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Very First Rough Draft: Critiques Please.

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​This is the very first draft I have ever written pertaining to my PA school personal essay, and I am very nervous. Any pointers or suggestions are highly appreciated. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my essay.



After a hot summer’s day well spent in the pool, my younger brother convinced me that jumping on the trampoline while soaking wet was a bright idea. It was not. I watched as my little brother slipped on the very edge of the trampoline and fell to the ground; his arm snapping beneath him. There was no question to my father, who is a podiatrist, that his arm must surely have been broken. I had always had a keen interest in the medical field, but the trip to East Texas Medical Center that followed was a significant occurrence in my life; my first encounter with a physician assistant (PA). Although I cannot recall his name, many characteristics about him remain in my mind to this very day and time. Confidence, gentleness, knowledgeability: these individualities aided to lessen the panic of the situation. How he accomplished this task while also working to x-ray, analyze, set and cast my brothers arm marveled me, and I knew at that moment that one day I wanted to provide such eloquent care to patients providing medical care as a physician assistant.

​Flash-forward several years later to the summer following my sophomore year of college at Texas Tech University. It was 6:30 in the morning on a warm summer day, and at this early hour I was excited to hear my alarm go off. I popped out of my bed and slid into a pair of my favorite scrubs as I prepared for another exhilarating day working at a clinic as a podiatry assistant. Clipping toenails everyday over summer vacation may not sound like the ideal getaway to most college students, but I personally would not have rather been spending my time outside of school doing anything else. Passionate about healthcare I had never turned down any opportunity to gain experience in a medical facility. Whether it be shadowing, working with patients, or just helping with simple everyday tasks around the office; I loved being in the medical environment.

At work by 7:45am I was excited to start a new day of work at 8:00 am. “Mrs. Rosenberg,” I exclaimed as I prepared to see one of my favorite patients at the Foot Clinic. “How are you doing today,” I proceeded to ask. Communication is an important factor of healthcare in my eyes, and I made it a point to converse with each patient and orally explain everything that I would be doing in order to give them a feeling of trust and comfortability. Patient comfort was essential to the doctor that I had the opportunity to work for as well. “My feet hurt, baby”, Mrs. Rosenberg complained. After further assessment I gently clipped my patients’ toenails. I knew that doing my job was of upmost importance especially since Medicaid only pays for a patient to have their toenails cut once every three months. Imagine how long toenails could grow after three months of not being trimmed. “Why don’t we put your shoes back on and see how that feels?” I asked as I finished my job. “My toes feel so much better already, sweetheart. Thank you so much. I feel like I could dance all night now,” Mrs. Rosenberg exclaimed in happiness.

​Moments like these have been the driving force that has pushed me to work as hard as I can to achieve my optimum goal of one day becoming a physician assistant. The summer that I worked as a podiatry assistant opened my heart to the realization that there are so many tasks that people are unable to accomplish by themselves, such as the simple task of trimming one’s toenails, and from this point forward I have thought to myself, “If trimming a patients’ toenails can impact their lives in such a positive way, what other care can be provided to impact a patients’’ life even more.” I strongly believe that this is a main focus of being a PA, and even of healthcare in general; wanting to provide the best care that is possible to every patient that needs care.

​Although there are many factors that have lead me to pursue a future and a career as a physician assistant there are some that stand out to me more than others; such as the scenarios illustrated above. Another example is when Dr. Dailey, a primary care physician whom I had the privilege of shadowing, once said to me, “Healthcare is a team effort.” He meant it in terms of the relationship between he and his patients, and I could not agree more with this statement more. I believe that teamwork is an important aspect of the healing process. In order to achieve optimum health everyone must be on the same page: the physician, the physician assistant, and the patient. Looking back on my first impression of a PA, and through observation of the characteristics held by other healthcare professionals I believe I have many personal strengths and motives that will allow me to become a successful physician assistant. Through my passion, hard work, and dedication to the medical field I strongly believe that I have what it takes to adequately be a part of this philosophical team as a physician assistant, and I am ready to start practicing.

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I would take away the patient's name, as well as the name of the doctor whom you shadowed. You could say something about having a good relationship with a patient, then go on with the conversation snippets you inserted. As far as the doctor's name, I would eliminate it just to be on the safe side. It would be just as effective to say you shadowed a primary care physician who said this and that. Also, some might argue with this and I'm not entirely sure but you may want to just use PA after you initially stated physician assistant (PA). It might even free up an extra 100 characters to cram something in also! I see where you are going with the whole toenail story, but it's still a bit wordy. I would take away some of the focus off of clipping someone's toenails to make them feel better to more of a focus on taking the time to show how your compassion made them feel better. You took the extra time to strike up a conversation which seemed to brighten this patient's day which is very important. Clipping their toenails is great and all, but having a conversation with your patient and demonstrating that compassion is equally important in this case, I believe. Hope this helps some, great start and good luck when you apply!

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