Examples of a good personal statement.
Personal Statement Examples #1
My interest in science dates back to my years in high school, where I excelled in physics, chemistry, and math. When I was a senior, I took a first-year calculus course at a local college (such an advanced-level class was not available in high school) and earned an A. It seemed only logical that I pursue a career in electrical engineering.
When I began my undergraduate career, I had the opportunity to be exposed to the full range of engineering courses, all of which tended to reinforce and solidify my intense interest in engineering. I’ve also had the opportunity to study a number of subjects in the humanities and they have been both enjoyable and enlightening, providing me with a new and different perspective on the world in which we live.
In the realm of engineering, I have developed a special interest in the field of laser technology and have even been taking a graduate course in quantum electronics. Among the 25 or so students in the course, I am the sole undergraduate. Another particular interest of mine is electromagnetics, and last summer, when I was a technical assistant at a world-famous local lab, I learned about its many practical applications, especially in relation to microstrip and antenna design. Management at this lab was sufficiently impressed with my work to ask that I return when I graduate. Of course, my plans following completion of my current studies are to move directly into graduate work toward my master’s in science. After I earn my master’s degree, I intend to start work on my Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Later I would like to work in the area of research and development for the private industry. It is in R & D that I believe I can make the greatest contribution, utilizing my theoretical background and creativity as a scientist.
I am highly aware of the superb reputation of your school, and my conversations with several of your alumni have served to deepen my interest in attending. I know that, in addition to your excellent faculty, your computer facilities are among the best in the state. I hope you will give me the privilege of continuing my studies at your fine institution.
Personal Statement Examples #2
Having majored in literary studies (world literature) as an undergraduate, I would now like to concentrate on English and American literature.
I am especially interested in nineteenth-century literature, women’s literature, Anglo-Saxon poetry, and folklore and folk literature. My personal literary projects have involved some combination of these subjects. For the oral section of my comprehensive exams, I specialized in nineteenth-century novels by and about women. The relationship between “high” and folk literature became the subject for my honors essay, which examined Toni Morrison’s use of classical, biblical, African, and Afro-American folk tradition in her novel. I plan to work further on this essay, treating Morrison’s other novels and perhaps preparing a paper suitable for publication.
In my studies toward a doctoral degree, I hope to examine more closely the relationship between high and folk literature. My junior year and private studies of Anglo-Saxon language and literature have caused me to consider the question of where the divisions between folklore, folk literature, and high literature lie. Should I attend your school, I would like to resume my studies of Anglo-Saxon poetry, with special attention to its folk elements.
Writing poetry also figures prominently in my academic and professional goals. I have just begun submitting to the smaller journals with some success and am gradually building a working manuscript for a collection. The dominant theme of this collection relies on poems that draw from classical, biblical, and folk traditions, as well as everyday experience, in order to celebrate the process of giving and taking life, whether literal or figurative. My poetry draws from and influences my academic studies. Much of what I read and the study finds a place in my creative work as the subject. At the same time, I study the art of literature by taking part in the creative process, experimenting with the tools used by other authors in the past.
In terms of a career, I see myself teaching literature, writing criticism, and going into editing or publishing poetry. Doctoral studies would be valuable to me in several ways. First, your teaching assistant ship program would provide me with the practical teaching experience I am eager to acquire. Further, earning a Ph.D. in English and American literature would advance my other two career goals by adding to my skills, both critical and creative, in working with language. Ultimately, however, I see the Ph.D. as an end in itself, as well as a professional stepping stone; I enjoy studying literature for its own sake and would like to continue my studies on the level demanded by the Ph.D. program.
Personal Statement Examples #3
As the sun was going down, the rain began to fall. Alongside the road there were sirens and flashing lights next to a black vehicle; it was completely destroyed. I was unconscious, stuck inside the vehicle. EMS extricated me and transported me to the hospital.
It was not until the next day I finally woke up and tried to lift myself out of bed; the pain I felt caused me to scream, “Mom!” My mother rushed into the room, “Ashley, stop moving around, you are only going to make it more painful” she said. The expression on my face showed nothing more than a complete blank. “What happened, and why is there a sling on me?”
The ambulance took me to the hospital in our home town, and after hours passed by they told my mother that my scans and tests came back fine, put a sling on me, and sent me home … while still not fully conscious. The day after, I had follow up visits in the next city over with completely different physicians. It turned out the extent of my injuries were worse than we were told, and had to have surgery immediately. Suffering from complications following the accident was an obstacle, but the care received at the time and over the next few years during recovery made me understand the importance of skilled physicians and physician assistants (PAs).
In the past year, I have grown and learned even more than I thought I could in my current position as a medical assistant in the Neuro-otology specialty. Working as a medical assistant for the past two years has been a rewarding learning experience. One of the main priorities of my position is to take a very detailed description of the patient’s condition/chief complaint of their visit. Doing this has allowed me to gain an extensive amount of knowledge on the inner ear and vestibular system, and on how they both work in conjunction with one another. Through my work I am able to help patients and the feeling in return is an incredible sentiment. A little after I began working at the clinic, I was awarded a larger role through learning how to complete the Canalith Repositioning Maneuver on patients suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. After successful applications of the procedures, it is clear from their emotions that I make positive impacts on the patient’s daily life. The joyful smile on their faces immediately brightens my whole day.
Volunteer efforts, shadowing, and post university medical experience solidified that there was no other profession I desired more. Witnessing the team of a doctor and PA work together at Moffitt Cancer Center furthered my excitement of the position. I was captivated by their partnership and the PAs ability to simultaneously work independently. The PA spoke highly of the opportunity to study and practice multiple specialties. Through all of my learning and experience it occurred to me that my love for medicine is so broad, that it would be impossible for me to just focus on one aspect of medicine. Knowing that I have the option to experience nearly any specialty entices me, and having the opportunity to treat and diagnose patients instead of standing in the background observing would give me great pleasure.
While continuously battling the setbacks of my accident, the socioeconomic status forced upon me the task of a full time job while trying to obtain an education. The outcome of these hardships led to substandard grades in my freshman and sophomore years. Once accepted at University of South Florida I succeeded in completing all PA requirements with a vast improvement in my academics creating an upward trend in GPA through graduation. As a result of my success, I realized I had moved forward from what I thought would hold me back forever; my accident is now just a motivator for future obstacles.
