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Single Edit One-on-one Service Supplemental Essays
Your success is our passion. (See just some of our 100's of testimonials and comments below). We are ready to help. Our current PA school essay editing service status (7th June 2023): Accepting New Submissions
(Photo: Me circa 1987 just thinking about my future PA School Essay)
- Are you struggling to write your physician assistant personal statement?
- Are you out of ideas, or just need a second opinion?
- Do you want an essay that expresses who you truly are and grabs the reader's attention in the required 5,000-character limit?
We are here to help perfect your PA school essay
I have written countless times on this blog about the importance of your personal statement in the PA school application process. Beyond the well-established metrics (GPA, HCE/PCE hours, requisite coursework, etc.), the personal statement is the most crucial aspect of your application.
This is your time to express yourself, show your creativity, skills, background, and make a memorable impression in seconds. This will be your only chance, so you must get it right the first time.
For some time, I had been dreaming about starting a physician assistant personal statement collaborative.
A place where PA school applicants like yourself can post your PA school essays and receive honest, constructive feedback followed by an acceptance letter to the PA school of your choice!
I have been reviewing a ton of essays recently, so many in fact that I can no longer do this on my own.
To solve this problem, I have assembled a team of professional writers, editors, and PA school admissions specilists that worked to revise and perfect my PA school application essay.
Sarah Schultz honed her writing and editing skills as a professional grant writer for nonprofit healthcare and education organizations. She gained a solid foundation in interviewing and decision-making through her role in academic admissions. A true word nerd, she holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature from Murray State University, where she was a Jesse Stuart Fellow. She is the author of seven comedic plays and had her first novel published in 2018. For the past few years, she has worked as the Team Leader for The Physician Assistant Life, where she dedicates herself to helping pre-PAs achieve their goals.
Deanna Matzen is an author with articles featured in Earth Letter, Health Beats, Northwest Science & Technology, and the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. With an early career in environmental science, she developed a solid foundation in technical writing. Her communication skills were further honed by producing and editing content for a non-profit website, blog, and quarterly journal. Inspired to extend her craft, she obtained a certificate in literary fiction, which she draws on to build vibrant scenes that bring stories to life. Deanna loves working with pre-PAs who are on the cusp of new beginnings to find their unique story and tell it confidently.
Carly Hallman is a professional writer and editor with a B.A. in English Writing and Rhetoric (summa cum laude) from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She has worked as a curriculum developer, English teacher, and study abroad coordinator in Beijing, China, where she moved in 2011. In college, she was a Gilman Scholar and worked as a staff editor for her university's academic journal. Her first novel, Year of the Goose, was published in 2015, and her first memoir is forthcoming from Little A books. Her essays and creative writing have appeared in The L.A. Review of Books, The Guardian, LitHub, and Identity Theory, among other publications.
Beth Eakman has taught college writing and worked as a professional writer and editor since the late 1990s. Her projects have involved a wide range of disciplines and media, from editing technical reports to scriptwriting for the PBS Kids show Super Why! Her writing has appeared in publications including Brain, Child Magazine, New York Family Magazine, and Austin Family Magazine. Beth lives with her family just outside Austin, Texas. She is driven to help each client tell the best version of their story and achieve their dream of becoming a physician assistant.
Read more client testimonials or purchase a revision
We Work as a Team
Our team of professional editors is wonderful at cutting out the "fluff" that makes an essay lose focus and sets people over the 5,000-character limit. Their advice is always spot-on.
Sue, Sarah, and Carly are amazingly creative writers who will take your "ordinary" and turn it into entirely extraordinary.
I mean it when I say this service is one-of-a-kind! We have spent countless hours interviewing PA School admissions directors and faculty from across the country to find out exactly what it is they are looking for in your personal statement.
We even wrote a book about it.
To collaborate, we use Google Drive. Google Drive is free, has an intuitive interface with integrated live comments in the sidebar, the ability to have a real-time chat, to collaborate effortlessly, and compare, revise, or restore revisions on the fly. Google Drive also has an excellent mobile app that will allow you to make edits on the go!
Our team has worked with hundreds of PA school applicants within the Google Drive environment, and we have had enormous success.
The Physician Assistant Essay and Personal Statement Collaborative
I have set up two options that I hope will offer everyone a chance to participate:
- One of a kind, confidential, paid personal statement review service
- A collaborative free one (in the comments section)
Private, One-On-One Personal Statement Review Service
If you are interested in the paid service, you may choose your plan below.
The Personal Statement Review Service is:
- Behind closed doors within a private secure network using Google Drive.
- Completely interactive, meaning we will be able to provide real-time comments and corrections using the Google Drive interface.
- Telephone consultations are included with all edits above the single edit level. It’s often hard to communicate exactly what you want 100’s of miles away; for this reason, we offer the option to edit right along with us over the telephone while sharing in real-time over Google Drive. This is an option available to all our paid clients who purchase above the single edit level.
- We provide both revision and editing of all essays. What’s the difference? See below
- We will provide feedback, advice, and help with brainstorming and topic creation if you would like.
- We will help with a “final touch-up” before the big day just in case your essay needs a few minor changes.
Why Choose Our Service?
- It’s not our opinion that matters. We have gone the extra step and personally interviewed PA school administrators from across the US to find out exactly what they think makes a personal statement exceptional.
- We are a team of PAs and professional writers having worked over seven years with PA school applicants like yourself, providing countless hours of one-on-one editing and revision.
- Our clients receive interviews, and many go on to receive acceptance into their PA School of choice.
Because we always give 100%, we will open the essay collaborative for a limited number of applicants each month and then close this depending on the amount of editing that needs to be done and the time that is available.
Our goal is not quantity, but quality. We want only serious applicants, who are serious about getting into PA school.
Writing is not a tool like a piece of software, but more like how a photograph can capture your mood. It’s more like art. The process of developing a unique, memorable personal statement is time-intensive, and it takes hours to compose, edit, finalize, and personalize an essay.
As Antoinette Bosco once said:
And this is why I am charging for this service. We love helping people find stories that define their lives, and we love helping individuals who have the passion to achieve their dreams. It’s hard to describe the feeling I get when an applicant writes me back to tell me they were accepted into PA school.
There is no price tag I can place on this; it’s the feeling we get when we help another human being, it’s just like providing health care. But this takes time.
Interested? Choose your plan below.
Read more client testimonials.
Free Personal Statement Review
Post your essay in the comments section for a free critique
We want to make this opportunity available to everyone who would like help with their essay, and that is why we are offering free, limited feedback on the blog.
You post your essay in the comments section, and you will get our critique. It is that easy. We will try to give feedback to every single person who posts their COMPLETE essay here on this blog post in the comments section.
Also, by posting your comment, we reserve the right to use your essay.
We will provide feedback on essays that are complete and fit the CASPA requirements (View CASPA requirements here). We will not provide feedback on partial essays, or review opening or closing statements. Your essay will be on a public platform, which has both its benefits and some obvious drawbacks. The feedback is limited, but we will try to help in any way we can.
Note: Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, I will delete your stuff. Otherwise, have fun, and thanks for adding to the conversation! And this should go without saying if you feel the need to plagiarize someone else’s content you do not deserve to go to PA school.
* Also, depending on the time of year it may take me several weeks to reply!
We love working with PA school applicants, but don't just take our word for it!
How to submit your essay for the paid service
If you are serious and would like to have real, focused, and personalized help writing your personal statement please choose your level of service and submit your payment below.
After you have submitted your payment, you will be redirected to the submissions page where you can send us your essay as well as any special instructions. We will contact you immediately upon receipt of your payment and essay so we may begin work right away.
Pricing is as follows:
Choose your plan then click "Buy Now" to submit your essay and we will get started right away!
Every purchase includes a FREE digital copy of our new 100-page eBook How to Write Your Physician Assistant Personal Statement, Our 101 PA School Admission Essays e-book, the expert panel audiobook, and companion workbook. This is a $65 value included for free with your purchase.
All credit card payments are processed via PayPal over a secure HTTPS server. Once your payment is processed you will be immediately redirected back to the essay submission page. There you will submit your essay along with some biographical info and all suggestions or comments you choose to provide. You will receive immediate confirmation that your essay has been securely transmitted as well as your personal copy of "How to Write Your Physician Assistant Personal Statement." Contact [email protected] if you have any questions, comments, or problems - I am available 24/7.
The hourly service includes your original edit and one-on-one time over Google Drive, it is simple to add more time if necessary, but you may be surprised at what a difference just a single edit can make. We find our four-hour service to be the most effective in terms of time for follow-up and full collaboration. We are open to reduced rate add-ons to suit your individual needs.
Writing and Revision
All writing benefits from rewriting when done well.
When you are in the process of writing a draft of an essay, you should be thinking first about revision, not editing.
What’s the difference?
Revision refers to the substantial changing of text. For example, it may include re-organizing ideas and paragraphs, providing additional examples or information, and rewriting a conclusion for clarity.
Editing, on the other hand, refers to correcting mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
On all submissions, we perform both, revision, and editing.
How to submit your PA school essay for the FREE editing service
Follow the rules above and get to work below in the comments section. I look forward to reading all your essay submissions.
- Stephen Pasquini PA-C
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
- Start at the End: Advice for your PA School Personal Statement
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This is a rough draft. I appreciate any help in molding the perfect letter. Thank you so much!
My entire life I have been profoundly fascinated by the human body. My interest started when I was very young watching a television show with my father called “Operation”. This show was the first of its kind airing real-life graphic operations for the public. I found the intricacies of the internal human body mesmerizing and thought provoking. My mother taught me to understand and treat my body holistically with healthy foods, exercise, and awareness.
