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The day in question started out as a typical hot summer’s day in a loud and sweat smelling school gym. There was ten seconds left on the clock and the game was tied. As a short thirteen-year-old boy was speeding down the basketball court while furiously dribbling the ball, he was certain that he will score the game winning shot. As he went up for the shot that will put his team into the finals, he was tackled to the floor and watched the ball rattle out of the basketball hoop. That thirteen-year-old boy on the floor was me. Pain and agony shot through all over my body as the tears mixed in with the sweat. The next thing I remember was being in the back of a creaky ambulance not being able to move my head and not being able to feel my arm while watching the paramedic next to me hold on tight. As I was wheeled into Elmhurst hospital, all I could see were healthcare professionals fly past me to cater to the needs of dozens of other patients that were there. As I was laying in the uncomfortable hospital bed with massive pain shooting down my arm, a cheerful and smiling lady walked in. She introduced herself to me as a physician assistant. Being thirteen at the time, I really did not know much about the different fields in medicine. As she was putting on a cast for me, I decided to ask questions about her role as a physician assistant. The answers she gave me greatly opened my eyes into the career of being a PA. I always knew that I wanted to have a career that involved helping people, but I was not sure to what extent. The evident dedication and compassion that she had for her patients was truly compelling. After I came home with a broken arm, I decided to research even further of what a PA is. The information I found about this field was fascinating. At this point in my life I knew I wanted to have a rewarding career as being a PA.
With a shortage of physicians nowadays, I see PAs as the front-line team players of medicine, whether taking a detailed history, conducting a physical examination, drawing labs, utilizing various diagnostic procedures, or obtaining consults for different opinions. The relationship between a PA and a patient does not end there; it goes beyond the hospital and office. There has to be a responsibility involving the loved ones or family. I am highly motivated and determined to be that person who is responsible for addressing each patient with his/her own problem set and tailoring a unique care plan, including being a patient’s advocate at all times and giving it all I have to offer. With this growing interest building up inside me, I decided to enroll in a hospital internship partnered through Forest Hills High School.
This internship not only allowed me to take upper level science courses such as human diseases, and anatomy & physiology, but it also directly exposed me into the healthcare field. During my senior year of high school, I participated in a ten-week hospital internship program at Forest Hills Northwell Health Hospital. This internship program gave me the opportunity to shadow medical figures who were doctors, PAs, nurses, and clinical pharmacists. As I rotated through different departments, I met a PA working in the ICU. This was the day where my desire to become a PA was solidified. One of the patients that this PA had was a thin appearing man with a strong look of determination, but saddened, not comprehending what exactly is going on with him. From what I saw by standing behind the PA at the entrance of the room, family meant a lot to this patient. For the time I was in that unit, his family spent every second with him as if it was there last. The PA I met took precious time with the patient and his family to help them cope with what is going on. Unfortunately, I was there when the patient passed away. Not too soon after he passed away, his younger sibling, came up to the PA with red teary eyes saying, “My brother wanted you to have this.” It was an interesting homemade card he made. I could not help resisting from getting tearful myself and felt privileged to be a part of his brief care. The personal level that the PA was on with this patient made my decision more vivid. I knew that I was yearning to be in the right field and wanted to have ample time with the patient to help explain to them and their families their diagnoses and how to cope with it.
Throughout my academic career, or even life in general, I have come to acknowledge challenges, rather than overseeing them. After shadowing an orthopedic surgery PA for over a year, I believe that I am an empathetic, disciplined, motivated hardworking team player with appropriate communication skills with an amiable personality ready for a prospective and dynamic career in medicine. Through my shadowing experience, I saw that some aspects of medicine changed in various ways as time elapses, but other aspects have not and never will, for example, the relationship with the patient. I am hoping that the PA program at New York Institute of Technology will challenge me and allow me to advance in hopes of becoming a PA and even a better person, as there is always potential for that in life. If given this opportunity, I know I will be an asset to your program.
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