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Personal Statement for CASPA, Nigerian

Now a United States citizen, I came to America from my native Nigeria eleven years ago, at the age of 24. Now 35, I am finally getting close to achieving my dreams of assuming critically important levels of responsibility in our health care system working in the support of physicians.  I hope to be selected to a Physician Assistant Studies program not only on the basis of the fact that I have fulfilled all of the prerequisites for study in your program, but I also hope to be selected by a program that is dedicated to the celebration of diversity and actively selects applicants out of consideration for the diversity of the student body. I look forward to getting to know my colleagues, peers, students from all over the world, including many from the Developing World such as myself. We will be able to share stories concerning the great challenges faced by our countries of origin in the area of health care.

I have worked long hours to support myself throughout college so far and this took a toll on my grades as an undergraduate student. It is for this reason that my GPA is not quite a 3.0 and I ask for special consideration in this regard, taking into consideration the fact that I have done well in the classes that I have completed in preparation for applying to your program.

I have always found the human body very interesting.  This fall 2015, I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health, pursuing intensive research in the area of Environmental Occupational Health and Safety and also completing a minor in Gerontology. In 2014, I obtained a certificate as a gerontology specialist with a concentration in cognitive disorders of older adults. I have now completed extensive coursework in the sciences providing me with an in-depth understanding of how the body adapts to the environment with age, throughout the course of life stages, as well as the gambit of the most common diseases and how they affect the patients that we serve. I am in the process of developing an App called “SFEB” (strength, flexibility, endurance and balance) that will help individuals recognize and adjust their fitness needs based on age, daily physical activity, emotions, nutrition and medical history.

While in college, I joined a variety of organizations such as the student association of gerontology education (SAGE), the Alzheimer’s student forum, and student public health association. I took part in a research program led by Dr. XXXX, an associate professor in the Public Health Department.

I volunteered at my local community regional medical center as a patient transporter and also as a rehabilitation aide. I helped lead the general biology student instruction (SI) unit at my college and currently I am one of the student leaders of the “Chronic Disease Self Management Program”. This workshop is conducted under license of the Stanford School of Medicine at Saint Agnes Medical Center and held in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. The topics that we cover include techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation, appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and flexibility, along with endurance training, appropriate use of medications, communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals, nutrition, decision making, and, how to evaluate new treatments.

I feel strongly that I am a natural to excel as a Physician Assistant helping doctors who care for older patients. Since June of 2010 I have been serving as a Certified Gerontology Specialist/Fitness and Wellness Coach at a Fitness Center and since April of 2014 I have been working at the a residential facility where I monitor and care for 35 patients.

One of the patients who I had gotten quite close to fell out of his wheelchair and hurt himself.  I was assigned to make the phone calls to both his primary care physician and his family before he was taken to the emergency room. It was the Physician Assistant who used the bone scan, diagnosed a “non-displaced fracture” and gave my patient permission for “weight bearing as tolerated” in his walker. He went much further, however, continuing to impress me to no end, not only spending at least 45 minutes with us explaining both the diagnosis and the treatment but then going on to introduce us to several different measures that help patients who have had this type of accident to recover the level of mobility that they had previously. Within a few months this resident had completely recovered from his accident.

This Physician Assistant who treated our resident was enormously impressive to me and crystallizes everything that I most respect and aspire to become, the quality of the time that he spent with us, the wide-ranging nature of the information that he shared and the extremely professional expertise that was so critical in order for the patient to make a full recovery.

I thank you for considering my application.

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