My parents, both in the army, made it a point to instill in me honesty, integrity, and strength from a young age. The word “cannot” was not tolerated in my home. As a moody teenager, my focus on the human body turned inward as I struggled with harnessing raw emotion to culminate drive and perseverance. After graduating high school, my goal was to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I wanted to learn and treat the body through eastern, western, and spiritual medicine. Alas, a year after high school graduation, I found myself married and with my first child. My life quickly shifted.
Unfortunately, the time required to properly care for my small children, along with our financial situation, made attaining my degree a distant goal. I went to school to be a massage therapist as a quick compromise to medicine because my passion was, after all, to help relieve pain and suffering. I found this work not only lucrative, but intriguing because I was able to feel and alter a person’s discomfort into comfort. I took great pride in my work and my family. After my husband left me and our three children, I worked more than ever to solely provide for my children. My grandfather always told me, “Where there is a will, there is a way”. I kept that saying close to my heart, and remembering it gave me strength when I needed it and helped me believe in myself when no one else did.
While massage therapy still gives me great joy, I feel like I’ve simply topped out. I took all the continuing education I could utilize in my practice, yet I felt a longing for more. After 20 years of a very successful client-based massage therapy career, I needed more mental stimulation. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I closed my massage practice and started working at the local hospital as a patient care technician to help in any way I could. I loved working with patients. It was so rewarding to help make someone’s day a bit more comfortable.
My second husband and I have worked extremely hard to maintain our blended family of five teenagers, and it is because of this determination that I have been allotted the space to return to school. I went back to work as a self-employed massage therapist to create my own schedule, and as such, I am able to make enough money in three days to adequately contribute to my family and still attend full-time classes. I am currently a very proud first-generation non-traditional college student.
I am determined to be a physician’s assistant because it provides for a healthy work-life balance that satisfies my desire to contribute to the betterment of humanity. Furthermore, the occupation fuels my drive to help each individual live their best life. As a physician’s assistant, I am excited to use my education and life experience to treat the whole person with integrity, honesty, compassion, and care.
Hello and thank you so much for critiquing my first personal essay. Is it acceptable to resubmit my essay revision? I realize how valuable your time is and would not overextend my use of your services. I would completely understand if this is not allowed. So Appreciative of Your Time! Greg
The distinctive stench of alcohol, sweat, and antiseptics permeated the air, triggering my senses and I’m firing on all cylinders; It was going to be a very busy night. As a clinical care technician (CCT), supportive yet crucial is my contribution to the mosaic of kinetic energy that is in the emergency room (ER). It is the essential trust, collaboration, and readiness for anything that rolls through the doors that really keeps me going. My CCT position provided me with direct patient interaction and additional clinical skills such as phlebotomy, performing EKGs, and other point-of-care testing while functioning in a more hands-on role. The various personalities, work styles, and dedication combine to create a truly unique and talented team and one in which the PA plays a crucial role. I observed how involved the PA was with the care team and how much the clinical staff relied on them for additional support throughout the day. One of the most fulfilling aspect of this position was when my supervisor asked me to teach the medical students’ phlebotomy techniques. I recalled how nervous I was initially learning phlebotomy; I implemented this mentorship with the patience, support, and encouragement necessary for a successful outcome. Being paid the ultimate compliment, my CCT coworkers also asked for my tips and demonstrations in drawing blood. My experiences working alongside the PAs in the ER fostered my desire to learn more and inspired me to shadow PAs in other specialties.
It was in the Cardio-Thoracic unit ICU that I engaged in thoughtful and deep observation in the role of a PA. During morning rounds alongside the MD, Intensivist, and RN, I observed how involved the PA was with the care team and how much the clinical staff relied on them for additional support throughout the day. They would often encourage me to assist in bedside procedures, attend morning rounds as an observer, and review any questions I had. The nature of the ICU exemplified a genuinely collaborative working environment in which the PA played a significant role. Interpreting lab results, ordering diagnostic tests, conducting procedures at the bedside, or assisting in the OR presented itself as a most coveted career path for me. My shadowing of PAs immersed me in the collaborative workflow required of the care team and cemented my conviction to pursue the PA application process.
To further balance and enrich my healthcare experience I secured a part-time position at the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program; a Boston-based non-profit clinic providing crucial healthcare services to Boston’s homeless population. This position amplified the need to practice the greatest compassion, honoring dignity, and reaffirming the humanity of those individuals usually invisible to us. While taking Molly’s vital signs, the struggles she lives revealed her story through her deeply wrinkled face and hands. Hello Molly, the warmth of my hands quickly drained into her cold and discolored fingertips. After completing her vitals when she was about to see the physician, here take these; I gave Molly my wool gloves. Is this all I can do? I felt frustrated and hollowed by my limited position. This lost-in-plain-sight population has exposed me to other areas of medicine that I intend to explore including street outreach, mobile clinics, and emergency relief. Attending a program committed to working with the underserved fosters my belief that I can play a part in gnawing away at healthcare inequities.
Every experience I’ve had working alongside PAs since 2019, from behind the desk to bedside has enriched my knowledge of who they are, and what they do, and has directly cemented my decision to pursue this profession. Between my recent work and extensive shadowing experiences, I’ve confirmed much about myself; my flexibility, willingness to work long hours, strong teamwork, and devotion to compassionate care have shaped me into the PA I aspire to be.
Whitney Prosperi says
We only provide this service once, but we are always taking essay submissions for our revision service should you want more help. I wish you the best.
Understood, thank you so much for instilling some missing confidence. I’m obsessing
over this now and will put it aside for just a bit. Again thanks for your time & critique, so so helpful! Greg
A 14 year old female comes into the ER unable to walk and in excruciating pain. Previously healthy and a competitive gymnast with no significant past medical history. She has a fever of 105 degrees with localized hip pain. She is taken for every test in the books to figure out what is causing this intense pain. It takes days in the hospital to figure it out and many determined health care workers who were all working tirelessly to figure out the cause.
The 14 year old girl in the story is me. I had grown up being the most active kid in the room and never needing more than a yearly check up. I was unaware and uneducated about what the healthcare field was up until the day I was carried into the ER by my mother. I was feeling a level of pain I did not know was possible and even worse a level of fear and anxiety about what was happening to my once perfectly healthy body. Once I was bedded in the ER, I was hooked up to dozens of machines and transported from X-ray, to CT, to MRI, to ultrasound still in agonizing pain with no end in sight. I was eventually admitted to the hospital. Whenever a healthcare worker would enter the work all I could beg for was pain meds, “please make it stop” I would plead. Although everyone was kind, no one seemed to give me the answers my family and I wanted or could provide me with comfort that this would stop and I would go back to myself. That was true until I was introduced to my infectious disease PA who had found the source of my pain, and just in time so that I would not have to be cut in surgery open from hip to hip at 14 years old. I remember when he first entered, he came in cheery and with a sense of humor which was strange to me as I had been greeted with sympathy and sadness for the past four days. He explained that I had a staph infection that invaded my hip and SI joint, but he assured me that he had a plan to cure it as was starting me on the necessary treatment. He was the first person to provide me with relief, both physical and emotional.
After the correct antibiotic treatment started and my pain slightly subsided, I became more aware and out of the dazed state of pain. I was on the pediatric floor surrounded by crying babies and I felt very out of place. There was a walker in my room and other equipment I had never seen before but was about to rely on. I reluctantly stood up using the walker for the first time and pain struck me yet again. I was coaxed out of the room by mom and began to slowly wander the hallways of my floor. I was entranced by the nurses, PAs, and physicians shuffling at the desk, passing meds and just helping people. I quickly became embarrassed thinking about people seeing me using a walker, something I previously had only seen my grandma using. I shuffled back to my room quietly and wanted to get back in bed. When the Physicians and PAs came by they were full of words of encouragement and tough love as they urged me to walk again. But again, it was my humorous and lighthearted infectious disease PA who impacted me again. He seemed to actually care about my well being, he had already done his job of diagnosing me and starting to treat me medically, but he wanted to help me further heal and took the time to talk to me and encourage me, which was not a part of his required job description. He seemed to go above and beyond for me and I can only imagine he does with every patient and to me that was a sign that he had real passion for what he was doing.
My experience in the hospital and with countless health care workers ignited my desire to become a PA. As I have started diving into the world myself by shadowing and working as a patient care tech at a hospital, I have gotten a taste of what working in this field would mean for me as I connect with my patients and help them in ways that may seem minor to me, like getting out of bed or going to the bathroom, but are vital for them. Reaching my goal of becoming a PA would allow me to fully reach my aspirations as I will be able to provide the medical care they need but also connecting with them deeper and providing them with comfort or relief that I am able to heal them.
From my shadowing experiences from the ER to a clinic setting, I have seen the direct impact PAs make on their patients, whether that is alleviating their ongoing pain, giving them an answer to their symptoms, calming their nerves or just providing some comfort during a stressful time. I have seen PAs be independent and confident in their work as they diagnose and treat even the hardest cases while still maintaining a close patient relationship and being a figure of hope for patients that are scared. Ever since I was blessed with a PA who offered me support and persevered in figuring out my difficult medical case. I have been waiting for the chance to do the same. I want to give people more than just medical treatment, but instead give them hope and their sense of self back.
Although I have learned a lot about the healthcare world, how to care for patients, and how to work with other professionals, I am limited in my abilities as a patient tech to heal and support the way I have always dreamed of. Being a PA will allow me the autonomy to diagnose and alleviate a patient’s symptoms and medical concerns while also utilizing the patient care skills I have acquired from being a patient care tech. I will be an asset to my future patients because of my desire to relieve both physical and emotional pain that patient’s encounter as well as my determination and focus on solving problems, even in cases like mine where things seem to make no sense. Bringing a sense of hope, healing, and positivity is what I will bring into my patien’s lives as a Physician Assistant.
Whitney Prosperi says
What an incredible story of resilience!
You do a good job of explaining why you are compelled to become a PA. I would suggest condensing where you can so that you can add some other elements into your essay.
