact reason I became fascinated with the medical field many years ago. I can say I do not have a specific field/practice in mind, but I do find orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, and ophthalmology all very fascinating. While in the program, I am looking forward to clinical rotations and getting a chance to experience many different fields, in the hope that they will assist me in finding the right path. In closing, I respectfully request your serious consideration of my application.
Hi! I finished a draft of my personal statement and would be very appreciative if someone could critique it.
This is what I have. Character count at 5712:
One night, around 3:30 am, a 17 year old girl woke up crying in pain as she laid balled up in bed in a fetal position. The girl’s roommate came bursting through the door, offering to take her to the ER. She had just woken up to the most excruciating abdominal pain. The random pain subsided, so she decided to wait until the morning. The following day ended with her leaving student services disappointed after being told nothing was wrong. This girl spent the next few years in and out of urgent care and express care offices only to be told the same thing, with no further diagnosis.
This young girl was me. After finishing college and returning home, I eventually changed doctors. I was told if I wanted to be seen quicker, I could see the Physician’s Assistant (PA), Laura, instead. As Laura had enough to spend with me, I was able to give her a full history of everything that I had been experiencing. She was able to hear all of my frustrations and pain. Laura suggested an ultrasound to confirm what she already knew the problem was. The ultrasound tech, along with the nurse, performed my ultrasound. A team of doctors discussed the images. A few days later, Laura had me come in for a visit to explain to me the results. She must have spent 30 minutes with me, answering all of my questions and ensuring me everything was OK. Now imagine if healthcare facilities across the nation, were able to collaborate effectively to treat patients as Laura and her team did. This was my initial encounter with a PA. Laura became my new found inspiration to become a Physician’s Assistant.
As I started researching Physician Assistant schools, I started to believe I was at a disadvantage. I questioned my decision to take away my love for math and science. I had changed my major from Biochemistry to Public Health at the end of my second year and started my journey towards working with people. When I initially changed my major, I was sure I wanted to become a Public Health advocate. After my peers and I rallied with an initiative called “Smoke Free Horry”, I was planning to work in public policy. I even figured I could study the distribution of diseases and work in epidemiology. I always knew I would end up doing something that improved the health in others. Laura and my own experiences helped me realize that this would involve individual health. I spent the next two years acquiring the required prerequisites. My public health background now gives me the confidence that I can provide optimal care that stem from different influences. As a PA, I will be able to become that link in a healthcare system where medicine meets interventions and education to treat present health issues and prevent future ones.
To intentionally advance my understanding of medicine in a hospital setting, I work as a patient care technician at Roper Hospital. In my role, I have been introduced to many health care disciplines such as: phlebotomy, respiratory care, use of EKG machines. I have learned how to use and identify medical equipment, effective methods of infection control, and gained experience with geriatrics. Not to mention, my instinctive traits that are required to ensure patient safety and recovery have been emphasized like strong attention to details, communication skills, and having a good memory. I did not realize though, that the prior years I spent working as a therapeutic assistant at a children’s behavioral health center would prepare me for my future role as a Physician’s Assistant as well. At that time, I was looking to generally broaden my health experience with children. This exposure gave me hands on understanding in human development as well as intervening in crisis situations. It helped me realized I enjoyed being in direct contact with young patients while working to increase their overall health.
Immediately after college, I spent a service year tutoring elementary and middle schoolers in English and math. Although not directly related to health, I spent time with a group of students overcoming their unexpressed, emotional and socioeconomic issues that created barriers to their learning, just as I plan to do with my future patients to overcome any health barriers. Because of my degree in Public Health, I realize some social determinants of health include economic status, physical barriers, and racial aspects due to community and family history. These specific understandings will help me to be a successful PA. My Americorps experience encouraged me to be flexible and easily adaptable to change. Adolescent aged students are often capricious, which required me to quickly realize my lessons couldn’t always go as planned. I appreciate the flexibility of PAs. I would like to receive broad training to build a multitude of skills and deliver comprehensive medical care.
After successfully completing a PA program, I plan to work in PEDS or women’s health. After years of working, I eventually want to go into private practice while committing 1-2 days a week to an area with a known health professional shortage. I look forward to completing clinical rotations in internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics and OB/GYN. I anticipate gaining my Masters in Physician Assistant studies at a program that I believe will encourage their students to be public health leaders while teaching them to adequately apply medical principles. With every interaction I have with a PA, from my personal visits to those I work with at Roper Hospital, I continue to realize their significant role in modern medicine. I can not wait to be a vital character in a system that encompasses compassion, consideration and duty to all of those with a medical need or health risk.
I am looking to submit by tonight and would appreciate the help. I would prefer if you are a PA, work at the pa school, admissions, or something of this sort but all help is definitely welcome.
Please PM me if you can provide some assistance
I am currently applying to PA schools, and would welcome any feedback on my personal statement to make sure I am on the right track. As some background information, I recently graduated from JMU with my BS in health sciences on the pre-PA track. Unfortunately, my summers were spent working to save up for school, rent, bills, etc. That being said, I was unable to pursue a license or certification to achieve patient contact hours during my breaks from undergrad, and my university did not offer any classes to achieve a license or cert. My goal during school was to focus on grades, for I could make up the hours later on, but not the grades. Since graduating I have received my EMT-B certification and began running with a local rescue squad. The small amount of numbers I currently have is probably the weakest part of my application. That being said, the aim of my personal statement is to tie experiences and personal traits I have gained through out my life to the roles, responsibilities, and characteristics of a PA. I touch briefly on a few experiences that are relevant, but I believe that there cannot be a spontaneous moment where one decides to be a PA, it is more of a growth and development approach. I would like to see if others believe I am on the right path of thought. This is a preliminary draft and I am aware that the is a lot of "excessive fat" that needs to be trimmed, but I wanted to put all my ideas down first.
I welcome any feedback, even harsh if need be, on the attached personal statement. I have also attached my resume as reference for any advice or additions to the personal statement.
PA CASPA PS.docx
Post Grad Resumè copy.docx