What's the #1 one mistake that potential PAs and pre-physician assistant students make while drafting their PA school personal statement?
A failure to outline and plan!
Outlining your personal statement is like following a proven recipe.
Although strong personal statements do not all follow the same format (nor should they), there is a certain formula for success that will showcase your qualifications while highlighting your passion for becoming a PA.
And that's why we have created this time-tested personal statement starter kit to help you outline and write your compelling first draft.
Download Your Ultimate PA School Personal Statement Starter Kit
This starter kit takes you step by step through the process of outline and writing your personal statement. Just follow our collection of prompts, write your paragraphs in the spaces provided, and at the end, you will have a strong first draft personal statement that showcases your strongest asset—you!
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR MARK WITH A STANDOUT INTRODUCTION
Paragraph #1: Your Opening Paragraph
Start your personal statement by describing a lightning-bolt moment that launched your interest in patient care or confirmed that the PA profession is right for you.
Be sure to include specific, compelling details that give the reader a good sense of why this story had such an impact on your decision to become a PA.
Inspiration abounds! Consider writing about:
- An experience with a special patient that helped you decide to be a PA
- A critical health or safety incident that pushed you to act and taught you that you perform well under pressure
- A time when you or a family member were cared for by a dedicated PA
- What you learned from growing up in a medically underserved area
- Volunteer experiences that taught you the important impact you can have on the health of underserved individuals
STEP 2: SHOW US YOUR JOURNEY
How did your decision to work in healthcare evolve? (One caveat—please don’t start with childhood experiences—admissions committees won’t care what you thought as a five-year-old).
- Did you volunteer to gain experience?
- Take a job working with patients?
- What path did you take to build your patient care hours?
How did you build your understanding of the PA Profession?
- What experience do you have shadowing/working with PAs or other healthcare professionals?
- What do you admire about the PAs you've met?
- Why do you want to be a PA specifically rather than a doctor or nurse practitioner?
What specific skills will help you be a successful PA? What experiences (professional or personal) developed these skills? Show readers why your skills, personality, and trademark awesomeness will benefit your future patients and the profession.
Optional Paragraph #5
Do you have experience volunteering or working with underserved people? Is this a focus that you'd like to have in the future as a PA? How do you show empathy to patients with special needs?
Optional Paragraph #6
Are there any academic issues you need to discuss (grades of C or below, or any withdrawals)? Provide an explanation for any lower grades or academic issues.
STEP 3: CLOSE WITH CONFIDENCE
Your Concluding Paragraph
End your personal statement with a paragraph that connects to your standout opening or overall theme and reiterates why you will be a great PA.
In our book, How to Write Your Physician Assistant Personal Statement, I talk about how the conclusion of your essay is like the last kiss at the end of a first date. It should always leave the recipient wanting more. Here is a good example:
Step 4: Putting it all Together
Outlining your essay really is is like following a proven recipe.
Before outlining, you brainstorm or mind map to consider what can be included in your essay. You associate freely, considering related ideas.
Outlining means bringing structure to your scribbles. You decide which ideas you’ll cover, and which you’ll leave out. And you define a logical flow.
Then, like the ingredients in your Grandma's homemade chocolate chip cookies you pull it all together.
If you have downloaded your starter kit and followed the prompts you should have a cookie that's ready for the taste test. The final step is to test it on some beta readers whose opinions you trust.
Let us do the work for you!
Step 1: Download your copy of the personal statement starter kit and fill it out.
Step 2: Send us your completed starter kit and your rough draft essay for completion.
- Receive your free digital copy of our book "How to Write Your PA Personal Statement" and "101 PA School Admission Essays" just for signing up!
- Within 48 hours you will receive your edited and revised personal statement that's on point, personable, polished, within the character limit, and 100% written by you!
Click the buttons and complete the steps:
|Step 1:||then||Step 2:|
|Download & Complete YOUR STARTER KIT||Send us your essay for revision|
View all posts in this series
- How to Write the Perfect Physician Assistant School Application Essay
- The Physician Assistant Essay and Personal Statement Collaborative
- Do You Recognize These 7 Common Mistakes in Your Personal Statement?
- 7 Essays in 7 Days: PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 1, “A PA Changed My Life”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 2, “I Want to Move Towards the Forefront of Patient Care”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 3, “She Smiled, Said “Gracias!” and Gave me a Big Hug”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 4, “I Have Gained so Much Experience by Working With Patients”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 5, “Then Reach, my Son, and Lift Your People up With You”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 6, “That First Day in Surgery was the First Day of the Rest of my Life”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 7, “I Want to Take People From Dying to Living, I Want to Get Them Down From the Cliff.”
- Physician Assistant Personal Statement Workshop: “To say I was an accident-prone child is an understatement”
- 9 Simple Steps to Avoid Silly Spelling and Grammar Goofs in Your PA School Personel Statement
- 5 Tips to Get you Started on Your Personal Essay (and why you should do it now)
- How to Write Your Physician Assistant Personal Statement The Book!
- How to Write “Physician Assistant” The PA Grammar Guide
- 101 PA School Admissions Essays: The Book!
- 5 Things I’ve Learned Going Into My Fourth Physician Assistant Application Cycle
- 7 Tips for Addressing Shortcomings in Your PA School Personal Statement
- The #1 Mistake PRE-PAs Make on Their Personal Statement
- The Ultimate PA School Personal Statement Starter Kit
- The Ultimate Guide to CASPA Character and Space Limits
- 10 Questions Every PA School Personal Statement Must Answer
- 5 PA School Essays That Got These Pre-PAs Accepted Into PA School
- 7 Questions to Ask Yourself While Writing Your PA School Personal Statement
- 101 PA School Applicants Answer: What’s Your Greatest Strength?
- 12 Secrets to Writing an Irresistible PA School Personal Statement
- 7 Rules You Must Follow While Writing Your PA School Essay