If you have a story of a patient interaction, I would include that. You want to reveal some of the qualities you possess that will make you an effective PA. I would also describe any clinical skills or medical knowledge you have gained throughout your work experience.
Lastly, physician assistant doesn’t need to be capitalized unless it’s beginning a sentence. 🙂
I wish you good luck, Ally.
Thank You so much for your time & critique, Greg
Drop by drop passing through the IV chamber: this seemingly innocuous clear fluid blared warnings of extreme caution on its bag. Watching my mom endure her chemotherapy treatment would be the most impactful hospitalization I experienced as a young adult. Having no control over her situation, acceptance was a major hurdle I had to deal with regarding this threat to my mom. Noticing how overwhelmed with apprehension my family members became, my instincts led me to comfort them as best as I could. During this moment of uncertainty, it was the positive interactions with the chemotherapy team that was so comforting. Honestly, my emotions were so conflicted because these caring, gentle, professionals were administering such a harsh treatment to my mom and yet their empathy became a powerful antidote to our fears. This enduring empathy became a characteristic I would embrace and adopt in my own interactions with others. As difficult as this experience was, I was captivated by the inner workings of the hospital; hundreds of people filtering in and out of the elevators, over eight floors of patients and providers! The hospital’s general buzz and palpable energy temporarily distracted me from my mom’s treatment and captured my interest in exploring a healthcare career. Fortunately, my mother did very well and continued treatment in the outpatient setting.
Shortly after, reflecting back on my mom’s hospitalization, I took my first step into healthcare by accepting an entry-level position at a major Boston teaching hospital as a float unit coordinator. This experience exposed me to a variety of medical professions and would become the catalyst that amplified my motivation and desire to further investigate a physician assistant (PA) career. It was in the Cardio-Thoracic unit that I first observed the role of a PA. During morning rounds alongside the MD, Intensivist, and RN, I observed how involved the PA was with the care team and how much the clinical staff relied on him for additional support throughout the day. He would often encourage me to assist in bedside procedures, attend morning rounds as an observer, and review any questions I had. The nature of the ICU exemplified a genuinely collaborative working environment in which the PA played a significant role. Interpreting lab results, ordering diagnostic tests, conducting procedures at the bedside, or assisting in the OR presented itself as the most coveted career path for me. My shadowing of PAs immersed me in the collaborative workflow required of the care team and cemented my conviction to pursue the PA application process.
By the summer of 2021, I started working full time in the Emergency Department as a clinical care technician (CCT). This position provided me with direct patient interaction and additional clinical skills such as phlebotomy, performing EKGs, and other point-of-care testing while functioning in a more direct hands-on role. The most fulfilling aspect of this position was when my supervisor asked me to teach the medical students phlebotomy techniques. I recalled how nervous I was initially learning phlebotomy; so I implemented this mentorship with the patience, support, and encouragement necessary for a successful outcome. It didn’t take long before my CCT coworkers also asked for my tips and demonstrations in drawing blood. The personalities, various work styles, and dedication combine to create a truly unique and talented team and one in which the PA plays a crucial role. Similar to the ICU, my experiences working alongside the PAs in the ER fostered my desire to learn more and inspired me to shadow PAs in other specialties. From the consenting of a patient for their total hip procedure to observing a triple coronary artery bypass graft with the Cardiac-Thoracic Surgery PA, my shadowing experiences were rich and diverse. Each demonstrated the vast scope of work PAs are responsible for throughout the hospital and how team dynamics change between each service.
To further balance and enrich my healthcare experience I secured a part time position at the Boston Homeless Healthcare Project; a Boston-based non-profit providing crucial healthcare services to Boston’s homeless population. This position amplified the need to practice the greatest compassion and acceptance of all those truly less fortunate. Not only providing care but also honoring the dignity of the homeless strengthened my resolve in the care for this population. Coming from the bright and well-equipped ER bays of the hospital to the dull and in desperate need of updating exam rooms of the health center profoundly affected me and seeded my commitment to the promotion of equality in healthcare. Working with this population has exposed me to other areas of medicine that I intend to explore including street outreach and emergency relief. Attending a program committed to working with the underserved, fosters my belief that I can play a part in gnawing away at healthcare inequities.
Every experience I’ve had working alongside PAs since 2019, from behind the desk to bedside, has enriched my knowledge of who they are, what they do, and has directly cemented my decision to pursue this profession. Between my recent work and extensive shadowing experiences I’ve learned much about myself; my flexibility, willingness to work long hours and devotion to compassionate care have shaped me into the PA I aspire to be. What began as just a memory of visiting my mom in the hospital, naturally unfolded into the story of how I began plotting my journey to become a PA.
Whitney Prosperi says
You are off to a very strong start. You do a good job of describing what about the PA profession speaks to you. I would suggest adding in some details about a patient encounter that show you in action connecting on a personal level. You want to show some of the qualities that will make you an effective PA. I wish you good luck on your journey, Greg
Thank you so much for your comments. I realize how many revisions it may take before I am truly comfortable submitting my essay. This service is so invaluable! I am so appreciative of your time & critique. All My Best, fingers crossed, Greg
Jaci P. says
One late night, a patient was taken into surgery to treat his cellulitis when the OR staff called to inform us that he had a severe case of necrotizing fasciitis. The devastated daughter who stayed behind gathered their belongings and made her way to the ICU. I watched the daughter struggle onto the elevator as the nurse simply told her, “Good luck.” I rushed after her, helping her to her car to unload their bags while she called the patient’s family. The woman was extremely grateful for such a small and humane act of kindness. This is the type of situation you see working in a hospital every day, and the interpersonal relationships formed are the main reason I am inspired to become a physician assistant.
As a full time undergraduate student, it can be quite difficult to find a job in patient care while being able to afford the cost of living. However, my experiences as a unit secretary on a Med-Surg/Orthopedic floor helped develop my professionalism and communication skills in a medical setting. While my job description did not entail direct patient care, I have been able to assist in tasks such as transporting patients, helping immobilized patients become more comfortable, or anything else I can possibly do to aid the understaffed hospital. Most of my time on the floor is spent communicating to nurses, doctors, and PAs which has allowed me to grasp the importance of each individual job and has given me the opportunity to learn an abundance about patient care plans and confirmed my ambitions to be a greater part of this process. Every person involved has a unique and equally important role; however, hearing doctors talk about the important role their physician assistants play when performing surgery or in clinics has caused this position to reside with me. The educational courses offered through the hospital have instilled an understanding of how to manage patients’ needs, expanded my medical knowledge, and impressed upon me the importance of patient satisfaction, empathy, and inclusion, all of which I believe have shaped me into an exemplary physician assistant applicant.
My time shadowing a physician assistant demonstrated the clinical aspects of the profession which only solidified my desires. While many patients were reluctant to see a physician assistant over the medical doctor, it was very enlightening to see these patients be awestruck by the altruistic effort the PA took to ensure complete patient understanding. I was given the opportunity to enter the OR to see the full range of skills a PA possesses in orthopedics. The patience, dedication, and passion I observed are aspects of this profession that showed me this is what I want to do and implement as a professional. These experiences serve as the motivation for my future development as a PA.
Outside of a healthcare setting, I have had influential experiences from my time spent at Second Harvest Food Bank. My time volunteering has shown me the importance of supporting and being involved in one’s community; seeing individuals work together for something greater while receiving gratitude from those that are under-resourced has promoted integrity and diversity into my qualifications. This has amplified my desire to practice medicine in underserved areas and further developed my leadership, community, and interpersonal skills.
To expand my interests in biological sciences, I completed interdisciplinary research in a developmental science lab, DSL, which has greatly influenced my decision to become a physician assistant. I joined the lab after deciding to produce a Baccalaureate thesis on adverse childhood experiences and the manifestation of somatic symptoms. My time in DSL has exponentially developed my leadership capabilities as I have led fellow members in developing their research skills in preparation for conferences. More importantly, this research has provided me with a different approach to medicine that one would not typically achieve by simply completing a biology degree. The secondary analysis projects that I have completed all conclude with the idea that childhood trauma has a main effect of the onset of somatic complaints in adulthood. This offers a diagnosis to adults struggling from medically unexplained symptoms and has motivated me to become a physician assistant to put this research into medical practice.
In consideration of my undergraduate experiences, I am confident that this profession would satisfy my desires to continue to serve and bring back to my community by means of physical and mental health care. Becoming a PA would give me the opportunity to work with children and adults who have experienced the situations I have researched, fulfilling my passions that have led me thus far. The dedication I have spent learning about this occupation, gaining confidence in my abilities as a professional, and my intrinsic aspirations for learning will undoubtedly lead me to be a successful physician assistant.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense your passion to make a difference for patient outcomes and outlooks.
I would suggest elaborating on other aspects of the PA profession that appeal to you. You want to show why you are pursuing PA over another type of provider.
Also, you never want to appear critical of another provider so you may want to soften the part about the nurse saying, “good luck.” Here, I would add in a small sentence of dialogue that shows you connecting with and comforting this family member.
Lastly, if there was an interaction between PA/patient or PA/supervising physician that solidified your decision to pursue the PA path, describe that.
Should you need more help, we are taking submissions for our essay revision service. I wish you good luck!
I would appreciate any feedback! Thank you!
In my first months as a nursing assistant (NA), I had been caring for a 95-year-old man on the oncology med-surg unit, who was almost ready to return to his long-term living facility. Due to his old age, this patient struggled with his mobility, not being able to feed himself at times. As the NA, it was my job to feed and ensure he was clean and comfortable. Through various 12-hour shifts, I noticed he would receive phone calls, but he did not have visitors. While having dinner one night, he received a phone call from a close friend that made the patient become sentimental and cry. It was to this that he confided in me and began telling me his life story, sharing that he was all alone since his wife had passed and did not have kids. He was the first patient to tug on my heart strings and make me reflect on the care I was providing to patients. Up until that point, I had been treating patients as their medical illness, not realizing that they were all humans with real stories and experiences and who needed a friend in the intimidating clinical setting. After this experience with the elderly patient, I continued to practice patient care with compassion, understanding, and heart.
