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MS, Physician Assistant, African

We were forced to abandon our African home in Liberia in 2001 as a result of a brutal civil war. We were fortunate to arrive safely as a family in one of Staten Island’s worst neighborhoods. I have witnessed a great deal of poverty and misery and this has helped to prepare me for serving as a devoted and compassionate medical professional. As a teenager, I volunteered at a day care center, which served to fire a special love for children and a passionate interest in child development.

 My long term goal is to be able to make important contributions to pediatric health care in my native Africa at some point in the future. I am deeply saddened by the fact that so many children die every day simply because their families cannot afford to pay for medical attention. I feel strongly that no mother should have to watch her baby die in her arms. I want to be one of the health care providers who work to prevent this from happening.

My own painful experiences have left me with an exceptional empathy for those in need. I have worked as a direct care provider for mentally disabled adults and the elderly. The most important thing that I have learned in doing so is the immense value of a smile, a squeezed hand or a shared joke. Putting the schedule first is a great temptation when dealing with a group of people who all need a lot of help but vulnerable patients need to feel that they are being helped by people who care about them and not merely people who are paid to care for them. I genuinely do care about people especially the vulnerable.  I have also acquired an appreciation of the importance of non-verbal communication in providing proper care and I intend to develop this skill in the future.

I admit that I have not been an ‘A’ student. However I realized in my freshman year at nursing college that I was failing to achieve my actual academic potential.  I sought to identify and correct what was going amiss in my studying techniques. I realized that I was too ready to move on from topics that I had not fully understood or mastered to the next. I resolved to correct this by studying as much from the prescribed text books as from my own notes and to be sure that I thoroughly understood a topic before attempting to grasp a new one. My new approach was successful and I now build new knowledge only on firm foundations.

I am aware of the great importance of cultural sensitivity in the provision of health care. My background has helped in achieving this awareness.  I have also happily worked, studied and socialized with people from many cultural and social backgrounds. I look forward to extending my knowledge of other cultures within the program.

I have carefully considered what characteristics and skills are required of an excellent PA and believe that I possess them or can acquire them within the program. I am particularly interested in assisting in research related to the prevention and treatment of illnesses in early childhood.

I know that PA programs attract many well qualified applicants. However I genuinely believe that I am an excellent candidate. I have significant experience of providing patient care and love doing so; while I have not been a ‘stellar’ performer academically, I undertake total commitment to the program and intend to excel rather than merely complete it; my personal and professional experiences have provided insights that will be interesting and useful to my class; my main recommendation however is my passionate ambition to become a first class PA.

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