Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

My inspiration to pursue a graduate degree in physician assistant studies stemmed from personal experiences. In my freshman year of high school, I was diagnosed with a benign breast tumor by Dr. Sachedina. I was captivated by the solace she provided me and the depth of her knowledge. That benign little mass and a visit to a breast surgeon served as a catalyst for my entire life, motivating me to pursue the medical field.
Determined to plant my roots in the field, I became a medical scribe in the emergency department (ED) where I had the opportunity to witness PAs in action; I watched as they identified the most appropriate treatment and presented cases to the physician, providing patients with an additional tier of care and knowledge by working the case as a team. I could scarcely contain my excitement and each day I went back with a renewed passion.
With one particular case, my commitment to the graduate program solidified. Amidst translating for a PA and a pregnant, Spanish-speaking patient, I watched closely as the PA traversed the history of this woman who just arrived to the US to join the father of her child. Although the patient came in with request only for a routine fetal assessment, the PA's quick eye picked up on the fresh bruises scattered over the patient's arms and legs. The patient was initially hesitant to admit to anything, but with soft words and offer of solace, tears rolled down the patient’s face as she stated her partner beat her when she asked for food. The PA and I wasted no time in embracing her and providing her with food, places of shelter, and hope for a better future. She smiled at us with tears in her eyes, and thanked us a hundred times over, clutching her stomach where a little girl was growing to one day be as strong as her mother. I knew then more than ever that being a PA was more than treating symptoms and diagnosing; it was about reaching out and changing lives, and I wanted to be a part of making that difference.

Amber from Florida
University of North Florida