As a NA, I have gained invaluable experience in medicine and patient care. Working closely with nursing staff, Advanced Practice Providers, and physicians, I see the daily interactions of medical staff with patients and with each other. I recognize the importance of communication and collaboration in providing the best quality care. In many instances, quality of care is challenged in the presence of a language barrier. As a Spanish-speaker, one of my main goals is to assure that Spanish-speaking patients have their needs met and their stories are considered when in our care. It is important for me to offer my language skills to make patients feel more comfortable, especially after receiving the validation from patients that they appreciate the opportunity to speak their native language in the hospital. Aside from the clinical experience gained through being a NA, I have also experienced a different side of medicine by shadowing Physician Assistants (PA) in the hospital. I have seen PAs interact with families, grant the patient’s wishes, and have tough conversations with patients. Through these experiences, I have become more secure in my decision to pursue a career as a PA.
Beyond working as a NA and shadowing PAs in the hospital, I have gained experience through volunteering in the outpatient laboratory and in the emergency department. In my role as a volunteer, I support the medical staff by providing organization and supplies. In these environments I am still able to learn from the medical professionals and encounter diverse medical cases. Outside of medicine, I volunteer through campus organizations as a peer mentor and to benefit local non-profits, most recently working with Habitat for Humanity. I can collaborate, be flexible and adaptable, and have good time management skills.
Through all my experience in and out of the hospital, I know that the PA career is the one for me. As a PA, I will connect with and comfort patients with compassion and patience as I have seen other PAs do. I will treat my patients as humans, just like my PAs have treated my family and me. I will communicate with physicians and nursing staff to ensure quality care for all my patients, as I have seen in the hospital system. Most importantly, I wish to provide care for those in Spanish-speaking communities. I have seen the ignorance to medicine and health when a family’s priority is survival, and I believe health should be both accessible and prioritized. Like I did with the elderly patient, I wish to offer resources and help not only for a healthy life, but also a happy life. Working in the clinical setting now, it is important for me to be able to practice medicine well and soon, both of which I will be able to do upon completing PA school. With PAs, I also appreciate the flexibility between specialties as I am a very active and curious learner. For many reasons, the PA career is right for me.
In reflection of my elderly patient who changed my outlook on medicine and all the medical professionals I have worked with, I strive to be the best contributor to a team of health care providers. The experiences I have had over the years have allowed me to see the level of care provided by all on a team and have made me more appreciative of all participating. I have learned the importance of working collaboratively, being attentive to detail, showing compassion, and communicating effectively. Having clinical knowledge, interpersonal skills, and dedication toward the PA profession, I pledge to provide exemplary care for someone else’s loved ones. I do believe I would be an excellent PA candidate with my strong work ethic, my skills and knowledge, and my willingness to take the time to sit at a patient’s bedside and listen to their story.
Whitney Prosperi says
You are off to a good start. I would elaborate some on the clinical skills and medical knowledge you have gained through your different roles. I would also give your elderly patient a pseudo name to make your story flow a bit more. Adding in some more details about your care and some dialog would also make your story pop. Also, you may want to provide more detail about what in your shadowing experience made you choose PA over another type of provider. I’m not saying you need this, but should you want more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service. Good luck, Damaris.
The feeling of defeat rose to my chest as I sat anxiously waiting in a stale patient room for my third appointment with a new neurologist attempting to manage my chronic migraines at eight years old. I dishearteningly began to convince myself that I would simply have to wait out the debilitating pain that occurred once or twice a week each time it unpredictably struck. However, as my new doctor entered the room, I knew this experience would have a different outcome. Paired with his inquisitiveness, humility, and empathy, his diligence in teaching me how to identify, treat, and prevent my migraines sparked my curiosity regarding the causes and effects that occur all throughout the body as well as my interest in providing the same healing for other people.
Due to my introduction to the world of neurology at a young age, I feel an especially deep sense of purpose to cater to the needs of those with cognitive disorders and disabilities. Working as a summer camp counselor for special needs adults taught me the art and reward of selfless caretaking, as well as the power in simply making a person feel welcomed and appreciated. My yearning to connect with others and sense of duty translated well in my work as a medical assistant in family medicine, which highlights my desire to adapt to patients’ needs and ability to thrive in nuanced situations. Alongside the chance to respond to a wide array of complicated medical histories and effectively delegate tasks among my team, my dream of becoming a physician assistant is affirmed when I recall interactions I have experienced such as watching a deaf patient’s face light up when I introduce myself in Sign Language, hearing the sigh of relief that comes from being able to hear again after completing an ear wash, or feeling a struggling patient’s burden lighten through offering a hug or word of encouragement.
I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, but due to my upbringing in a small town with limited opportunity, I did not know about the physician assistant profession until I went to college, where I was humbled and refined in many ways. In my hometown, I strived to make the most of every opportunity and carried this attitude into adulthood. Unfortunately, with my good intentions, I overapplied myself my freshman year and learned to adapt to the elevated challenge of attending the prestigious Texas A&M University. My achievements in making the Dean’s list, which is a more rigorous accomplishment at my college compared to other schools’ requirements, and earning multiple 4.0 semesters are a testament to my efforts to hone my skills in prioritization and time management which reflects my dedication to continual advancement in my capabilities.
Through my shadowing experience, a common trait I admire about physician assistants aside from the clear benefit of getting more time dedicated to patient care is their dedication to the wellbeing of their community. While doctors and nurses are extended this opportunity as well, the structure of the physician assistant profession allows for more dedication to causes outside of work which is especially important to me so I can set an example and be a mentor to those who grew up in an environment similar to my own.
Alleviation or eradication of a health condition is not guaranteed for each person. Nevertheless, through my work as a physician assistant, my patients will benefit from my help in finding hope through a difficult diagnosis, discovering purpose in taking care of themselves, and celebrating improvement. *WHY you are passionate about PA-summarize/connect the main points* *show how you’re mature & prepared for the next steps*
^i really need help making a solid ending statement! thank you!
Whitney Prosperi says
You are off to a good start. I would include some details about your work as an MA. Describe a patient care story that reveals you in action connecting on a personal level. You want to show some of those qualities that will make you an effective PA. I would also elaborate some on what about the PA profession appeals to you. Describe some more of what in your shadowing experience solidified your decision. Should you need more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service. I wish you good luck in the process, Beth.
Please be critical! I have already applied one cycle with this PS so I am going to need to make some changes for next time. Should I scrap the idea and start over?
They say curiosity killed the cat. Maybe, but not this one. As a child, I wedged myself into every adult conversation I could, seeking answers. I perked up at the sound of medical talk between my parents. What are they saying about their patients? What does that diagnosis and treatment plan mean? My mother is an OB-GYN physician, my father is a family physician, and I am the daughter with the questions. My curiosity has persisted and now I aspire to learn the curing profession through becoming a physician assistant.
Overtime, my inquisitiveness fostered compassion and perspective. Early on, my drive for answers was sometimes too incisive; as my friends told stories, I found the holes in their narratives. At times, this came across contentious, despite benign motives. I desired to be perceived correctly, so I reassessed my interpersonal style and shaped my analytical mind into a favorable characteristic. I traded a sharp tongue for a caring ear and cultivated an empathetic approach toward interactions. Now, my entry point to the art of medicine is my ability to make others feel understood. I harbor no illusions about the tenacity required for the road ahead but my empathy and proclivity for answers will propel this journey.
After college, I joined a clinical research team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) conducting anesthesia and post-operative pain research. I relished direct patient interactions alongside my principal investigator, Dr. Kristin Schreiber, MD, PhD. The finesse and skill she brought to the bedside was inspiring. Dr. Schreiber put patients at ease—a key component of restoring health. I had many responsibilities as a clinical research assistant including daily post-operative interviews with breast and spine surgery patients. Outcomes showed our involvement to have a statistically meaningful impact on recovery, demonstrating the importance of provider engagement. I have a drive to carry this critical finding forward into my clinical practice, and I am confident PA school is the place to learn how.
This position also taught me to stay abreast of the latest advancements in medicine. Research is not the best-suited track for me, yet it revealed the importance of exercising curiosity as a clinician. As a PA, I intend to stay informed on the most current medical research. My background in primary research will allow me to see beyond algorithms and checklists. Instead, I will look toward a deeper understanding of clinical rationales.
My patient care experience at BWH made the decision to pursue clinical medicine clear. I was overjoyed at my acceptance to the Post-bacc, Pre-med programs at Berkeley and Harvard, among others. Harvard’s program met my highest expectations and as I progressed, my determination for clinical medicine gelled. I reassessed my goals, and it became clear that a PA career, rather than MD, most aligns with my life pursuits.
To gain further clarity, I shadowed both a dermatology and a general surgery PA. While shadowing the surgical PA, we accompanied the attending physician on rounds. Observing these clinicians in parallel illustrated just how comparable the care the PA provided was to the medical doctor’s. However, the PA had more time to directly educate and address patient concerns. Due to the collaborative yet autonomous role of a PA that was exhibited to me, shadowing these PAs further cemented my pursuit of this profession. Though the MD route is honorable, the path of a PA is fitting for me because I am eager to begin providing care.
Alongside the start of my job at BWH, I also began another life changing experience. I became a Big Sister Mentor to my Little Sister, Gabi, through Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). My relationship with Gabi and her mother Nijha is enriching. Gabi has a sparkling spirit that further brings out my curious nature. Time with her family has broadened my awareness of those in underserved communities. I have learned it takes firsthand engagement to fully comprehend the life of others. BBBS has provided this opportunity, further highlighting we are all entitled to security and proper health care, despite socioeconomic status.
