I'm a second time applicant and would love to get some feedback on my personal statement to submit for this round. Thanks so much for reading/reviewing! If you have a PS you'd like feedback on let me know in a comment and I'd be happy to return the favor. Part of me wants to shorten it a bit but I also feel like each paragraph is necessary to 'tell my story.'
Suddenly, I’m enveloped into an embrace with an elderly woman; we maintain our stance for several minutes without parting. When we finally divide, I am held at arm’s length. The remnant of tears trace down the side of her cheeks as she speaks softly. “It will be okay, thank you.” Her words are reassuring, although I am unsure if they are truly allocated for me.
We had attempted to resuscitate her husband in the emergency room for an hour without success. It wasn’t the sudden loss of life that caught me off guard, but the magnitude of the heartbreak I felt for the woman’s family that continues to resonate with me. This experience is part of what has made me realize that providing care within my community drives my passion to become a PA.
After six years of climbing the corporate ladder I came to the realization that I was spending the majority of my day agonizing about a bottom line rather than truly serving our clients. My position required hours of analyzing medical records in preparation for trial. I would become engrossed during my review researching patients’ diagnosis and treatment options. I received the privileged, behind-the-curtain, opportunity to discuss their plans of care directly with physicians during depositions. This experience made me interested in medicine. During this time, I also began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, which is where I had the experience that inspired me to change career paths altogether.
It was a blistering summer day and we were in the final stages of restoring a dilapidated home. My few short months of involvement with Habitat for Humanity were beginning to feel more fulfilling than my corporate. I was wearing a blue hard hat and Habitat shirt which was stained with streaks of grey paint from the day’s work. The home owner, Valerie, waved me over for a cold glass of lemonade which I graciously accepted. As I sat down to enjoy a break from the heat, she relayed the story of how she became the recipient of Habitat’s philanthropic efforts.
Valerie, a single mother with two smaller children, described her youngest son’s severe disabilities, which had left him confined to a wheelchair. She discussed the difficulty of maintaining a job while tending to her son’s full time needs. She went on to explain the many hardships the family had as a result of financing his costly medical treatment. The paint brush in my hand almost seemed to shrink in size as I realized how minuscule my contribution to the community actually was. That day, with Valerie’s story burning in my head, I returned home and enrolled in school to become an EMT.
I could not have fathomed that I would pursue a career in health care, and it is due to my trials and tribulations since completing my undergraduate work that health care has become an interwoven part of my identity. During my undergraduate program, I became discouraged, pursuing unfulfilling majors in multiple career paths. I lost my way during this time and felt disheartened with my education. Since I ascertained my devotion to become a PA I have excelled in my prerequisite course work and contributed over 1,000 hours to the underserved within my community while maintaining a full-time job.
While volunteering at Puget Sound Christian Clinic I began to realize the restrictions of my EMT license. I lacked the education necessary to fully care for my patients that required ongoing medical treatment. I was provided with the opportunity to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team and had my first interactions with a PA. My path to becoming a PA was illuminated after observing our PA’s calming demeanor when faced with managing patients chronic medical conditions while navigating difficult language barriers.
Recognizing the limitations of my EMT license, I strive to assist my patients at a higher level of care and offer greater support to the underserved as a PA. I look forward to using what I learn in a Physician’s Assistant program to lessen the burden of health care expenses for individuals like Valerie and continue to connect to their families in my community in their times of hardship.
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