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I have enjoyed a successful career up to this point working as an engineer following the completion of my undergraduate studies in 1994 at XXXX University. As I have matured on both personal and professional levels, however, my values have changed and while I remain most passionate about technology-driven progress, I wish to build a distinguished career in health care, assisting physicians. I am now approximately half way through with my completion of the pre-requisite courses that I need to be eligible to begin your program in 2014 and I have been most enjoying my return to full time study.

My principal engagement with the profession of physician assistant began when I met my husband Jason, who is a PA. I have now been listening attentively to his stories for the past 8 years. Having always had a special fascination with mind/body issues, I have found the accounts of Jason’s work experience to be most fascinating, further stimulating my curiosity about a wide range of issues concerning illnesses and their treatments. A dutifully and loving wife, I have listened attentively to my husband on bad as well as good days, to interesting and not so interesting cases, the camaraderie that he shares with his work associates and workplace politics. The more I learned about his profession as a whole, the more I wanted to become part of it myself. 

In 2011, we attended a wilderness medicine conference that further heightened my interest in creative, innovative initiatives for the healthcare industry.   I feel strongly that I am at the optimal moment in my life for entering graduate school and the rich experiences that I have had will enable and inspire me to make valuable contributions to class and  group discussions. After several years in ER in a very urban setting, three years ago, Jason began covering rural ERs in medically underserved communities. His transition from inner city to rural ER and clinics out in Western KS has been very inspirational for me as well. Often, I go with him to work to share the excitement.

My long term plans are to gain a solid, general medical foundation in my local community (Wichita, KS) and then after a few years, transition out to rural Kansas.

WSU has a strong commitment to providing rural communities with Pas and I want very much to be part of this noble work based on a full understand of the sacrifices involved in working in rural areas, often being separated from one’s family for several days at a time. I enjoy elderly people and would love to be working as a PA with a doctor that specializes in geriatrics. I also have a strong interest in women's health and would enjoy working with a physician that focused on the holistic approach the health and wellness.

When I was in high school and college, my church youth group would spend a few weeks in the summer visiting an Indian reservation in Anadarko, OK teaching bible school. Looking back, I probably enjoyed that experience more than anything else that I have ever done. Mission work is where my deepest passion lies and something that I very much look forward to discussing with you at length while I am a graduate student in your program; I have the greatest confidence in your direction. Jason and I have discussed doing mission trips abroad together in the future.  Wichita has several free or 'pay as you can' clinics that I definitely see myself volunteering at in the future as well.  This speaks to the way that I seek to do mission work at home as well as abroad: The Guadalupe, GraceMed and the Planned Parenthood clinics are all clinics with which I would be honored to be involved. The XXX Clinic, where I have been volunteering, is operated out of the Guadalupe clinic on Saturday mornings. I am learning a little Spanish in my volunteer work, which compliments my efforts so far with Rosetta Stone.

I started volunteering at the Transitional Living Center (TLC) at the VA Hospital in the spring of 2012.  The time that I spent volunteering there was very emotional, yet uplifting.  Because the TLC center is an interim facility, I never knew if a resident that I had been visiting with would be there the next time I arrived.  The intimacy of these interactions with people at varying stages of life and health helped me tap into a deeper understanding of just how fragile and unique each life is. My time as a volunteer at the VA hospital solidified my decision to work in the healthcare industry.

Last fall, I began volunteering at XXU Medical School’s XXXX Community Clinic, providing me with invaluable opportunities to experience direct patient care and to learn the basics of patient assessment. I have also collaborated in the development of treatment plans for diabetes and obesity prevention.  I will never forget the first patient that I counseled at the XXXX clinic, a Hispanic woman, obese; she had ran out of Metformin and needed a prescription refill.  I was asked to counsel her on her diet and exercise habits.  (She worked as a cook; her husband was in the room with us.)  She explained to me that she was on her feet all day and found it difficult to find the energy to exercise; and she told me about her love for her native foods, very much part of her cultural tradition. We laughed and cried together and I found myself as never before. She committed to doing yoga and making an effort to modify her recipes to reduce the calorie and fat content.  The best part of our visit was that her husband committed to giving her a daily foot massage.   I agreed to spend more time practicing my Spanish. For me, volunteer work is not something extra; rather, it is the foundation of what I do.

I have also been inspired by my opportunity to shadow a family practice PA, watching how she collaborates with her attending physician and nursing staff. I admire the way in which PAs are generally called upon to execute a delicate balancing act: tending to their patient’s medical and emotional needs, making independent diagnoses, collaborating with their attending physician, managing their nursing and administration staff while all the while making and answering phone calls. I have witnessed firsthand the long hours and dedication that is required to fulfill one’s responsibility as a PA and I am ready to make the commitment to this career. In fact, I want to go above and beyond the call of duty and spend additional hours looking after the families of my patients.

My volunteer work and time spent shadowing a PA have helped me to gain a more comprehensive view of the PA profession. I am confident that I will be an effective and sympathetic PA and an asset to our profession as a very hard working volunteer. Thank you for taking the time to review my application.  I look forward to meeting you very son.

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