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I am having trouble with starting my personal statement. People keep telling me to start it off with an experience or anecdote to draw the readers in..There is not just ONE experience that sparked my dream of working in the medical field. I feel as though the various experiences I have had collectively have drawn me into the medical field. Here are a few topics I was thinking of starting my personal statement with..Please give me any feedback! (I am interested in specializing in dermatology, but by no means am I committed to this specialty!!)

 

1.) I currently work as a medical assistant in dermatology..maybe I could talk about some of the experiences I have had doing this such as surgery, dealing with patients, etc...

2.) My personal history of malignant melanoma, and how that led me to volunteer for the melanoma foundation, become a public speaker and tell my story to educate/raise awareness to young adults/teens...now I work as a derm medical assistant 

3.) (Completely unrelated to derm) Worked in a nursing home and happened to be at the right place at the right time when a resident was having a stroke...(this was an experience to remember, but not my topic of choice)

 

I would then discuss shadowing PAs and MDs and why I want to be a PA....bla bla bla

 

Please let me know what you think! I am lost right now!

I appreciate your help!

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I think you should start with your personal history (second choice). It's definitely more eye-catching and personal. For my statement, I tried to start with this big "moment", but it sounded pretty dramatic and standard. Instead, I started with personal information about myself and it flowed better as well as introduced the reader to who I am. Good luck!

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It is cliche to start with "that time I did CPR on someone and it was so cool." If you don't believe me, just read the personal statements posted here in the last 2 weeks. My other advice to you is that in 95% of these essays, someone dies. If you manage to write an essay without talking about someone who dies, you will stand out.

 

Best wishes in all future endeavors

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It is cliche to start with "that time I did CPR on someone and it was so cool." If you don't believe me, just read the personal statements posted here in the last 2 weeks. My other advice to you is that in 95% of these essays, someone dies. If you manage to write an essay without talking about someone who dies, you will stand out.

 

Best wishes in all future endeavors

 

Attempting to save someone's life for the first time, believe it or not, can have a pretty significant effect on someone and their goals.  While it may be a common experience, that's not to say that it doesn't hold water.  

 

Whatever you start off with, be sure it'll get the reader's attention while also being relevant to discussing why you want to be a PA.  

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I remember reading a nice admission essay where in the first paragraph the author talks about how she as a kid was taken by the ambulance to the hospital and how she was scared though she had only a minor injury but EMT comforted her, and then she talks about being a rookie EMT and going in the ambulance with the injured and trying to comfort him. That's a fine essay and I think the admission committee was impressed. College essays are about making the right impression and showing your passion. So, I think you should also write about one thing that actually made the biggest impact on you. And make it personal and committee friendly. Good luck

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I would definitely go with the second one, as telling your motivation to become a PA through that lens will show a more personal side to the adcoms, that's what they really want.

 

I've read many personal statements that start off with a dramatic hook that reads more like a novel (code blue, code blue!), yet spend very little portion of the statement depicting how that experience and their medical background motivated them to pursue the PA career. Don't fall into that pitfall, tell your story :)

 

I had a very hard time starting my personal statement as well. Had a few glasses of wine and did a little word vomit, and edited my statement from there!

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I think if you don't know what to write in the beginning of your personal statement just start writing about what you want to tell first. Write what you're passionate about, why are you so good for this field/university, how your previous experiences/projects influenced you. It is your first draft so do whatever you want with it. And then introduction will come to you. My friend is a writer at a personal statement services and she helps people with writing their personal statements. She writes not just one but dozens of them and she when she doesn't know how to start she goes with a flow. Don't stop being productive just because you don't know how to start you personal statement.

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I'm with everyone on the second option. Just start writing your "story" and once you finish, cut/rearrange pieces from there. I have a similar dilemma in that I didn't have a single moment that drew me to the PA profession, but rather a series of events that led me here.

 

 

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