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My ( Almost) Final Draft- Critique please!

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To begin, I would like to offer the definition of the word synergy-the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements and contributions. This word in itself has had meaning throughout my life and my understanding of this word joined with virtues such as a strong work ethic and willingness to learn, play a pivotal role in why I am a strong candidate to study to become a physician assistant. I quickly learned the importance of each piece of a team when my teammate was diagnosed with osteosarcoma during my freshman year of playing college volleyball. Upon my first visit with her in the hospital after surgery, I held her frail and scared hand which I used to slap with enthusiastic high-fives, and saw what was once a robust young athlete transformed into a sickly and ailing person. While I empathetically watched as she went through her treatment, I was able to witness the synergistic team work of her dedicated staff of doctors, nurses, and physician assistants which was vital to the diagnosis and treatment of her cancer. It was after this experience that I decided to switch to a major to prepare me for a career in healthcare.


While I knew that I wanted to be involved in medicine, I was unsure of what role I wanted to play. From my shadowing experiences, I was able to gain a better understanding of what exactly a career in healthcare would entail, after which I knew I wanted to be able to actively participate rather than just watch. As a medical assistant, I have had the opportunity to work alongside several physician assistants, and it is from these interactions that I have been able to solidify my desire to become one. I have witnessed how the physician assistant plays an important role in diagnosing, treating, and interacting with the patients, while enabling more patient care and interaction within a practice. I find immense satisfaction from both patient interactions as well exposure to the innumerable intricacies of the human body, but I am left yearning to do more for these patients myself as well as to understand the pathology which affects them.

Aside from my medical experience and observations, there are other characteristics that have aided to my personal development. As a collegiate athlete playing Division I volleyball, I truly learned the meaning of synergy. First as a student-athlete I had the task of pursuing academic excellence while also being a committed teammate. My performance in the classroom and my dedication to my team had to work in unison to assure that I fulfilled both of my roles as student and athlete. As a two time captain of my team, I learned that it requires a synchronized effort from every member of your team, along with personal accountability, communication, and tenacity in the face of adversity. Synonymous to a healthcare team, each of these pieces is necessary for a successful cascade of events, happening at the same time in order for a positive result. My appetite for learning and pushing my comfort zone were furthered in both my ability to complete a biomedical science curriculum in 3 years, while still supplementing my educational experience with a semester spent abroad. I was able to organize my own study abroad experience in Queensland, Australia, during which I was able to travel and maintain a strong academic schedule. My academic success in a completely new environment, the ability to study alongside people of cultures I had never experienced and exposure to new learning processes worked together in synergy to aid in my development as both a student and individual.

Having seen medicine practiced in a variety of settings, I realize that a career as a physician assistant will allow me to use my skills in a variety of different settings- from primary care to specific specialties, I would be able to help all kinds of patients as well as have lateral mobility within my profession. From the interactions that I have had with physician assistants, I hope to channel the qualities of selflessness, dedication, and the ability to work both autonomously and cooperatively within the healthcare team to provide quality patient care. I have had sufficient exposure to patient care, academic rigor, and both cooperative and leadership positions that have given me preparation for success in a career as a physician assistant. It is because of these experiences and personal qualities that I hold steadfast in my belief that a career as a physician assistant would be one that would allow me the balance and synergy I have held throughout my life as a student, an athlete, and an individual, and most importantly allow me to impact the lives of others through my work.

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