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Ashleymarie92

Personal Statement Review! Will return the favor

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I am a second time applicant and I decided to post my essay  for feedback because I'm at that insane cycle of loving what I've done and then hating it and revising. I have about 1,000 hours as a pharmacy tech and over 5,000 hours in direct patient care working as a CNA in a nursing home and on the med/surg unit of a hospital, as well as being a medical assistant in a private practice where I help with medical procedures. Not sure what my GPA is currently as calculated by CASPA, but I am willing to say it is at a 3.5-3.6 or above since I re-took a class and added additional classes since the last cycle. I volunteer at a low-cost clinic which teaches hispanic families how to prepare fresh, healthy meals and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. That being said, I hope that my essay gets the gist of my experiences and is convincing. Please let me know what you think and I'll do the same for you!

edit: I changed the theme of my essay today, taking out a lengthy story that had a better theme but used too much precious space. I realize my transitions are weak, so any suggestions you have are appreciated . 🙂

Personal Narrative (2).docx

Edited by Ashleymarie92

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Your personal statement has a really good flow! It's easy to read, and most importantly, it's easy to understand why you want to be a PA. Some of the things you said sounded familiar to me before I realized it was kind of how my own personal statement was laid out! Haha.

My only suggestions would be to tweak some of your wording/phrases, combine some paragraphs, and tie in your intro with your conclusion to make everything more solid. I'm iffy on the paragraph about the patient with low blood pressure, but you can keep it in if you feel like it's pertinent. Overall, nice job!

Edited by aba51
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Thanks for your feedback aba51! 

I tried to make it easy and straightforward to read, however it concerns me that you said it sounds kind of like your essay 😕 

It’s hard to try to “stand out” yet get to the point in only 5,000 characters. I put in the paragraph about the blood pressure because I feel like it shows that I have good judgment, which is a necessary quality of a PA. I don’t outright say it, but I’m trying to let the example speak for itself. 

I’m not totally committed to the intro or conclusion. I’m brainstorming ideas on how to reinvent them to make me stand out more and give a more cohesive theme. 

 

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Personally, I don't find this essay particularly compelling. I know the poster above liked it, which is awesome. The thing about asking for feedback from so many people is that you will get different perspectives, which can be confusing.

For me, I feel like there are issues with flow and organization throughout. Mostly, this is because you have parsed your ideas up into short paragraphs and you don't tie your experiences and reflections together. You don't fully expand on your ideas in the places that you should. There is also no real theme in your essay to tie your ideas together. These things have resulted in an essay that's a bit scattered and challenging to read. 

A couple of other things:

  • Skip the quote. It's a general rule of thumb not to use quotes in your PS.
  • Really work on your transitions.
  • Tie your answer to the prompt to specific experiences.
  • Finetune your grammar and word choice. It's lacking in some spots.

I made more detailed comments on a google doc here that may help you address some of the issues above: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13lnHQk_5qED_COWmgMu2nmXKCe2vtDXe4Y_N4pjKx2g/edit?usp=sharing

If you need additional help, reach out. I have a personal statement editing service as well where I give more detailed feedback. Either way, good luck with the writing process. Keep at it and things will come together. 

Edited by hmtpnw

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8 hours ago, Ashleymarie92 said:

Thanks for your feedback aba51! 

I tried to make it easy and straightforward to read, however it concerns me that you said it sounds kind of like your essay 😕 

It’s hard to try to “stand out” yet get to the point in only 5,000 characters. I put in the paragraph about the blood pressure because I feel like it shows that I have good judgment, which is a necessary quality of a PA. I don’t outright say it, but I’m trying to let the example speak for itself. 

I’m not totally committed to the intro or conclusion. I’m brainstorming ideas on how to reinvent them to make me stand out more and give a more cohesive theme. 

 

Maybe it's the wording that sounds familiar or the way you write (showing vs telling), but our content is totally different from each other. If someone else were to read both of ours, I don't think it would be similar. So no need to worry! I know it's not easy to try to stand out, and sometimes it's stressful just thinking about it, but at the end of the day you just have to be proud of and confident in what you write.

If you want to include the good judgment example, I would reword it. It comes off a little bit argumentative in the wrong way.

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8 hours ago, hmtpnw said:

Personally, I don't find this essay particularly compelling. I know the poster above liked it, which is awesome. The thing about asking for feedback from so many people is that you will get different perspectives, which can be confusing.

For me, I feel like there are issues with flow and organization throughout. Mostly, this is because you have parsed your ideas up into short paragraphs and you don't tie your experiences and reflections together. You don't fully expand on your ideas in the places that you should. There is also no real theme in your essay to tie your ideas together. These things have resulted in an essay that's a bit scattered and challenging to read. 

A couple of other things:

  • Skip the quote. It's a general rule of thumb not to use quotes in your PS.
  • Really work on your transitions.
  • Tie your answer to the prompt to specific experiences.
  • Finetune your grammar and word choice. It's lacking in some spots.

I made more detailed comments on a google doc here that may help you address some of the issues above: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13lnHQk_5qED_COWmgMu2nmXKCe2vtDXe4Y_N4pjKx2g/edit?usp=sharing

If you need additional help, reach out. I have a personal statement editing service as well where I give more detailed feedback. Either way, good luck with the writing process. Keep at it and things will come together. 

Thank you so much for your feedback! It’s really refreshing to hear the truth, that’s what I wanted. I know my paper is pretty boring and I really didn’t want to use a quote anyways. I just really don’t know how to answer the prompt in such short characters, which is why my essay is segmented into ideas, albeit in chronological order. I don’t want to bore people to death with my essay but im also not trying to write a drama novel. I will scan over your editing suggestions when I have a moment. Thank you again. 

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Hi! You're essay sounds nice and definitely reiterates how your childhood experiences has influenced your drive to form emotional connections with your patients. There are some issues however. I agree that you should take out the beginning quote; it only adds unnecessary characters. This will free up more characters for you to discuss your experiences. I also would take out the blood pressure scenario; it has a negative connotation by stating that the nurse didn't listen to you. Even if this really happened, it sort of disrupts the idea of how a medical staff works as a team.

In regards to your interactions with your patients (stories, wise advice, etc.), I think that you go too much into detail with this. You should simple state that you formed an emotional connection with your patients, who often shared intriguing stories with you, and tie it back to how it eliminated your feeling of loneliness from childhood. 

I also think that "physiological battle going on in their body" sounds a little weird. I would rephrase that to maybe "the extent/progression of their disease".

Finally, you kind of insinuate that the physician is a PA's boss. This may be true for some situations, but not for all. It seems to suggest that PA's work for a physician, when in actuality, they collaborate with the physician. The statement seems to eliminate the autonomy that PA's have. 

Other than that, your essay has a nice foundation. 

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