Jump to content

Personal Statement, please critique! (re-applicant)

Recommended Posts

This is the personal statement I applied with last year. I've made some minor changes, wondering what else needs work. Any critiques are appreciated!


The adage goes that why you choose to do something is just as, if not more important, than what you choose to do.  Our intentions shape our reality, and this is a constant in any endeavor we choose to pursue.  However,  for the longest time,  I didn't have the answer to this question; why am I on this path? What is my true motive for a career in healthcare?  

From a very young age I have been interested in working in medicine. My mother is a family nurse practitioner, and listening to her recount her diverse experiences with patients piqued my interest in medicine early on. However, mere interest in a field does not solely measure up against the rigors of progressing towards a career in that field, especially one so competitive and complex as medicine.  As such, nearing my senior year of undergrad as a biological sciences major, I did not have a ready explanation to present that would justify my path not only to those inquiring about it, but also to myself.  My eventual decision to pursue a career as a physician assistant(PA) did not come in the form of a single life-changing experience or epiphany; rather, it came from the culmination of many unique experiences over the course of my senior year. 

During the summer leading into my senior year I began working as a personal care giver for a C5 quadriplegic man in his mid-thirties, I’ll call him K. My experiences working with K for the past 16 months has laid the foundation of my desire to pursue a career as a PA.   

Walking into his home for the first time was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life.  Terrifying thoughts raced through my head: what if I do something wrong, or hurt him accidentally?  It was my first real encounter with direct patient contact, and learning to assist him with activities of daily life was as daunting as it was informative. What I had never realized, and what no one could have taught me, was the intrusive feeling that comes with working as a care giver.  I was becoming a crucial part of this man’s life, assisting him with hygiene, bowel care, catheter care, dressing, and countless other activities which would be impossible for him to perform on his own.  Did I belong there? What gave me the right to assume this position and serve his most private needs? It was through this assumption that the true core of patient care was made clear to me: trust.  K trusted me to be the person who was attentive to his needs and willing to carry them out without hesitation. After this realization, I no longer had self doubt about my position by his side for hours every morning and evening. As the weeks and months progressed, K and I grew closer, becoming close friends.  I realized that I wanted to share that bond of trust with every patient I would have the privilege of encountering during my career in the medical field.  It was K who encouraged me to pursue the path of a PA.   

Being a PA was not something I had considered prior to those first initial months of working with K. I had taken my MCAT the previous summer, and was considering beginning my application for medical school.  He helped me reexamine my priorities, which led me to discover that what truly mattered to me was to be able to nurture that same trust in every patient I would have.  I realized that I could accomplish my core goal and start working with patients in less time than was required for a physician.  It was with this knowledge that I decided to work towards a career as a PA.  

My second push towards a career as a PA came in the form of working as an Emergency Department(ED) Scribe, and being fortunate enough to witness the daily workings of many ED PAs working in conjunction with physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses.  I loved the way in which the PAs would work autonomously, but also had physicians present to collaborate with on complicated cases.  I know from my undergraduate studies that I perform best in that position: primarily independent, but with assistance as needed for complex scenarios, even if only to corroborate my initial plans.  I envisioned myself in that role: independently providing equal and compassionate care to all patients, from the elderly stroke patient to the young boy with a skinned knee.   

At the end of one of my shifts in the ED, a PA student doing her rotation at our ED asked me, “So what’s your plan for the next year? Going off to medical school?” “No,” I replied with a certainty that had not been present until recently. “I’m going to be a PA.”


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading your essay, I have some questions:


- If your Mom is an NP, why are you deciding to become a PA?

- What led you to care for K? Was it a class or what?

- Why did you veer away from the MCAT - med school route?

- A little self doubt is good in your story of caring for K, but it might be a little heavy here.

- Why did you end up in the ED? Was that for a class or was it part of a plan here for getting HCE? Or to figure out who you are?


If you didn't get in last year and are applying to any of the same schools, tell us what you did over the past year to make yourself a better applicant.


Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More