Physician Assistant Essay
Imagine a person can live healthy from the day he/she born until they die. How great it would be if they can go after the passion they have and help the world with their unique abilities. For instance, Late Mr. Steve Jobs, who doesn’t know him, a cofounder and CEO of Apple,Inc, who gave the technology a new direction that we all use it now in the form of smartphone and many more. He diagnosed of pancreas neuroendocrine tumor in 2003 and died in 2011. Now, it is a fact that we all will die when time comes but until that time, we have a choice to be healthy so that we can help the world by our unique abilities and follow our passion. My passion is that I want to increase all of my patient’s healthy years in their lives and that is why I would like to get into a physician Assistant school.
I was born and raised in _______, located in west coast of India. I came to the United States with my family in 2001. My uncle was a respected physician in Indian which influenced me and I decided to fulfill my career in the field of medicine. I spend my four years at _______ University in biology major. As I was about to start my last semester, I got admission into ________ Medical University, ________ where I earned my medical degree.
Financial situation plays a major role in one’s life so does mine. Everyone knows about lowest economy in 2008 and it hit so many people including me. I stopped getting loan during my fifth semester of my medical school. At same time my parents lost their jobs and situation came down for our survival. Because of financial stress, I just could not work hard which is the reason for my low performance in United States Medical Licensing Examination and I could not get into medical residency. I have cleared USMLE step 1, step 2 and even step 3 which is usually be taken after medical residency but I have cleared it which proves not only that I will excel the physician assistant school but also physician assistant as a career wise.
While at ________ Medical Center in New York, I saw a patient who was suffering from kidney failure due to complications from diabetes. His treatment was successful, but I realized he harbored a deeper and far more dangerous condition: ignorance. Whether he hadn't listened, hadn't comprehended, or wasn't fully informed during his initial diagnosis, he had no clue of the effects of his disease. After informing him his kidneys had just failed, and that next time he could suffer from neurological problems, ulcers, infections, and even the loss of a leg or his life, he agreed to start taking his medication on a regular basis, without fail. The majority of these complications are preventable. Most patients are simply uneducated. They neglect their regular checkups, forget to take their meds, and end up with severe cases of otherwise treatable diseases. I want to offer them proper education; I want to work with them on their overall health; I want to work from the start with my patients. Having a disease is one thing. Understanding and treating its expression is another.
I am working hard to achieve my goals and dreams, but somehow I sense it is not enough. I seek a physician assistant school that will direct me to be the best I can be, push me beyond my perceived limits, expand my knowledge, and help me to become a competent Physician Assistant worthy of his esteemed profession.
As a contributor on a multidisciplinary team of health care providers, I pledge to strengthen my clinical skill set, broaden my knowledge base, and help my patients achieve an optimum state of health. I want to use my abilities to build a better healthy world by increasing healthy years in my patients’ lives and offer my passion, my strong work ethic, my dedication and perseverance, my current skills and knowledge, and my unbending commitment to becoming a PA.
I was born in ______, ______, India. My uncle was a respected physician in India and, following his lead, I decided to fulfill my career in the field of medicine. When I was 17, my family moved to the United States, and I faced the difficulty of learning a new language and immersing myself in a foreign culture. I spent my four years of undergraduate study at _______ University as a biology major. As I was about to start my last semester, I got accepted into ________ Medical University where I later earned my medical degree. During the first semester of medical school, I found that many of my colleagues quit due to the heavy workload but I am not a quitter. I am dedicated, goal oriented, and do not give up until I achieve what I set out to do.
Despite my determination, as a student I realized how big of a role finances play in one’s life. I stopped receiving student loans during my fifth semester of medical school. Next, both of my parents lost their jobs. I saw many of my peers withdraw under the same financial burden. “A task accomplished without challenges was never a task to begin with,” my father would say to me; his constant reminder to never give up. Fueled with these words, my faith, my own determination, and an overwhelming desire to practice medicine, I carried on. Due to the financial stress, I had to take multiple leaves of absence. Despite the circumstances I have completed USMLE step 1, step 2 and even step 3, which is usually taken after medical residency, which I believe shows I have the medical knowledge needed to excel at physician assistant school.
