I Am Ready for a Career in Healthcare (Physician Assistant)

The first time I realized I wanted to be a physician assistant I was absolutely convinced I had typhoid fever and amoebic dysentery. I had just returned from visiting my sister in Mexico where she had contracted both illnesses living on a goat farm, and I was sure I had the same. It was a Saturday and I could not wait until Monday to see my family doctor – I chose instead to take an appointment with [redacted], a PA at the same family practice. I was unsure of what to expect, but to my relief [redacted] was both patient and thorough, and I was quickly put at ease by his clinical expertise and depth of knowledge. Turns out I had a less serious bacterial infection and after a round of antibiotics and a lot of rest I was back to my normal self. 

Only now there was the seed of a new career path planted in the back of my mind.

At the time I was still spending my spare time job shadowing and volunteering in physical therapy clinics. But, as I started to research my new career interest I was thrilled to discover the confluence of diagnosing and treatment that I felt was missing from other healthcare careers. I was later given the opportunity to shadow [redacted], the same PA who had initially piqued my interest. I found the experience both educational and rewarding, and was excited that I had found a career that combined my passions for working with people, continual learning, diagnosing, treatment, critical thinking, and collaboration in healthcare.

In college I majored in kinesiology, but continuously felt the desire to take additional higher-level science courses. I feel that my strong working knowledge of anatomy along with the intellectual foundation the other courses provided have prepared me academically for the rigorous coursework of PA school.

During my freshman year of college I was forced to reevaluate the way I approached my studies. I have always valued education and school has always come easy to me, but for the first time I started to understand my own learning style and how to apply it effectively. By my sophomore year I had found my stride and decided to work part-time to help fund my studies. My work at the College of Pharmacy for the next two and a half years provided another perspective of healthcare. I was able to spend my afternoons with highly intelligent professionals who were always willing to answer questions and provide advice.  By my senior year I was working two part-time jobs, taking a full class load, and my interest in the PA field had evolved to a strong conviction.

After graduating I became certified as a nursing assistant and was eager to begin working in a hands on environment.  My work at [redacted] Manor Rehabilitation Center was both physically and emotionally challenging, however, every morning I was eager to get to work. I had never imagined how inspiring and fulfilling providing such basic needs could be. I quickly learned that taking a few minutes to talk, laugh, listen, and provide emotional support was as important as providing efficient and comprehensive care, and as a result my appreciation for the teamwork that goes into healthcare has never been so strong.  My current work in the operating room at Memorial Hospital of [redacted] County has given me the opportunity to work alongside skilled physicians, nurses, and the occasional physician assistant. While at times I miss the patient interaction, I am grateful to be learning in the interactive and exciting classroom that the operating room becomes when the patient goes under anesthesia. The dynamic of the operating room exemplifies the teamwork that is crucial to medicine and the role of the PA.

I know that PA school will provide me with the knowledge I need to have a rewarding lifetime career in a field that is mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging.  Work as a PA requires a high level of technical proficiency, excellent communication skills, and teamwork that I know I am capable of.

I am ready to become an ethical, compassionate, and extremely competent physician assistant.


This essay was used for seven applications — the author was accepted to two programs, including her first choice, before withdrawing the other five applications.

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