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Advise on Personal Narrative for CASPA

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This is just my second draft but I wanted to see what others think about my narrative and see if there were areas of improvement. Thank you.


Growing up with a mother who is schizophrenic was the primary driving force that pushed me into studying medicine. The many times of confusion as to why my mother did not want to play with me. The nights where she would lie in her room and talk to herself for hours on end. As a young child, it was quite scary to see the one you love not able to fully express it. In order to survive and be given a normal childhood; I was placed in the custody of my grandmother, while my mother was forced to live in a group home. With my grandmother at my side, I was able to overcome my mother's disability and learn how to accept it. The long hours spent as a child researching the disease and understanding how it came to be. It was this diligent research that drove me to first pursue psychology.


I fell in love with psychology in high school and by the time I became a senior, I was certain that it was going to be my career. Before moving on from SPC to USF I shadowed a psychologist to see what I would be getting myself into. From there, it was apparent that the field of psychology is something that would not fit me. To brave the elements and start over was very hard, but quickly, I rebounded. Going in the same area of psychology, I decided to become an MD in pursuit of Neurology. I have always been fascinated with the brain and how one thing affects another.


Shriners Hospital for Children has also been a big part in my life. When I was in middle school I would fly up to see my aunt who worked as a lab manager for Shriners in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I would often shadow doctors, nurses, PAs and tech to see how things were for them and see how they all fit to the hospital as a whole. Witnessing these children with such disabilities did not discourage me from spending time with them. I enjoyed playing games and learning about each patients.


Volunteering in the Emergency Department at Morton Plant Hospital Clearwater was one of the most joyful experiences. As a volunteer, I did regular patient comfort rounds. I would ask the patient and family how they were doing. If I could offer food, drink, or a warm blanket in hopes to make there stay more comfortable. In some cases, I even spent the time to talk to the patients. As I got to know them better, I felt this overwhelming connection. I could see that I was actually making a difference to the people I was helping. My first taste of bridging that gap to help patients. From here I took my newly sought out passion and focused my full effort at USF in Tampa. While there, I volunteered at the Shriner's Hospital that was established on campus. It was at this time where I realized that becoming an MD was not for me and that my life fit into the role of a PA better.


While working as a medical scribe in the Emergency Department of Florida Hospital Waterman, I have been privileged to see many things over the years. Previously volunteering in the ED prepared me for how chaotic it can be, but nothing could prepare me for the actual interactions I'd be facing. This was a real test to actually see if becoming a PA is right for me. I have been working as a scribe well over a year and there is not a doubt in my mind that my passion to become a PA is as strong as ever. Being able to work side by side of doctors and PAs was a great learning experience, one that no other job could emulate. Everyday I worked, my knowledge of medicine grew and grew. Knowing my intent to enter the field, the providers I worked with challenged me mentally in regards to diagnoses, XR interpretation and overall anatomy. As I worked diligently, I quickly learned how to interpret laboratory values and what they actually meant. From listening to a patients histories, I began to develop the same mindset that the MD or PA thinks in terms of questioning and diagnoses.


I want to be a PA because I feel the overall need to help people. While working in the ED, it instilled in me the reason why I want to be in the medical field. It also showed me that I believe I could do this as a career. Everyday at work is always filled with excitement. That drive that pushes me to better myself and seek out ways to help the foundation of why I want to becoma a PA. No matter what I do, I always accomplish every goal I set out to do.

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I think you have a lot of good stuff here, however, I would work on your overall flow as the transitions between your paragraphs are a bit jarring at times, in particular between the 2nd and 3rd paragraph. Also, you say "I realized that becoming an MD was not for me and that my life fit into the role of a PA better" but you do not explain why. I'm convinced from this you really want to be in the medical field, but I don't see much here about what it is about the PA role in particular that drives you toward it.

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