Are you ready to get started? Choose your package, and we will begin today!
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 (30th May 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
You may also like -
Download Your FREE 300 PA School Interview Questions and Answers Workbook
Sign up below to receive your free 65 page 300 PA school interview questions and answers workbook.
Sally L says
Hi, I’ve finished my first draft of my PS, but am still 608 characters over. Any feedback would be helpful and much appreciated. Thanks
Crash! The next thing I know, I am laying on the ground facing the sky with the sound of sirens next to me. On my first day of junior college, I had been in a head on bike collision. My bike was mangled and my glasses were flung across the road. The events that followed were a blur, but I clearly felt the throbbing pain in my head. I was brought to the school’s clinic where I was greeted by a doctor, Kris, who performed a myriad of physical and neurological tests. Her calm demeanor alleviated my anxious nerves and assured me that I was being taken care of. She determined that I was fine, but likely had a mild concussion. She advised me to take it easy and get plenty of rest. Two weeks later, she was happy to find that I was fine and continuing my studies. Unexpectedly, I saw her a few weeks later as a guest speaker at my pre-health club. To my surprise, Kris introduced herself as a PA, not a doctor. Her autonomy, extensive knowledge, and compassionate care had convinced me that she was a doctor. My encounter with Kris sparked my interest in being a PA..
I had another pivotal encounter one night when I felt a sharp, persistent pain in my right lower abdomen. After five hours of nausea, vomiting, and holding the fetal position to no avail I went to the ER. I was seen by PA Mia, who thoroughly examined me and started me on painkillers. An ultrasound and CT scan later, Mia told me I had appendicitis and needed an appendectomy. Throughout the night, I awoke to a revolving door of doctors introducing themselves as the ones who would perform my surgery shortly. However, due to an unavailability of OR rooms, it wasn’t until the following afternoon that my appendix was removed and I was discharged. Mia was the one constant among the chaos that night. From beginning to end, she checked up on me every few hours, updated me on the situation, comforted me through my pain, addressed my concerns, and assured me that I would get the surgery I needed. She even got in contact with my mom, who was not allowed to be with me due to COVID restrictions, and let me speak to her. I am so grateful for and inspired by the intimate and personal care Mia provided. In my times of need, there was a PA at the forefront of my care, helping me get back on my feet, ultimately affirming my desire to become a PA.
As an ophthalmology MA, I realized the importance of establishing a connection. Patients often felt uneasy coming in as they would undergo a variety of vision exams with the fear that their vision had deteriorated. By offering a listening ear and words of encouragement as I administered their exams, patients immediately felt at ease and gained a sense of confidence not only in their own abilities, but also in the care they are receiving. Through the relationships I forged with patients, I learned of their daily struggles due to impaired vision, but seeing how they left happier than they had arrived demonstrates the power of exceptional patient care through patience, compassion, and empathy.
As a dermatology MA, I am exposed to a plethora of skin conditions, allowing me to seamlessly transition between situations. From botox injections to excising melanomas, I assist in a wide array of procedures which has prepared me to navigate the versatile landscape of specialties that PAs may encounter. During intake, I exercise autonomy by filtering through conversation and asking questions relevant to their condition to find pertinent information. Then, I hone my critical thinking skills as I present the case to the provider in a concise manner and propose a diagnosis and treatment plan. Being able to actively participate in the dialogue with providers has provided first hand experience into the complex thought processes involved in diagnosing and formulating appropriate treatment plans.
“You changed my life,” “I can finally sleep,” “I forgot what it felt like to not be in pain,” and “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you” are only a few of the indelible sentiments I have heard patients tell their PAs. Working closely with PA Krystal, I’ve seen how much she has improved her patients’ daily lives through prescribing medications to manage acne or clear widespread psoriasis. Krystal’s dedication to her patients is shown through her passion to thoroughly educate them and her unrelenting drive to devise an effective treatment plan. I observed PA Gloria demonstrate the versatility and wide scope of a PA as she utilized and applied her vast knowledge to diagnose both psychological and physical conditions, perform examinations, prescribe medications, and send referrals to the appropriate specialties. Her patients are always grateful for the exceptional care they receive and leave confident in their treatment plan. Witnessing the positive impact of the PA’s I have assisted and shadowed continually inspires and motivates my aspirations to become a PA. Their ability to change a person’s life during their times of need and make a difference in their community signify a PA’s vital role in medicine.