With a career as a PA, I know my answer to “how was your day” will always be, “life changing.” In my work I am fortunate enough to change lives in similar ways as the PA I strive to be, which is what drives me. I am determined and will not ever abandon this dream, goal, and life purpose. Outside of my qualifications on paper, I have been told that I am a compassionate, friendly, and a strong woman. Years from today, through my growth and experience as a PA, I will evolve to be a role model for someone with the same qualities and professional objectives as I have today. I chose PA because I love working as a team. Helping others makes me feel like I have a purpose, and there is no other profession that I would rather be in. Admittance to a respectable program is not the beginning or the end … it is the next step of my journey to become a reflection of who I admire.
Personal Statement Examples #4
A three year old boy has severe sinusitis that has caused the eyelids of his right eye to swell and his fever to spike. His mother is beginning to worry because every specialist she has visited has not been able to alleviate her child’s symptoms. It has been three days and she is at another hospital waiting to see yet another specialist. While the mother is sitting in the waiting room a passing doctor takes notice of her son and exclaims to her, “I can help this boy.” After a brief examination, the doctor informs the mother that her son has an infected sinus. The boy’s sinus is drained and he is given antibiotics to treat the infection. The mother breathes a sigh of relief; her son’s symptoms are finally mitigated.
I was the sick child in that story. That is one of my earliest memories; it was from the time when I lived in Ukraine. I still wonder how such a simple diagnosis was overlooked by several physicians; perhaps it was an example of the inadequate training healthcare professionals received in post-Cold War Ukraine. The reason I still remember that encounter is the pain and discomfort of having my sinus drained. I was conscious during the procedure and my mother had to restrain me while the doctor drained my sinus. I remember that having my sinus drained was so excruciating that I told the doctor, “When I grow up I will become a doctor so I can do this to you!” When I reminisce about that experience I still tell myself that I would like to work in health care, but my intentions are no longer vengeful.
After researching various health care professions I realized that physician assistant is the one for me. I have several reasons for pursuing a career as a PA. Firstly the PA profession has a bright future; according to the Bureau of Labor statistics employment for physician assistants is projected to grow 38 percent from 2019 to 2022. Secondly the flexibility of the PA of the profession is appealing to me; I would like to build an eclectic repertoire of experiences and skills when it comes to delivering medical care. Thirdly I would be able to work autonomously and collaboratively with a health care team to diagnose and treat individuals. The fourth and most important reason is that I would be able to directly influence people in a positive way. Working for homecare services I have had several people tell me that they prefer PAs over physicians, because physician assistants are able to take their time to effectively communicate with their patients.
I know that to become a physician assistant academic excellence is imperative so I would like to take the time to explain the discrepancies in my transcript. During my freshman and sophomore year my grades were not great and there is no excuse for that. In my first two years of college I was more concerned with socializing than I was with academia. I chose to spend most of my time going to parties and because of it my grades suffered. Although I had a lot of fun I came to the realization the fun would not last forever. I knew that to fulfill my dream of working in health care I would have to change my ways. Starting with my junior year I made school my priority and my grades improved markedly. My grades in the second two years of my college career are a reflection of me as an engaged student. I will continue striving to achieve my terminal goal of becoming a physician assistant, because I look forward to the first time a worried mother comes to the hospital with her sick child and I will be able to say, “I can help this boy!”
Personal Statement Examples #5
Completely re-edited my PS. This draft feels alot stronger. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you find out why”. This quote from Mark Twain comes to mind when describing why I aspire to become a Physician Assistant. The journey to finding one’s professional “why” can be tough, it can sometimes force one to settle and give up on the journey altogether but in other cases, cases of so many who have genuine love in what they do, it requires constant self-reflection, faith and unyielding determination to continue on. Early on in my academic career I lacked the maturity to grasp this concept, I wasn’t committed to the process of learning and was without intrinsic motivation to dedicate myself to it. I knew I wanted a career in medicine but when asked difficult questions of why, I could only give the generic answer, “Because I want to help people”. That reason wasn’t enough, I needed something more, something that could drive me to work night shifts and head to school immediately after, something that could push me to retake courses and pursue a Masters degree. To find this “why” I became child-like, asking many questions, majority of them beginning with why. Why was it important for me to help people through medicine? Why not a trainer, a physician or a nurse? Why not anything else?
Through this journey I began four years ago, I’ve learned that an individuals “why” is a place where one’s passions and skills meet their community’s needs and as I’ve been exposed to many facets of health, I’ve discovered my passion for fitness and health is the foundation of my “why”. The day I found this “why” came subtly, from a simple yet profound article clipping that remains posted on my wall today. A “wonder pill “ Dr. Robert Butler described, that could prevent and treat many diseases but more importantly prolong the length and quality of life. The drug was exercise and as he surmised, “If it could be packed into a pill it would the most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation”. From these words my “why” began taking shape, I began wondering what could happen to our health care system if prevention was emphasized and people were given the directions and interventions needed to not only solve their health issues but to live healthier lives. I wondered what I could do to be part of the solution, how I could play a role in delivering a care that considered multiple influences and multiple methods for treating and preventing diseases, while also advocating optimal health and well-being.
With the recent reforms to healthcare I believed that a system emphasizing prevention could become an actuality and with many people given access to it a better kind provider would be needed. Providers, in my opinion, that understands the roles of nutrition, fitness and behavior modifications on health. Providers that understand that curative or palliative methods that wait until patients are sick, in many cases beyond repair before stepping in, can no longer be a standard practice. From interning with trainers and wellness coaches in health centers, to working with nurses and techs in the hospital, to shadowing PAs and Physicians during rounds or in underserved clinics, I‘ve not only gained valuable experiences but I have been able to see exactly what makes each profession great. Each profession has aspects that interest me but as I have researched and dissected each of these careers, plucking pieces where I find my greatest skills meeting what I am passionate about, I found myself at the doorstep of a career as a Physician Assistant.
Working at Florida Hospital, I relish in the team-based effort that I’ve learned is quite necessary in providing quality care. I thoroughly enjoy my interactions with patients and working in communities where English may not be the primary language but forces you to go out and learn to become a better caregiver. I’ve learned exactly where my “why” is. It is in a profession centered on this team-based effort, it focuses on the patient and the trust between the physician and the health care team, not on the insurance, management or the business side of medicine. It is a profession whose purpose comes from improving and expanding our health care system, a field with the ability to not only diagnose and treat diseases but also with the expectation to promote health through education. It is a profession where I can be a lifetime-learner, where stagnation isn’t even a possibility, with many specialties in which I can learn. Most importantly it is a career whose role in this evolving health care system is etched to be on the front line in its delivery, the key to integrating both wellness and medicine to combat and prevent diseases. The journey to this conclusion hasn’t been easy but I am grateful because my“ why” is now simple and unmistakable. I have been placed on this earth to serve, educate and advocate wellness through medicine as a Physician Assistant. In summation, my “why” has become my favorite question.