I want to take the lessons I have learned through my time with BBBS as well as my future PA training to underserved populations. Communities like Gabi’s are historically disenfranchised, especially within medicine. Trust in providers is weak, but fortunately, the medical paradigm is evolving at a rapid pace. The demand for PAs provides an opportunity for remedy. I am passionate in bringing the cultural competency I learn in PA school to those with long-standing limited access to health care.
Though my questions have evolved over time, I have never swayed from my elemental investigative spirit. I am inspired to apply my curiosity for health, wellness, and people to becoming a PA. Curiosity has not killed the cat. Rather, it is the curiosity that will fuel the necessary dedication to excel in PA school and beyond.
Whitney Prosperi says
Your desire to learn and use that knowledge to help others is evident throughout every paragraph.
I would suggest condensing where you can so that you can spotlight some more of the clinical skills you have gained along the way.
Also, include a patient care story that shows you in action connecting with a patient in a meaningful way. You want to highlight some of those traits that will make you an outstanding PA.
Also, “over time” is two words.
Should you need more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service. Good luck, Emily!
Please provide feedback!!
Career aptitude tests in sixth grade do not mean much to most people. However, that is when I knew I would have a career in healthcare. In the sixth grade, my components for a perfect job listed “solving problems,” “working in a group,” and “helping others.” From then on, I searched for a career with those main components. To master these components and combine my passion for interpersonal relationships with my love for science, I chose to major in psychology and minor in biology. As I continued my education, my courses emphasized that we must have a career that fulfills us to find professional happiness. It became increasingly clear that healthcare was that field for me.
In high school, I had an opportunity to shadow an interventional radiologist. There I learned what medical school entailed, the daily life of a medical doctor, and the work-life balance. I was grateful for that experience, and it reiterated my passion for healthcare. However, I knew I needed to search for another healthcare career. I continued to search for a job that allowed for a more generalized education and a more flexible work-life balance to continue serving my community and volunteering. To gain more medical experience, I worked as a medical scribe at an urgent care facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first person, a patient seen during a terrifying time in the world, I only had moments to establish a connection and provide a comforting atmosphere. During this time, I also volunteered with a program called Brighten A Day. During the pandemic, many patients were facing extreme loneliness. I was able to send handwritten cards and video calls with patients confined to their hospital room or nursing home room to boost their spirits.
Serving underprivileged communities has always been important to me as it was instilled in me as a child to help my community. I volunteer with my church in various ways. I assist in fundraising; I assist in my church’s soup kitchen to provide hot meals to those who do not have food. I also traveled with my church to Mexico to provide bare necessities and wound care to an underprivileged community. I have also volunteered as a tutor since I was in high school. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to spend extra hours to help students in my community adapt to virtual learning. I used skills learned with my psychology degree to assist those feeling lonely and provide a sense of community. These experiences confirmed my desire to support vulnerable populations by practicing medicine in their communities.
To understand a PA’s role, I have shadowed PAs in emergency medicine and pain management to observe how to obtain and critically analyze a patient’s medical history. The PAs invited me into their thoughts as they scrutinized chief complaints, past prescriptions, and known allergies to formulate the best treatment plan. Additionally, the PAs educated patients on their conditions. Many patients left their appointments grateful for new knowledge about their bodies. The education required to explain a medical condition fully exemplifies the advanced training needed to be a successful PA.
I am a first-generation college graduate. Although nobody in my family pursued higher education in the past, I was motivated and supported throughout my educational career. I took a medical leave of absence during my junior year in college. I was physically assaulted on my college campus and suffered injuries that inhibited my ability to continue my education for one year. When I returned to college, I had to slowly reenter a rigorous course schedule and alter my study habits due to my severe concussion. My grades significantly improved after my medical. After seeking help, I graduated with an upward-trending GPA and valuable lessons in perseverance. To excel in my PA prerequisites, I participated in a Growth Mindset workshop that rewired my doubts about my academic capabilities and learned excellent study skills. With every chemistry and biology class, I took, I understood more deeply how each scientific discipline plays a role in treating patients. My appreciation for the application of physical science and the human body led to my earning a high science GPA.
My journey to achieving the perfect career has been challenging, yet each obstacle ensured my appreciation for the PA profession. As a result of my versatile experiences. I can interact with patients from any background, though my passion lies with the underserved. While volunteering has partially sustained me, establishing a solid connection and using the humanistic and scientific aspects of medicine to treat and educate abandoned populations will be the ultimate fulfillment.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense your resilience and determination to make a difference throughout your essay. You do a good job showing how you arrived at the PA path. I would include a patient care story that shows you connecting with a patient on a personal level. You may just want to expand on that section about Covid and recount a time where you offered comfort to an anxious patient. Show yourself in action so that you reveal some of those qualities that will make you an excellent PA. I wish you good luck in the process, Hayley. Remember that if you should want more essay help, we are taking submissions for our revision service.
Makayla Sorensen says
I would love help on my essay! Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
The stands are shaking at maximum capacity. My once-clear thoughts are now crowded with the booming sounds of feet stomping, voices yelling, and hands striking together. Over the intercom, I hear my name. At the drop of a hat, twenty thousand eyes are sharply on me. I wave into a sea of supporters for the opposing team, unable to recognize a single face. Before the first serve of the game, I channel my nerves by utilizing the tools I have gathered from playing division 1 volleyball. First, stay present. Second, focus on the next best action. And third, have confidence.
I can confidently say that being a student athlete has been one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. There have been countless times where it was appealing and easy to quit. I am glad I didn’t, however, because my sport has taught me soft skills that will enable success in my future career. Commitment, sincerity, honesty, leadership, and motivation are amongst the most important.
Although all of those skills are valuable, I will argue that motivation trumps all others. Without a purpose, I would have given up. Without a “why”, I would not have had a reason to push through those mentally grueling four years. I was lucky enough to know my motivation right away, which was giving back to my parents who sacrificed so much to get me to this point. The importance of motivation does not only apply to sports, but to career paths as well.
My motivation for becoming a PA was sparked during my childhood. I vividly remember intense stories that my grandmother would tell me about being a labor and delivery nurse for less fortunate communities/medically underserved areas. I listened in awe, yearning for that feeling of potentially saving a human life. I thought she was a real-life superhero. This spark progressed into an internal calling that I have been testing throughout my life. Volunteering in the labor and delivery department, obtaining my CNA license, PA shadowing, eagerly observing my parents work as radiology technicians at the hospital and clinic, and working as a respiratory therapy apprentice at one of the largest hospitals in Utah has solidified that feeling. My job allows me to work independently, which forces me to exercise critical thinking, problem solving, and time management. My interaction with the healthcare team portrays my maturity, communication, and teamwork skills. As I spend endless hours in the hospital setting watching physician assistants work, I know that becoming a PA is the path I wish to follow.
Before my college career, I would have crumpled at the thought of immense pressure being placed on my shoulders. I would have never imagined being voted captain and being trusted to lead the group. Now, I am assertive and poised when piloting the ship. I know that I can accomplish anything, as long as I have purpose and grit. My desire to become a PA is burning brighter than ever, and it is something I will not stop working for until I succeed.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense the passion to help others that was passed down from your grandmother.
I would condense somewhat throughout your essay so you can include some crucial elements.
Add a paragraph that describes specifically what about the PA profession appeals to you. (ability to switch specialties, more time/contact with patients, etc.)
I would also include a patient care story that shows you in action connecting with a patient on a personal level. You want to reveal some of the characteristics that will make you an effective PA.
Also, elaborate on some of the clinical skills you have gained along the way.
I would describe your shadowing experience. What interaction between PA/patient or PA/supervising physician solidified your decision?
I wish you good luck, Makayla.
Hi! I would love some feedback on my essay. Thank you!
Why, at almost 30 years old, do I want to make the decision to return to school? Why do I find the urge to pursue a career and a field that will require further debt, delay experiences with my family, and additional sacrifice? The answer is simple, in my opinion at least. It is to provide high quality, efficient healthcare to those who are in need. I have spent six and a half years practicing healthcare as a certified Athletic Trainer and to be frank, I felt like I was only scratching the surface of treating patients. As an Athletic Trainer, I was involved in every step of the injury process with each athlete. From injury to evaluation to treatment, I was able to utilize my knowledge of anatomy to efficiently treat my patient population. However, there were times when further medical expertise was required. This included evaluation by our team’s orthopedic doctor or Physician Assistant. Oftentimes, we would see the PA for pre/post surgical appointments and initial/follow up exams. It was during these office sessions that my interest in the field began to blossom. Understanding why the Physician Assistant profession was founded aligns directly with my desire to pursue this new direction; to improve and expand healthcare to my community. Being accepted into a program that provides licensed clinicians the ability to practice medicine in every specialty and setting will help me to accomplish the goals of improving the healthcare of my community.
As I began looking into the profession, I had the opportunity to shadow the Physician Assistant that worked in our partnering orthopedic office. He helped to provide a real time view into the day to day operations of an orthopedic PA. I spent two days with him in the office evaluating patients, treating patients with injectable medication and helping them make decisions about how to proceed with their injuries. I spent the following two days in the operating room with him. He walked me through how to trim and prep an ACL graft for implantation, explained the surgical process from start to finish and allowed me to have a real time view of assisting in joint arthroplasty. Although I had been in an operating room in the past, this opportunity allowed me to truly appreciate how much impact a Physician Assistant can have in the care of patients.
With this first hand observation in mind, there is still a plethora of settings PA’s practice in outside of orthopedics. Outside of my observation experience, I had multiple personal experiences with Physician Assistants, mainly in the hospital setting. Following my grandfather’s hospitalization for a collapsed saphenous vein, he was quickly admitted to the ICU and subsequently underwent an amputation. During his stay in the hospital he was cared for with such compassion by medical staff assigned to his care. In another instance, my mother was admitted to the hospital for bilateral mastectomy to remove breast cancerous tissue. Similar to my grandfather’s case, she was treated with the utmost compassion by her plastic surgeons and their PA’s.
