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Hilda was an indigent patient who spoke only Spanish and so I was called in to translate. The news was bad and it was my duty to deliver the test results and the prognosis to her. Hilda had an inoperative brain malignancy. If the diagnosis had been made earlier, Hilda would almost certainly have survived. I felt helpless but this event fired in me a great wish to help people like Hilda and it turned a career choice into a vocation.
As part of my extensive preparation for the PA program, I have undertaken several health- related volunteer activities. One of these activities involved working as Spanish translator at the XXXX Health Clinic in Tampa where I met Hilda. I assisted nurses and physicians in communicating with their patients in order to diagnose, treat and educate them with regard to their illnesses. This was one of the most useful and educative of my volunteer activities. I learned a great deal about effective and sensitive communication with patients and also the great importance of carefully observing non-verbal signals and responding to them.
Another part of my preparation, involved shadowing P.A.’s in the areas of Neurology, Dermatology, Internal Medicine and Orthopedics. A particular interest in the Orthopedics specialty was fired when I witnessed the P.A. I was shadowing insert metal rods and screws in a corrective spine procedure for a patient suffering from scoliosis. This was a life changing procedure that was going to bring great and almost immediate benefit to the patient. I have done some research into Sports Medicine and this interests me as a possible specialty in future. In addition to being attracted to orthopedics, I also have an interest in plastic surgery because of a life changing event of my own. As a child I had corrective plastic surgery for a cleft lip which was highly effective and I am greatly drawn to the idea of helping children requiring such surgery and especially those whose parents are unable to afford treatment.
My father is a caring and highly effective primary care physician. I was always drawn to a career in healthcare as a result of his influence and have considered the various career paths available in this area. Fortunately, my father had the contacts to enable me to observe and shadow various healthcare professionals and I have concluded that I can best contribute as a P.A. I am attracted to this career path for several reasons, the main one being the fact that so much of the working day is spent directly interacting with, and assisting, patients and the ‘hands on’ nature of so much of the work. I also love the variety in duties coupled with opportunities to specialize at some stage.
I have carefully considered the characteristics required to become a highly effective P.A. and believe that I possess them. I am academically able, observant, curious and empathetic. I have good interpersonal skills and, not least, a well developed sense of humor.
I am aware of the great importance of cultural sensitivity in the provision of health care. I am fully bilingual in Spanish and English, having a Spanish speaking mother. I have also spent significant periods of time in Colombia, Peru and Costa Rica. In addition, I have happily worked, studied and socialized with people from many cultural and social backgrounds.
I am aware that the program will attract many well qualified applicants. However, I do consider myself to be an exceptional candidate; I have an excellent academic record which will provide assurance as to my potential to excel in the program; I hold a bachelor degree in a subject directly relevant to the program; I have carefully prepared myself for the program by a wide variety of volunteer activities; I have thoroughly familiarized myself with the work undertaken by P.A.’s. in various specialties. Most importantly, I offer a passion for healthcare and in giving excellent, caring service to others, especially the medically underserved and indigent.