When creating a draft for your PA school personal statement, it's important to cover all of the main topics ADCOMs look for in their applicants. Keep in mind that Admissions Panel Members (like those here at myPAresource.com) read HUNDREDS of personal statements every cycle, so it's important that your essay stands out from the rest.
You would be surprised how many essays are submitted to PA schools with obvious mistakes, making it clear that little attention and focus were given to the task. It has been recommended by PA students and faculty alike to get your essay proofread before submission to avoid any costly mistakes. You want to come off as a well-educated, motivated future Physician Assistant. And you can accomplish this by reviewing the topics below:
1. Create a strong introduction
The introduction is the most important paragraph in your essay. Why? Because PA school Admissions panels read HUNDREDS of personal statements every cycle. By creating a strong introduction, you ensure that your essay will stand out above the rest.
Begin your essay with a story/experience that YOU think someone else would be interested in reading about. Talk about the time you witnessed a PA step in a help a patient at a critical moment. Talk about a traumatic event that happened right in front of your eyes that spring boarded your interest in medicine. Whatever it is, make sure your first sentence grips the attention of the reader and makes them want to keep reading on, interested in learning more about you as a candidate.
2. Prove you know what a PA is
It's incredible to read personal statements for PA school without any evidence that the person applying has ANY idea what a PA is. The word "Physician Assistant" or "PA" should present itself within the first half of your essay, if not the first 2 paragraphs. It needs to be clear that you are applying for PA school. This leads us to topic number 3...
3. Prove you know what a PA does
It is not good enough to simply state, "I know I want to be a PA because it is a great fit for my personality." What? No. Prove to the reader that you have done your homework and spent the necessary time/effort to research your future career. There's no telling what percentage of PA school applicants heard in a news journal that Physician Assistants were one of the best upcoming jobs to have. Don't be one of those people and be lumped with all the band-wagoners.
Prove that you know what a job as a Physician Assistant entails. What interests you about the position? Why not pursue another career in the medical field?
4. Discuss your time spent shadowing a PA
It's not a bad idea to take a paragraph and show the reader what you learned during your time spent with a PA. This topic could be covered in your introduction (if you're interested in using one stone to kill 2 birds). Why is this important? Because your personal statement's purpose is to prove that you are educated on this career that you are applying for. Show them what you learned during your 20 hours shadowing Mr. What's-his-name at the orthopedist's office and that the time spent walking around the clinic wasn't a waste.
5. Don't be cocky
Yes, you need to promote yourself in your personal statement... but don't overdo it. There is a fine line between offering information and bragging. Please don't say, "I am the best" (it's been done). You want to make the reader THINK you are the best without actually saying it. Does that make sense? Throughout your essay you need to highlight your strengths as a candidate without coming off as arrogant or entitled.
Writing an ideal personal statement truly is an art. The trick, as mentioned above, is to make the reader THINK you are the best applicant applying to their PA school. By keeping the reader interested while also highlighting the strong points of your application, you'll impress the reader while not coming off as arrogant.
6. Take it seriously
Trust us. ADCOMs will be able to tell if you simple wrote a few paragraphs and submitted the essay to CASPA. TAKE YOUR TIME!!! This is not a simple task. Every single PA school reads every single personal statement. And they take it seriously. Your personal statement can ultimately determine the difference between an invitation and a denial.
7. Be honest!
Now is the time to dig deep and really prove why a career as a Physician Assistant is perfect for you. Especially in your conclusion, make one final stand and talk about why a life as a PA is what you were meant to do. Leave it all on the line. Finish your essay with one final "push" to show the reader why you were MEANT for this profession. This is why you should take some time to brainstorm your personal statement. PA schools will be able to tell if you are BSing them or not. Don't make a costly mistake.
Once you read over these topics and use them to your ADVANTAGE, you should be on your way to creating a strong PA school personal statement. If any of the topics were unclear or you have further questions about how to write a strong personal statement, feel free to email us at info@myPAresource.com