Recently, I left my role as a collegiate Athletic Trainer and entered the corporate world of healthcare where I began a role with Arthrex, inc. My role focuses on teaching technology consultants on our medical devices to help surgeons treat their patients better. This role puts me in a different section of the healthcare profession. After holding a position on the patient side and now the educational side, I have concluded pursuing this route will allow me to have the best of both. I would have the opportunity to help patients recover from their injury or illness and educate them on how to maintain their health and wellness. Regardless of speciality, becoming a Physician Assistant means I can help improve the health and lives of hundreds of members of my community.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense your desire to help patients throughout your essay. I would include a story from your time as an athletic trainer. Show yourself in action connecting with a patient on a personal level while providing training. You want to show some of the qualities you possess that will make you an effective PA.
Also, include some of the reasons you are drawn to the PA role specifically. Is it the opportunity for more time/contact with patients? The ability to switch specialties?
Also, remember that it is PAs and not PA’s.
I wish you good luck, Ben. Should you need more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service.
Alex Estrada says
Hello all! I greatly appreciate any Feedback!
Given how intrigued I am by the variety that the PA profession offers, I picture myself graduating from PA school and specializing in either cardiology or dermatology over the next 5-10 years. With a specialty in cardiology or dermatology, I envision myself being able to have a positive and meaningful influence on the lives of patients who suffer from cardiac issues or skin conditions. Regardless of whether my enthusiasm for medicine grows dramatically over the next 5-10 years, my dedication to helping the less fortunate members of the community will undoubtedly expand. I intend to apply what I learned in my Physician Assistant studies, through exposure to many various aspects of medicine, to help those in need in underrepresented areas on a daily basis, particularly in a hospital that serves people from underserved communities. Considering my enjoyment of volunteering at a nearby hospital, the experience has allowed me to observe the necessity of clinically trained providers in underserved areas, despite the appeal for medical volunteers. As a result, I foresee devoting significant productive time and effort over the next 5-10 years to participating in and raising funds for medical mission trips going to third-world countries. I also visualize myself pursuing a leadership role within the hospital where I practice in order to contribute insight into providing egalitarian treatment to patients regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic background. I intend to be a constructive voice for individuals in underserved/diverse communities that lack similar access to healthcare services and/or are unfamiliar with the healthcare delivery system. Furthermore, as a leader in the hospital, I see myself conducting research on current topics such as health equity concerns and sharing that research to hopefully provide insight into how programs may be designed to address the high cost of health care, which negatively affects patients’ ability to access proper medical treatment.
Whitney Prosperi says
I suggest including some of the clinical skills and medical knowledge you have gained along the way.
Also, I would describe your shadowing experience. What have you witnessed from interactions with PAs that confirmed your decision to pursue this path.
If you have a patient care story, include that. You want to show some of your character qualities that will make you an effective PA. Show yourself in action providing clinical care of some kind while connecting on a personal level.
I wish you good luck, Alex.
With the opportunity to work at a rehab & nursing care center as a scribe/wound care assistant, I was able to observe the role of a PA. What surprised me was how independent a PA could be. The PA was making her rounds in wound care. She wasn’t trailing behind a doctor. She was diagnosing and acting on her own, deciding on treatment, and reviewing with the doctor when uncertain. Being someone who enjoys autonomy yet also values supervision, this made me look forward to performing freely while simultaneously having a doctor to collaborate with as a PA. My job was mostly scribing but overtime my role became more hands on. The first time I was ordered to assist, I felt a nervousness I hadn’t experienced since my high school marching band competitions. I darted to the wound care cart and clumsily collected the topical benzocaine and silver nitrate sticks, sprayed the patient’s leg and cauterized his wound. While a small action, I felt the rush and thrill. I was eager to have a larger role and got to observe and assist with unstageable pressure ulcers, amputations, necrotic wounds, etc. Soon I was able to guess what treatment would be ordered. The NP I often worked with trusted me to treat “simpler” wounds such as venous ulcers, stage 2 pressure ulcers, and skin tears by myself. I gained confidence and became proactive. I even did some debridement and suture removal. Because I was also a scribe, I learned to write progress notes. Many residents had the same ailments and treatments which also taught me about which medications were often ordered for certain conditions and why.
The nursing home gave me opportunities to obtain skills and sharpen those I’ve already had before. Here, I felt the varying levels of emotions experienced in healthcare (ex. a life changing or ending) which enforced in me that these patients are people not just cases. They’ve lived entire lives before, some were healthcare workers themselves! Others were not as alert and oriented. These residents were sometimes combative, which made it a challenge to provide care. In rare occasions, family members posed hurdles towards care. For example, the daughter of a resident who demanded her mother be seen by only a doctor although she was informed a delay in treatment could result as he was only in twice a week while PAs and NPs were available everyday and therefore spent more time with the same patients. This instance encouraged me to want to educate the community on the role and quality of care provided by PAs. Observing the way medical staff handled events with residents and families taught me how to assist and adapt to certain situations. Overtime, I wanted more direct patient care and so I took upon the role as a medical assistant.
As an MA, I work closely with a PA for a school-based health care center at my former high school. Every day I take vital signs, perform phlebotomy, physical exams, fingersticks, spirometry and urine testing. ECGs are not as common. While I enjoy my current role, just like the PA, I want to provide a higher level of care. I want to have a bigger say in the decision-making process. I want to keep track on my patient’s progress. When a patient returns for a follow-up, I may not be the same MA who assists them. For example, we had a patient who came in due to a wound formed after an at-home botfly larvae removal. He was new to the country and uninsured. The family was unsure how to navigate the healthcare system. They were relieved to know all our services were free, we helped with insurance, and I spoke Spanish which created trust and made the transition easier for them. In fact, many of our patients are underinsured, new to the country, and have lower health literacy. I’ve observed the way my PA has educated patients on vaccines, birth control/STDs, lab results, and on their ailments. But other than patient understanding, learning to take cues and making a patient feel heard and comfortable is important too. There were several instances where a PA and I have spoken to patients who’ve divulged sensitive information they wouldn’t have revealed had they not felt a friendly open atmosphere. Some had to involve CPS. I sometimes reflect back and wish I could have done more in terms of their care and I wonder what happened to them afterwards too.
For many years, I was a retail worker trying to gain financial stability. The exposure to a fast-paced, busy environment helped me gain creative problem-solving and customer service skills that I still feel lurk in my current job. Having been involved in different healthcare roles from geriatric to pediatric populations with different physical/intellectual abilities, backgrounds, and diagnoses have given me an understanding of a PA’s role and routine work. Knowing I’ll be able to switch specialties as a PA excites me. All these experiences have uniquely prepared me clinically and socially and I can’t wait to expand my scope of practice as a physician assistant.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense your desire to help patients and your ability to problem solve in a fast-paced environment.
I would include a patient care story that shows you in action providing care for an anxious patient. You may even want to highlight how you helped a patient that only spoke Spanish. Here, show some of the qualities that will make you an effective PA.
One note, “over time” is two words – not one. 🙂
I wish you good luck in the process, Maria.
Thank you for any feedback!
Myra is a single mother who works two jobs to care for her three girls. She has been experiencing shortness of breath, abdominal pain, and a burning sensation while urinating for a few months. After two primary care visits and a trip to the emergency department, Myra was diagnosed with pleurisy post-COVID and a bladder infection. But something still didn’t feel right to her. The shortness of breath went away while lying down, and her urinalysis came back clear. One night, Myra was in so much pain she went to a different emergency department. She explained to the physician assistant her symptoms and previous diagnoses. The physician assistant ordered an MRI and finally found the source of Myra’s suffering: a softball-sized tumor encompassing her left ovary and fallopian tube. After surgery to remove the tumor, a PET scan, and various other tests, Myra would go on to be diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer with metastases of the liver, lungs, and bone. She has a five-year survival rate of 17%.
Myra is not only my patient; she is my coworker and friend. As a medical laboratory scientist, I have been drawing and running her labs throughout this process. Over my seven years of experience in the laboratory, I have developed a solid foundation in developing analytical and diagnostic skills. While the laboratory has provided me with many career opportunities, I have reached a plateau in my learning. In Myra’s case, imaging and more substantial knowledge of disease and diagnosis were necessary. As a physician assistant, I want to provide patients with the highest quality care possible. While physician assistants care about finding the correct diagnosis, they also look to the future to figure out treatment plans to help their patients. I want to concentrate on moving forward and being a part of the solution.
As a traveling medical laboratory scientist for the past six years and working in other healthcare roles for the past decade, I have spent much of my time advancing my communication skills. I have worked at many hospitals all over the country with coworkers and patients with different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities than myself. Moving every three to six months has prepared me to work interdependently with physicians and other healthcare staff. I have had to learn to work in a team with new people in a short amount of time. Being slightly older than the average physician assistant applicant has allowed me to become confident in who I am and how to connect with others effectively.
There are many advantages to being a non-traditional student. My time spent working in the healthcare field after graduation has given me insight into how healthcare functions and the role each profession plays in providing patient care. An excellent physician assistant in today’s world must be well-versed in many different areas of diagnosis and therapeutics. This variety is the perfect foundation for me to succeed at my ultimate career goal of becoming a primary care provider. Primary care allows physician assistants to work in underserved communities with diverse populations, treat various illnesses, and provide patients with a chance to avoid hospital admissions.
