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MD Military Experience, PA in Afghanistan

Profoundly patriotic, I ask for acceptance to medical school despite the fact that I am already 35 years old, so that I might reach my fullest potential in the service of my country.  I have not always been as mature, serious, and determined as I am now.  I made a vow in Afghanistan before I left in 2012 towards the end of my deployment, that I would become a doctor and give the rest of my life to the care of our soldiers, both in the field and after they come home wounded.

As a physician assistant in Afghanistan, I was in charge of a level II aid station, coordinating triage, trauma management, casualty evacuation and mass casualty preparedness. Week after week, month after month, my intense passion for completing medical school continued to grow and I immediately went to work to prepare myself for entering medical school upon my return home.

I now have over 17 years of experience in military, medical procedures, personnel management, and patient relations.  Since April of 2013, however, I have truly found myself in a civilian setting as well, working initially as a Physician Assistant in a rural community clinic in Santa Theresa, New Mexico: obtaining medical histories and performing physical examinations, diagnosing and treating acute health problems including infections and injuries, and monitoring chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

 I especially enjoy recommending community resources that meet patient and family needs, reviewing post test and examination results with patients, and consulting with triage patients to manage medical and surgical emergencies.  Most recently, I have been working in Occupational Medicine, directly supervising 5 medical assistants.  I am also privileged to participate in the continuing development of our community clinic, leading discussions on issues of health and safety with our employees. Proactively trying to mitigate workplace injuries, I conduct walk throughs and other on site assessments.  Another important part of my job includes evaluating and treating workplace injuries, tracking patient care and making changes as necessary, as well as performing physical, mental status, and medical history examinations.  Finally, I continue to serve in the USA Army reserves, which requires me to drill one weekend a month and 2 weeks during annual training during summer months.  I recently volunteered to serve as a mobilization readiness officer, traveling to different sites and getting soldiers medically ready and fit for deployment.

I worked for the military as a Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist from 1997-2006 and deployed to Kuwait (2003 -2004) as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  I had the opportunity to work alongside NATO forces in the procurement of food for soldiers throughout the region, travelling to various countries and becoming acquainted with a myriad of cultures.  I worked as a subject matter expert and instructor on the procurement and quality assurance of red meats and was given the privilege of serving as an Instructor during 2004-2006 at the AMEDD Center and School.  I taught operational rations, red meats, and detection of nuclear, biological, and chemical agents in food to Junior Veterinary Food Inspectors.  

After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies, I was given the special pleasure to serve as the Senior Physician Assistant for the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Ft. Bliss, TX, providing medical services for over 3,500 personnel along with 4 other Physician Assistants.  My team and I had the responsibility of tracking medical readiness, conducting training, overseeing immunizations, performing physical examinations, sick call and trauma management, collaborating with staff, physicians and other assistants in planning, evaluating, and revising programs as needed.  Upon deployment to Afghanistan, 2011-2012, I coordinated triage, trauma management, casualty evacuation and mass casualty preparedness as a Physician Assistant alongside the Forward Surgical Team.

The human body and its relation and connectedness to the world make medicine vibrant and rewarding.  I want to become part of the solution in our society as a black woman physician who sees herself as a humble servant.  I look forward to the way in which, as a physician, I will become an integral part of the advances that we are making in medicine. 

The Army develops leaders who are well rounded and capable of accomplishing almost anything.  I feel strongly that the success that I have had in the military so far has been due to a lot of hard work to master my time and stress management, communication and interpersonal skills and most of all the cultivation of resilience, patience, and self discipline.  I am ready at any time that I might be need to return to a war zone on behalf of my country, at the same time that grow increasingly fond of  caring for civilians.  I dedicated my life early on in my career to the cause of caring for our wounded soldiers with special compassion. I now look forward with great interest to advancing my career objectives in the medical field.    My ultimate goal is not only to be a physician but also a mentor and educator to others. I thank you for considering my application.

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