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Cut my PS up like it's the deli aisle

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A desire and passion can change a person from head to toe.  Rather than use the summation of my life or pre-metamorphosis outcomes, I want my actions of late to represent the career-driven, passionate person I am today.  Although my life’s journey involved poverty, bullying, and lack of support, I eventually found a way to overcome such obstacles, and chase the physician assistant career path.  No one told me that I should pursue a medical career.  I have never experienced a singular moment in time that created a drive internally to pursue PA school.  It was not my first choice for a lifelong profession, but it has become the concrete career choice that I have spent the last four years pursuing.

            As a newly-graduated, high school student, I had no direction in life and my immaturity cloaked my ability to take responsibility for my actions.  When I first went to college, I spent four years self-loathing, being bullied daily, playing baseball, and ignoring outside advice to find my passions in life.  I assumed that by graduating alone I could escape my own mental health deficits rather than finding a treatment plan.  While dragging myself through multiple employment opportunities and slowly maturing, I had realized my interests were in health, humanity, technical and abstract thinking, and life-long learning; immediately, I started taking courses aimed towards medical school assuming it was what I am wanted.  It was not until I started shadowing nurses, physical therapists, doctors, and PA’s that I realized which career was right for me. 

           Physician assistants have a fluid, diverse, and critical role in medicine.  Similarly to nurses, PA’s have the ability to laterally move from role to role in an ever-expanding, specialty-focused environment.  However, they have more responsibilities in exercising autonomy in decisions and clinical duties while still working as a team with every other caregiver. I feel that a career as a PA fits my personality.  I want to be responsible for a patient’s course of treatment and care; to use my technical mindset to build a course of treatment; to be a leader that others can look up to.  Ultimately, I want to make sure that I have an outlet to pour my love for humanity outward, and make a difference in other’s lives.

            Working in a hospital has only solidified my goal in life, because it has given me to the ability to see and understand how each member works together in a care team.  As an emergency department technician, I have been worked alongside PA’s through patients’ coding, helping splint a child’s broken arm, assessing and treating a teenager’s self-inflicted wounds, and watching as they generate a differential diagnosis.  A vivid memory includes an elderly male that arrived by a fire station EMS.  He had a right, radial, arterial bleed due to broken glass, but it was undetermined before arrival.  As the PA assessed the wound, he had quickly noticed the origin of the bleed, had staff alert the plastic surgeon, and prepared the patient for surgery. 

After going back to school, I managed to get a 3.5 sGPA through acquiring my prerequisites for PA school.  Not only have I voluntarily helped coach a high school baseball team, but I have helped manage the delivery aspect of a free meal service on Thanksgiving and Christmas for the last five years that serves over 400 people each day.  My class grades, job, and volunteer hours reflect the dedication and determination it takes to become a PA, and I believe I am a strong candidate.  The people I work with and meet have all helped push me to become the best candidate, and there is nothing better than a support system comprised of family, friends, coworkers, and professionals.  In an unending sea of career choices, I have given my heart and soul towards the dream of becoming a physician assistant, and the reward will be an outpour of excitement.

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I think your main issue is that this narrative lacks a specific focus from start to finish. You said it yourself - "However, this does not an answer to why I want to become a physician assistant." You're absolutely correct - it doesn't, but answering why you want to be a physician assistant is the entire point of this narrative. 

You also use a lot of overstated prose when simple language is more powerful. Words and phrases like "exorbitant," "explosive drive," "totality," "relentless abuse," "downtrodden," "outlet to pour my love for humanity outwards," "unending sea," "heart and soul," and "tumultuous outpour of excitement" all actually weaken and cheapen the strong effect you're trying to create. The best piece of writing advice I've ever received is to write like you talk. Obviously writing can be more polished and professional, but we don't interrupt conversations to crack a thesaurus and this statement is full of words I personally would never use in conversation. Simplicity and clarity will actually make this narrative stronger! 

To be honest, I think you need to go back to the beginning on this essay. Choose every word and sentence carefully to answer the prompt - why do you want to be a PA? What experiences have driven you to this point? You barely touch on the "class grades, jobs, and experiences," but that's really the evidence that you do, in fact, want to be a PA. On the other hand, even though being extensively bullied must have been an extremely impactful experience, I don't think you need to spend so much room on it. I would trim that to a sentence or two and fill that space with stories about shadowing, interesting patients, something you learned in class - anything that has nudged you toward being a PA. You say that a career as a PA fits your personality, but theres no evidence! A story  would do wonders.

I'm also an ER tech and I know we see and do some crazy stuff - give those experiences some room to shine! Best of luck ?

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@nichole96 you are exactly right.  It's a dreadful draft to built to be unique, but, ultimately, it is nothing more than a sinking ship full of frustration and jumbled thoughts.  I should have bombarded it will all my regret ammunition.   

I'll tone down my word choice. I like to write poetry and short stories, and my vocab has a tendency to be bombastic.


Thanks, I'll simplify it, and have something done by tonight.  

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Hey, it's way better! You made some huge edits and improvements! I think it reads MUCH smoother than the previous draft and it doesn't seem as melodramatic.

More good news is that you're at 3296 characters - that's 1700 characters of unused space! You can use all that room to add details to make a story come alive, talk about another shadowing/work experience, or mention a PA who's really made an impact on you. I always struggled to stay under the character count so I'm jealous you have more room to play with. ?

More comments if you want them - I don't think you need the first paragraph at all. I especially wouldn't say "It was not my first choice for a lifelong profession, but it has become the concrete career choice that I have spent the last four years pursuing." That makes me wonder why you're settling for PA - you should be excited, not resigned!

In the paragraph describing what a PA does, it may be more impactful to describe a shadowing experience or work experience that let you see those abilities in action. Right now, it seems like you googled a PA description instead of working beside them in the ED. Also, this section: "I want to be responsible for a patient’s course of treatment and care; to use my technical mindset to build a course of treatment; to be a leader that others can look up to.  Ultimately, I want to make sure that I have an outlet to pour my love for humanity outward, and make a difference in other’s lives" could describe an MD, a PT, a PharmD, a PsyD, an NP, a DO, etc etc. This doesn't say anything about why you want to be a PA specifically, instead of any of those other roles.

The paragraph with the patient experience is really good, but I'm curious what you took away from seeing the PA catch that diagnosis. You stopped short with the description - how did it impact you? What about that experience made you excited to be a PA instead of any other role?

I think it's way stronger already! BTW, please feel free to disregard literally anything I say - this is *your* statement, after all! Some things I mention are just preferences or style points, but if you don't like them, please ignore them! I would recommend having someone you know read the statement and giving you feedback as well. Good luck!

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