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Re-applicant PS. Criticism welcome!

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I truly felt a connection with the Physician Assistant career in the Fall of 2008 during my first semester at Clarion University. Instead of putting on the “freshman fifteen” I quickly lost twenty-five pounds, felt extremely fatigued, suffered from debilitating headaches, and had quarter sized lumps on my neck. Determined not to miss class to make the two hour trip home to see my family doctor, I visited the University health center several times however, I continued to get worse. Anxiety and fear took over my mind after an unexpected trip to the emergency room. What could be wrong with me? My mother begged me to come home and go to the doctor. My appointment was with the office's Physician Assistant, Julie. She was extremely friendly, spoke to me in a manner which I could easily understand, and addressed my concerns. She immediately ordered blood tests, and x-rays, it was clear that she was adamant about producing answers for me. I was extremely thankful for the time that she spent educating me, and felt that she was invested in my health. In the end I was diagnosed with a pretty serious case of mononucleosis, and as a result my liver was not functioning properly. However, relief flooded over me, I finally had an accurate diagnosis! Through my experience Julie gained my trust and confidence in a different way than other provider had been able to do, and inspired me to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant! I embarked on a mission to find out as much about the Physician Assistant career as possible, and several experiences solidified my desire to become a PA.

Upon graduating Clarion University, I was hired by Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries as a home care aide. I was anxious about the position because upon my hiring I was told that I would be exposed to a wide range of situations. In some cases I was told I would be responsible for lifting patients or using a Hoyer Lift to move them. And even though safety in some neighborhoods where I worked was a concern, I steeled my nerves for the first day I would visit patients on my own. It was amazing to watch my clients improve and I was joyful when I saw them achieve a personal goal. As a home care aide I gained knowledge about different medications, conditions, therapies, and insight into what types of treatments are realistic for each patient. This experience made me realize that I have the compassion that is necessary to become a successful PA. It has also helped me to recognize the passion and desire I have to learn about different aspects of the medical field and encouraged me to take my current position as a clinical allergy specialist. Now I am responsible for conducting allergy testing, administering allergy injections, and determining treatment plans specific to each patient's personal needs.

As a re-applicant this cycle I have been forced to evaluate my level of commitment to the career, and I am as determined as ever to become a Physician Assistant. After previously being unsuccessful in my pursuits, I contacted admissions representatives at the programs I applied to and began to take action to improve my candidacy. Today I proudly submit my application to your Physician Assistant program having made significant improvements. First, since applying in 2012 I have gained over 750 additional patient care hours increasing my patient care experience from 233 hours to a current total of 1,000 hours. Also, at the time of my first application I had only spent ten hours shadowing a Physician Assistant within a primary care setting. Since that time I have spent an additional 31 hours shadowing Physician Assistants in various specialties including Emergency Medicine, Dermatology, Cardiology, Orthopedics, and within an Arthritis and Osteoporosis treatment center. Furthermore, I have enrolled as a graduate student at Chatham University and will be taking upper level science courses such as Gross Anatomy, Human Physiology, and Neuroscience that will prepare me for similar courses that will be encountered as a Physician Assistant student, while helping me to strengthen my science background.

Major health care changes are taking effect, and the medical community is going to need to fill health care deficits with additional providers such as Physician Assistants. My desire is to help fill this gap to ensure that patients have quick and easy access to the best medical care possible. As a PA my goals are to know my patients by more than just their symptoms, to educate patients about conditions and illnesses so that they feel informed about their health, and invest myself into seeing every patient improve, thus gaining the trust of patients and supervisory physicians. I look forward to the future and it is my hope that you will consider me for the Physician Assistant program.

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