An education in physician assistant studies can build on my laboratory training and time spent as a healthcare traveler. I have the prior knowledge and experience to excel as a physician assistant. I want to learn the treatments and therapeutic plans needed to help care for my patients. As a physician assistant, I could work independently as a provider while learning and collaborating with physicians to provide the best possible outcome for my patients. My goal is to build professional relationships with my patients and be able to provide care for disadvantaged populations. I owe it to myself, Myra, and ultimately the patients yet to come to continue my education. Now is the time for me to become a physician assistant.
Whitney Prosperi says
You are off to a great start! You do a good job of showing some of the reasons you will be an effective PA.
I would suggest spotlighting some of the clinical skills you have gained in your different roles. Also, if you have any shadowing experience, include that. Was there an interaction you witnessed that absolutely solidified your decision?
I wish you good luck, Jessica!
Endless paperwork from the nurse, but the only section I could fill out was my father’s identification. Listening to the doctors, words went through one ear and out the other. My father was brought to the emergency room because of his chest pain, and I was there to translate for the family. However, having been in the United States for only four years, I struggled to understand the doctor regarding my father’s health condition. So, the hospital provided our family with a virtual Vietnamese translator. We discovered that my father had suffered a heart attack and was admitted for surgery. Throughout our stay at the hospital, we could only communicate with the medical team indirectly, which created a barrier between us. Every question we wanted to ask must have waited until a translator was put on the phone. Every single day, our mind was not only filled with worries for my father but also frustration in communication. I was concerned that words would get lost in the translation and hinder our understanding of my father’s treatment plan. Unfortunately, my father passed away before receiving surgery.
My father was always aware of his heart condition before we came to America. Due to the language barrier and the lack of knowledge in the American healthcare system, we hesitated to seek medical care. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, non-native English speakers, immigrants, and individuals with limited English proficiency have a lower health literacy. Similar to my father, these individuals are less likely to have established care with a doctor because of the disconnection between language and cultural differences. After my father’s death, I want to be a physician assistant and use my knowledge to serve not only the Vietnamese community but also other underserved communities in the future. According to the census in 2020, there are approximately 83,000 Vietnamese residents in Florida. I want to prevent my community from going through a similar situation to my family.
With this purpose, I began working at Publix pharmacy to better my knowledge of medicine. During my time at the pharmacy, I witnessed many patients struggle with the language barrier, just like my family. For example, I first met Mr. Tran, a geriatric patient, when he franticly came up to the pharmacy counter, waving an inhaler around. The pharmacist approached Mr. Tran and asked questions about the inhaler. But the only answer the pharmacist received was “not work.” Upon seeing the confusion and worry on the patient’s face, I knew from my experience that look of a language barrier. I decided to assist the pharmacist by asking Mr. Tran questions in Vietnamese. The patient was relieved and delighted to communicate in his native language. After some inquiries, we discovered the inhaler was broken due to improper usage. Thus, I replaced the inhaler and demonstrated to Mr. Tran the proper technique to avoid breakage and side effects, such as oral thrush. Since then, seeing Mr. Tran at the pharmacy regularly, he was always grateful that he could rely on me for guidance because not many healthcare workers knew his native language. Being able to assist Mr. Tran has solidified my passion to be a part of the healthcare field to break the language barrier in the Vietnamese community.
After a couple of years at the pharmacy, I yearned for a more patient contact experience and involvement in the treatment. This led me to become an allergy technician at Florida ENT and Allergy. The job reminded me of the importance of health literacy in making an informed decision. For instance, Jake, an eight-year-old patient, received an order from the physician for an allergy test to find the cause of his chronic symptoms. On the day of the appointment, after reading through the consent form about the procedure and side effects, Jake’s mother was hesitant and wanted to forgo the test. She was worried about Jake’s safety and uncertain how the test would be performed. Thus, I decided to bring Jake and his mother to the exam room to address the concerns and questions. I illustrated to them the equipment I would use, the technique, and the medical treatment in the event of adverse reactions to the test. I made sure to use layman’s terms in my explanation and answers. In the end, Jake’s mother was appeased and felt confident in her decision to proceed with the test. This interaction also showed me how direct communication helps built trust between the patient and the provider and diminishes the hesitance in receiving medical care.
From my youth and experiences in healthcare, I realized that the issue of the language barrier and health literacy could be overcome through a deep patient-provider relationship. With the focus on patient care, I strive to become a PA because the profession offers more time and contact with patients, consequently creating the opportunity to delve deeper into patient education. I hope to improve the diversity and representation of Vietnamese and underserved communities in medicine.
Whitney Prosperi says
I am sorry about the loss of your father. I trust that your concern and compassion for patients will honor his legacy.
You do a great job of showing how you want to alleviate the language barrier for patients. I suggest adding in your reasons for choosing the PA profession over another type of provider. What appeals to you? Is it more time/contact with patients? Or the ability to switch specialties? The collaborative approach to care?
If you have any shadowing experience, I would describe that. What about an interaction you witnessed between PA/patient or PA/supervising physician appealed to you?
I wish you good luck on your journey, Jenny.
I would love some feedback on my essay. I’m honestly horrible at putting what I want to say into words. Thanks!
Throughout my career as a paramedic, I have witnessed a multitude of medical and traumatic emergencies. While often repetitive, exhausting, and trying, the one thing I cannot say about the profession is that it is boring. There is always something new to learn or experience, even on the third UTI patient for the day. But even though I love the profession, there are some drawbacks. It is very rare that I get to know what happens to my patients after they leave my care, so I’m often left wondering what happened to them after. I have treated many patients and yet, despite knowing I did everything I could for them, I knew they needed more.
One patient sticks out in my memory as the last push I needed to decide I wanted to become a PA. During one of my shifts just after Christmas, my unit was called for a fall victim. A man was on a ladder attempting to take his Christmas lights down and ice caused it to slip, knocking him off. When I arrived I knew it was grim. My patient was unresponsive and posturing, and the family was sitting on the ground next to him completely at a loss of what to do. My partner and I packaged him up, and just prior to leaving our medical director arrived on scene. He offered to ride with us to the trauma center, which I was incredibly grateful for. Throughout the half hour transport there was very little we were able to do for him, aside from supporting his airway and vitals. I was feeling horrible for his family, knowing that they likely lost their father and husband just a few days after christmas, but I was also incredibly intrigued. Throughout the transport I watched as my patient developed Cushing’s triad; I watched his heart rate drop, his pulse pressure widen, and his breathing yo-yo between tachypnea and near apnea. This was something I learned about in school and hadn’t heard mention of since, and despite the grimness of the situation I was excited I was able to witness the process first-hand. In the end we dropped him off at the trauma center and, unfortunately, I never found out if he made any kind of recovery.
While certainly the most memorable, this wasn’t the first time I felt concerned for my patients and at the same time intrigued. Every time I get to experience a new disease process, a new treatment, or even a new perspective on an old case, I’m like a kid in a candy store. This is one of the things that finally made me choose to become a physician assistant; I like the flexibility it offers; that I would have the opportunity to experience all different fields. I also like that, unlike most of my patients, I would have the opportunity to be with my patients from beginning to end. I would be able to help them through the entire process and actually know how they are doing through it all. As a paramedic I’ve worked with medical professionals of all kinds, from doctors and PAs, to respiratory therapists and radiology techs. I’ve been a part of a team that, while we all have different training and backgrounds, can come together to save one person’s life. I’m excited to have the opportunity to step into the physician assistant role in that team to more greatly help my patients.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense your passion to help patients woven throughout your essay. I would suggest adding in more details about some of the clinical skills and medical knowledge you have gained throughout your work experience. I would also include some of the details from your shadowing experience. If you shadowed PAs was there an interaction between PA/patient that solidified your decision? Also, in your conclusion I would tie back to your introduction in some way. I wish you good luck in the process, Morgan. Should you want more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service.
Whitney Prosperi says
Your introduction does a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention and also showing your ability to connect with patients.
I would suggest adding more details describing your work/clinical experience. Also, elaborate more on what about the PA profession appeals to you. (the ability to switch specialties, more time/contact with patients, opportunity to expand access to care)
I wish you good luck in the process, Hannah.
Just looking for any advice I can to make this a better essay! May need help with organization and anything I can add or cut. Thanks in advance
4:30am read the clock when I arrived at my first job in healthcare. Unsure how the day would go, I headed into the clinic to get my day started. Dialysis was something I had heard of before but did not know much about. Never had I experienced it firsthand and never had I known anyone that was on dialysis, so the entirety of this job was new to me. From that day forward, I would see my patients three times a week for about of four or five hours each time. Each patient is unique in their own way. Some would watch TV during treatment, some would sleep, and some would work. The diversity among my patients while all being there for one common reason excited me the most.
As we go through school and get older, a common question that tends to arise repeatedly is “what do you want to be when you grow up?” For many, they have an answer, even if it may be to be a princess. I, on the other hand, was never truly sure as to what I wanted to do when I got older. It was not until seventh grade, when my friend had told me that her father was a pediatric neurologist, that I had any idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. From then on, I had always said that I would do something along those lines, but I had never pinpointed what exactly I wanted to pursue. Fast forward to sophomore year in college, I had been having back pain for many years, which in turn held me back when it came to my sport, softball. I had played since I was six, and was lucky enough to play in college, but it came to a point where even standing for periods of time would cause my back pain to increase, let alone run. I had decided to take myself to a see a doctor to simply get a diagnosis. When I arrived at my appointment, I expected to see the doctor, but I never did. The physician assistant was the one who provided all of my care. I had many appointments and saw the doctor three times, which were for procedures only. The physician assistant was the one I had a connection with. It was then, that I had decided what I wanted to be when I grew up.
After this realization, I played softball one more year until my injury would not allow me to play my final year in college. On the other hand, it allowed me the time to start taking those steps forward to my future. I shadowed at a family practice, in which they saw patients who were uninsured or underinsured in a rural community. During this time, I was able to witness a broad spectrum of patient diagnoses and concerns. The broad spectrum ranged from a drug seeking adult male who accused the clinic of refusal of treatment to a sports physical for a young girl who was to start 5th grade and wanted to play basketball, volleyball, and softball. These experiences made me want to be the one who was directly serving the patients, which is how I ended up in my car at 4:30am at my first real job in healthcare as a dialysis patient care technician.