As a first generation college student and a child of immigrant parents, there’s a hierarchy of careers to aspire to. My mom criticized my choice to be a PA, scolding, “you went to college to be a doctor’s assistant? Not a doctor?” Although my efforts to defend the profession were in vain, I stand by my decision certain, unashamed, and proud of my unwavering resolve to be a PA. I want to provide others with the same exceptional care I have experienced. I am ready to help others in their time of need and change their lives for the better, one patient at a time.
Trenice Johnson says
Ever since it was revealed that Micheal Jackson took propofol every night before bed, I assumed that propofol gave you great sleep and made you wake up feeling well rested. After 30 hours of labor and actively pushing for five of those hours, I was in desperate need of some rest. It was nothing like that; I felt like I blinked, and the surgery was over. I was confused, irritable, and in pain. The last thing I remember in the operation table was, “Let’s count backward from 10, 10…9…8….”.
The birth of my daughter was my first experience witnessing the ACT model; Joe was my non-physician anesthetist. He was well-trained, compassionate, and a true team player. This experience planted a seed in my mind about the career of being an anesthesiologist assistant.
As someone with the capacity for compassion and empathy, a teamwork mindset, and an eagerness to learn, I knew this profession would suit me well. Two other significant experiences led me to become an AA: my experience with Sofia, a patient I grew to understand as a CNA, and shadowing Lance Carter.
Knowing how important it is to gain direct patient care experience for any medical profession, I opted to earn my CNA license and get a job at a long-term care facility. I enjoyed the relationships I built with my patients. The experience grew my capacity for compassion and empathy and taught me how building trust with patients makes you a better advocate for them. This is a lesson that I learned by interacting with my patient, Sofia.
Sofia was a newly widowed woman whose daughter could not care for her alone, and I admitted her to my job for help. I described Sofia as very particular; she may have been suffering from undiagnosed OCD. To her, everything had a place, and everything needed to be in that place before she could go to sleep. Pink blanket at the foot of the bed, yellow blanket at the side of her, bedside table perpendicular to her bed to the right, and the top at a particular angle with her knees propped up with pillows. As you can imagine, this routine was entirely involved, but I made it my mission to study her so that she could feel comfortable in her new home,
She got comfortable enough with me that I became an advocate for her on behalf of her family and other medical professionals. Making this extra effort to learn from and listen to her made her trust me. As her health declined, I was the one who informed her of the benefits of hospice care, enabling her to live out her last days comfortably.
In my nine months of direct patient care, I have experienced countless moments, such as these with Sofia, that have inspired my career choice. I constantly spent time learning about my patients to gain trust and become a better advocate for them; There is no greater reward in life than to share your love and compassion with the world to make everyone else’s life just a little bit better.
I learned PAs could only work in anesthesia after attending an informational meeting at UMKC. At this meeting, I realized that I did not want to be a PA; I wanted to be an AA. While lateral mobility is an aspect of being a physician assistant that entices many people, I was only ever interested in Anesthesia. I am a person who loves working with my hands, appreciates novelty in the workplace, and is intrigued by pharmacology. Although I was on the board of the Pre-PA Society at UMKC, I made the switch in this meeting. At this meeting is also where I met Lance Carter. Lance is a CAA whose passion for his career is evident in his speech. I was the only person there for the CAA portion of the presentation; he answered all of my questions, gave me his contact information, and encouraged me to reach out if I needed anything.
During my gap years, Lance allowed me to watch him work at Liberty Hospital. While there, I witnessed three procedures: an extensive toe amputation. a biopsy of a mass near the aorta, a urologist did a tumor dissection.
Lance gave me the whole AA student experience; he encouraged me to ask questions and gave me advice that would help me along my journey of becoming an AA. Under close supervision, he allowed me to draw up drugs and administer them via an IV. This shadowing experience got me even more excited than I already was and invigorated and motivated me to continue my journey.
