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Before walking into a brightly colored exam room, the doctor I was shadowing told me we were going to see a developmentally delayed ten year old male who had recently been discharged from the hospital after an intractable asthma exacerbation. Already I felt a connection to this patient, as my own little sister is profoundly disabled and has chronic lung problems. We walked in the room and greeted an audibly wheezing young boy and his mother, a vision almost too familiar to me as I had accompanied my mother and sister on numerous visits to hospitals over the years. Noticing the immediate concern on the doctor’s face, the patient’s mother began frantically begging the doctor not to admit her son to the hospital again. The doctor ordered a breathing treatment for the child, we went to see a couple more patients, and came back to find the child still wheezing.


The patient’s mother suddenly burst into tears while the doctor was listening to her son's lungs. She began telling us that they needed to leave and that she could not wait longer to see if her son was getting better or needed to be admitted back to the hospital. Sobbing, she explained how difficult it had been taking care of her son and how her family has been trying to have her children taken away from her even though she was clean and sober for the first time in her life. She explained that she and her son live in an apartment which has mold and bugs that aggravates her son's asthma. As the doctor and I sat in silence and listened to the woman cry, I became filled with memories of how my own mother dealt with her personal substance abuse, rehabilitations, financial difficulties, and recurrent hospitalizations of my little sister. I glanced over at the young boy and realized tears were streaming down his face while he had his breathing treatment mask on. The doctor eventually escorted his mother out of the room and asked me to stay with the patient.


As the young boy calmed down, we drew pictures and made paper airplanes with the notebook paper I had brought to take notes on. I felt a sense of purpose in being at the clinic that day that made my life experiences seem acutely meaningful and intended to drive me into health care. I had always been interested in science and research, fascinated by the medical care that had kept my sister alive and the potential for advances, but I had not yet realized how a career in medicine could combine my interest in science with my passion in advocating for vulnerable populations. I often feel a unique connection to patients who have immensely complicated life situations and medical problems as a result of the difficult experiences I have been through with

my family.


After college I wanted to strengthen my involvement in community medicine and solidify my desire to work in health care. I began working at ______, a clinic for the uninsured where my family and I were patients most of my life. A key element of the ______ 's success is the utilization of mid-level practitioners to assist them in serving more people. Working alongside dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer Physician Assistants exposed me to a field which I feel is ideal for me. The Physician Assistants I worked with truly illustrated how successful medical providers not only coordinate treatments for a patient's various illnesses, but also consider a patient's' complete health status which often includes difficult social aspects. I was inspired by how these providers appropriately treated immediate medical concerns and made referrals to outside resources such as counselors, health coaches, and social workers to ensure that patients could be as successful as possible in improving their health.


Further, a main focus and purpose of the Physician Assistant role, to extend health care to those who might not otherwise receive it, is my passion. I remember my parents taking me to the emergency room as a child for simple medical problems such as ear infections because they did not know where else to go. While working as an emergency room scribe for the past year, I

continually see patients like myself as a child check in to the ER for routine medical problems. Knowing the impact preventative medical care could have on their lives gives me a strong desire to help them manage their conditions and navigate their way to healing. Watching Physician Assistants treat patients and ensure that they understand their conditions is inspiring. I feel a

strong sense of purpose in helping people improve their health and feel that pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant would fulfill my passion for expanding access to health care, providing

thoughtful medical care and connecting with people from diverse backgrounds.

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Hey mcg2011! Your narrative is great, but I find myself asking why you want to be a pa rather than a doctor. Maybe explain more about why that route fits your personality better than an md. I really liked the story about the boy and how it tied into your own life, but maybe shorten it up a bit so you can spend more time on more aspects of the pa profession you like and how they made you decide that was the right path for you. Just some suggestions, but I think your narrative is passionate, and unique. Admissions committees will definitely see that you are a kind, driven, and compassionate individual! I wish you the best of luck!

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