Here is Why Your Physician Assistant Personal Statement Has to Be Different From the Rest

If you’re looking to get into a physician assistant program, you’re going to need a great personal statement. Even though you have done outstanding academically and you have gotten your admission application past the first stage, without a doubt its going to be your personal statement or your narrative that will get you to the interview stage of the admission process. This definitely the most important part of getting accepted into the PA program, and don’t forget that there can be up to 100 aspiring men and women trying to get a spot into the PA program.

So let’s talk about how to put your personal statement in the best light in the eyes of the selection committee. Your personal statement is the one thing that is going to help you tell the selection committee more about yourself as a person and as a person who communicates effectively. It’s very similar to writing a college essay. The CASPA will only allow you to finish your narrative within 5000 characters which includes all the spacing and formatting you are going to be doing. This sounds great doesn’t it?

You’ll have a lot of time to make a clear and defining statement about who you are, your accomplishments, and the burning passion you have inside you to become a physician assistant working on a medical team. This does sound great, but 5000 characters is only a little over 600 words so you’re going to have to write it right. You’re seriously going to need to make every word count because these people reading your narrative will be reading at least 100 others. There are no exceptions, if you exceed the character limit then your essay will simply stop there at the limit and they will not acknowledge anything you have written beyond that.

The best thing for you to do would be to write your personal statement in Word Pad because it counts how many characters you have type instead of how many words like Microsoft Word, and the program that they will be using to review your essay will be similar to Word Pad for this reason. Now writing in Microsoft Word is okay to do but when you’re done writing it make sure that you save it as a .txt so that you can open it up in Word Pad and see if you have met or excelled the character limit. When working on a medical team, having good written communication skills is absolutely important. So this is the opportunity you have to convey that you have great writing skills, and then you can show them that you have good oral communication skill when you get to the interview.

Really good writing isn’t based on how  you format the article, it’s based on using your excellent vocabulary and being able to write a document that is clear, concise and free of grammar errors. Its important that you keep in mind that the people reviewing your narrative are talented writers themselves and they are the ones you want to impress, this should go without saying but avoid using slang, colloquialisms, and those common texting abbreviations. Abbreviations are used when writing in a patient’s chart but most definitely aren’t suitable for your personal statement.

Try and write multiple drafts instead of just doing one, make sure you revise each draft correcting any issues you find. Anything can happen when they are reading your personal statement, if they don’t like the first paragraph they’ll just decide not to read it the whole essay and that would be the end of the road for you. Start with your thesis statement followed by a minimum of 3 paragraphs, and then close with a strong final paragraph. Get into who you are as an individual instead of just writing about all your academic qualifications. You should definitely mention your academics but remember that you don’t need to focus on them because you wouldn’t be writing this personal statement if your academics weren’t already accepted. Base your personal statement on questions like…
  • Why have you chosen this career?
  • What is motivating you to believe that this is the right career path for you?
  • What did you learn while you were working in the medical field as you observed other physician assistants?
  • What can you contribute to the medical community?
Just keep in mind that know matter a candidates academics, a great narrative can get you that interview. Stay focused as you write, read it aloud when you’re done, think about those who are going to be reading your personal statement, and be honest in your journey to become a physician assistant.

1 comment:

  1. "know" matter huh? In your last paragraph. Ironic isn't it--did you proof read this blog? Will pass on taking your advice due to lack of credibility.