Flashback to My Personal Statement

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I decided to dig back into my e-mail vault the other day to try to find my personal statement from when I applied in 2011!  There are definitely some things that I would change if I were to submit it again, but it surprisingly wasn't too bad.  And it landed me some interviews, and I was accepted, so it did it's job.  I wanted to post this so you could see what got me to where I am now.  I'm not sure if this was my final edition that I submitted, but it was the most complete one I could find.  

Unfortunately, editing services like myPAresource weren't available when I was applying, but the service would have benefitted me a ton.  The only person who edited my essay was my mom, and she's great at grammar, but she's not a PA or that well-informed with what PA admissions are looking for. 

If hard work, determination, and focus assure one of success, a career as a physician assistant is within my reach.  Strong work ethics, as well as persistence, have directed my actions.  Whether it was a small thing like learning to ride my bike or making a career choice, I know what I want to accomplish and will passionately strive to obtain this goal.  My aspiration is to be a physician assistant that is compassionate, detail oriented, and conscious of each patient’s needs.   

My younger sister, Hanna, began having monthly fevers exceeding 102 degrees shortly after birth.  Many of the medical professionals who were consulted concluded that her condition was mysterious, but not life threatening.  One doctor stands out to me because of the interest he took in my sister's condition. Two years after he first saw Hanna and after many hours of extensive research, Dr. Miller diagnosed her illness as PHAPA, a rare disease with many unknowns and no clear treatment.  

This exposure to healthcare encouraged me to pursue a career as a professional who holds a genuine interest in a patient’s well being.  My father first introduced me to the physician assistant profession during my junior year of high school.   During the next two years I devoted time toward researching options available in the medical field and asking myself what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. I sought advice from health professionals, family, and teachers. My greatest strengths are determination, an interest in the intricacies of the human body, and compassion for helping people.  As a physician assistant, I will be able to utilize those characteristics in a field that is both challenging and rewarding.  After having made this decision, I was challenged to step out of my comfort area of literature and social sciences to begin a degree in Biology.    

For the past four years at the University of Georgia, I have immersed myself in rigorous classes, observation, CNA training, and volunteering to help better prepare myself for a career as a physician assistant.  During Spring semester 2011, I drove to Atlanta every weekend for three months in order to complete the Certified Nursing Assistant program while I still maintained a full time schedule at school. 

With my Certified Nursing Assistant license, I have gained further insight into patient care and interaction.  Patients value someone who cares and takes the time to explain procedures and complicated medical jargon.  Being a CNA before going into a profession as a PA has provided me with valuable insight into the team aspect of medical care.  At the hospital, I have worked with many different nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and doctors to ensure quality care for the patients.  Each member has his or her own role, but recovery occurs quickest for the patient when everyone works together to provide the highest quality of care.  

To further enhance my understanding of PA responsibilities, I have shadowed in various fields, allowing me to observe both patient/PA and Physician/PA interactions and procedures, including surgeries.    The ranges of independent levels among the PAs and the professionalism exhibited during stressful situations have been impressive.  There was one incident when a diagnosis of a small cyst was actually an aneurism.  A dangerous situation was quickly averted because of the quick actions and judgment of the PA.    

I have also participated in international volunteer trips with Wesley Foundation, a campus ministry, to Amsterdam and Jamaica.  I now see a need for medical care in other countries, and I hope to utilize my knowledge and skills as an international medical provider.  For example, the project I worked on in Jamaica was to construct a three-room home to replace the leaking, dirt floored shack occupied by a mother and her five children.  She showed her gratefulness with food and tears, while the children showed their excitement with hugs for everyone.  This was a small step toward providing this family with a healthier environment.  Eventually, I hope to contribute actual healthcare to families such as these.   

Flexibility, demand, and growth are all attractive aspects of the PA profession, but my interests go beyond these.  As a PA, I will utilize my skills, intelligence, and compassion while I am helping others.  Although self-sufficiency is important, I enjoy working as part of a team, which increases accountability. An accountability system in healthcare is essential to preventing mistakes, thus providing better care to patients. The possibility of working in different areas and specialties as needs change makes this career appealing.  I am ready to learn and to prepare for my career as a physician assistant.