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

I will pursue a career as a physician assistant. This is a goal that I have been chasing since my junior year in my undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree. Five years ago, if I had been told I was going to pursue medicine, I would have disregarded that idea immediately. Switching from an environmental science to a biology major after one semester was the best decision I could have made. After taking anatomy and physiology courses, I learned that this field includes dedication and time commitment. I realized the information in these courses would be essential for pursuing my career.

From taking these courses, I was able to learn study methods and to manage my time. Studying with classmates taught me the essential methods and how to work with people. This was beneficial while I completed my upper level courses during my undergrad studies.

After the two semesters of anatomy and physiology, I quickly knew the physician assistant path was my goal. At the time, the career was one of the most talked about medical professions and it is still growing in popularity. Most programs allow you to study for two to three years and jump into your career, which is very beneficial to the medical team. By 2025, the U.S. will be short-staffed by nearly 124,000 physicians, so I want to be able to help the country by going to get my degree.

My college classes made me realize that this career path is the one for me, but my experience as an EMT has given me valuable hands on experience that has solidified that idea. This introduction to patient care has given me a bigger drive by helping patients with varying injuries and illnesses.

Being the first person in my family to pursue a medical degree, I feel that I am a role model to my younger siblings and also many young adults who are interested in pursuing a degree in medicine. Getting the hands on experience as a physician assistant student will give me the expertise I need to succeed, and help others all around the country.

Joakim from New York
Touro College School of Health Sciences