My Personal Statement
After publishing my last blog post on How to Write a Personal Statement, I have been contemplating whether I wanted to share my own personal statement on my blog. Personal statements are exactly that- personal, so I feel a bit hesitant to share this with everyone. However, I know that reading accepted students' personal statements can be helpful for guiding what to write about and how to write your own personal statements. So I decided to do a poll on my Instagram story to ensure you pre-PA peeps would be interested and sure enough... you were!
Please be advised that these are my own personal experiences and writing, so you are not allowed to copy, distribute, publish or use my personal statement in any way. Also CASPA does check for plagiarism upon submission, so do not feel tempted to use anyone else's words or experiences in your personal statement. PA programs want to get to know YOU, so allow your personal statement to do exactly that! Now that all the necessary legal stuff has been said...
My Personal Statement
Blood. Dripping down the nitrile gloves that covered my mentor’s hands. It is August 2016, and I am a vivarium manager/researcher in REDACTED. One of the hundreds of mice that I care for daily is displaying odd symptoms: arched back, slight emaciation, distended stomach, and minimal movement. During consultation with REDACTED, the mouse suddenly hemorrhages; a pup is stuck in one of her uterine horns. I race towards my mentor to retrieve the hemorrhaging mouse and immediately reduce its suffering through CO2 euthanasia. Due to the limitations in treating mice in a research facility, our goal is to increase comfort and reduce suffering as quickly as possible – a goal I take very seriously.
Electricity. Coursing throughout the patient’s body and restarting her heart. Paramedics have just charged in with a middle-aged female, who is experiencing chest pains and ST elevations. It is May 2017, and I am shadowing a physician assistant in the Emergency Department at REDACTED. Adrenaline is in the air, yet all I hear are calm, directive voices. A registered nurse calls an ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) code. I observe with reverence as the PA communicates the plan of action in a highly efficient manner and the medical team easily revives the patient after two cardiac arrests. I dream that one day I will be a part of such an organized, life-saving healthcare team.
Tears. Running down a man’s face as he walks through the doors of the clinic and realizes the full extent of his circumstances. I take a deep breath and prepare myself for the conversation that is about to occur. It is May 2017, and I am a volunteer at REDACTED. I calmly explain the eligibility requirements to the tearful potential patient. Defensively, the man reveals his story; he was a victim of a hit-and-run accident that led him to lose all function in his left arm. Without the ability to use this arm, the young man lost his job and all his benefits. Until the lengthy process of receiving disability is complete, he is left without income, health insurance, or spare money due to all the hospital bills. I suddenly realize how a single moment can change a life forever and how crucial a free clinic can be.
Tires. Rushing towards me with excitement and fervor. The smile on my patient’s face radiates as he pushes his wheelchair towards me. I quip about him “rolling me over” and he jokes about me being “pretty good for a newbie.” It is June 2017, and I am a patient care assistant in the progressive care unit/intermediate care unit at REDACTED. My patient is being discharged and is waiting for the elevator with his family. He catches a glimpse of me walking out of the nurses’ station and quickly whizzes over in his wheelchair to say his goodbyes. As the excited smile spreads across his usually shy and timid face, I am overcome with joy. In just a matter of hours, I made a difference.
These are just four examples from the hundreds of stories I have accrued while shadowing, working, and volunteering. My diverse experiences have prepared me for the PA profession, and have reaffirmed my desire to pursue this career. I want to be a PA because PAs can allocate more of their time to patient care than doctors, which is a crucial aspect of healthcare. As a lifelong learner, the profession’s lateral mobility also appeals to me. I am currently interested in both surgery and emergency medicine, so the prospect of exploring both specialties during my PA career is exciting. In addition, the diagnostic aspect of the profession appeals to me because I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of analyzing symptoms, diagnosing patients, and deciding on courses of treatment. Above all, I believe possessing the ability to diagnose and treat patients will enable me to help others live happier, healthier lives.
One of the most important aspects of the PA profession, and one I have learned a great deal about throughout my work experiences, is patient care. By aiding patients in the underserved community through the free clinic, patients in distress through the ER, and patients in recovery through the hospital, I have developed a comprehension of and compassion for patient diversity.
Teamwork also plays a critical role in the PA profession, and is an ability I have honed in my various roles. In the neuroscience lab, I learned how to work independently and how to recognize moments when consultation was necessary. Consider the hemorrhagic mouse, I identified the symptoms and recognized that consultation was the right decision for our team to ensure the best outcome. Similarly, a PA must be versatile – able to work independently and as an invaluable member of the team.
Ambition. Purpose. Commitment. Driving me to continue my education, both in and out of the classroom. Inspiring me to better myself so that I can better the lives of my future patients as a PA.
Hopefully sharing my personal statement is helpful for all you pre-PA peeps out there! Also if you haven't already, check out my last blog post on How to Write a Personal Statement. My last blog post gives some great advice and describes how I outlined the personal statement you just finished reading. As always, if you have any blog post suggestions, comments, or questions feel free to contact me through Instagram or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.