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TheLastStone

Revised Personal Statement (third time) Thoughts Appreciated

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As a first generation college student from a blue-collar family, I have been going through unchartered territory since my first time in a classroom outside of high school. I had no idea that I would even go to college, let alone be preparing myself for graduate school to become a physician assistant (PA). Had I known what I know about the PA profession now, such as its role in healthcare, and how much I would grow to love medicine, my path would have been very clear.

I began to appreciate what seemed to be controlled-chaos around me in the hospital, throughout my father’s heart surgery. I dropped out of high school my senior year to take care of my dying father. I knew I had limited time, and I wanted to be there for him like he was for me. I took him to all of his appointments, bathed him, fed him, administered his oral and injected medications, and etcetera. The doctors and PAs on his case became like a second family to me.

 I spent 90 days living in a hospital, at my father’s side, learning from PAs. Seeing the way he was treated, and the amount of medical knowledge that the PAs pertained, earned my respect and trust. To see the way that they reacted and intervened in the calls that happened throughout our stay piqued my interest into the field of medicine.

I would hang on every new thing I learned, such as how to pull back on the plunger of a syringe first, when administering my father’s shots, to check for blood. I learned to feel and look correctly for edema, as well as auscultating my father for any odd sounds in his airways; this became very helpful when I noticed later at home that he had seemed to have fluid moving around. It was a PA that drew the fluid out with a long needle and syringe. Without the PA explaining to me what to look and listen for, I would have never known what to do. Throughout my father’s last days, and all of my interactions with these caring and intelligent people, my life had been impacted greatly by the field of medicine.

After my father passed, I started college. I majored in mechanical engineering as I always enjoyed science, and coming up with solutions using proven theories. I became an apprentice in an engineering firm. Throughout my time there, I realized that I did not want to be sitting at a desk, doing calculations and designing parts on computers with minimal human contact. I wasn’t making the impact in society that I desired to. I completed my apprenticeship, knowing with much deliberation, that I would reorient myself and take a different, better-suited path.

Because of my life experiences, I felt a calling to go into medicine. I needed to fulfill my thirst for knowledge, to understand how to treat people, and to fulfill my personal goal of having a career and life with purpose. I took an EMT course, gaining a lot of experience, as I am now a full-time EMT. I have saved lives, and helped many people cope with serious issues, such as asthma, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrests, drug overdoses, various forms of shock and trauma, such as brain injuries, broken bones, and arterial bleeds, to name a few.

Working and serving in my community as an EMT gives me purpose, but I am not fulfilled. I seek to understand more about medicine, and to be able to do more for patients. I have fallen in love with the field of medicine and helping people. Because of this love and desire to know more, I began researching advanced practice careers in healthcare.

I have been fortunate enough as an EMT to spend a lot of time around PAs, and also have had the privilege of shadowing and interviewing some of them. Throughout my experiences with PAs, I’ve discovered the amount of respect given to them, because of their knowledge and abilities to treat patients effectively. Getting to see PAs perform an array of procedures entices me more, as to understand that there is not much PAs can’t do that physicians can.

Learning that as a PA, I would have the opportunity to change specialties throughout my career, and being able to further enjoy the teamwork based approach that I use as an EMT really appeals to me. It’s exciting to think I can spend the rest of my life practicing medicine, and learn something new everyday. I could learn about a new skill as a surgical PA, or I could continue to help those in emergency medicine with more knowledge and skills; my options are open and I enjoy that. Looking back at my engineering experience, I desired to have more human interaction, and seeing my efforts produce results and gratitude is a rewarding feeling.

The PA profession is constantly evolving and growing, just as medicine is. I continue to learn as much as possible as an EMT, and I am excited when I think of being able to become a part of such an integral part of medicine as a PA. I look forward to gaining as much knowledge throughout my career as possible, to be a successful healthcare provider, and contribute to this evolving profession for the greater good of my patients and colleagues.

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I think your story and motivations are great.  I worked in cardiology before leaving for school and I know how difficult caring for heart failure can be.  Not a lot of people have this experience to drive them to care for others so that is important in your personal statement.

As far as the statement itself, you may want to revise it a bit.  It seems somewhat fragmented and you have a fair amount of run-on sentences or sentences with a few too many points at once.  For example, "I took an EMT course, gaining a lot of experience, as I am now a full-time EMT."  You can simplify this by just saying you are a full time EMT and go on to talk about the type of work you do or how it drove you to want more..  All in all, concentrate on fluidity.  Maybe outline first and make sure your essay flows from an intro to a body to a conclusion.  You can state the importance of your fathers illness, which led to serving others (EMT), which led to PA.  CASPA restricts characters so eliminate and superfluous info and you don't have to describe what PA's do...They know. Also, don't concentrate on talking about medicine too much.  You're not applying to medical school or nursing school or anything else.  You're applying to PA school.  Show that you know a PA's role and how they fit into the healthcare system/medical model.  Lastly, general grammar.  Try not to abbreviate excessively, use a ton of commas (just make new sentences), and type out numbers (ninety instead of 90).

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On 8/12/2017 at 8:19 PM, MarkMass said:

I think your story and motivations are great.  I worked in cardiology before leaving for school and I know how difficult caring for heart failure can be.  Not a lot of people have this experience to drive them to care for others so that is important in your personal statement.

As far as the statement itself, you may want to revise it a bit.  It seems somewhat fragmented and you have a fair amount of run-on sentences or sentences with a few too many points at once.  For example, "I took an EMT course, gaining a lot of experience, as I am now a full-time EMT."  You can simplify this by just saying you are a full time EMT and go on to talk about the type of work you do or how it drove you to want more..  All in all, concentrate on fluidity.  Maybe outline first and make sure your essay flows from an intro to a body to a conclusion.  You can state the importance of your fathers illness, which led to serving others (EMT), which led to PA.  CASPA restricts characters so eliminate and superfluous info and you don't have to describe what PA's do...They know. Also, don't concentrate on talking about medicine too much.  You're not applying to medical school or nursing school or anything else.  You're applying to PA school.  Show that you know a PA's role and how they fit into the healthcare system/medical model.  Lastly, general grammar.  Try not to abbreviate excessively, use a ton of commas (just make new sentences), and type out numbers (ninety instead of 90).

Thanks Mark! I'm going to get on revising some more. I'm well within the limit, so I can keep trying to reword some things and get rid of some other stuff that might sound redundant. I appreciate the feedback! 

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