I struggled with my grades during undergrad; I would spread myself thinly across extracurricular activities that I was involved in and should have prioritized studying more highly. Since getting my undergraduate degree, I was diagnosed with ADHD and sought help from a therapist who has helped me find coping mechanisms and learn regimens that work for me. Since making these life changes, I retook 12 credit hours post-grad, shadowed, studied for the GRE, and earned a 4.0 GPA. My most recent grades are more of a representation of my passion and determination to be a good student as well as a practicing anesthesiologist assistant. The journey of adjusting my strategy and reapplying myself to reach my full potential has made me a more tenacious and persistent person. These two qualities will carry me through a challenging and rigorous MSA program.
Hello! I’d appreciate any feedback on how to improve my statement!
As I meticulously scraped the calluses off of the worn pads of Hannah’s feet, she looked down at me, her muscles beginning to relax, and smiled wistfully, “I miss feelin’ cared for like this.” A motherly, strong woman of 38, Hannah was one of our regular clients at the Women’s Clinic in Berkeley who struggled with poverty, intermittent homelessness, and racial discrimination as a single black mother with four children. As she said those words, a sense of trust radiated from the familiar warmth of her skin to mine.
Through rolling up my sleeves, kneeling down to wash feet, and listening attentively each clinic night to appreciate women who have walked many miles, like Hannah, I discovered what Brett Feldman, PA-C, calls “radical humility.” Finding a brief respite in the bubbly, lavender-scented foot baths, our clients revealed a deeper need for connection, understanding, and acceptance—things all human beings require to thrive, but people who are too often othered for experiencing homelessness are least afforded. Hannah and I spent many clinic nights bonding over mutual experiences, from practically raising our younger siblings to translating for our mothers’ hospital visits in childhood. While commuting to college every day due to financial constraints initially gave me a sense of disconnection from the community, I felt at home sharing solidarity with other women and LGBTQ+ youth.
I did not foresee that a global pandemic would render this my last interaction with Hannah, and I continued to think about the material and mental impacts of structural inequities on our most vulnerable populations. Knowing that I wanted a career in which I could make others feel safe and help them heal, but unsure exactly which path to take there, I exposed myself to patient advocacy early on in college through the UCSF Patient Support Corps. While providing patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer with educational resources and navigating them to Covid-19 testing and vaccination at the height of the pandemic were valuable experiences that instilled in me a model for patient-centered care through professionalism, empathy-based communication, and respect for patients’ preferences, I sought opportunities to be more involved and began exploring pre-health professions through student clubs.
This was when I met two twin brothers and physician assistants (PAs), Eddie and Tony, who gave me the blueprint for a fulfilling career path. Sharing their unlikely journeys to medicine with first-generation students like myself, Eddie and Tony walked me through a day in their lives as hospital and street medicine PAs in San Bernardino and Sacramento, respectively. I learned that being PAs gave them the flexibility to work more closely with underserved populations in both clinical and non-clinical settings, which resonated with me. From there, I began to envision how I could combine my interests in community service and patient advocacy as a PA.
Eager to get direct patient care experience and see PAs in action, I became a medical assistant at a busy ear, nose, and throat clinic, where I work in a team with a PA and supervising physician and have learned critical lessons in teamwork, multitasking and prioritization, and the difference that listening closely makes in patients’ lives.
Mark came into our clinic with a sinus tumor presenting as unilateral nasal obstruction, pain, and bleeding. As I asked questions about his medical history, he revealed the depth of his anxiety and loneliness, as he recently moved away from his family to San Francisco for work, and his number of medical visits increased suddenly over the past month. Not long after, he was diagnosed with a rare case of malignant CD56-positive melanoma. Wendy, our PA, swiftly instructed me to send urgent referrals to medical and radiation oncology and order a PET CT. I listened intently as Wendy sensitively and thoroughly explained the diagnosis to Mark. When the PET CT was initially denied authorization, Wendy helped me support its medical necessity to his insurance with success. Then, as I finally relayed the treatment plan to Mark, he fought back tears and thanked me for taking the time to listen and advocate for him throughout this vulnerable process.
