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Anesthesiologist Assistant Program Personal Statement: Experience with Healthcare Disparities?

GenJen 1 / -  
Mar 18, 2021   #1
Hello all, I would love to strengthen my PS and I'd like for feedbacks on how to improve it for next cycle so any advice is appreciated, thank you!

Prompt: Please explain your motivation for selecting a career in healthcare and specifically why you are interested in becoming an anesthesiologist assistant. Describe how your personal and professional background will help you achieve your career goals and eminently suit you for this profession.

Personal Statement

To a 10-year-old, the sound of the ambulance coming to my apartment was something I would never forget. 30 minutes earlier, I found my father passed out on the floor, unresponsive to my cries to wake him up. Back in Vietnam, I recognized the healthcare disparities firsthand, waiting those long minutes for EMS to arrive and take my father to the hospital. At the time, my mother was already working in the U.S. trying to pave a way to have our family to immigrate to the States. I felt so helpless as it felt like eternity waiting for the distant sirens to reach me. This was my first exposure to the medical field and that day began my interest in healthcare, with my future experiences moving to the U.S. further cultivating my passion for helping people, especially those with barriers to healthcare.

The physicians in Vietnam were unable to find a diagnosis to my father's syncopal episode at the time. Being the eldest child, my father relied on me a lot afterwards due to his fear of passing out again. Some years later, after having moved to the U.S., my father unexpectedly lost consciousness a second time. Eventually the doctors were able to formally diagnose him with Hereditary Hemochromatosis, a familial condition that results in excess iron storage. I felt distraught that my father had to deal with this condition, but I was also intrigued by the mechanism of disease and the pharmacology that can treat his symptoms. I decided to pursue a career in healthcare as a pre-health major, taking classes in physiology, biology, and chemistry.

During my time in college, I had a significant interest in the chemical reactions of drugs and its effects on the human body. I learned so much in organic chemistry and biochemistry of how molecular interactions influence the result, whether producing a desirable or undesirable reaction. During my biochemistry class, we were tasked to write an article about the pharmacology relating to a medical subspecialty. I chose to write one about the side effects of general anesthesia. Even though it's relatively safe to most patients, it poses several risks to older adult patients with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure that potentially lead to serious implications like stroke, pneumonia or even heart attack. Hence, anesthesia providers are trained to properly monitor each individual patient to ensure their overall health safety in prior, during and after surgery.

The study of anesthesia is fascinating because every patient is unique, therefore the administration is different from person to person. During my physiology class I learned that some people have mutations in receptors that may make them more adversely sensitive to certain anesthetic medicines. Therefore, obtaining the full medical record of a patient can tremendously help us to make the best suitable decisions to tailor the right type and dose of anesthesia appropriate for certain situations.

Besides the broad field of general anesthesia, I'm also interested in learning more about the subspecialty of neurosurgery. During my neurophysiology research course, I became fascinated with how anesthesia can affect the speed of nerve transmission by experimenting on earthworms and grasshopper legs. From inadequate doses of anesthesia leading to abnormal movements, to overdosing causing cessation of all activity, these events allowed me to realize the importance of proper administration. Hence, what I would like to achieve in AA school is to have a deeper understanding of anesthesia and apply what I learn to carry out suitable decisions based on patient need. Overall, I hope to explore other anesthesia subspecialties, no two days are the same and I can gain knowledge in every expertise that an anesthesiologist assistant program can offer.

The field of anesthesia provides endless fascination and further enhances my motivation to pursue a degree in anesthesia. Not only is it a suitable career for my passion behind the physiology of anesthesia but it also allows me to help aid patients that may have complicated medical diseases like my father's hemochromatosis to have a better chance in having a successful treatment. As a first-generation college student, as well as the first in my extended family to go to graduate school, I want to pave the way to my future and be successful as an Anesthesiologist Assistant.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,797 4780  
Mar 19, 2021   #2
I can understand how your father's illness would have opened your mind to considering a career in healthcare. However, I do not see how his illness would have contributed to your interest in becoming an AA. You should always try to connect your personal interest with the career you have chosen. That means, your father's illness should serve as the catalyst for your interest in healthcare, while also opening you eyes to the importance of the AA in treating patients. The latter part of this essay in reference to AA sounds more like you took it out a textbook definition rather than a personal insight.

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