Personal Statement Examples #6
The easiest decision I ever made was choosing to play soccer when I was seven years old. Fifteen years later, after finishing four years of Division I collegiate soccer, I made the most difficult decision thus far in my life. Knowing that I was not going to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team, I had to pursue a different dream. The summer after my college graduation, I transitioned from playing soccer to coaching, while figuring out a career path to pursue. At one of the first practices I coached, I witnessed a girl get caught up in a net and hit her head on a pole. My instincts told me to run over and help. I advised a parent to call 9-1-1 while I checked to see if the girl was alert. She was in and out of consciousness for about two minutes before she was able to look at me and tell me her name. I talked to her to keep her awake until the paramedics arrived to take over. Even while the paramedics assessed her, she did not want me to leave. I held her hand until it was time for her to be transported. In that moment, it was clear to me that helping others was my calling.
At the same time I started coaching, I began volunteering at Los Angeles Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. I shadowed emergency room (ER) doctors, orthopedic doctors, and general practitioners. Naturally, my athletic career drew me in towards Orthopedics. I spent most of my time watching how doctors, physician assistants (PAs), nurses, and technicians interacted with patients. Similar to soccer, teamwork is a key component of patient care. I was amazed at how smooth the process was to prepare for a trauma patient in the ER. It was not as chaotic as I had expected. The communications center alerted the trauma team that a 79 year-old female patient with head trauma was on its way. From there, the trauma team prepared a room for the patient. When the patient arrived, it was like watching a well-rehearsed play. Every team member knew his/her role and performed it flawlessly despite the high-pressure situation. In that moment, I felt the same adrenaline rush I got during my soccer games and knew that I had to pursue a career in the medical field. Although I was introduced to the idea of becoming a PA, my eyes were set on becoming a doctor. So, I applied for medical school.
After being rejected from medical school, I debated applying again. After shadowing PAs at Harbor-UCLA, I did research on becoming a PA. What stood out the most to me was the flexibility of a PA to work in different medical specialties. Also, in the orthopedic department, I noticed that the PAs had more time to spend with patients discussing rehabilitation options and infection prevention after their surgeries. This type of patient care was more along the lines of what I wanted to do. So, my next step was to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) to fulfill the work experience requirement for my PA application.
Working as an EMT turned out to be more meaningful than just being a pre-requisite for PA school. Whether the complaints were medical or traumatic, these patients were meeting me on the worst day of their lives. One call we had was a Spanish-speaking only patient who complained of left knee pain. Since I was the only Spanish speaker on scene, I translated for the paramedics. The medics concluded that the patient could be transported to the hospital code 2, no paramedic follow-up and no lights and sirens necessary, since it appeared to be localized knee pain. En route to the hospital, I noticed a foul smell coming from the patient. Suddenly, the patient became unresponsive so we upgraded our transport and used our lights and sirens to get there faster. Upon our arrival the patient started coming around. The triage nurse approached us and noticed the foul smell as well. The nurse had us put the patient into a bed right away and said that the patient might be septic. I thought, but where? Later that day, we checked up on the patient and found out that she was in the late stages of breast cancer. On scene, she failed to mention the open wounds she thoroughly wrapped up on her breasts because that was not her chief complaint. She also did not mention it as part of her pertinent medical history. Her knee was hurting due to osteoporosis from the cancer cells metastasizing to her bones. This call always stuck with me because it made me realize that I want to be able to diagnose and treat patients. As a PA, I would be able to do both.
All of my life experiences have led me to realize that I want to be a part of a medical team as a physician assistant. To be able to study multiple medical specialties, diagnose, and treat would allow me to come full circle in patient care. As much as I love pre-hospital care, I have always wanted to do more. Given the opportunity, as a PA, I will take on the challenges of patient care in a hospital setting and look forward to being able to follow through with all of my patients to the end of their care.
Personal Statement Examples #7
A young, cheerful volleyball player came to my training room complaining of back pain during her off-season. Two weeks later, she died from Leukemia. Two years later her brother, a former state champion football player, was diagnosed with a different type of Leukemia. He fought hard for a year, but he too succumbed to the same disease that took the life of his baby sister. A girl in her sophomore year of high school sought my advice because she was concerned about a small bump on her back. After a few weeks of observing she returned complaining of back pain along with an increase in the size of the original bump. Recognizing this was beyond my expertise, I referred her to her pediatrician, who then recommended she see another medical specialist. Following extensive testing she was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After recently dealing with the loss of two young athletes, this news was shocking. Fortunately, over the next year and a half, this young lady battled and beat the cancer in time to complete her senior year and walk across the stage at graduation with her classmates. I was elated for her, but began reflecting on the limitations of my position as an athletic trainer. These events also prompted me to evaluate my life, my career, and my goals. I felt compelled to investigate my options. After doing so, I was determined to expand my knowledge and increase my ability to serve others and decided the correct path for me was to become a Physician Assistant.
During my career thus far as an athletic trainer, I have had the privilege of working at a wide variety of locations. These include an acute care in-patient hospital, working with post surgical patients; a family practice and sports medicine office, performing initial evaluations; an outpatient therapy clinic, working with rehab patients; an orthopedic surgeon’s office, shadowing patient visits and surgeries; and many universities and high schools, working with a variety of athletic injuries. My experiences in these diverse settings have shown me the need for all degrees of medical personnel. Each field has its own purpose in the proper care of the patient. As an athletic trainer I have seen a range of injuries that I could diagnose and treat myself. But it has always been the ones that I had to refer to the team doctor that weighed on me, making me feel that I should be able to help even more. As a physician assistant, I would possess the knowledge and skills needed to diagnose and provide the care needed for my patients.
My position as the high school athletic trainer allows me to get acquainted with all of the athletes, however, to be even more effective I get involved in the community of the school and strive to learn more about the people with whom I work. For the last three years I have been a substitute teacher for the junior and senior high school. I have also volunteered for many functions that the school provides for the students including school dances, the community-based alcohol prevention program called Every 15 Minutes, and the annual junior and senior retreat which involves a true bonding experience for all participants. Developing meaningful relationships with the students enhances my effectiveness by opening lines of communication and building trust. It is my firm belief that a patient will only speak openly about a self-perceived flaw including injury with someone he or she feels comfortable. I sincerely want to be that person for my athletes now, and for my patients in the future.