While I did my best to ensure Mark was informed and felt supported, I longed for the medical knowledge and training to do more. I admired how Wendy kept calm and prioritized amidst a seemingly endless list of tasks, and how indispensable she was in bridging the knowledge gaps between all of the physicians, medical assistants, and patients. After several months working with Wendy and observing the positive patient outcomes resulting from her seamless dynamic with Dr. Johnson, I became sure of my desire to create synergy as the reliable PA on my own medical team one day.
Through my experiences working with people from various walks of life—homeless, queer, or otherwise—I have learned that when we are willing to risk our own comfort to subvert power dynamics and do the deeper work of listening and connecting, we build trust and plant the seeds for positive health outcomes in our communities. As a PA, I will take the time to listen and think holistically to meet people’s physical and emotional needs, both within and beyond clinic walls.
Rom Zukauskas says
Phewww, this is my 2nd cycle and I’m trying to “wow” admissions with my essay; I am on the lower end of the GPA requirements. Thank You so much for your time and critique! I will take your advice and I find this service invaluable. Thanks again, Rom
Whitney Prosperi says
You’re very welcome! Good luck to you!
The distinctive stench of alcohol, vomit, and antiseptics permeated the air, igniting my senses and I was 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 activity that is the ER. Not quite ready to start my shift, the transfer call from EMS alerted the team. The rhythmic pumping of the Lucas machine confirms the patient has arrived. I would feed off the energy of my coworkers; experiencing a co-adrenalin rush.
“One, two, three”, the medic commands as we move the patient off the gurney and onto the stretcher. Compressions start and I feel my own heart rate racing as I stay utmost focused on my tasks. I instinctively know who to trust and where to double-check things, evaluating the needs of the team rapidly.
From this body of intense activity, I hear, “Rom you’re up”. Taking over compressions was not only exhilarating but actually an honor; a testament of confidence from the team. I was hyper-cognizant that I wasn’t just doing compressions on a patient with no pulse; I was doing compressions on a patient who had a full life. In my mind, my goal became more than just getting a heartbeat; it was getting a heartbeat and reclaiming this life.
My CCT position provided me with direct patient interaction and additional clinical skills such as phlebotomy, performing EKGs, and point-of-care testing while functioning in a more hands-on 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 aspects of my position was when my supervisor asked me to teach the medical students’ phlebotomy techniques. I implemented this mentorship with the patience, support, and encouragement that I so appreciated when learning a new skill. Several of my coworkers also asked for my tips and demonstrations in drawing blood. My experiences working alongside the PAs in the ER fostered my characteristics of efficiency, precise communication, focus, empathy, and the ability to multitask. As stimulating as the ER is, I want to explore much more and shadow PAs in many other specialties.
It was in the Cardio-Thoracic 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 crucial their attention to detail enhanced the patient outcome.
They often encouraged me to assist in bedside procedures, attend morning rounds, and review any questions I had. It was impressive how much learning was taking place while shadowing PAs; I researched procedures, diagnoses, and care plans nightly. 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.
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 the 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 hollowed and wasted face accentuated by protruding cheekbones. “Hello Molly”, the warmth of my touch quickly siphoned to 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 absolutely treasured the emotional connections however I felt frustrated and empty for being unable to do more clinically. Attending a program committed to working with the underserved fosters my belief that I can play a part in gnawing away at healthcare inequities of a diverse, and constantly changing population.
Every experience I’ve had working alongside PAs since 2019, from desk to bedside, has enriched my knowledge of who they are, and what they do, has directly cemented my decision to pursue this profession. Between my recent work and extensive shadowing experiences, I’ve confirmed much about myself; my ability to multitask, remain calm, be efficient, and be empathetic, all while working incredibly long shifts with few breaks. These characteristics have shaped me into the PA I aspire to be.
Whitney Prosperi says
Your introduction grabs the reader’s attention immediately. You also do a good job of showing what appeals to you about the PA profession and how you are suited for that role. I would suggest elaborating on additional clinical skills and medical knowledge you have gained. Good luck to you in the process.
