Each question has a 2500 character (with spaces) limit.
1. Why did you choose the health profession indicated in your application?
I have always been fascinated by the properties of medicine, its magical healing properties and ability to revive one's health. I also love the interactions with people I help and the capability of earning their trust. It gives me the greatest satisfaction to know I have just helped someone, even more with someone I know. From here I thought pharmacy was the right place for me, allowing me to interact with both patients and medicine. After a few internships working in a pharmacy, I have gained experiences and polishing my communicational skills. However, there was something missing, it was the satisfaction and fulfillment from giving my help. I find that working in a pharmacy will not allow me to interact and get to know patients the way I want to. I could not get that passion to help others and feel fulfilled through pharmacy but I manage to discover it when I applied and started working at a student-run clinic; Paul Hom Asian Clinic (PHAC). As a patient advocate at PHAC, I was able to help patients communicate with doctors and medical students with my language and interpretation skills. When speaking the same language as the patient, it puts them in a more comfortable zone when talking about something as private as their mental and physical health. My ability to emphasize with patients gives the preceptors a better understanding of the patient's condition, hence a more thorough and accurate diagnosis. But doing my part was only half the job as I feel I can accomplish much more to share with more people through my skills. As I observe the interaction between patients and their provider, I realize the gift of helping as a health care provider, more specifically, a Physician Assistant. And as a PA, I will be able to work with a variety of people, develop relationships with patients, deliver quality health care and have my skills be utilized to the fullest. Most importantly, I will be doing something I will enjoy, yet fulfilling.
2. What is your present preparedness and suitability for entering that health profession? Use this section to address any academic problems you have incurred and how you have dealt with them.
From working at PHAC and UC Davis MARBLES Study, I have gained and improved my communicational skills and professionalism. At MARBLES, I slowly worked my way up from a research intern to medical records supervisor. As my workload and duties increased, so have my skills in interacting with various kinds of people. My typical day at work includes communicating through the phone with subjects in our study, providers from various medical facilities, amongst my interns and coworkers. I have developed the different way of speaking depending on who I speak with. For instance, I would talk with more authority towards my interns, or more politely towards our subjects and providers. Additionally, I have also overcome my shyness as I speak to more people who I have never met before. Also, working with confidential information helped me prioritize the appropriate tone of voice and language use accordingly. At PHAC, I not only interpret for patients, but I am also there as their support and threshold. Because of their trust in me, these patients are willing to share their most sensitive mental and physical issues, knowing they can depend on me to bring across their worries accurately to the doctors and medical students. At the same time, these preceptors and medical students are relying on me to professionally and appropriately send their professional advice through me to their patients.
3. What obstacles, if any, have you encountered in preparing for your chosen health profession? (Feel free to include any issues concerning your ethnic, racial, and cultural background)
Though I am born in America, my parents and grandparents didn't come to America until the late 1980's. As immigrants, my family never stopped working hard to give my sisters and me a better life with more opportunities. We were not on the line of poverty, but they as foreigners who never went to high school or learned a word of English, could only be hired for working below minimum wage jobs. There was many times where they would be discriminated for just speaking Chinese in public, but they never took those words to heart because they know they need the jobs they have to support the family. Due to having spent most of their time working and was never able to afford going to high school, I wasn't able to get help from them with my schoolwork. From this, I grew up as a very independent person; I became the one to help my siblings with their school work, the one person my parents worry least about. I live in a neighborhood less than ten blocks away from the SF housing projects, my parents were never able to help me with my studies, I only went to public schools, but all this never stopped me from striving to succeed. Given these various kinds of factors in a working class family, there are so many things that can easily go wrong in life, but not to me. As I moved up grade after grade, I never forget the support and hard work my family did to give me the best education I can get. I worked hard in school to pull myself out of my small neighborhood, to go to a good high school, next came a great university like UC Davis. I learned the great values of working hard to achieve my goals and to never take anything for granted from my family. This dedication and support made me into a person who is empathetic to the patients I will serve one day with great quality as a PA.