The diverse injuries, illnesses, and diseases I have encountered as athletic trainer have provided me with a variety of wonderful experiences. I have witnessed both tragedy and triumph with my athletes and coaches, on and off of the field or court. Most injuries have been inconsequential in the long term, even to those experiencing the pain in the moment. They know that they will heal and progress in their sport and continue on their journey in life. Fighting for and winning state championships is all well and good, but there are far more important concerns in this life we live. I have witnessed young lives being taken, and those who battled relentlessly to overcome all obstacles, and it is these individuals who have changed how I view medicine, how I view myself, and how I view my future in the world of medicine. These people have enriched my life and have taken ahold of my heart and mind, motivating me to push forward. “Keep going. Keep fighting. Keep battling.” The powerful motto of our basketball coach living with advanced Cystic Fibrosis has been a significant incentive for me. He was told he would live a much shorter and less satisfying life, but he never gave in to his diagnosis. He made his life what he wanted it to be, overcoming many obstacles and living out his dreams. Seeing him fight for each day of his life has had tremendous influence on me. I know it is my time to fight for what I want and keep moving forward.
Personal Statement Examples #8
I would really appreciate if someone could tell me if I’m hitting any of the right points in my essay!
The door flew open and slammed against the adjacent wall. The room was dark and all I could make out were figures and the noise of chatter and children crying. As my eyes adjusted to the sharp contrast in darkness from the blaring sun outside, I made my way to the counter. “Sign in,” said a voice and I looked down to see a chewed up pin and a pile of ripped up pieces of paper, on which I wrote my name and date of birth. The voice came out again “have a seat; we’ll call you when we’re ready.” I turned to see a room, no bigger than a two bedroom apartment, full of young women and children of various ages. I took a seat and waited for my turn to be seen at my local health department.
As an adolescent without health insurance, I have seen first-hand the demand for providers that can offer available healthcare. My experiences at the local health department made me dread going, never knowing if I would see the same provider again. Like many others in my situation, I just stopped going. After these experiences, I knew I wanted to be the stability for the underprivileged and financially burdened.
I began my role in healthcare as a pharmacy technician. It was this job that solidified my interests in the science of medicine. It was also this exposure which showed me that primary care providers play a huge role in the health system. However, it was not until I began working in registration for the Emergency Department of my local hospital that I could see just how important this role is; patients sitting for hours to be seen for a fever and headache because they do not have any other option for healthcare.
These observations pushed me to continue in medicine. After moving home to pursue this career, I climbed my way from a unit secretary to a patient care technician where I had my first hands-on experiences with patients. I remember a particular incident where while I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. I immediately called for someone to come in so I could check her blood sugar levels; it was 37 mg/Dl. With the nurse by my side, we got Ms. Kay safely to the bed and began treating her with intravenous glucose. I was so excited and proud of myself for recognizing the symptoms and being able to react without hesitation. It is moments like this one that I recognize my desires are not only to treat patients, but also diagnose illnesses.
After working closely with many health providers for nearly ten years, none stood out to me like Mike, a physician assistant on the cardiothoracic surgery unit. I have seen him take the extra time to go over every medication a patient had not only to ensure there was no drug interactions but to explain and write down the uses of each for when they returned home. When this patient needs a refill, instead of asking for “the little blue pill,” they will confidently ask for their blood pressure medication. Understanding these problems and taking the time to address them through patient education and support can greatly improve the quality of life for those in our communities. PAs help to carry out this idea of preventive medicine over episodic care as a team.
A team-based care system is very important to me. I learned the value of a solid support network while struggling after the death of my cousin. The pain of losing my best friend, and the personal disappointment I felt after failing two semesters, made it difficult for me to continue on my career path confidently. However, with the backing and trust of my peers, much like a PA in their practice, I was able to push forward and overcome these trials. I was taught stress-management and determination through these hardships and they will aid me as I endeavor this challenging and evolving career as a PA.
With my professional training in the medical field, I have a good understanding and appreciate everyone’s roles in healthcare. We come from several backgrounds and experiences that allow us to integrate together and ultimately provide better patient care. I am confident in my ability to translate my skills into my studies as well as future practice and become a successful PA. I am also confident in my ability to relate and help close the gap in available healthcare as a primary care provider.
Personal Statement Examples #9
“My chest hurts.” Anyone in the medical field knows this is a statement that cannot simply be brushed off. Mary was a patient we brought to and from dialysis three times a week. At the young age of 88, her mind was starting to go and her history of CVA rendered her hemiplegic, reliant on us for transport. Mary would stare through us and continue conversations with her late husband, insist she was being rained on while in the ambulance, and manipulate us into doing things we would never consider for another patient, i.e. adjust pillows an absurd amount of times, and hold her limp arm in the air for the entirety of the 40 minute transport, leaving you down a full PCR. But, it was Mary, and Mary held a special place in our hearts just out of sheer desire to please her in the slightest- never successfully, might I add. Mary complained about everything, but nothing at the same time. So, that Thursday afternoon when she nonchalantly stated she had chest pain, it raised some red flags. With a trainee on board, the three man crew opted to run the patient to the ER three miles up the road, emergent, rather than waiting for ALS. I ran the call, naturally, it was Mary, and she was my patient. Vitals stable, patient denies breathing difficulty and any other symptoms. During the two minute transport I called in the report over the wail of the sirens, “history of CVA and… CVA. Mary look at me. Increased facial drooping; stoke alert, pulling in now.” Mary always had facial drooping, slurring, and left sided weakness, but it was worse. I’ve taken her every week for six months, but this time I was sitting on her right side. We took her straight to CT, and I have not since seen her. Mary was my patient, and everyone knew it.
We hear “life is too short” all the time, but how many people have been on scene after a heartbroken mother rolled over on her four-month-old, and you work that child like its your own, knowing she’s been down too long. As a healthcare provider, you have those patients that make it all worth it; That remind you why you keep going back for the MVAs, amputations, overdoses, three year old with fishhook in his eye, 2 year old down a flight of stairs, Alzheimer’s patient who doesn’t understand why they’re being strapped to the stretcher, 302 who pulls a gun, pancreatic cancer patient who vomits blood on you while you’re at the bottom of the stairchair and there’s not a thing you can do about it until you get down two more flights of stairs. My ambulance is my office. EMS has given me more experience, hope and disappointment than I could have ever asked for as an undergraduate. It has done nothing short of fuel my desire for advancement in the medical field.
