Hi! I finished a draft of my personal statement and would be very appreciative if someone could critique it.
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.
I am looking to submit by tonight and would appreciate the help. I would prefer if you are a PA, work at the pa school, admissions, or something of this sort but all help is definitely welcome.
Please PM me if you can provide some assistance
I am currently applying to PA schools, and would welcome any feedback on my personal statement to make sure I am on the right track. As some background information, I recently graduated from JMU with my BS in health sciences on the pre-PA track. Unfortunately, my summers were spent working to save up for school, rent, bills, etc. That being said, I was unable to pursue a license or certification to achieve patient contact hours during my breaks from undergrad, and my university did not offer any classes to achieve a license or cert. My goal during school was to focus on grades, for I could make up the hours later on, but not the grades. Since graduating I have received my EMT-B certification and began running with a local rescue squad. The small amount of numbers I currently have is probably the weakest part of my application. That being said, the aim of my personal statement is to tie experiences and personal traits I have gained through out my life to the roles, responsibilities, and characteristics of a PA. I touch briefly on a few experiences that are relevant, but I believe that there cannot be a spontaneous moment where one decides to be a PA, it is more of a growth and development approach. I would like to see if others believe I am on the right path of thought. This is a preliminary draft and I am aware that the is a lot of "excessive fat" that needs to be trimmed, but I wanted to put all my ideas down first.
I welcome any feedback, even harsh if need be, on the attached personal statement. I have also attached my resume as reference for any advice or additions to the personal statement.
PA CASPA PS.docx
Post Grad Resumè copy.docx
Okay guys, this is my Personal statement. Please let me know what you think!
Thank you in advance!
The most terrifying words a person can hear from a child are words of self- harm. “I want to kill myself” are words you don’t hear from children very often, but when you do, the words haunt you. They can reach to the innermost part of your heart and soul. So, when an eight-year-old boy looks you in the eyes and says it, what does one do? The first reaction is to hug them and tell them everything will be okay. Protecting that child from the world, and its deeply dark realities would be anyone’s first reaction. However, as a medical assistant, your options are severely limited. I made sure to do my best when faced with this exact situation. I hugged him, looked him in the eyes as his mother watched, and told him he is important and deserves to live a life full of success and happiness.
As a medical assistant, I contributed an important, but indirect role in providing care. The extent of my patient contact was limited, but I was able to gain many different and rewarding skills. If I were to choose just one, it would be the empathy that grew inside of me toward those who were ill. Our practice is small, but very busy. I would often find myself performing a beautiful synchronicity of answering phone calls and patient care. Working an average thirty to forty hours a week. At times, I found myself having a challenging time balancing my home and academic life. A typical night for me was to come home at 10 pm and help my parents with my siblings. One sibling required more attention due to having a disability. For a time before graduation, I was the sole caretaker to three of my siblings, due to a family member falling terminally ill. This left me with the care of three young children, leading to a decrease in studying, academic focus, and an unsatisfactory GPA. Though my confidence wavered when my grades dipped, I re-evaluated my study habits and work-life balance and was able to better manage time with sick family and still graduate a semester early. Since graduating I have been able to reflect upon my academic past, and receive a Master’s degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology in two semesters with a 3.5 GPA. I can say without a doubt, that I have learned from my mistakes in time management. I am excited to prove to myself that my capabilities go beyond being an excellent student as I grow into becoming an exemplary PA.
As an MA, I gained insight into the patient care aspect of practicing medicine. I found myself imagining what it must be like to be on the other side of the patient-MA relationship. Curious, I decided to explore more on the subject and quickly found a physician to shadow. When the day came, I was extremely nervous. I was afraid of sounding unintelligent or misinformed. However, once I stepped into the operating room, all those doubts fluttered away, and I realized that I was where I needed to be. The doctor introduced me to his staff, including nurses and medical technicians. However, a man was introduced to me that caught my attention. He was a Physician Assistant. At the time, I was unaware of what a PA did or what the profession entailed. Throughout the triple bypass, I witnessed a man’s life being saved, and the individual who did it was a Physician Assistant. As I stood over the patient’s head, I could see the PA work through fascia and vasculature with as much confidence as any physician. However, what set him apart from them was not only the confidence he had in himself, but also the passion he had to help this patient live a longer and healthier life. I was hooked. When the experience was over I understood that there was much more to medicine than the usual doctors, nurses and pharmacists. I remembered the desire to do more for the injured boy. I knew that as a PA I could make a greater difference in the lives of my patients.
I immediately began to submerge myself in researching what duties were included in the daily routine of a Physician Assistant. Upon further exploring, I discovered the fluidity of the field. I appreciated how wonderful it must be to spend a good amount of time directly with the patients and having the ability to experience and practice all different possibilities of treating patients. After spending time shadowing and working within the healthcare field, I determined that I needed to have a scope of practice that gave me more autonomy. I can do so much more than stand behind a counter and fill prescriptions. The empathy that I feel toward the injured and sick has increased my desire to do more for them. My passion to help and serve others has not been satiated; in fact it has increased since I first learned of the PA profession.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “To define is to limit.” Limiting the medical field to Nurses and Doctors does an injustice to patients. Which is why becoming a PA has been not just a goal for me, but a journey to my purpose in life.