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First draft of personal statement: please look over!

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Not many kids could pronounce the word “hypercholesterolemia,” let alone know its implications. When I got my first bloodwork done as a two-year old, my cholesterol and triglyceride levels were off the charts. Having the lipid profile of a devout McDonalds aficionado as a young child, my parents knew they would have a challenge. At an age where goldfish, chicken nuggets, and pizza were king, they knew that getting me to eat healthy foods would be no easy task. But to their surprise, I took what they taught me to heart, and did not mind being somewhat of an oddity as I would ask to substitute steamed broccoli instead of French fries when out to dinner. So, from an early age I developed discipline, a strong work ethic, and a passion for health that would drive me to find what I believe is the perfect profession for me in healthcare: Physician Assistant.


Later, when I developed food allergies in high school, I researched a lot about immunology, what my allergies shots were doing, and why exactly my body became hypersensitive to things I had eaten my whole life. I would wait awhile to see my allergist and when he would finally come into my room, he seemed very rushed and often had no recollection of what we had talked about the previous visit. I ended up seeing a PA who had joined the office, and she was quite thorough and I felt comfortable asking questions. I previously did not know that a healthcare provider role exists that does not require numerous years of training, enables good work-life balance, and still provides ample opportunity for making diagnoses in many specialties.  Fast forward a few years, after talking to some PA schools at a career fair, I decided to start gaining some experience in healthcare.


Shadowing at three different ERs, as well as through volunteering at the Christiana Care ER, has given me a good understanding of the role of PAs and the functioning of a hospital. Being in the Emergency setting has exposed me to the energizing rush of trauma patients, but my biggest observation has been how necessary PAs are to ensure that the sickest patients get seen promptly while all patients receive quality care. During one visit, I witnessed a PA systemically perform spinal examinations on several motor vehicle accident patients that arrived in quick succession. They were not only distressed, but clearly uncomfortable with their neck braces, and thus very grateful that the PA was able to attend to them soon after arriving. I have also shadowed PAs in pain management, neurology, dermatology and surgery, which has demonstrated the appeal of the ability to work in ORs or clinics, with acute or chronically ill patients.


After seeing healthcare take place primarily in well-equipped hospitals and finely adorned private offices, I desired to see some of the challenges facing those who did not have regular access to basic health services. Last winter, I traveled to Lima, Peru to volunteer with the organization MEDLIFE in a few shantytowns. I was took vitals, directed patients to stations, assisted the dentists and OB-GYNs, and observed the doctors and nurses treating and educating the patients. I was most humbled by the fact that ultimately besides supplies and running water, what these people really needed were trained medical professionals.


Many of the problems I saw: tooth decay, gastrointestinal disorders due to lack of sanitation, anemia, and respiratory problems, could have been prevented with quicker access to primary care. These hillside people would need to travel to the bottom of the communities, find a bus to a clinic or hospital, and wait in line several hours to make an appointment three months away. These conditions are unsettling, and it made me think about how as more Americans gain insurance coverage, PAs are imperative in primary care. I see no better profession that carries the potential to bring care to underserved areas than becoming Physician Assistant.


For as long as I can remember, I have displayed an uncommon level of maturity. My parents have never had to force me to play sports, focus on my studies, or avoid many of the snack foods my friends ate. I took what they taught me to heart, and did not mind being somewhat of an oddity as I would ask to substitute steamed broccoli instead of French fries when out to dinner. When I would get a lipid panel done each year, it was evident that my steadfastness and discipline was paying off. Further, I have discovered great ways to manage stress and keep healthy: physical activities such as yoga, biking, and running.


As I have visited PA schools and talked to current students, I have a heightened sense of the rigors that a quality, two-year PA program will bring. Through my own medical experience, I know the importance of spending time to educate patients while also teaching them to be proactive. In conclusion, I believe that the discipline, work ethic, and passion for health that I have developed over the years will lead me to be successful in becoming a PA.


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Don't start a sentence with "BUT". You use some generalizations. I'd give this to an english professor. This is a great foundation for your essay, but I see a lot of things that need to be spruced up.


Take out "For as long as I can remember" - generalization


This talks a lot about you instead of what you learned. Think of a particular experience which changed you and put a paragraph about that in, and take out a paragraph that you talk about yourself.


Just a thought!

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