“The contest is a lion fight. So chin up, put your shoulders back, walk proud, strut a little. Don’t lick your wounds. Celebrate them. The scars you bear are the sign of a competitor. You’re in a lion’s fight. Just because you didn’t win, doesn’t mean you don’t know how to roar.” The countless hours of procrastination watching the medical inaccuracies of Grey’s Anatomy, the breathtaking visuals in House MD, and the thrill of ER, have, if nothing else, given me hope. Hope that someone will see past my mediocre GPA and undergraduate transcript, and afford me the second chance I know I deserve. I proved my capability and motivation in high school and my last two years of college when I refocused my goals and plan. I am ready, prepared, and willing to do whatever it takes to reach my aspiration of providing the highest quality care of which I am capable. If you are not ready at this moment to put faith in me, I will do whatever it takes to get to that point, whether it be retaking classes, or investing another $40,000 in my education to excel in a post-baccalaureate program. After years of dabbling in medical occupations, I have finally found the one I want, and my desire to live and learn has never been stronger.
Personal Statement Examples #10
I have since reworked my essay and would prefer that the second copy be considered if possible. I am about 150 characters over the limit and I am not sure what to cut or where. I also am working on conveying the message of why I want to be a PA and what I can offer that is unique. Any help is greatly appreciated!
I’ve learned a lot of important lessons while shadowing a physician assistant in the emergency room this summer: always clean up your own sharps, communicate with other ER staff members to effectively work as a team, never talk about how “quiet” a day is, and that a warm blanket and a smile go a long way in patient care. Most importantly, I learned how much I love coming in to the hospital each day, excited to interact with a wide variety of patients and have a positive impact, no matter how small, in their healthcare experience. Shadowing in a level II trauma center granted me opportunities to develop my own personal philosophy about patient care, as well as furthered my desire to pursue a career as a PA in this field. My biggest inspiration to become a PA, however, started well before I ever shadowed in a hospital but from something much closer to home.
It was the summer before my final year at Miami when I got the text from my dad. He had been sick for a few weeks and finally went to the hospital for routine blood work. Doctor’s visits used to be rare for him, as he is an ER physician and seemed to never get sick. When the results came in, they immediately admitted him to Cleveland Clinic Main Campus. He told me he was fine and not to worry, all while joking about getting a room with the Indians game on, so I believed him. The next morning his tests were back – he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His first thirty days of routine high-volume chemotherapy were cut short when he acquired an infection and spiraled into total organ failure. He was in the ICU for roughly two months, during which time he drifted in and out of comas and had, as he phrased it, “a visit from every specialist except gynecology.” When he finally regained consciousness after two weeks of dialysis, he was so weak he could not sit up unassisted so he spent two more months at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before he was finally allowed to come home on Christmas Eve.
It was the best present a girl could ask for, but not without its challenges. He was still very weak and wheelchair-bound. He had to take handfuls of pills several times a day, and needed his blood sugar checked before each meal due to the steroids. The house had to be regularly scrubbed from top to bottom due to his low neutrophil count. When I was younger and my mother suffered two strokes, my father had been the one that had kept our family together. Our upside down world felt like a nightmare. I learned to do fingersticks and insulin injections gently, so as not to bruise his paper-thin skin. I taught him how to flush his PICC line when it became clogged (a trick I learned from my own experience with IV antibiotics to treat osteomyelitis a year prior). When he started walking, I learned to block his knees with my hands so he wouldn’t fall too far forward after he lost most of his proprioception and motor control from peripheral neuropathy.
I had a tough choice to make: return to school and continue pursuing my degree, or stay home and help my mother. I stayed in Cleveland for as long as I could, but eventually went back to school the day before spring semester started. I continued to come home as often as I could. Our schedule wasn’t the only thing that changed – because my father was unable to work, our lifestyle changed considerably due to the financial strain from hospital bills. We now considered ease of access everywhere we travelled to make sure it was safe for his wheelchair. One night, my mother confided that she had never spent so much time with my father in the entirety of their marriage. Cancer is not only a physical fight but a myriad of battles that accompany the diagnosis. Standing strong with my family through all of these hurdles has helped me to develop a comprehensive and unique perspective on the challenges that health issues bring to patients and their families.
My father has since returned to work in the ER, and continues to greet patients with a smile, grateful to be alive and healthy enough to practice medicine. Even before my father got sick, I was in love with medicine, too. From a young age, I questioned the world around me with a thirst for answers that never waned. As I learned body systems in anatomy and physiology, I looked at illness and injury as a puzzle waiting to be solved. When I was taking care of my dad, he told me I should look into PA school. He said “if you love medicine and actually want to spend time with patients, become a Physician Assistant.” In my time shadowing in the Emergency Department, I have found this to be very true. While the doctors intercept phone calls from specialists and chart lengthy notes, the PAs are in the room with patients, performing a review of symptoms or suturing lacerations all while keeping the patient informed and calm to ameliorate stress levels. The positive impact on the patient care experience is palpable. I want to apply the same compassion and understanding that I have acquired during my own family’s experiences and those from shadowing in the emergency room in order to better someone else’s health care experience.
Personal Statement Examples #11
“Whether you know it or not, you do have the power to touch the lives of everyone you encounter and make their day just a little bit better.” I once heard a resident named Mary console her peer who was feeling useless with this small piece of advice. Mary had lived at Lutheran Home for about 5 years. She had the warmest smile that spread across her face and seemed to tell a story. It was a smile that reminded me of the kind smile my grandmother used to have. I remember thinking that this woman truly amazed me and seemed to have an uncanny ability to comfort others. Mary was a selfless, compassionate woman that I admired very much. One day I learned that Mary had fallen while trying to transfer into the shower and had injured her arm and had hit her head. This incident, followed by more health issues, seemed to be the start to her declined orientation and abilities. Mary was put on bed rest, slowly began to lose her appetite and began to have pain. For the next few months, I was happy when I was assigned to care for Mary because the statement I had witnessed truly came to life. Mary was not always well taken care of and had no family visitors in her last days. Many times I would try to check in to ensure her comfort, sit with her in my free time or reproach Mary when she had refused a meal to get her to eat a little more. In the end, small things like holding her had, being there for her and talking to her undoubtedly made her day just a little better. Mary taught me to be patient, respectful and compassionate to each and every person I encounter and I have truly witnessed the improvement that this approach provides in the healing process. I believe that this manner is essential to being a remarkable physician assistant.
I first learned about the Physician Assistant career when I began working at University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital, and the model resonated strongly with my life’s motivation. I am passionate about relationship building, quality time with people, and the flexibility to be a lifelong learner. I love the idea of a reduced burden on the PA’s because it allows focus on and development of their strengths. I know in my deepest core that this profession is what I am meant to do. Yes I am hardworking, ambitious and a team player, but what makes me distinctly qualified to pursue a professional degree as a physician assistant is my humanity and kindness that I have learned through my experiences. To me, a physician’s assistant serves her patients, her doctor and her community with respect and compassion.
