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lona843

Please help me reduce characters and give feedback!!! Due ASAP

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This is what I have. Character count at 5712:

One night, around 3:30 am, a 17 year old girl woke up crying in pain as she laid balled up in bed in a fetal position. The girl’s roommate came bursting through the door, offering to take her to the ER. She had just woken up to the most excruciating abdominal pain. The random pain subsided, so she decided to wait until the morning. The following day ended with her leaving student services disappointed after being told nothing was wrong. This girl spent the next few years in and out of urgent care and express care offices only to be told the same thing, with no further diagnosis.

 

This young girl was me. After finishing college and returning home, I eventually changed doctors. I was told if I wanted to be seen quicker, I could see the Physician’s Assistant (PA), Laura, instead. As Laura had enough to spend with me, I was able to give her a full history of everything that I had been experiencing. She was able to hear all of my frustrations and pain. Laura suggested an ultrasound to confirm what she already knew the problem was. The ultrasound tech, along with the nurse, performed my ultrasound. A team of doctors discussed the images. A few days later, Laura had me come in for a visit to explain to me the results. She must have spent 30 minutes with me, answering all of my questions and ensuring me everything was OK. Now imagine if healthcare facilities across the nation, were able to collaborate effectively to treat patients as Laura and her team did. This was my initial encounter with a PA. Laura became my new found inspiration to become a Physician’s Assistant.

 

As I started researching Physician Assistant schools, I started to believe I was at a disadvantage. I questioned my decision to take away my love for math and science. I had changed my major from Biochemistry to Public Health at the end of my second year and started my journey towards working with people. When I initially changed my major, I was sure I wanted to become a Public Health advocate. After my peers and I rallied with an initiative called “Smoke Free Horry”, I was planning to work in public policy. I even figured I could study the distribution of diseases and work in epidemiology. I always knew I would end up doing something that improved the health in others. Laura and my own experiences helped me realize that this would involve individual health. I spent the next two years acquiring the required prerequisites. My public health background now gives me the confidence that I can provide optimal care that stem from different influences. As a PA, I will be able to become that link in a healthcare system where medicine meets interventions and education to treat present health issues and prevent future ones.

 

To intentionally advance my understanding of medicine in a hospital setting, I work as a patient care technician at Roper Hospital. In my role, I have been introduced to many health care disciplines such as: phlebotomy, respiratory care, use of EKG machines. I have learned how to use and identify medical equipment, effective methods of  infection control, and gained experience with geriatrics. Not to mention, my instinctive traits that are required to ensure patient safety and recovery have been emphasized like strong attention to details, communication skills, and having a good memory. I did not realize though, that the prior years I spent working as a therapeutic assistant at a children’s behavioral health center would prepare me for my future role as a Physician’s Assistant as well.  At that time, I was looking to generally broaden my health experience with children. This exposure gave me hands on understanding in human development as well as intervening in crisis situations. It helped me realized I enjoyed being in direct contact with young patients while working to increase their overall health.

 

Immediately after college, I spent a service year tutoring elementary and middle schoolers in English and math. Although not directly related to health, I spent time with a group of students overcoming their unexpressed, emotional and socioeconomic issues that created barriers to their learning, just as I plan to do with my future patients to overcome any health barriers. Because of my degree in Public Health, I realize some social determinants of health include economic status, physical barriers, and racial aspects due to community and family history. These specific understandings will help me to be a successful PA. My Americorps experience encouraged me to be flexible and easily adaptable to change. Adolescent aged students are often capricious, which required me to quickly realize my lessons couldn’t always go as planned. I appreciate the flexibility of PAs. I would like to receive broad training to build a multitude of skills and deliver comprehensive medical care.

 

After successfully completing a PA program, I plan to work in PEDS or women’s health. After years of working, I eventually want to go into private practice while committing 1-2 days a week to an area with a known health professional shortage. I look forward to completing clinical rotations in internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics and OB/GYN. I anticipate gaining my Masters in Physician Assistant studies at a program that I believe will encourage their students to be public health leaders while teaching them to adequately apply medical principles. With every interaction I have with a PA, from my personal visits to those I work with at Roper Hospital, I continue to realize their significant role in modern medicine. I can not wait to be a vital character in a system that encompasses compassion, consideration and duty to all of those with a medical need or health risk.  

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I just did a quick read- first and foremost, I see you using "physician's assistant" which to me is a huge red flag. You alternated, but make sure you use the correct term- physician assistant.

