There is one exception to the general rule of minimizing abstractions and generalization in your PA school personal narrative, and that’s your closing paragraph. This is your big chance to make sweeping statements like
“I think my record proves that I have the skill, compassion,
and dedication needed to be a great Physician Assistant.”
If you can come up with something more original, that would be even better; but if you feel compelled to say that, then this is the place to do it.
So what’s the best use of the closing paragraph? Here it is in a nutshell:
Your final paragraph should summarize your vision and reaffirm your commitment.
• Do you have a vision for the future of health care? Say it here.
• How do you specifically see yourself fitting into that? Outline it here.
• Is there one segment of society that you feel specifically drawn to serve (e.g., the underserved, the Hispanic or Asian communities)? Express your commitment here.
• Do you have special skills, qualities, or experience that make you especially suited to your vision? Ideally, you should have already mentioned these earlier in the essay, but you can briefly (a couple of words or phrases) factor in one or two highlights here.
Notice that we’re still painting pictures here. The reason is that if the admissions committee can see you as a PA, you will be more likely to get an interview.
In addition, this section can be (but doesn’t have to be) used to repeat in general terms whatever you feel is most important (do not spend more than one or two sentences on this). And if you feel it strengthens your essay, you can make an abstract statement like the one above (“I think my record proves” …).
There’s no need to make your ending long, since it functions as a kind of punch line. But there is one thing that you should definitely do: end on a humanitarian note.
Do not end on a clinical or intellectual note, since it tends to give the impression that you might be better off in a less people-oriented career. Ideally, your last line should contain the following components:
Caring. Vision. Idealism. Humanity.
Helping you write the BEST Essay possible,
“The PA Coach”