There are an immeasurable amount of moments that I have experienced in patient care that have inspired my career choice. In memory of Mary, and every patient who has individually touched my everyday life I have found my passion with this humanity. I always take the time to be with my patients, understand their point of view, form a connection with them and give them the best quality care I can possibly provide. I have been involved in direct patient care in different settings for 3 years and find great joy every day I go to work. To be able to influence a person’s everyday life is a blessing and gives me my inner peace. 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.
Personal Statement Examples #12
My journey to Physician’s Assistant school started three years ago when my life was an utter mess. I was in an unsatisfying relationship, in a career that made me completely miserable, and I suffered from headaches everyday from the stress of dealing with these issues. I knew I was not where I was supposed to be in life.
I freed myself from my unsatisfying relationship. The timing may not have been perfect, as I ended the relationship two months before our wedding, but I know I saved myself years of heartache. Four months after ending my engagement, I was laid off from my job. Shortly after being laid off, I had a seizure due to the headache medicine that I had been taking everyday prior to being laid off. This confirmed to me that I needed a career change.
I have never been at a loss for ambition, but my recent experience gave me pause as to the direction I should go. One day a trusted advisor asked me if I had ever thought of becoming a doctor or a physician’s assistant. At first, I dismissed the idea because I knew not only would I have to go back to school, I would have to take challenging classes such as chemistry. The thought of taking chemistry and math-related classes intimidated me. The fear of financial and academic failure made me consider what I needed and wanted. After researching and comparing physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, I felt a genuine interest in the PA field. The length of time in school, the cost of schooling, the level of autonomy, and the ability to explore specialties are a few reasons why becoming a PA is appealing. For a time, I avoided making a decision for fear of making the wrong one. I especially wrestled with knowing that if I went back to school, I’d have to take classes that I took as an undergraduate over twelve years ago. However, indecision due to fear was robbing me of my time and thrusting into me paralyzing thoughts of what may never happen.
In the interest of challenging my fear, I decided to volunteer with a local fire and rescue station to obtain my EMT-B certification. Additionally, I began taking classes that I thought I might struggle with. Logically, I thought, if I could love being in this fast paced healthcare setting and continue to find the motivation to undertake some of the most challenging classes of my college career, I’d be reassured I was on the right path.
Returning to school was not easy. I did have to withdraw from college chemistry my first semester as I was overwhelmed with change. I was a bit rusty and needed to ease into the semester so that I could practice the habits that make me a great student. Once I found my footing, I enrolled in college chemistry again, and I really enjoyed it. I felt as if my mind was expanding and I was learning things that I once thought I could not easily learn. My confidence soared, and I wondered what all my apprehension and anxiety was about.
Obtaining my EMT-Basic certification, volunteering, and returning to school to conquer my most demanding classes to date has been one of the most rewarding decisions of my life. Becoming an EMT-B has allowed me to learn fundamental healthcare such as conducting patient assessments and history, understanding anatomy and physiology concepts, and communicating with patients. The EMS field has rendered me more open-minded and tolerant, allowing me to treat people of all different socioeconomic status, education levels, and ethnicities. I have seen a very human side of people I otherwise would not.
I now have a clear picture of what I want, I’m driven and know what I want to achieve. I have grown professionally and personally while providing compassionate care to others and pushing myself to an extent that I did not think was possible. In addition, since returning to school I realize that I enjoy confronting my fears and I am better at challenging myself and learning new things than when I was in my teens and twenties. I am eager to take this desire to the next level, striving ever to enrich my life with the challenges that only a profession in the physician’s assistant field can bring.
Personal Statement Examples #13
My strongest memory of my “abuelita” involves her, in tears, recounting her fathers’ refusal to allow her to study medicine because she was a woman. Perhaps this story remains so clear on account of her dementia driven repetitiveness, but I suspect it was my emotional response of longing for a calling as strong as hers. Where we did share the same love of crossword puzzles and literature, I never felt physician was the right career for me- despite her grandmotherly insistence. Today I am confident that Physician Assistant (PA) is the answer to a question I have been asking myself for a long time now. What will I dedicate my life to? As a student oscillating between a career in medicine and international development it was unclear which path best fit my character and career goals. Following my passions led me to find the PA occupation. It is a combination of everything I am interested in: biology, health education and public service.
My fascination with the human body led me to major in Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). This course of study inspired and challenged me as it combined my interest in biology and enthusiasm for problem solving. A Biochemistry course presented more of a challenge than others. I immediately retook the course learning a valuable lesson- that personal growth comes from challenges. With this lesson in mind I decided to enter post graduate life through the toughest challenge I could imagine- volunteering for two years in a third world country.
In an effort to pursue my interest in both health and international development I joined the Peace Corps. Furthermore this allowed me to work for an organization whose philosophy I could believe in. The Peace Corps attempts to make a real difference in the lives of real people. Within months of living in rural Ecuador I took notice and was inspired by the tangible and immediate impact made by medical professionals.
Eager to join them I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with a rural health clinic. Some of my responsibilities included taking patient histories and vital signs, providing hands on assistance to the gynecologist and developing a community health education program. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the research, creativity and problem solving it took to develop and implement health education that would really reach the people I was trying to help. Whether facilitating workshops, consulting in the clinic, or in home visits, I thrived on patient interaction with people from vastly different backgrounds. I found that one thing is universal; everyone wants to feel heard. A good practitioner first needs to be a good listener. I also found that my lack of medical knowledge at times left me feeling helpless like when I was unable to help a woman who approached me after a family planning workshop. We were in a community hours away from medical care. She had persistent vaginal bleeding since giving birth three months prior. It struck me that there was little I could do without a medical degree. This experience, and others like it, inspired me to further my education to become a medical practitioner.
Since my return from the Peace Corps I enthusiastically pursued the PA profession. I completed the remaining pre requisites with high marks, took an accelerated EMT course at UCLA, volunteered in the emergency room (ER) and shadowed a number of PAs. One PA, Jeremy, has been a particularly impactful role model. He maintains strong, trusting relationships with the patients. He is extremely knowledgeable, unhurried, and personable as he meets patient needs. It is no wonder they request him as their primary care practitioner and I hope to practice with the same skill one day. All of my shadowing experiences reaffirmed my career objectives most align with that of a PA, where I can focus on the care and treatment of my patients, without the added responsibility of owning my own business.
