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First Draft: Receivers and Givers

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This is the first really rough draft of my CASPA personal statement. I am a first time applicant and need all the constructive criticism I can get. Thank you so much in advance!


            Receivers and Givers. These were the two groups that I had chosen to categorize the world. The Receivers were those who received goods and services, such as clients, customers, and patients. However, the Givers were the opposite; they supplied those goods and services. They gave to the Receivers because that was not only their job, but their nature. Because of this, I had always categorized myself as a Giver; we thrived on being able to offer someone something, anything. I was a Giver by nature, but not by occupation, and wanted nothing more than to be a Giver in all senses.


            I am a Receiver. This was my first thought as a high school senior lying on a cold examining table in a lightless room. For the past month, I had been examined for a possible heart problem and was now undergoing an echocardiogram. I was a ball of nerves, like most patients, and the nurse who would be observing my heart was the first to speak through the silence and dark. “This may be uncomfortable, but I promise that it will be one of the most amazing things you will ever see.” I gave a nervous laugh, seriously doubting her words, but she was right. Although I had an initial fascination with anatomy, the echocardiogram was far different from looking at a picture in a textbook. For the next fifteen minutes, my initial worry and potential heart problem did not exist; I was looking at the monitor through the nurse’s eyes. I marveled at the black and white human heart, my human heart, on the machine’s screen. It amazed me how people could observe and care for something so complex that was protected by bone, muscle, and skin. While examining my heart, the nurse looked at me, engrossed in what beat within my own chest, and gave the faintest smile. I was a Receiver, but she could see that I wanted to be a Giver, one in the medical field.


            I want to be a Giver, but what kind do I want to be? I asked this question every day of my entire freshman year at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM). However, I began to seriously struggle with who I wanted to be during the summer before my sophomore year, while I was tending to an illness that negatively affected my grades. I felt as though I considered all the possible healthcare occupations – doctor, psychiatrist, and surgeon – but I did not feel a connection with any of those professions. I longed for a profession that allowed me to give everything that I could offer: care, knowledge, compassion, support, and teamwork mentality. Not only that, I wanted to be able to serve as many people as possible and encounter as many different challenges as possible: herniated stomachs, clogged pores, broken bones. It was not until I met a fellow classmate during the summer that I realized the ideal profession for me existed. She told me she was a Pre-Physician Assistant student, and I began to flood her with questions, craving the answers. If she could not answer my questions, I would turn to the internet or other healthcare providers, anyone who could give me more information. I was a Receiver, but they could see that I wanted to be a Giver: a physician assistant (PA).


            I must give everything I have to become a PA. This idea swarmed my every thought, influenced my every move. After intensive research into the profession, I became a Physical Therapy Technician at Lakeway Physical Therapy. I give in small ways, such as applying heating pads, removing electrodes, and assisting patients in exercises, but through consistent care and teamwork with the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant, patients who initially entered the building in a wheelchair weeks ago are able to walk, unassisted. Although I thoroughly enjoy serving patients at the physical therapy clinic, I desired to help more people in healthcare, so I began volunteering at Good Samaritan Clinic, a volunteer-run clinic serves patients who do not have health insurance to visit traditional office. However, I wanted to learn more about the profession I wanted to pursue, so I began shadowing PAs in different specialties. From surgery to dermatology, the PA and doctor worked seamlessly together to address and fix the problem effectively. With each patient, the PA would give everything she could offer: solutions, sympathy, encouragement, and second chances. Each time I shadowed a PA, I found myself watching each move intently, firmly wishing to be the one to offer my knowledge and talents to my patient and doctor. I was a Receiver, but they could all see that I was destined to be a PA, a Giver. 

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