Because of the multiple leaves of absence, I have been unable to get into medical residency and unable to pursue my career as a physician. But my determination and passion won’t allow me to quit. My sister is a Physician Assistant and after she introduced me to the role, I immersed myself in research. During my clinical rotations, I worked with many Physician Assistants and admired their significant level of patient interaction and their ability to work along with physicians and other staff members. One thing I really like is that Physician Assistants can work in a variety of specialties to help facilitate patient care in underserved areas
I know that the PA profession is a growing and demanding career but also know that the future of the profession very secure. PA’s will help bridge the physician shortage gap, particularly in underserved areas, something that appeals to me as someone who wants to practice primary care. As a PA, I will be able to achieve my goal to increase the healthy years in all patients. I have no doubt that I want to pursue my career as a Physician Assistant and am eager to fulfill my dreams and earn respect from my patients as well as my colleagues.
While working as a medical student at ___________ Medical Center in New York, I saw a patient who was suffering from kidney failure due to complications from diabetes. His treatment was successful, but I realized he harbored a deeper and far more dangerous condition: ignorance. I have had a great experience about establishing and maintaining relationship with patients and using that, I was able to educate this patient about his conditions, complications, and how to improve. Having a skill for communication and building a good rapport with not only patients, but also with my colleagues is just one tool I hope to utilize in my practice as a future PA.
My passion toward medicine has been growing since my clinical rotations in medical school. I was fascinated learning about patient interaction, diagnosing patients and how to come up with treatment plans. Whenever a colleague was sick, I always was ready to cover for them, because I knew the more time I spent in training, the better practitioner I would become. Therefore, I worked very hard for my patients, my residents, and my attending physicians to make the whole team look good.
During my gastroenterology elective, I was chief student and team leader, making sure that every task had been done properly. I excel in leadership roles and can multitask successfully. I also have great experience in research publications. I worked as a research assistant at University of ________ in the Neurology Department and have published four articles in the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting 2014.
As a contributor on a multidisciplinary team of health care providers, I pledge to strengthen my clinical skill set, broaden my knowledge base, and help my patients achieve an optimum state of health. Having clinical knowledge, communication skills, the ability to multitask and lead the team, as well as dedication toward my profession, I do believe that I would be an excellent Physician Assistant candidate. I offer my passion for the Physician Assistant profession, my strong work ethic, my dedication and perseverance, my current skills and knowledge, and my unbending commitment to never give up.
You may spend hours, even weeks, working on your personal statement for your application to physician’s assistant programs. But the admissions committee members only review it for around 5 minutes. This is why you need to make an impact right from the start. Also, the statement allows you to show the members that you have what it takes to complete the program. If you are applying to physician assistant school, you must have finished a bachelor’s degree and have probably worked in the medical field already. You already know you have what it takes. Find out how to write a winning personal statement that guarantees your acceptance into PA school.
Understand Why the Personal Statement is Important
Over 50% of PA school applicants do not get accepted to programs of their choice. Most of these applicants have average scores or higher on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), as well as excellent undergraduate grades. However, grades are not the only thing the committee members review. Recommendations from professors and physicians play a big part in the decision process. However, in the end, it is the personal statement that sets you apart from other adequately prepared applicants. Most PA program officials do not want to fill coveted spots with mediocre candidates. Instead, the committee members want to place those students that will likely succeed in healthcare professions, and that success involves hard work and discipline.
Consider Your Reason to Attend
If you have come this far, you probably have the academic qualifications necessary for PA school. Additionally, you realize that most people enter a PA program from another medical field. Take your professional experiences and expand upon them in your personal statement. It is important to choose a few related topics, organize your essay around these, and keep the flow going from one topic to the next. Success involves a real interest in medicine, as well as a genuine desire to help others. Makes sure your reason for attending PA school is the right reason.
Convey What Led You to Pursue a PA Program
Before you begin to write your personal statement, realize that you are telling the reader why you chose PA school rather than medical school. This is necessary to allow the committee members to see what led you down this particular path, and you should jot down every reason that comes to mind. Often, the decision to pursue a graduate degree is due to a combination of factors, and your essay should tell that story. You want the reader to have a complete understanding of these factors, while avoiding mention that medical school is “too hard” or “too long”.
Make Sure You Want to Do This
If you are attending PA school because you could not get into medical school, avoid mentioning that in your essay. If you feel that healthcare is not that compelling, you should stop here. PA school and post-graduate training is a difficult track, a path you don’t head down without careful consideration. If you are applying to a PA program just to please your parents or to deal with some external pressure, you will not be successful in the education process or in your career. Make sure your choice to attend is your own and not someone else’s hopes and dreams.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before you Begin
Schools of healthcare professions look for certain characteristics in their applicants, and this is your chance to showcase your special attributes. Before sitting down with pen in hand, take some time to think over a few things. Some questions that will give insight include:
- What is motivating you to apply to PA school?
- What qualities of PAs you know do you admire?
