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

The rain created a pitter patter on the canopy above me. My whole body was sticky, my feet were becoming sore and the air was so thick that even breathing felt like a laborious task. Although the day had been long and I was tired, it had been filled with joy and we were almost back home. As my mother and I, hand and hand, were about to round the last corner on the muddy road back to my grandfather’s village I hesitated – we had one last doll to give out. As if an answer to my silent prayer, we came across another mother-daughter duo on the other side of the road. I eagerly handed away my doll and, after a nod of approval from her mother, the young girl gave me the biggest smile of gratitude.

After we returned home, my mom congratulated me on a day well-spent. Despite the smiles I had received from grateful families that day though, I could not shake a feeling of uneasiness.

Although I had provided some people in poverty small tokens of joy, I did not see it as sustainable or making any sort of lasting impact. I wanted to be a part of something much greater, and I think I have found that in healthcare. Truly, I believe that one of the best things an individual can do for an underserved community is to be involved in providing accessible, high quality healthcare.

Unlike some of my peers, I have not always known that a Physician Assisting career would be the object of my relentless pursuit. There are many ways to be involved in Global Health and healthcare as a whole. My journey to finding my niche began at the American Heart Association as an intern, then as a tour guide for their educational museum, and then as a medical assistant in a government-funded clinic. Soon after becoming a medical assistant, though, I knew I wanted to be a provider. I am very excited to be studying Physician Assisting in the fall and truly give all of myself to underserved persons like the ones I encountered in El Salvador.

Elinor from Arizona
Norther Arizona University