4. How have you used the resources available to you to help others?
Through the years as an undergraduate at UC Davis, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to participate in events and join groups to help those in need. These events and groups include my experiences at PHAC, Davis Senior Center, Health Fair, and BloodSource Blood Drive. When it was my first year in Davis, I was a new student with no experience who came upon a video advertisement from Malaysia encouraging families to take care and love the elderly. This initially made me think of my grandparents, who were too far for me to visit, that I stumble across the Davis Senior Center through the internet. I was lucky to volunteer right in the nick of time where they were preparing for the Jewelry Sale. As I sorted through various sentimental items, I felt the love and generosity the donors had to help raise money to improve the senior center. With this inspiration in mind, I manage to get into one of the great student-run clinics in Davis and participated in the annual Health Fair. It was such a great experience to help provide simple needs. For instance, a free meal, flu shots, body and eye exams for those who cannot afford to do so. And before I knew it, the quarterly blood drive came and reminded me of my first blood donation. I was so excited to learn that my one donation can save three lives. Even though these past few years I did not get the chance to donate every quarter due to being underweight or caught a cold during that donation time, I always try again the next quarter. All these volunteer opportunities were available to me and with the right timing, I got a hold of them and made a greater difference in easing someone's life than I ever imagined. I have been blessed and want to share that blessing with others.
5. What type of health profession practice do you envision establishing after your professional training has been completed? (Include demographics of patient population and location)
After completing my professional training as a PA, I ideally want to work in a clinic or hospital, specializing in primary or emergency care allowing me to work with a variety of patients of all ages and ethnic groups. Because I was brought up as a bilingual Chinese-American, I would want to serve patients primarily, but not limited to the Asian population. I would want to serve Asian communities in the city, if possible within California. The number of immigrants coming from Asia to California is on the rise and these individuals and families will most likely become the underserved and/or uninsured part of society. I also grew up in a family who was new to this country, did not speak a word of English, with low education and limited or no health care. Hence, I can relate and emphasize with these patients. I want to serve these families with the same if not better quality health care than those who goes to PHAC. Working at PHAC, I witness the gratitude and hope in the eyes of the patients who were served with good quality health care at no cost. I was infatuated by the Asian population who went to PHAC because they were very harmonious and were always cautious of what they intake into their bodies. Due to this, they would go out of their way to not take any medication, instead, go with the option of exercise, changing their diet, as their traditional minds understands that every medicine will have side effects. This is a population of people who make health providers glad that they do not convert to drug medications to better their health. Overall, whether it is working in a clinic or hospital, I want to be a PA who gives back to her community; primarily but not limited to the Asian population in diverse cities within California.
6. Why have you chosen to apply to the SFSU Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program?
The moment I decided to apply to a post- baccalaureate program, the most important aspect is if it would accommodate the following; availability of classes, location, cost, fast, and most importantly, prepare me towards applying to PA school. As I looked through many different schools with post- baccalaureate programs, there weren't many that were pre-health, until I came upon SFSU. SFSU is able to provide all the factors I have been looking for and more. Being a local resident myself, I know that SFSU has a diverse and beautiful campus that has the preparations and high passing rate that I love. I especially like how the students within the program are guaranteed classes with priority over undergraduates. It is a short and fast program that will assist me in the process of applying to PA school that also allows me to have a flexible schedule with the classes I choose to take. The high level of advising they offer is also very friendly and helpful when I called in to ask about the application process. The staff on the other line was very willing to answer the questions I had and one was even an applicant in process herself. Needless to say, it is good to be home in a nice surrounding, but along with the great options and flexible schedules SFSU has to offer, I believe it is the program I have been looking for and will best prepare me in going towards my career as a PA.
7. Use this space to include any additional information you would like to bring to the admission committee's attention.
For Question 2, I don't know how to incorporate or even talk about my academic problems as my grades dropped, I worked and still is working really hard to bring my gpa back up, but would want to go to post-bacc for a chance to show I can do well in those classes?
I really appreciate all the help and comments to this prompt and hopefully I have fully answered the questions to what they're asking for. Thank you in advance!