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This year's personal statement prompt?

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by annap24, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. annap24

    2+ Year Member

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    For anyone who's getting ready to apply to PTCAS this summer, did you guys really understand the prompt for the personal statement? For those who haven't looked at it, it's:

    APTA's vision for physical therapy is ‟Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”
    How will you embody this vision as a future physical therapist?

    I'm confused because I thought we're supposed to talk about what we've done and why we want to be a PT in the personal statement, but this prompt says "How will you", which implies in the future. How are you guys answering it? (not specifics, just whether you're talking about what you've done or what you're going to do)
     
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  3. Ferrerm

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    oh wow a new essay? Where do i go to view this because im looking on PTCAS and I dont see anything about the essay for the next cycle.

    Nevermind I found it.
     
  4. Watson27

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    I love this year's prompt! Mainly because it is looking towards the future and not the past. I think you have to focus on what sort of PT you see yourself being. And where you see the field of PT going, and how you will be a part of this movement. Obviously, your past experiences will help shape what you become, so you can reference them.

    I've had more than one admissions committee member tell me that they absolutely hate reading "I want to be a PT because I love helping people and I had a personal experience when I tore my ACL playing soccer." So I think this year's prompt is a great way to separate the best of the best. Those that truly understand the current status of PT as a profession and what sort of people we need advocating for PT.

    Good luck!
     
  5. ptlover

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    I strongly agree ! Act as if you were a pt and how would you treat patients what dreams goals do you have? How have past experiences influenced the type of therapist you want to be for your patients. Things like that
     
  6. davidtheusername

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    Now I'm wondering if my essay about creating cyborgs to optimize movement and take over society was a bad idea. :)

    Seriously though, I think what Watson and ptlover said is the right track. That's sort of where I think I will go with mine.
     
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  7. B.No

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    Exactly! Write it as if you were already practicing as a PT. Tie in your experience or what you know or think you know about the field. I am in the baby steps of my essay, but man, this prompt was easier than "what made you choose the field of PT over other healthcare professions."
     
  8. twsurfsnow

    twsurfsnow B.A. Biology, MPH
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    I got lucky with this one, since I will have my MPH in August, I was able to tie it perfectly into this prompt.
     
  9. Spartan2014

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    .
     
    #8 Spartan2014, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
    BiffTheFlashRogers likes this.
  10. B.No

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    Hey Spartan2014,

    Answering the question is always a good start. But you may want to add ideas of how you came about to embody the APTA's vision.

    Try to add a few statements of your character and/or experience in regard to the APTA vision. Just so that they have a sense of you as a person.
     
  11. FurturePT21

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    So should I not include any stories about being injured? I put a small little story but it's a minor thing in my essay.
     
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  12. ptlover

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    Include it!! You know first hand what optimizing movement constitutes.
     
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  13. BiffTheFlashRogers

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    I think this question is a bit more open ended than some of us are making it out to be.

    I'm not naive enough to believe that after only 100+ hours of shadowing, my own research on the field, and my own time spent in PT that I have a full enough knowledge to be getting into extremely specific details about what I will do as a PT to embody the vision. I feel like it would look foolish to answer this question by writing an essay saying "I'm going to specialize in these techniques" or "I am going to open a clinic with a focus on (blank)." Saying any of that would be a lie because I honestly do not know specific things I am going to do as a PT in 3, 4 years. Do any of us really? I feel like it would be really thin to go that route with the essay. We might as well all write that each of us hope to open the best most perfect successful clinic where we can all optimize movement for everyone and we can all live happily ever after. Please.

    Do I know why I want to be a PT? Absolutely. Can I express how my character will make me a great PT and able to embody this vision? Done. Do I have a clear understanding of how my own time spent as a patient in PT has affected how I will act as a PT? Definitely. Am I able to tie in my own observation experiences into the vision? You bet.

    In my essay I am sticking with who I am as a person, how my past experiences with PT have shaped who I am, why I am going to kick ass at this job, and how that all ties in to the APTA vision. I'm sticking to the core of what has led me to this point. Anything else would be grasping for straws.

