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supplemental PS for reapplicant

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I am reapplying to a program which requires an additionally PS that includes information about the applicant that cannot be found in any other part of the application. The supplemental also requires an essay for why I think I am a good fit for their distance education program and an optional one for past academics. I have written all three but am looking for feedback on my supplemental personal statement. I really use the distance essay to address why the program is a good fit...here I am addressing why I left a PA program ( i didn't adequately address last time I applied) and what i have done since. Also...still need to cut 50 words.

All feedback welcome.




My husband’s health had been slowly declining over several years. First, it was a digestive system that seemed perpetually “off”, then a steady decline in energy. About the time our second child was born, he began to feel intense pain in his ankles. He visited many doctors over the years, but there was no clear diagnosis and, gradually, we simply accepted his condition. With the complications that accompanied the birth of our second son, Tucker, our attention was focused more on him than on my husband’s health. Several months after coming home from the NICU, Tucker spiked high fevers, had occasional night sweats, and was always congested. Our health care providers thought it was the result of being in day care.


I often wonder how long we might have lived with my family’s illnesses had I not started the full-time, intensive physician assistant program at Franklin Pierce University (FPU). My absence made the impact of the illnesses more pronounced, as my husband couldn’t sustain the energy needed to care for our children, one of whom was chronically ill. After having withdrawn from one physician assistant education program, I wondered how I could return to my studies. It was clear that my family could not sustain my absence for the two years I would need to complete such a program. After withdrawing from FPU, we focused on finding the cause of the illnesses. Almost a year later, my husband was diagnosed with hemochromatosis. After six months of treatment, he was able to reduce the iron content of his blood to a manageable level, his energy returned, and his arthritis lessened. An immunologist diagnosed Tucker with a periodic fever syndrome and a sluggish immune system. With treatment, his immune function has improved and, over time, he is outgrowing the syndrome.


Though withdrawing from a PA program was disheartening, my passion for medicine grew stronger. When my family’s health improved, I joined a medical mission to Honduras. One of the things I learned there was the impact that cultural incompetence can have on treatment and diagnosis. For example, when a child was brought into our clinic and diagnosed with a seizure disorder, he was referred to the closest hospital, several hours away. Our medical team did not take seriously the grandmother’s concerns that the child was suffering from an ailment caused by spirits in the wind. Instead, we insisted she take the child to the hospital. The grandmother left feeling frustrated, stating that she would wait for the next clinic in hopes she could find someone that understood the problem. I have often reflected on that experience and wondered if we might have served that family better by taking the grandmother’s perception of the problem seriously.


My commitment to becoming a PA deepened in Honduras. To facilitate my return to a PA education program, I became licensed as a nurse assistant and began work in an intensive care unit. There, I was offered the opportunity to go on a medical mission to Haiti. Again, I was moved by the tremendous need for healthcare and lack of available resources. Working alongside a physician, I learned about making diagnoses in developing countries with little equipment. Though I witnessed much suffering among lethargic and dehydrated infants, untold children with impetigo and scabies, and adults afflicted with necrosis, leprosy, and ringworm, I was heartened by how many of these ailments could be improved by the medications we brought. We didn’t have a long-term solution, but the help we could provide made a crucial difference in the lives of those we served.


Through my family’s experiences with illness, my current work as an emergency department technician, and my international experiences, I have learned about disease and the social and emotional impact it has on a family.


I am reapplying to UW’s PA DE program because the part-time structure of the didactic phase would enable me to apply classroom learning to the diseases and diagnosis of patients in my emergency department while also allowing me meet the needs of my family. The clinical year would allow me to gain skills, identify needs, and build contacts in the area where I live and that I hope to serve – a goal that matches the program’s objective of developing PAs who stay in their communities and care for the underserved.

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