Write a Personal Statement with purpose.
We get it.
WHEN YOU'RE TASKED WITH THE ASSIGNMENT, "WRITE A 5000 CHARACTER ESSAY EXPLAINING WHY YOU WANT TO BE A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT," AT FIRST YOU THINK, "OKAY, NO PROBLEM." BUT WHEN YOU ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT ABOUT ALL THE REASONS WHY YOU THINK YOU ARE PERFECT FOR PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SCHOOL, IT ENDS UP TURNING INTO A JUMBLED MESS. YOU'VE STARTED WORKING ON YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT BUT HAVE NO IDEA IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH TO SUBMIT. ARE YOU EVEN ON THE RIGHT TRACK? HOW WILL SCHOOLS VIEW THE INFORMATION YOU INCLUDED? ARE YOU COVERING ALL OF THE MAIN TOPICS PA SCHOOL ADMISSIONS PANELS LOOK FOR?
I'm Brian Palm, founder of myPAresource, and when I was applying to PA school I had no idea how to write my personal statement. I was completely lost. I spent 2 months completing a draft I thought was PERFECT and ready to submit. The next day I woke up and realized that talking about my interests in the Harry Potter franchise or video games probably wasn't the best information to include in my personal statement.
I wanted to be a Physician Assistant; that I knew. But how do I put the reasons why it's my dream career into words? There were virtually NO resources to help me figure out what to include, what not to include, or what will make me stand out amongst my peers. That's why I created myPAresource.com: I KNEW there were applicants out there that were just like me.
I didn't have a "stellar" GPA, nor did I go on mission trips or have a crazy amount of healthcare experience. To be honest I was a below average applicant when it came to the numbers. I knew that at the time I was applying to CASPA, I couldn't change my grades, I couldn't change my GRE score, I couldn't change my HCE. What I could change was my personal statement. I talked to pre-PA students, PA students, practicing PAs, and even called the schools themselves to seek advice on what to include in my personal statement for PA school. I constructed an essay that covered EVERYTHING that PA schools look for in their applicants. Low and behold I received multiple interviews at different PA schools (and multiple acceptances) as well as compliments on my personal statement on the days I interviewed. The reason they bothered to interview me in the first place? Because I proved to them that I was the PERFECT applicant for their school when they read my essay. And I can do the same for you.
Regardless of your background, GPA, healthcare experience and test scores, you CAN get into PA school. Your personal statement can ultimately make the difference between a denial, a waitlist, and an acceptance. Applicants for PA school come from all different backgrounds, and each candidate has something that makes them unique. Our goal is to emphasize your strengths, regardless of the numbers, to ensure your essay is the best it can be. Everyone has something to offer. We make sure your attributes are highlighted and separate you from the slew of other applicants.
Don't make the common mistake of submitting your application to CASPA without being completely confident in yourself and your essay. "Good enough" is NOT good enough! After submitting your personal statement to our service, you'll have a much better idea what ADCOMs will think of you as an applicant. We provide various services so your needs can specifically be addressed.
"I’ll never forget the first time I saw a motorcycle collision. I was walking home the night before finals week began. It was late and the walk to my dorm was relatively well-illuminated by the street lamps being swarmed by moths. In the distance I could hear the distinct whine of the motorcycle. As it came barreling down the hill towards the intersection I then heard music blaring from an oncoming car racing from an adjacent street. The collision happened in slow motion… glass and plastic everywhere. My subconscious took over as I sprinted to the lifeless biker’s aid. He wouldn’t move or respond. Another witness called 911 seemingly seconds before the ambulance showed up. This horrific event sparked my interest in a career as a Physician Assistant.
I switched majors after I witnessed the horrific wreck my freshman year. The traumatic event took it’s toll on me mentally, but I couldn’t help but admire the prowess of the ambulance crew after they arrived. The way they swooped in and began caring for a complete stranger, seemingly saving his life, elicited my utmost respect and admiration. My mother had been a nurse throughout my entire life and had always recommended I pursue a career in healthcare, but I was determined to be “different.” Deep down I new that medicine was my calling, yet my immaturity during the first year of my independence fought against my psyche.
Shortly after changing my major to Biology I began volunteering at a nearby hospital. My primary focus was providing “comfort measures” to patients/visitors in the busy Emergency Department (ED). While taking every opportunity to assist patients and nursing staff, I was able to meet a Physician Assistant, Eric. Eric was particularly concerned with the personal connection he would develop with his patients and took pride in healing patients both emotionally and medically.
After a few months I decided I wanted to do more than make people comfortable… I wanted to be involved. My EMT certification and experience working on an ambulance subsequently prepared me for a position in the Emergency Department I had volunteered in, reuniting me with Eric, the PA. Watching Eric obtain a thorough history and physical exam on patients made me yearn for more knowledge. I admired the relationship he and his Supervision Physician (SP) had; they trusted each other and worked in tandem providing quality, evidence-based care to each of their patients. Frequently Eric and his SP would rattle off statistical data that correlated with their objective findings in order to come up with a plan of care for their patients. Working in this capacity made me value the wealth of knowledge Eric had and how well it complemented that of the Physician he was working with.
It was during this time in the Emergency Department that solidified my desire to become a Physician Assistant. Working on the ambulance and in the ED was fantastic experience, but I craved a wider scope of practice; I wanted to be involved in the treatment plans of the patients I saw, rather than merely following orders. I wanted to sit and talk with my patients in order to obtain an accurate history and build a connection with them during their brief stay in the ED. I wanted to have a wide foundation of knowledge and be able to have evidence-based approaches to caring for my patients. I knew that becoming a PA was the answer.
Since the previous application cycle, I have accumulated more than 2000 hours of HCE in the ED while also taking post-baccalaureate classes to improve my overall GPA. There have been more than a few very long nights and days, but I have done my best to prove that I am able to handle a rigorous academic schedule. After the 12 hours of science-based courses I have taken over the past year, I have accumulated a post-baccalaureate GPA of 4.0. I am currently taking statistics and immunology and have earned “A” averages in both thus far in the semester.
Becoming a Physician Assistant is a passion of mine. Throughout my experiences on an ambulance and within the Emergency Department, I feel as though my exposure to the field is unsurpassed. By becoming a Physician Assistant, I look forward to providing quality access to care to those that would otherwise go without. I look forward to developing unique relationships with my patients while also helping them heal both mentally and physically. I have proven that I have vastly matured since my undergraduate career and am ready for a calling of lifelong learning in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a PA."
Ensure your PA school personal statement grabs the reader's attention and DOESN'T LET GO!
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