As tears streamed down my face, fear began to take over my body. Trying to stay calm, I took a deep breath and dialed 911. My grandfather, my hero, was having a medical emergency and there was nothing I could do. I watched as ambulance lights flooded the street and EMS personnel rushed into the house. They carted my grandfather out on a stretcher and drove off. That would be the last time I would see my hero. He had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and died on the way to the hospital. It was a crushing moment of vulnerability and helplessness. A moment that has been seared into my memory forever. The persistent feeling of wanting to be able to do more is what led to my interest in medicine.
I knew that I wanted to be a part of the medical field, but the path to get there wasn’t as clear as I would’ve liked. My early years of college were challenging. I lacked focus and it reflected in my grades. It was time to make a major change. Following my grandfather’s footsteps, I enlisted in the United States Navy as a corpsman, where I found the discipline and direction that I needed to be successful.
After boot camp I was sent to Corpsman A-School and was thrown into the medical world that I admired so much—I was hooked. We got a crash course in vital signs, CPR, phlebotomy, IV administration, basic nursing, EMT skills, and tactical combat casualty care. I was consumed by my studies, but I craved more. How could I continue to broaden my knowledge and grow as a medical professional? I received that answer when I was selected for the Navy’s medical laboratory technician school. It was a challenging, fast paced program, but it gave me an opportunity to take a deeper dive into another level of the human body and healthcare.
Upon graduating lab school I was assigned to Balboa Hospital in San Diego, where an 8 year old patient named Lucy and her PA reminded me of the importance of compassion in healthcare. Lucy was having a bone marrow biopsy and she was nervous. I knelt down next to her, held my hand out, and she squeezed it tight. I talked to her through the entire procedure and watched that fear turn into bravery; she never let go of my hand. The next day I checked in on Lucy and was greeted with an ear to ear smile and a hug. She was in the middle of a follow up with her PA who pulled me aside to thank me and said something that still resonates with me, “At the end of the day we treat people, not patients. Those people just want to be heard and cared for.”
After doing some research, physician assistant sounded like the perfect way to build on the foundation that was laid out for me as a corpsman. I wanted to be a versatile caregiver, a jack of all trades. I was enamored with the idea of working in multiple specialties and utilizing a diverse set of skills and knowledge to care for patients. Camaraderie and communication are things that I value highly, both of which are vital to the success of a medical team. The prospect of working alongside a doctor and other like-minded medical professionals in a team environment has further grown my desire to become a PA.
I will always be proud of my military service, but it was time to bid farewell to the Navy. I moved back home and really hit my stride as a student. With my sights set on PA school, I was ready to make an impact on my community. I accepted a job as a phlebotomist at a local hospital, where I worked through some of the worst parts of the pandemic. Going in and out of isolation rooms, responding to code blues, and drawing blood from patients on ventilators was an eye opening experience and shined a light on the critical need for healthcare providers. However, it was an experience that cemented my decision in pursuing a career as a PA.
My path now is clearer than it ever has been. I no longer feel helpless. Becoming a PA would give me the opportunity to use the valuable skills I gained from the Navy. I have been through the rigors of fast, demanding academic programs and am looking forward to the next challenge. I’m confident that the teamwork, communication, and leadership qualities I have developed will help me be successful as a healthcare provider. My passion for patient care and my community will allow me to continue serving others in an impactful way.
Whitney Prosperi says
I trust that you will be a compassionate provider who will honor the memory of your beloved grandfather.
I suggest moving your comments about grades to the paragraph before your conclusion. This will give you the opportunity to set up the positive aspects of your journey first. It is best to briefly mention what happened that resulted in the lower grades and then explain what tactics you used to raise them.
If you have any shadowing experience, I would also include a paragraph that describes that.
I wish you good luck. Should you want more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service.
