Are you reapplying to PA school after not gaining acceptance last round?
What will you do with your old personal statement? Toss it completely? Change a few details and cross your fingers?
The answer is somewhere in the middle.
What should you do with your original PA school personal statement as a PA school reapplicant?
Never regret a day in your life. Good days give happiness, bad days give experience, the worst days give lessons, and the best days give memories.― Dr. Sukhraj Dhillon
The first step? Take an objective look at your personal statement
What's the first step to rewriting your PA school personal statement as a reapplicant? Take an objective look at your personal statement.
Start with having a trusted friend read it. Ask them to mark what stood out as strong and memorable. What answered that all-important question: Why do I want to become a PA?
Ask your reader to note what seems unnecessary or weak. Give this person permission to be brutally honest. These first impressions will show you what sections to keep as well as delete.
What do you want to communicate in this round of applications?
Next up: Ask yourself what you really want to convey in this round of applications.
You have likely expanded your clinical skills and passion for the PA profession. How can you highlight that growth, along with the personal history that brought you to the profession, to show that you deserve a coveted spot in PA school?
Rewrite your personal statement introduction
While you may have worked hard to make your past introduction shine, you will need to completely rewrite it. Many PA programs compare reapplicants’ essays from year to year and reworking your essay shows those programs you are serious about presenting an effective application each cycle.
What has happened in the last year that has reinforced your desire to become a PA?
Was there a patient who completely changed your approach? Or better yet, changed you?
If so, describe that encounter. This is your chance to ignite your readers’ interest, so carefully consider what you want to say and how you want to say it.
PRO TIP: Rewrite your PA school personal statement introduction.
Make sure to read:
Rewrite your patient care example from your previous personal statement
Now, look at the patient care example from your previous personal statement. You will also want to rewrite this.
Whether it is in your introduction or midway through your essay, resist the temptation to keep that same old story. This is often the most memorable part of your personal statement, so you will want to make it pop.
Describe yourself in action connecting with a patient on a human level. You will want to demonstrate your ability to serve with empathy and expertise. While you may be tempted to keep the theme from your last essay, in most cases you will want to update that as well.
PRO TIP: Rewrite the patient care example from your previous personal statement.
Revise the details that have changed since your last application
Next, revise the details that have changed since your last application.
You probably have gained shadowing hours, expanded clinical skills, and added more prerequisites. Note all these developments. This is the place you can show your commitment to growth and improvement.
If you have a new role, make sure you include that. Admissions committees want to see that you have moved forward toward your goal and leveraged the time to improve.
You bring one more year of patient interactions, personal and professional growth, and collaboration with coworkers as a candidate. Make sure you spotlight your enrichment.
Much of the information that has not changed can remain but...
Much of the information that has not changed can remain. Just make sure you vary your language so each sentence feels fresh.
Switch the opening lines of every paragraph and change the structure of some of your sentences so your essay reads differently. You may be tempted to skip this step but trust me—taking the time to evaluate each sentence will ensure a cohesive, compelling, and revitalized essay.
PRO TIP: You can keep the information that has not changed just make sure you vary your language, so each sentence feels fresh.
Write a new conclusion
Lastly, you will want to write a brand-new conclusion.
Tie back to your new introduction in some way and reiterate your essays’ theme as well as your commitment to becoming a PA. Also, restate your desire for expanded clinical responsibility for patients.
PRO TIP: Write a brand-new conclusion
"Your job as an artist is to write what's missing"
Most importantly, do not lose heart and don't let fear stand in the way of your art. Lin-Manuel Miranda famously said, "Your job as an artist is to write what's missing." Is there anything missing in your essay? Be honest, be authentic, and do your job as an artist… Find what's missing, then write it!
Many applicants find success after multiple application cycles. Maintain your resolve to become a PA and let it propel you toward your goal.
Some of the best PAs I know found that the extra year or two it took them to land a spot in PA school yielded more depth and fulfillment in their work.
You have gained skills and perspective in the last year, so grab a pen and show your dream program how these experiences will make you a more compassionate and effective PA.
Remember, if you need help along the way, our skilled editors can coach you through your rewrite. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are always here as you strive toward this worthy goal.
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 Definitive 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
- You Have 625 Words and 2.5 Minutes to Get Into PA School: Use Them Wisely
- What’s Your #1 Personal Statement Struggle?
- 31 (NEW) CASPA PA School Personal Statement Examples
- How to Prepare for Your PA School Interview Day Essay
- Should You Write Physician Associate or Physician Assistant on Your PA School Essay?
- Meet the World’s Sexiest PA School Applicants
- PA School Reapplicants: How to Rewrite Your PA School Essay for Guaranteed Success
- How to Write a Personal Statement Intro that Readers Want to Read
- PA School Reapplicant Personal Statement Checklist
- How to Deal with Bad News in Your Personal Statement
- Inside Out: How to use Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling to Improve your PA Personal Statement
- Ratatouille: A Pixar Recipe for PA School Personal Statement Success
- Personal Statement Panel Review (Replay)
- Mind Mapping: A Tool for Personal Statements, Supplemental Essays, and Interviews