Your personal statement is one of the very important requirements you’d need to provide to be granted admission into any PA school you are desiring to attend. It is what sells your value to your prospective school. So it is important for you to really take out some quality time to write a captivating one that will catch you the interest of your examiner. In this article, I’ll show you how best to write a jaw-breaking personal statement for PA school.
Remember, as I said in my opening words, your personal statement goes ahead of you to speak of who you are without any verbal or oral engagement. So it is quite important you should use it to showcase the kind of person you are, your experiences, achievements, and future ambitions.
Furthermore, you should also describe in clear terms what value you’d be bringing to the university and the program you are looking to study. Here in this article, you’ll learn just how to write an intriguing personal statement for PA school that will keep your examiner reading and nodding and that will eventually get you the admission you seek.
But meanwhile for an overview of what we’ll discuss in this article, see the table of contents below:
- What is a Personal Statement for PA School?
- Why do you need a Personal Statement for PA School?
- PA Personal Statement Tips
- Examples of Excellent PA Personal Statements
- PA Personal Statements: Frequently Asked Questions
- Author’s Recommendation
Now lets get started.
What is a Personal Statement for PA School?
A personal statement for PA is particularly a personal statement or description of yourself; your personality. It is an ample avenue for you to tell the admission committee the story of how you started in your career. It should first highlight what got you interested in the course you are looking to study, what you have done so far in the career, and what you intend to do.
Remember, as I said in my opening words, your personal statement is what goes ahead of you to speak of who you are. It speaks so loudly that the admission can actually hear your voice in what you have written without any verbal or oral engagement.
Why do you need a Personal Statement for PA School?
I have already said something I think should help you understand that you need a personal statement for your PA school. I also believe that should further help you understand why you need this.
In any way, I’ll try to further help you understand the need for you to write a good PA school essay.
Unarguably, your PA personal statement is the toughest part of your application to the PA school. This usually true if you are not very great at writing.
Sincerely speaking, you need an application essay to help you gain admission into a PA. The reason is that every passing year PA schools record tons of applications from prospective students. Your PA personal essay is like your sale copy that projects your personality to them for consideration.
It is your first entry point into the school. The school wants to get to know you. They’re interested in your desire to be part of a growing profession and your passion for patient care. Communicate this through your application essay.
If you sell yourself well in your personal statement, you get the chance of attending an interview with the school. So it is important to make the most of the opportunity.
PA Personal Statement Tips
To successfully write a PA program essay that will gain you your dream admission, it is important you learn some tips that will help you. I have outlined a number of proven tips that will help you write a PA program essay that will stand out.
#1. Let your first sentence do the catch
If your PA personal statement must stand out, then your first must be a killer. It has to capture your reader’s attention in the first sentence/paragraph. This will help you a lot. You know why? The reason is that the people evaluating you read hundreds of essays every day. So you wouldn’t want to bore them with an uninteresting write-up. Use the first few lines of your essay to capture your reader’s attention. You got to start out with a bang.
#2. Tell your story
Tell a story of some of your experiences! Describe how your personal experiences have shaped you. Keep in mind this doesn’t apply only to medically related experiences. PA schools seek well-rounded applicants. So, go through any interesting extracurricular activities, hobbies, skills. i.e. Singer, musician, multilingual, car enthusiast, whatever it is. You never know which hobbies you could have similar to the reader. That little detail could get your foot in the door.
#3. Describe your personality
Speaking of taking advantage of the personal statement, the rest of your application is all about your academic feats. This is the place you can tell the PA committee about who you are. Describe what makes YOU! Describe what sets you apart from 99% of other candidates. Identify your strengths and really emphasize and elaborate on them. This is the only time aside from your interview where you can actually emphasize your strengths. Again, once you find your theme, structure the essay that is customized to you, not a generic statement from the internet.
#4. Describe why you want to become a Physician Assistant
This one is apparent but needs to be stated nonetheless. Be sure to explain WHY you want to become a PA. Medicine has so many different roles you can use to help people. Why not a doctor? Why not a nurse? Specifically, explain why you want to be a PA over any other type of healthcare professional. While you address this, be sure that you do not put any other profession in a negative light. An optimistic tone is key here.
#5. Talk of your past achievements
Highlight a moment in life when you were a team player. Medicine is a team sport consisting of MA’s, CNA’s, nurses, NPs, doctors, PAs, students. Especially being a PA, you’re constantly coordinating care between several teams. This is a quality PA school definitely search for in applicants. Because it is difficult to convey it in your resume, transcripts, and CASPA application, use your personal statement as a vehicle to demonstrate your communication and team-building skills.
#6. Write a captivating conclusion
Let your conclusion properly drive all your message home. Let it land so well to appropriately water down everything you’ve written in your essay.
Examples of Excellent PA Personal Statements
Personal Statement Example #1
I was seven and my mother was once again giving me cough syrup. I took it standing over the toilet because the cherry flavor made me nauseous, and I was sure I would throw up. This went on for years.
Years of springtime coughing and cherry cough syrup. Years of coughing all night and well into the day. Years and years—until as an adult, I realized I had allergies. In those years, I was cared for by my family physician who was gentle, caring, and took the time to talk with me and my parents.
Over the years I have been treated by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians. Thankfully my lungs have healed well, and I use my inhaler once every two to three years.