    If you are somehow fortunate enough to have a TON of experience in the field, have specific things that you know without a doubt you are going to do, good for you. By all means use that knowledge. I just know that I myself am not in that position, and I am sure many other young first time applicants aren't either.
     
    #12 BiffTheFlashRogers, Jul 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  14. Dragon416

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    I essentially used the same thought as you did. Also, it turned out to be one killer, composite, and well structured essay.
     
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  15. BiffTheFlashRogers

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    Glad to hear it, man! I feel pretty good about how mine turned out as well. Best of luck.
     
  16. Dragon416

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    Yeah let's just hope it gets us somewhere lol. You too!
     
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  17. DMWNE6

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    Hey Spatan2014,
    I looked at the essay a lot like you did and tried to answer the question to the best of my abilities. My view is that if it is suppose to be a "personal statement" then it would say so instead of "Essay" on the application. I talked about my observation experiences, and some personal things I have observed within my family, but mostly focused on the kind of physical therapist I hope to become. From this I think they can get an idea of what type of person I am, and if they want to know even more that is what the interview is for. I do not think you need to tell your whole life story. The great thing about this prompt is that you can interpret it the way you want to, so just answer it the way you feel is right.
     
  18. Watson27

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    I think it's great that we are all interpreting the question in a different way. That will definitely add variety that I am sure the readers will appreciate!

    The way I see it, this year's prompt is more about what kind of therapist you will be, not necessarily why you want to be a PT, or what setting you will practice in. What will be your guiding principles? How have you come you find this? From my own experiences, I have seen very effective therapists that I wish to emulate, and I have seen substandard therapists that I wish to avoid becoming.

    I was able to mention my clinical observation experiences, my future aspirations, why I will be valuable to the profession, etc. I have a strong interest in research and will be applying to dual programs or programs that have a strong research emphasis, so this was definitely helpful in shaping my essay.
     
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  19. BiffTheFlashRogers

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    Definitely! I think there are a lot of good directions to take this prompt.
     
  20. Paulynices

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    Yeah, I feel like there are a whole lot of different ways to approach this and all of them are great. I personally talked about three main things that I am going to do in the future to help achieve the vision like research, continuing education, and working in underserved areas. I concentrated on how I have already started doing those things, how I will do them in the future, and a brief explanation of why they are important to the vision. I think as long as it answers the question and does it well, should be fine.
     
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  21. ktachiba

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    Did you guys write an intro and a conclusion?
     
  22. Meadows22

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  23. davidtheusername

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  24. Spartan2014

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    #23 Spartan2014, Jul 26, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  25. davidtheusername

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    I wouldn't worry at all that it isn't specifically some sort of 5-paragraph-essay format. An introduction and conclusion make sense for organizational purposes, but there's nothing magical about having 5 paragraphs specifically.
     
  26. Kuhdaytee

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    Does anyone have advice regarding a generic personal statement? I'm having trouble writing about my professional goals and future career and whatnot, since I don't really have a good idea on what exactly I want to do. The essay is really similar to the PTCAS essay, and it doesn't feel like a personal statement right now.
     
  27. jschaf4

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    Some very good insight and variance in the interpretation of the question. Thanks for the read guys!

    Started to brainstorm today, and my tentative plan is to show what kind of therapist I want to be. So I plan to discuss traits that effective PTs have, and the traits that I have which will make me a great PT and/or embody the APTA vision. So I can mention how I want to emulate the two PTs that I "shadowed" based on my analysis of them. Also I will make clear how my character will be a good fit for the profession, based on my experience with patients, training patients, and my overall self. I plan on focusing on one experience that correlates with the vision. In addition, I want to show an understanding in where the field is going and show how I will be a good fit for that vision's growth. I mayyyy want to show my interest in underserved care...which I know can be cliche, but I think it fits my history given my time volunteering in Africa and work as a tutor in underserved parts of Chicago.
     

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