Working in a dialysis clinic has become one of the most rewarding things I have done, and luckily, I get to do it multiple times a week. I say that it is rewarding in the sense that I am making them feel better sometimes instantly and seeing them feel relieved of their shortness of breath and other complaints, makes me feel good as well. Seeing the same patients three times a week for multiple hours at a time draws people together, ultimately making them an extension of family. Each patient comes from a different background, making them all different in various ways. For example, the ambulation and ability for each patient is different. Some patients would rather do everything on their own, but for others the technician would have to. Each patient bleeds for different lengths of time, so a technician may be holding one person’s sites for 20 minutes. In this time, what else is there to do but talk to them. One day, I was holding one of my nonambulatory patient’s sites at the end of treatment and we were just chatting away when she states, “I am so glad I met you.” I had only been in that clinic for 2 days, and she barely knew me. After she stated this, I knew that direct patient care was what I needed to be doing. From then on, I had many patients exclaim how happy they were that I was in the clinic working, which only made me want to be able to do more for them, and everyone. I want to be the one with the personal connection to each of my future patients.
As a physician assistant, the focus on patient care is what drew me to this specific profession. Throughout my personal experiences, along with other family member’s experiences, the physician assistant was the primary provider. From my time as a dialysis technician, I have found that I enjoy the direct care. Along with this, the versatility that comes with being a physician assistant is appealing as well. The ability to switch specialties provides the opportunity to keep me on my toes mentally and physically to broaden my skill set for many years.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense your desire to impact patients’ lives woven throughout your essay.
I would suggest condensing where you can so that you have some room to add in more elements of your journey.
You may want to elaborate some on your healthcare journey. Describe some of your clinical skills and work experience.
Also, in your shadowing paragraph, describe an interaction between PA/patient or PA/supervising physician that solidified your decision to pursue this path.
Lastly, I would write a more formal conclusion. Here, reiterate your desire to have greater responsibility for patient care and tie back to your introduction in some way.
I wish you good luck on your journey, Anna.
Hey all! I would appreciate some feedback.
Aloha, I’m Parker and I want to be a Physician’s Assistant. Years ago, I would never have believed that I would aspire to a career as challenging and as great as this. There have been so many moments leading to this point and I’m excited express my desire to be a PA and show why I would be a great fit for a program.
When I was younger, I lacked confidence and school wasn’t my focus. I spent years working at Sonic learning to work hard, but I felt like I needed more. I decided to serve a mission for my church. After saving the necessary $10,000 to participate, I left my family for 2 years with minimal contact. I moved to San Jose, California where I focused on learning the Chinese language and volunteering with Chinese Americans in many capacities. It was here where I realized that serving other people gave life meaning and I started building more confidence in myself.
When I returned from my mission, I decided to continue my education and was accepted and enrolled in brigham young university. Still unsure what to study I went ahead with my general classes needed for a degree. With more maturity and experience I found school came a lot easier to me. This was another boost in my confidence that I needed to seek out the right career. I had heard of the PA profession from a friend who was in the field and was intrigued. He encouraged me to work in healthcare before I fully committed to the path to ensure that it was right for me. My wife was graduating at the time and we decided to move to Texas with a job offer she had received. While there, I worked as a medical scribe and started a program to be trained as a medical assistant.
After graduating I found a job at a small family practice. Working as a medical assistant taught me so much. I learned I’m not squeamish, and that I love the body. I learned I have a passion for general health and helping others be aware of healthy choices. I learned how much people’s health effects their life and wellbeing. I loved developing a relationship with the patients, co-workers, and the heathcare providers. I realized that I have a calm temperament and can diffuse tension and bad moods both in my office and with patients.
Around this time, I started shadowing PA’s and I loved what I saw. I liked that the PA’s got to spend more time with their patients and I was surprised at how independently they were allowed to work. They seemed less stressed than the doctors I was working with. Every PA I have shadowed has been able to take time with me to answer my questions. They all loved their jobs and further convinced me that this was the right choice.
My wife found out she was pregnant early in 2020, while we were in lockdown for Covid. When we began testing for covid I was required to suit up in full PPE to go out to the parking lot to swab. I was scared of bringing the virus home to my wife, but also excited to be able to do something for people and be at the front lines.
When my wife hit 25 weeks with her pregnancy, she had to be hospitalized for a month to avoid pre-term delivery. I spent the month in the hospital supporting my wife as well as working when I could. We were surrounded by so many health-care workers and were really taken care of. It was interesting being on the other side of healthcare and how personal it was for me that we were getting the care we needed. I want to be a PA and help take care of people and their family members when they are in a time of need.
I got a in a discussion with one healthcare providers about why they go into healthcare and they mentioned a program called international medical aid. I kept this in the back on my mind and after the baby was born and life was back to normal I decided to attend this program.
I had already decided to be a physician assistant before the program but my time in on this internship really solidified my choice. It was such a shocking difference in care that my wife had received in Texas verse what was provided in Kenya. I will never forget that feeling being surrounded by people who were in desperate need of care and me not being able to do anything substantial to help them. I never want to feel like that again. I have to get more medical training so I can help others.
I think that’s what intrigues me so much about PA’s. They were created as a solution to the healthcare system shortage of doctors. Is that they were created to fill a need. I love that and I really want to be a part of it.
Since returning from my internship in Kenya I decided to continue working on my degree and pre-reqs. I transferred to BYU-H and have loved the science pre-req classes that I have taken. They have flown by, being much easier than I anticipated and I cannot get enough. I’ve enjoyed the long hours of studying and knowledge I’ve gained in the different biology, and chemistry classes. I only have a couple more semesters left in my degree and its very clear to me that I’m not ready for school to end.
With every step towards PA school, I feel more and more passionate about becoming a PA. I want to challenge myself. I want a job that has a combination of mental challenge but also has real effects on peoples’ daily life.
I hope to one day be able to say, Aloha, I am Parker a Physicians Assistant.
Whitney Prosperi says
I can sense your desire to help others woven throughout your essay.
You may want to start your introduction with the story about your time in California helping Chinese Americans.
I would also elaborate on some of the clinical skills you have gained throughout your different roles.
Another important element would be a patient care story. You want to show yourself in action providing clinical care of some kind while connecting with a patient on a personal level.
To add these elements, you may need to condense throughout your essay.
I’m not saying you need this, but should you want more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service.
I wish you good luck, Parker!
I could not help but move towards the soft whimpering. It was as if someone was trying to hold back tears by smothering their face into a pillow. It was only my second week at the long-term care facility, so I was still getting used to the various noises of people, alarms, and machines that filled each room. As I walked in, one of the newer residents quickly pulled the sheets over her head, yelling at me to leave. The last thing I wanted was to make her uncomfortable and invade her privacy, so I communicated, “My name is Hannah. I’m a nursing assistant, and I want to help you if you’d let me.” After weighing her options, she allowed me to grab a basin and some washcloths to clean up her bowel incontinence. I then left to find fresh linens, but my coworker stopped me and questioned who they were for. Apparently, this particular resident has not let anyone assist her with anything since she was placed at the facility a week ago. It was then that I realized healthcare is more than just knowledge; it is about developing relationships with patients to build trust.
My observation of a physician assistant (PA) named Joshua at a walk-in clinic solidified the importance of a patient-caregiver connection. Being in a rural area, most of his patients did not have a primary care physician, so he diagnosed and treated distinct problems. One of the patients we observed came in frequently due to his back pain. He insisted that this PA was the only one he would see because, in his words, he is “the only one I trust.” The PA recommended that he should get a CT scan in an attempt to find the underlying cause of his pain. Although the patient was reluctant, he eventually was willing to do it. In an unforeseen occurrence, the CT scan unveiled that the patient had lung cancer that had metastasized to his spine. Fortunately, the patient is now being treated, but if he did not trust the PA the way that he did, he most likely would never have been diagnosed.
Establishing a person’s trust in a healthcare setting is something I hastily grew confident in, and I know it will greatly benefit me in my future career. Although school limited my time at the long-term care facility, I enjoyed my small role in improving my residents’ days. This position built my passion for healthcare. I often listened to my residents about their diagnoses and treatment plans while my head spun its gears to form my care plan for them. My role as a nursing assistant was rewarding, but I aspired to further my education and play a greater role in the medical aspect of patient care.
Collaboration is a skill that is often forgotten in medical professions, and it is something that proved difficult for me at the start of my undergraduate education. Throughout my first year at The Pennsylvania State University, I was content with sitting by myself in lectures and doing my work without the insight of my peers. However, I realized that my grades poorly reflected the time and effort I put into studying for my classes. As my classes narrowed the following year, I met people in my major with similar plans for their future which evolved into study groups. We worked on explaining the material to each other and making connections between different topics, allowing for a much deeper understanding of the information.
Although my grades improved, it wasn’t until I sought a position that would more closely mimic the role of a professional degree that I realized the importance of collaboration. I found myself as a nursing assistant in the medical-surgical unit of a hospital. I observed nurses, doctors, PAs, and therapists discussing and exchanging viewpoints about the patient’s needs and wishes to provide the most successful patient-centered care. Although I struggled with collaboration amongst peers, I quickly grew out of that mindset and learned from my mistakes. I am confident that this evolution in my abilities will benefit me as a future PA.
All my interactions with patients and other healthcare providers have shaped me into the PA I aspire to be. I am excited to use the skills of communication with patients and collaboration amongst peers that I have developed and will continue to enhance until one day I can meet a patient and say, “My name is Hannah. I’m a physician assistant, and I’d love to help you if you’d let me.”