But in those years, I grew to have an understanding of the different roles of mid-level providers and physicians. And, from that understanding, I grew to appreciate the flexibility, professionalism, skills, and abilities that a physician assistant brings to their practice each day.
During my hours of healthcare experience as an EMT, I have also had the privilege of working alongside physician assistants who have demonstrated the unique combination of communication skills, teamwork, and compassion that I believe I also hold.
My desire to practice as a physician assistant is driven by my own healthcare experiences as well as those I have witnessed at work.
Over the past five years, I have volunteered at homeless shelters and nursing homes, while working as an EMT. In that time, I have come to realize I am driven to help others, and being a physician assistant is the best way for me to fulfill that life mission.
I know, most definitely that the experiences I’ve garnered in the field over these will be of great value to your school and the whole community at large. I will sincerely be very glad if my application is considered.
Personal Statement Example #2
What if people were more aware of how to promote their health and stay healthy? What if they had access to quality health? What if the health care services available to them were cheaper and more affordable? These are some of the tons of questions that have boggled my wildest imagination as a health care provider that I wish to answer.
Coming from a humble background, growing up for me was not very rosy as I watched my dad’s health deteriorate every passing day. The trauma I and every other member of the family went through is still very fresh and not something anyone of us would forget in a hurry.
Dad had just developed some symptoms and had been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus. We sought medical counsels on how to manage the condition from doctors and hospitals in our location but their charges were exorbitantly high. Just a few were kind to us.
We managed the condition with the little resources within our reach but then we needed even more. The drugs were expensive and the hospital bills, outrageous.
Dad’s health kept deteriorating until he started developing all other pathological problems associated with DM: retinopathies, neuropathies, and nephropathies. We couldn’t just cater for all it demanded from us. Dad’s kidney failed and the cost of the weekly dialysis was not friendly. It was just so sad we couldn’t do any much for him for too long.
These memories have refused to leave me and each passing day I keep seeing people passing through almost the same kind of challenges.
This was what spurred my desire and passion to pursue a career as a physician assistant so I can be able to help people lighten the burden of some of these preventable diseases.
I just needed a career that would enable me to reach out to this number of people and unleash all I had nurtured for the people at the same time.
While I was in school, I got to intern with some notable non-governmental organizations like Rural Health Foundation and Community and Youth Development Initiative. I also got to work with various health centers that widened my experience.
I know that the experiences I’ve garnered in the field over these will be of great value to your school and the whole community at large. I will sincerely be very glad if my application is considered.
PA Personal Statements: Frequently Asked Questions
How long should a Personal Statement for PA school be?
Usually, there is a character limit of 5,000 which gives about 800 words. So while writing your PA letter
How long does it take to write a good Personal Statement for PA school?
The duration of time it takes to write an excellent PA personal statement depends on how good you are at writing and the length of experiences you want to share. There is actually no particular number of days it should take. Just try to ensure to meet the deadline.
What do I need to include in my PA Personal Statement to make it captivating?
According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, below are some of what you need to include in your PA personal essay:
1. Do demonstrate your knowledge of the PA profession. Your essay should make it clear why you are pursuing medicine, and why you have chosen to become a PA specifically.
2. Do show, don’t tell. Instead of listing adjectives like compassionate, flexible, or determined, tell brief anecdotes that show how you embody these qualities. Everyone applying to PA school says they are passionate about the profession and care about people. Let the admissions committee see evidence of that in your life.
3. Do consider incorporating a theme. A theme brings the whole essay together and makes it flow, and if you choose the right theme, it also makes it easier to write when you’re relating everything back to a central point. The theme should not be “medicine” or “why I want to be a PA”—these are already the core concepts of the essay. Make it creative, applicable, and personal. If it feels like you’re trying too hard to make a theme fit, try a different one.
What are some of the common mistakes to avoid in writing my PA Personal Statement?
According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, below are some mistakes to avoid while writing your essay.
1. Don’t say why you don’t want to be a different kind of healthcare provider, write about how you want to be a PA! This is a great place to demonstrate your knowledge of the unique profession. Be careful not to cast any healthcare workers in a negative light.
2. Don’t say you’ve chosen to become a PA because of a better lifestyle or shorter/easier schooling. Even if this is part of the reason, it is not only somewhat misinformed, it gives the impression that you believe PA school is easy, or that you don’t want to work hard. Yes, PA school encompasses fewer months than some other graduate-level healthcare programs, but it is extremely challenging. PAs often have a good work/life balance, but not necessarily, especially in certain specialties.
3. Don’t be vague. Don’t leave anything for the admissions committee to assume–use lots of examples, stories, personal experiences, and lessons you’ve learned. If you use any abbreviations (and there are lots of abbreviations in the healthcare world!), write them out the first time and include the abbreviation in parentheses.
4. Don’t use informal language or contractions. Absolutely let your personality and writing style shine through, but your essay needs to be polished and inspire confidence in your strong communication skills. Avoid cliches like the plague. This is also not the time to show off your knowledge of medical terminology. If some technical talk is necessary to explain a particular patient scenario, use the minimum to get the point across.
Pursuing a career as a physician assistant is a very demanding but lucrative one. But is it really worth all the stress? I think it is worth all the stress and even more! An average salary of $111,561 isn’t just huge but promising that more will come. Additionally, you’ll get to work with the specialists in your chosen specialty.
So for you to get an edge to be considered for the admission, you need an outstanding PA personal statement. You can simply copy our sample and improve it to suit what you want.
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