Whereas Peace Corps ignited my passion for a career in medicine and shadowing in the family practice opened my eyes to the PA profession, working as an emergency room technician (ER Tech) has cemented my desire to become a PA. In addition to my ER Tech duties I am a certified Spanish interpreter. Every day I am fortunate enough to work closely with a large staff of PAs, physicians and nurses. Often times I interpret for the same patient throughout their entire visit. Through these interactions I have developed a great deal of appreciation for the PAs. As they typically treat less acute patients they can spend more time on patient education. The most meaningful part of my job is ensuring patients receive quality medical care regardless of their language or education. An unexpected benefit has resulted from the doctors, PAs and nurses recognizing my enthusiasm for learning and sharing their medical knowledge to help me realize my dream of one day becoming a PA.
A theme of helping the medically underserved has developed over the course of my adult life. Unequivocally it is my calling to continue this gratifying work as PA in primary care. I am confident I will succeed in your program because of my dedication to finishing everything that I start and desire to learn. I am an exceptional candidate due to my multi-cultural perspective, years of experience in bilingual patient care and commitment to the physician assistant profession. Upon completion of Physician Assistant school I will be the first in my generation of 36 cousins to receive a graduate education. My abuelita would be brimming with pride.
Personal Statement Examples #14
Dirt. Coating the curve of my ear, the lining of my nostrils, and sticking to my overheated, salty skin; it’s present with every inhale of breath. The Mexican sun beats heat upon my sunburnt shoulders. A Spanish-speaking boy pulls me into the dirt to sit cross-legged across from each other while he teaches me a rhythmic hand-slapping game. I notice his leg is angled awkwardly as if he is compensating for a weak spot on his calf. Peering over his lap, I catch a glimpse of a silver dollar sized pus-filled bump. He shies away. Why should he trust a church volunteer building houses in Mexico? I’m powerless to help this young boy, powerless to heal him. I feel helpless.
Ice. Melting and seeping into woolen gloves, encasing my freezing fingers. The wind races across my cheeks, slips in the cracks of my jacket and scarf. I am in Detroit. The man with the bare, wrinkled hand grasps my arm with a crinkly smile. He is a veteran who feels more at home in this dark, concrete corner in downtown Detroit than any hospital. He bends to show me his swelling feet with red whelps racing along his shins. Why does he trust me? I am just a volunteer at a soup kitchen, powerless to heal him. I feel helpless.
Droplets. Clinging and racing down the tip of a large tropical leaf, splashing onto my arm through a rusty metal window. Horns honk. Bells dance. Touts clamor for my attention. Amid the wet, tropical heat, people move in every direction atop a carpet of trash lining the streets. I’m sitting on a crowded, sweltering bus outside Delhi, India. A young beggar drags himself up the metal steps of the bus. One elbow in front of the other, he slowly crawls up the aisle. He attempts to pull himself into my lap, dried blood and dirt matting his head, flies swarming his ears, thigh stumps dangling off the edge of the seat. Although I shouldn’t, I help him over my lap to the seat beside me, tears streaming down my face. Money will not help him. Money would just encourage him to persuade a few coins off the next tourist that comes along. I’m sure he trusts no one even though he pretends to engage me, for he sees me as a target rather than as a backpacker volunteering anywhere an extra set of hands is needed along my travels. I am powerless to heal him. I feel helpless.
All three of these experiences are just snapshots of the times I have felt helpless. Helplessness began as a child and older sister, coming from a single mother family with no health insurance, no college degrees and the emptiest cart in line at the local grocery store; helplessness has ended as I have risen above unlikely odds, returning to college after the experiences of volunteer work locally, across the U.S. and across the globe.
I have had the opportunity to work and volunteer in orphanages and local medical clinics serving the underprivileged within multiple countries. I have had a taste of what it is like to treat wounds, to assist in transporting the wounded, to sit comfortingly beside the bed of a woman with resistant tuberculosis as she took her last breaths. I have worked alongside many health professionals along the way, but the physician assistants stood out to me. They were versatile and compassionate, spending the majority of their time with the patients. Most adapted to every new circumstance and smoothly transitioned between specialties in the field. Every encounter with a patient or a physician assistant has fueled my ambition and fever for more knowledge and skills, leading me back to re-enrolling in college.
My transcript break between immature teenager and driven adult taught me inalienable concepts such as sacrifice, pain, hard work, appreciation, compassion, integrity and determination. I nurtured my passions and discovered my strengths and weaknesses. Six years after leaving college and four years after returning, I am now the first college graduate in my family, having worked my way through as a restaurant server depending on academic scholarships and tips. On each break in between semesters I have continued my volunteer work locally, in Thailand, and in Haiti. In the upcoming year, I have secured a position as an emergency room technician and will also complete a Pre-PA internship through Gapmedic in Tanzania in the spring to continue to prepare for a Physician Assistant Program.
In the memory of every human connection I have made along my journey, having both been a member of as wells as served the underprivileged, I will continue my drive and ambition toward Physician Assistant Studies in hopes I can continue to become a little less helpless.
Personal Statement Examples #15
When I look back over the last several years of my life, I never foresaw myself considering a second career. However, several exciting and fulfilling experiences that I had over the last few years have led to my decision to pursue dentistry as a career.
A future in the health care field was a natural choice for me, coming from a family of health care workers. I also had a flair for biology right from my school days and my interest in holistic medicine found me choosing a career in homeopathic medicine. I have striven hard to keep myself among the top 10% of the class and my curiosity and interest in the human body and diseases that affect it has grown by leaps and bounds during my years of homeopathic medical training.
The motivation behind me, to become a health care professional was being a victim to see the sufferings faced my Grand Father who was a lung cancer patient (mesothelioma). Since we were residing at a rural area in India, my Grand Father had to travel for more than 2 hours to get medical care. Shortness of breath due to pleural effusion, chest pain and the sufferings after chemotherapy, all these annoying hardship which he suffered motivated me of becoming a health care professional in future.
Moreover the kindness and care the Doctors, and other healthcare professionals showed towards him, made him to overcome the sufferings, had always motivated me to continue being passionate about my healthcare career in spite of all difficulties in this pathway. There was nothing the medicine can do in his late 80s, unless giving him support and joyful time in his remaining days. I still remember the Physician and his assistant who always visited him and advised to be bold and prepared to face everything. He trusted his care group .Their words made his last moments of death a peaceful one. From that day onwards, I had no other thought of what to become in future.
My fiance, a software engineer, had made plans to immigrate to the United States and pursue further training in Java. When I told him about my interest in medical field, he immediately encouraged me to apply to PA school once we reached America. After all, America was the land of opportunity- a place where you could set out to achieve whatever dreams you may have in your heart. During my husband’s training, he mentioned to me that he had several co-workers who were engineers or lawyers, who successfully made medicine their second career. Elated by his encouragement and excited about the prospect of becoming a PA, I planned to complete the prerequisites to PA school with a 4.0 GPA. I learned quickly to manage my time efficiently between taking care of my kids and studying for my course work.
