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PA Physician Assistant Masters Program, African

November 28, 2013

I clearly remember the moment when I realized what my calling in life was: an unexpected medical emergency with my brother heightened my awareness of the importance of acquiring proper health treatment from trained and knowledgeable health professionals. It takes only an instant for someone's life to take a complete turn when faced with a medical health issue. When a person's health is threatened it not only affects the individual it affects those around them, especially their beloved ones. Issues such as access to health care can hinder their medical needs, early diagnosis, as well as treatment. Unfortunately, it took this tragic experience along with a few others for me to truly understand that caring for others requires a tremendous amount of self-sacrifice as well as good intuition and intensive training.

 My younger sister Angela woke me in the middle of the night in a state of panic because my elder brother Christopher was clutching his chest in pain. I alerted my parents who then called for an ambulance, and we soon found ourselves anxiously waiting for news in the Emergency Room. I was filled with mixed emotions, on one hand, relief, and admiration for the medical staff and guilt and helplessness. I had sensed how restless my brother was the night before as his younger sister I wanted to help but could not pinpoint what was wrong. Although Christopher eventually made a full recovery, my conscience never let me forget the lesson of that night. I knew then that a career as a health professional was the only way for me to ease the pain of loved ones and others who needed medical service. 

 Shortly after that fateful night I returned to my studies with an eagerness to become a medical health professional. I studied hard as I realized that only my determination, persistence, and knowledge would help pave my way into the future. As a result, I was among the top students in my senior biology class. My teacher nominated me as a participant in the science bowl for the Bronx High School district. From there I grew to love the natural sciences, so in Fall of 2005 I enrolled at XXXX University as a Biology major at the tender age of sixteen. This phase in my life was the most challenging, because I found myself in a completely different atmosphere, unlike my high school, learning to navigate college life with little guidance and direction. Fortunately, my years at XXXX University developed my character as well as my independence and self-reliance. 

 With my future career in mind, I attempted to exposure myself to health care services. I volunteered at my local healthcare medical clinic for a little over a year. I can barely describe the sense of great personal satisfaction I felt when patients thanked me for listening and attending to their needs in a compassionate manner. I had never been exposed before to such a cross-section of the public, and I had worried that my youth might make it more difficult for me to understand their problems, but that was not the case. I was commended for my maturity and professionalism and those feelings of self-doubt started to fade. I was also able to upgrade my knowledge of healthcare and medical service once again while working at XXXX University Health Care clinic by booking appointments and communicating with patients under direction from two head nurse practitioners. It was also here that I was introduced to the Physician Assistant students who were completing their clinic rotations at the medical facility. Although I knew of the profession beforehand, being able to witness and work with them encouraged me to pursue this career path.

 In 2007, tragedy struck my family once again when my father fell ill and was diagnosed with diabetes. That same year I revisited my country of birth when my aunt died from breast cancer at the age of fifty. Much of the time spent in Nigeria during my aunt’s burial ceremony and my father's health issues reawakened many of the feelings I felt during the night of my brother's incident. Also, the conditions I witnessed of people who could not seek medical treatment while I was in Nigeria for reasons such as availability and access to medical treatment left me with feeling of distress. What I found particularly surprising was that these individuals were unable to express their need for medical care. Unlike my brother though, this was because they had lived with poor health for so long that they probably never knew what it meant to feel healthy. These experiences all coupled to strengthen my drive and determination towards pursuing the Physician Assistant profession. There is no doubt in my mind that something needs to be done to assist the helpless like the children and elders I saw in Nigeria.

 I was only six years old when I left Nigeria, but I have never forgotten where I came from, or the opportunities America has given me. As the old adage goes, "to whom much is given much is expected." Leaving Nigeria was a major upheaval in my life, along with the incident involving my brother Christopher and father. My core set of beliefs and values have not changed much since that time. I feel they have prepared me for whatever York College holds in store for me.

 I understand that being a responsible healthcare professional requires lifelong learning and I look forward to taking on this challenge with adequate training and preparation. There is an excitement that comes from accurately diagnosing and treating patients. With my background in biology, I have a strong foundation for understanding the types of information someone would acquire during formal education and training as a physician assistant. My various work and volunteer experiences has allowed me to gain the skills that I feel are necessary to become a good health care professional. For example, my participation as a student peer leader at Pace University and as a team leader at the US Census Bureau has all strengthened my leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills. At present, I am assisting clients with disabilities at the Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State to manage everyday tasks and to complete assigned job duties.

 I am confident that my graduation from XXXX College with a Physician Assistant degree and certificate would provide the solid foundation I need to face the challenges that lie ahead. My admission to your program would help me achieve my career plan and goals. The program curriculum also gives me a chance to review and improve in the pre-requisite subject area Anatomy at it is part of the curriculum. XXXX College Physician Assistant program is also one of the shortest, most straightforward and least expensive program nationwide. This is an important consideration because I do not come from a wealthy family. I would be freer to concentrate on achieving good grades with the support of my close family, without the debt stress I faced at Pace University. I should also make special mention of the fact that the student body at XXXX College has many students like me from minority backgrounds, whom I can relate with and possible benefit from in my academic results.

 I am interested in returning to my native country as I hope to establish a health facility there. I know firsthand following my father and my brother’s illnesses and from the death of my aunt that seeking and having access to medical help is important. It is also unfortunate to say that many areas of my community who are underprivileged cannot easily access quality medical care. If I am able to enjoy the benefits of the education that XXXX College provides to future Physician assistants, I feel obligated to contribute to public awareness of health issues, as this is one of the greatest challenges facing poor communities. Thereafter, becoming a part of the health professional community, I plan to use my knowledge, training, and experiences to improve health care and patient outcomes in underprivileged communities.

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