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PA Physician Assistant Studies, Rural America

December 22, 2013

I have made some ‘false starts’ in my choice of career. The mistakes I have made have been painful and confusing but I now feel that these experiences can have a positive effect on my life and future. They have provided me with much experience relevant to this application and have ultimately led me to submitting it which I do with genuine enthusiasm and optimism.

 I come from a small rural community where everyone knows everyone else. It is the kind of community where service and neighborliness are not outdated concepts but natural and necessary components of the way of life. From my earliest years, I wanted to be of use to members of my community or one very much like it. I decided to become a pharmacist and began my bachelor degree studies with this goal in mind. However, after much thought, I decided that this choice would not provide the frequent and close interaction with patients that I felt that I needed for a satisfying career in healthcare. Consequently, I decided to pursue medicine but, after multiple applications, I was unable to gain entry into a program.

 I have undertaken a very significant amount of voluntary activity related to my goal of working in healthcare including one year working at a nursing home and another as an intern in a hospital. I learned a great deal during this time. I have learned about the various roles of medical professionals and how they interact, medical terminology and key signs, amongst much else. Just as importantly, I learnt the value of a smile, a squeezed hand when interacting with anxious or confused patients and the important difference between merely caring for patients and caring about them.  I have also become aware of the important need to interpret non-verbal signals from patients and to respond sensitively to them.

 I became aware of the role of P.A.s during these internships and, when I decided to reconsider my attempts to enter medical school, I looked carefully at other healthcare career avenues. I was encouraged by a P.A. who I knew well to shadow her and to consider her role as a career option myself. This P.A. has been an excellent mentor who has encouraged me to make this application. Having carefully observed her work over several months, I am convinced that the role of P.A. will fully satisfy my original career goals and personal aspirations. I am very much attracted by the fact that so much of a P.A.’s time is spent dealing directly with patients on an autonomous basis, by the variety of the conditions and patients treated and the opportunity to apply and develop practical, diagnostic, academic and interpersonal skills on a daily basis.

 I have very carefully considered the characteristics required of an excellent P.A. and I am confident that I possess them. I believe myself to be an observant, diligent and caring person. I am also attracted by the fact that opportunities for specialism exist within the profession.

 I hope that it might be possible to assist in clinical trials of drugs especially those relating to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  During my work in a nursing home, I became very aware of, and interested in, the challenges that aging present and am aware that society will need to consider these matters much more closely in the near future as the proportion of the elderly rapidly increases in the population. I enjoyed working with the elderly and hope to assist in their care in future in a rural practice setting. It is also relevant to the application to mention that I undertook useful research on the use of Chantix (an anti smoking drug), during my bachelor degree studies and published a paper on my findings. I enjoyed the project very much and look forward to undertaking further research.   

 I am aware of the special need for cultural sensitivity in the provision of healthcare. I have travelled widely in Europe and spent three months in Greece working in a hospital pharmacy.  I have happily studied and worked with people of many cultural and social backgrounds and look forward to extending this experience further in the program.

 I know that there will be many well qualified applicants for the program. However I do consider myself to be an excellent candidate. I hold a bachelor degree in which my major subjects are highly relevant to the program; I have undertaken much voluntary work in a medical environment including substantial and positive interaction with patients; I am fully aware of the day to day work of a P.A. and am confident in my ability to succeed in the role. My main recommendation, however, is a genuine and passionately held determination to provide excellent healthcare services, hopefully to members of a medically underserved rural community.

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