My rotation in the holistic clinic in our final year of homeopathic school has also greatly influenced me. Life stress and unhealthy habits cause most of today’s illnesses. I found that although most physicians do an excellent job of counseling patients on which drugs to take, they spend little time talking about healthy life habits. The prospect of treating the patient as a whole rather than his or her complains alone was, to me, the way to go.
I am especially interested in being a physician assistant in the field of Internal Medicine. The physician assistant, to me, is like a detective, gathering all the clues and arriving at a logical diagnosis. Since it is so broad, and since its sub-specialties are so well developed, I believe that Internal Medicine is the most challenging of all specialties
Charisma is a trait difficult to learn but from my childhood days, I have practiced to gain very quickly the attention, respect and trust of others by a good smile. Being a good team player, excellent communication skills, my passion and my dedication helped me providing good quality care to my patients. The rewards that come from improving the patients’ quality of life have motivated me to become an influential and successful healthcare professional and I assure this would add to my Physician assistant Program as well.
With all these experiences in medical field and my intense desire to continue as a healthcare professional, I hope, specifically, Physician Assistant would be a perfect match. Patience and persistence are essential twins needed in healthcare profession and hope I have achieved it during my clinical experience. Through my healthcare experiences, I have grown not only as healthcare professional, but also an individual. I have become a great listener, an assertive partner, and a positive worker to the patients and healthcare team which are important attributes for a Physician Assistant. Determination, perseverance and hard work have taught me how to succeed throughout life. Along with my passion for medicine and healing people, my desire to provide quality care to underserved communities, my life experiences have shaped my values and beliefs into the person I am today which has motivated me to be an influential and successful Physician Assistant in future.
I am very much attracted to the career of being a Physician Assistant. I want to help as many people as I can. The medical field is not easy in any way; from the vigorous studying to the emotional attachment to a patient. I know that I am prepared, and will be even more equipped once a Physician Assistant. I believe ‘The future should always be seen as bright and optimistic. I always believe in positive thinking. The Power of Positive Thinking, I prefer the positives in my personal and everyday lives. I want to become a Physician Assistant to provide excellent healthcare for my patients. With all my experiences inside and outside of the United States, I strongly believe that I will make a great Physician Assistant.
Having lived and studied in Middle east (Dubai and Abudhabi), India and now in the United States, I can speak Malayalam, Hindi and English and I believe that I can enrich the cultural diversity of the class. To become a Physician Assistant, requires life-long hard work, persistence, patience, dedication and above all, the right kind of right temperament. I believe that my training in homeopathic medicine gives me a unique and different perspective on patient care, that when combined with my training as a Physician Assistant can be invaluable in delivering excellent patient care. I hope to not only treat my patients, but also their family member’s wounded spirits.
I look forward to the next stage in my professional life with great enthusiasm. Thank you for your consideration.
Personal Statement Examples #16
I would love some feedback on my essay! I am just over 4500 characters, so I have a little wiggle room for editing
From an older sister caring for seven little sibling to an in-charge paramedic, my life has been full of unique experiences that have molded me into the healthcare provider I am today. I never thought I would seek to further my education past a baccalaureate level, after all, my higher education was supposed to prepare me for an inevitable role as a stay-at-home wife and mother. However, working as a paramedic and earning a degree Emergency Health Sciences has awoken a passion for medicine that drives me forward. As I work on the ambulance I am constantly plagued by my desire to do more for my patients. This insatiable desire to expand my knowledge in order to effectively help the ill and injured provides my motivation for becoming a physician assistant.
As the second oldest in a family of nine children, homeschooled in a small religious subculture, my academic journey has been anything but normal. My parents taught me to be both an independent learner and a teacher to my siblings. Although my parents emphasized rigorous academics, my time as a child was split balancing schoolwork and caring for my younger siblings. I poignantly remember sitting at the kitchen table teaching myself biology late into the evening, tired after a long day of babysitting my siblings. I tried to study earlier, but my mother had been busy, leaving me with little time for school until the children were tucked into bed. As I struggled to stay awake the thought of a career in the medical field seemed like a pipe dream. Little did I know, those days spent studying index cards while cooking dinner and wiping little noses taught me invaluable skills in time management, responsibility, and empathy. These skills have proven to be the key to success in both my education and career as a paramedic.
After I completed my EMT-Basic certification in high school, I knew my future lay in the medical field. In an attempt to follow my parents’ requirement to enter a course of study deemed “appropriate” for a woman, I began pursuing a degree in nursing. During the first semester of my freshman year, my family fell on difficult financial times and I had to develop a backup plan. Feeling the weight of responsibility to ease the financial strain on my family, I utilized credit by exam to test out of my remaining core curriculum and entered a fast-paced paramedic program.
Becoming a paramedic has proven to be the most formative decision in my life thus far. As the youngest in-charge paramedic at my company, I once again felt a heavy weight of responsibility as I stretched my leadership skills to new levels. Not only is the in-charge paramedic responsible for patient care decisions, my EMT partner and local first responders look to me for direction and scene management. The skills I acquired caring for my family have served me well, as I was recently promoted to a field training officer. Not only has my job allowed me to break free from the familial constraints that hindered a career in medicine, it has taught me the true purpose of healthcare. Emergency medicine is not merely a job; it is an opportunity to touch the lives of others during times of pain and suffering. The physical, mental, and emotional stress of being a paramedic pushes me to a critical level where I am forced to overcome these obstacles or fail my patients. Faced with chaos and life and death situations I must garner all my time management and mental capacities to provide rapid, accurate, and empathetic care to my patients. These challenges have sharpened my intellect, but more importantly they have made me a stronger and more compassionate person.
Interacting with individuals of all ages and walks of life has caused my studies to come alive and fuels my desire to continue my education as a physician assistant. Diseases are no longer a list of diagnostic criteria in a textbook; they take on faces and names with tangible struggles and symptoms. These experiences have opened my eyes to a level of suffering too compelling to dismiss. I must be more and know more so that I may do more. Working with these patients, I feel restrained by my knowledge and skill level. I once thought that earning my degree in emergency medicine would serve to break these restraints, but the opposite has occurred. The more I learn the more I realize how vast the study of medicine is, and my ardor to continue my education grows. Becoming a physician assistant is my opportunity to break these restraints and continue onward in a life dedicated to learning and service to the ill and injured.