I think you can significantly cut down on the first two paragraphs. I understand you're trying to convey a story and touch up on the team based aspect of medicine. But you can easily go from laura taking time to hear your complaints, and then to discussing results to assure you. It doesn't matter who is reading and interpreting.

Paragraph 3- I am a bit confused as to how your degree change pertains to why you want to be a pa, why are you disadvantaged?

Conclusion- I would cut down on wanting to work in private practice and go straight into your desire to work in medically underserved areas. Also, are you planning on applying to schools with primary care focus? Because this will be going to all programs, and my best guess is that a school which promotes primary care may not like your choice of specialties in there and your chances may be limited. I am hoping another user can comment on this because I myself am torn in between you being honest, or just not putting that information in there at all.

 

Again, super quick read and sorry if I rambled. FWIW, I didn't have the best stats applying to school, and I think my personal statement played a huge role in my role in my acceptance so I think it's super important

 

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I also did a quick read and I don't really like your personal statement at all because it's just not what ADCOMS are looking for in the essay. I do think that asides from cutting the characters down, you will need to edit/delete most of it as it is very cliche, doesn't tell me specifically why you want to be a PA, and many parts reads like a résumé/CV.

Some general comments:

  • First 2 paragraphs are way too long. Just get to the point: you were sick, saw a PA who helped you, and that inspired you to pursue the profession. Don't use fluffy emotional words.
  • Like the previous poster said, it's physician assistant, not physician's assistant. You will get auto-rejected for this mistake. Furthermore, do not capitalize the profession (Physician's Assistant), as well as your majors in school (Biochemistry, Public Health)
  • 3rd paragraph is irrelevant besides the last 2 sentences where you actually talk about why your public health background is important for your future PA success ("My public health background now gives me the confidence that I can provide optimal care that stem from different influences. As a PA, I will be able to become that link in a healthcare system where medicine meets interventions and education to treat present health issues and prevent future ones.")
    • Like literally you can delete the whole paragraph besides those 2 last sentences and add a bit more about why public health relates to you becoming a PA and why it is important as a future PA.
  • 4th paragraph sounds like you are just rehashing things that are on your résumé/CV ("In my role, I have been introduced to many health care disciplines such as: phlebotomy, respiratory care, use of EKG machines. I have learned how to use and identify medical equipment, effective methods of  infection control, and gained experience with geriatrics. Not to mention, my instinctive traits that are required to ensure patient safety and recovery have been emphasized like strong attention to details, communication skills, and having a good memory.") 
    • Yes, it is true that these skills may help you as a future PA, but you are kind of just listing them like you would on a résumé, instead of demonstrating to the readers how you exhibit these characteristics. You need to give specific examples, not just list out things.
  • 5th paragraph, like all of your previous paragraphs, does not connect at all to the rest of your essay. Once again, we do not need to know everything about what you did throughout your life. The personal statement should not be a chronological autobiography of all of the things you have done to prepare yourself for PA school (e.g. I was sick when I was young, a PA treated me, that inspired me to pursue the PA profession. I went to undergrad and changed my major from biochem to public health. Public health will make me a better PA. I then worked as a patient care technician, and then I worked as a tutor. Once I finish PA school, I want to work in pediatrics or women's health). It's just super cliche and doesn't tell us anything about 1. why you specifically want to become a PA, and 2. why you would become a fantastic PA. You need to make your personal statement connect and flow throughout. You are giving too many slices of your life that they do not all connect in a logical manner. 
  • 6th concluding paragraph is super cliche. Also, ADCOMS don't need a rehash of how PA programs are structured ("I look forward to completing clinical rotations in internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics and OB/GYN. I anticipate gaining my Masters in Physician Assistant studies at a program that I believe will encourage their students to be public health leaders while teaching them to adequately apply medical principles.")

Update: after a second read through, ADCOMS may ask you why you are pursuing PA instead of a career in public health since you’ve emphasized a lot about public health. Just make sure you have a good answer to some of these potential questions, as I had an MPH and was asked in my multiple interviews why I got an MPH and why that specific degree was important in my pursuit towards becoming a PA.

 

Edited by scankidofhell

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Idk if I’m too late, but aside from the great answers above , here’s something that’s hard to do: try to use the word I as little as possible. Like max, ten times in your essay. Try to show that you are able or have experience working in a team setting and kind of know what you’re getting Into. Plus refraining from using I will make you’re essay seem more personable 

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