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Looking back on my life, the thought of becoming a physician assistant never crossed my mind. It was not until a year after college graduation, while taking the advice from my father, a urologist, that I became interested in physician assistant studies. Through countless experiences, such as working in hospitals and shadowing health care professionals, my passion and interest in the medical field has grown tremendously. I feel enriched with the patient interaction and I think my interpersonal and communication skills, coupled with my empathy, can help patients, in guiding, counseling, advising and motivating them. I had once applied to PA school before, and did not make it the first time. Probably I did not have the necessary health work experience then. But currently my health sector experience, and certain corporate services which I have rendered, will now give me a much better chance in getting me into a PA school. I am more confident now.
Prior to 2012, I was enrolled in undergraduate courses at the University of Alabama. At times, I was on the Dean’s List for being an exceptional student; other times, I was merely getting by with mediocre grades and minimal effort. Business classes were not of high priority. Extracurricular activities consumed my time. I was immature, and lacked the ambition needed in order to strive as a successful student. I regained my focus and drive, moved out of my fraternity, and rededicated myself towards getting better grades.
After graduating with a business management degree from UofA, I started taking post-baccalaureate courses to gain admission into an MBA program. After discussing my future with my father, he helped me make the decision to change career paths from business to healthcare. I began taking prerequisite courses at the University of West Florida, and soon after sought employment at local hospitals as well as took part in volunteering opportunities at a local free clinic to gain clinical experience.
One of the main reasons I aspire to pursue a career in medicine is to serve others. Volunteering at theGood Samaritan Clinic has given me an appreciation of what it means to assist others in our community, especially the underserved. It embodies what healthcare is about. I also worked in Baptist Hospital and Sacred Heart. I have about 2,200 hours of service to my credit.
I serve as a Patient Advocate and Pharmacy Technician. As a Patient Advocate,I assist in the application process for indigent patients needing to apply for prescription coverage. This involves additional screening by reviewing income statements from previous years. If patients qualify, I contact the pharmaceutical companies to ensure their medications will be received in a timely manner. It is time consuming and requires close follow up.
As a Pharmacy Technician, I advise patients on when and how to take their medications, as well educate them about the risks associated with regular alcohol and tobacco use. Through this experience, I realized that the simplest of medications can cause harm, and spending time to advice and counsel patients will help prevent medical errors. Overall, volunteering at the clinic has made me aware of the importance of teamwork, helping the poor, and understanding how an office practice functions.
Through my employment and volunteer experiences I have learned that excellent health care relies on a medical staff that communicates with each other to ensure safety and proper healthcare delivery. In the last few years I have had the fortune of shadowing health care providers in Cardiology, Primary Care, Urology, Orthopedics, and Interventional Radiology. A common theme amongst them all is the ability to communicate. Teamwork, through communication, is essential to delivering quality health care. Without it, medical errors occur. One learns to be detached, in treating a patient’s physical diseases, controlling his or hers fears, and also the near and dear ones, but gives all that is required to boost moral strength and recuperative power.
Last but not the least; I have some leadership experience too, which can help in my future medicine career. I have mentored a young adult, attending GBHS, and who was adopted by grandparents. I had helped with home-work, extra-curricular activities and personal hygiene. Recently his father had been granted custody of him, and they have moved off elsewhere. While at Pensacola, a digital firm in West Florida, I was looking after my mentally challenged brother. I help him with daily work like cleaning, washing, cooking, personal hygiene, household jobs and enjoying outdoor activities.
Overall, in the last few years, I have been inspired to pursue a career in medicine. My experiences have galvanized the advice from my father to follow this career path. I am confident in my abilities to one day become a compassionate and devoted health care provider. My empathetic attitude, interpersonal skills and leadership experience will hold me in good stead.