I was 17 when I first found the tumor. Dread filled me as my fingers settled on the hard mass beneath my skin. I was 17 and alone in my bathroom, trying to assess the situation. I was 17 and alone, wishing I could undiscover the tumor in my left breast. “Is it possible to have breast cancer at 17?” Yes, according to the Internet, it was. I spent a few too many days stewing in fear of the situation until I eventually told my mom. Before I knew it, we were in the waiting room for an ultrasound of the tumor.
Both my mom and I had been nervous about the ultrasound, but it went by much faster than I expected. Soon after the visit, the physician was in the room with us to discuss the results. She explained that the tumor wasn’t something to be concerned about, unless it were to change size or shape. Tumors like mine can sometimes occur in girls my age for a number of reasons, but to be sure the tumor was benign, the physician had to order a biopsy.She asked me if I knew what a biopsy was or if I had ever had one before. I said no for both. She explained that they needed to perform the biopsy to analyze the tissue and see if the cells were cancerous or not. During the actual biopsy, I don’t think I could’ve been more scared. I didn’t know what to expect, even when the attending provider came into the room to go through the procedure. It wasn’t until the physician assistant (PA) entered that I started to calm down. The PA introduced herself and immediately began to set up the equipment. She explained what everything was for, and told me to look away if I needed to. Once we started, the needle hurt more than I thought it would, but the PA distracted me from the pain and discomfort.
She gave me her hand at the start of the biopsy and told me to squeeze as hard as I needed to. She let me hold her hand the entire time, all while using her free hand to assist with everything that was needed of her during the procedure. She started talking about her daughters, and then asked me questions about school. She asked me about college and about what I wanted to be when I got older. I wasn’t able to tell her then, but if I could now, I’d tell her that I want to be like her. I don’t think I would have made it out of the biopsy emotionally intact if it had not been for her. She distracted me from the pain, but she also distracted my mom from watching me go through it alone. She made me feel like I was no longer alone, like how I felt when I first found the tumor. Not only that, but she gave us the knowledge and support that my mom and I needed in a time of uncertainty. She reassured me that I would be okay, and that I was in good hands. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to work in medicine.
Shadowing PAs solidified my desire to work in medicine. The first time I shadowed was during an open heart surgery. Moments before the procedure, the PA I observed said a few words to the patient and his family, reassuring him that he was in good hands. I was immediately reminded of my biopsy. Surely, it wasn’t as scary as an open heart surgery, but the procedure still carried an uncertainty for me and my loved ones. Just like the PA who helped me through my biopsy, the PA assisting with the heart surgery made it her priority to care for her patient and his family during a scary time. Weeks after this, I shadowed in neurology and observed a nerve block being performed on a young patient with a traumatic brain injury. He was about the age I had been during my biopsy, with his mom in the room. I knew his condition was painful, and I could recognize the anxiety on their faces. However, as the attending physician performed the nerve block, the PA I was shadowing constantly reassured the patient that he was doing a great job. After the procedure, I then watched as she reached for his hand to tell him one last time that he had been great.
These PAs have all been inspiring to me during my journey to be like them. What they all have in common is that they deeply care about medicine, but they also care about their patients on a level that far exceeds diagnosis and treatment. They see their patients as people first, and they all recognize how medicine has effects far beyond the patient alone. What I see in the PAs that have guided me are people who always look for silver linings. What I see in them is something I hope to see in myself someday. Through all of my experiences, I have learned that I want nothing more than to be a PA as compassionate as those I have come to know and shadow. Everyday as I get closer and closer to this goal, I know I will always cherish the positive experiences I have had and use them to be a provider that cares about medicine, but also the ups and downs that come with it.
Whitney Prosperi says
You do a good job telling your story and how you found the PA profession. I trust that you will be a calming influence for your own patients one day.
I suggest tightening up your essay where you can so you can include more details from your journey.
Describe any work experience, clinical skills, and medical knowledge you have gained along the way. Also, if you have a patient care story, include that. You want to show some of the qualities that will make you an effective PA.
I would also elaborate on what exactly appeals to you about the PA profession over another type of provider. (more time with patients, ability to switch specialties, collaboration with a healthcare team, expanding access to more patients?
Should you want more help, remember that we are taking submissions for our essay revision service.
I wish you good luck, Hannah.