- What qualities do you have that would set you apart from other applicants?
- What personal philosophy motivates you?
- What are your strengths?
- What has influenced you most in your life?
- How have been involved in your community?
- How do you envision your future?
- What do you enjoy most about the medical field?
- Do start early – Begin writing a month before you plan to submit your application. Outline first, and then write a good draft. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute.
- Do use proper grammar and punctuation – You will probably need to go over basic writing skills before you begin. You want to avoid turning in something that is full of grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes.
- Do structure it correctly –You should format your personal statement with your reader’s attention in mind. How do you plan to capture the committee members’ interest? Make sure your first paragraph is not only interesting but informative.
- Do allow your reader know who you are –If this means revealing personal stories or emotions, then do so. Try not to expose too much about yourself, as you could come across as narcissistic. You want the reader to understand who you are and what you are all about.
- Do show your commitment –PA school is demanding and stressful. The admissions committee needs to know that you realize this, and that you also understand care giving is its own reward. Let the members know that you realize the road ahead will be hard, but also let them know that you are up to the task.
- Do relate to your reader –Take your particular life experiences, and explain how these things will help you work as a healthcare professional. Many PA students either volunteer on mission trips or work in the local hospital in the summers. Perhaps you even shadowed a physician during your college years. Pick one experience, and relate this to your reader.
- Do organize your essay –Introduce yourself in the first paragraph. Cover your topics succinctly and include a wrap-up summary. Your essay should flow easily from topic to topic without rambling or straying away from the basic theme. The main thing you want is a statement that flows smoothly.
- Do proofread –Read through your statement a couple of times for content and structure. Actually, read through it five times. Have your loved ones read your essay, and ask them to offer comments. If you have a friend that is an English teacher, get him or her to take a look at your grammar and punctuation. You want to turn in a finished product that is error-free.
- Don’t regurgitate your transcript – Remember, they have already looked at it. There is no need for redundancy.
- Don’t stray from your topic – Be specific, concise and direct. You have a subject in mind, so don’t stray from telling your story precisely.
- Don’t add filler and unnecessary information –You may feel that you need to add content to your statement to fluff it up and make it longer. This is what writers call “filler”. The committee members are not grading it based on word content.
- Don’t rush – Give yourself several months to do this right. After composing a draft, put it away, and revisit it later. Read it again in a week or so, when you are rested and have a time to sit down and relax. Also, read it as though you are learning about another PA student. Judge the statement from a committee member’s viewpoint. Are you interested in this person, and do you want to learn more about him or her? If not, start again.
- Don’t include academic successes that are not relevant – If you have achieved some unusual academic success, perhaps in research, then if it is relevant to your aptitude and desire to attend PA school. However, don’t include success in areas that do not pertain to medicine, such as retail or computer programming.
- Don’t embellish or use others’ work – No hyperbole or plagiarism. At all. The admissions committee can see through that, and if they cannot, they can always check it up on Google or through a plagiarism check program.
- Don’t talk about controversial topics – The personal statement is no place for topics of a controversial nature. This is not the time to alienate someone with a different perspective, nor is it the place to persuade others to your way of thinking.
- Don’t discuss emotional experiences – If you relate an emotional experience, be professional in your presentation. Also, if you do not feel that you can discuss this in an interview, don’t write about that experience.
- Don’t make excuses for anything – The committee members will not be impressed, as your excuses do not excuse you.
- Don’t apologize for past mistakes or underachievement – The personal statement is your opportunity to present your positive aspects. Don’t blow it.
- Don’t use clichés – The reader will view this as a poor attempt to gain his or her interest. Clichés are so cliché.
- Don’t talk about money – If financial gain is why you are entering this profession, realize that there are easier ways to earn a living. Healthcare is not the place to get rich quick and earn money without working for it.
- Don’t underestimate or overestimate the PA profession – Medicine is difficult. Patient care is frustrating. A physician assistant is NOT a doctor. The leaders in this field pride themselves on discipline, dedication, ability, and humanity. Don’t go into this profession looking for an easy career or expecting the prestige of a physician.
Now that you understand what it takes to create a winning personal statement, you are one step closer to the title of “Physician’s Assistant”. Use this guide to help you create an interesting, purposeful essay that reveals the honest reasons for your career choice. Best of luck on your new endeavor!
American Academy of Physicians Assistants (AAPA) (2013). Website at: http://www.aapa.org/
Kubin, P.B. (2013). Crafting a Winning PA School Application Essay. Derived from:
Writing a Personal Statement?
Ben Frederick M.D.
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