I am done with didactic and is about start rotation soon. I think should feel excited to be done "the hard part" yet I'm filled with doubts and anxiety about moving forward. I originally came into this profession with the idea that I want to help patients understand diseases and empower them with knowledge to help themselves. Looking back now, I somehow feel like I've been passively heading toward this direction all my life because when people asked me what I wanted to do, I just said I want to do something medical related. Be it after school programs in high school or medical related jobs after college. There were times before PA school where I had doubts that this may not be right for me but then quickly brushed it off. When I do bring this up with family and others, I always get asked "what else do you want to do if not this" and I never had an answer because I wasn't actively looking at alternatives. Then I would get told that just do this if you don't know. I felt like I set this expectation for myself to set out to be a medical provider when I was way younger and now im feeling kinda stuck with having to follow through. Else i'd be a disappointment. I'd be lying if I didn't feel any familial pressure to stay the course.
Then I got into PA school and it gave me a sort of adrenaline rush like "yeah! i got in, i can do it!". I thought it was gonna be simple and all I had to do was keep my head down and get through it. Yet throughout didactic there was always this tiny inner voice whispering to me "this feels wrong". I chalked it up to just being stressed out by the heavy workload and imposter syndrome and buried it. Sometimes when I do talk about it with my family I just get told to keep going because I've invested so much into this so at the very least just stick out the first year and see how it goes. Now that i've clawed my way through didactic, I feel completely burnt out. I took a month long break without doing anything PA school related. I spoke with friends who graduated already who tell me that clinicals would be completely different, similar to the countless other posts i read online.
Looking ahead to clinicals I just don't even care much less feel excited and I know that won't help me make it through. Thinking back to when I decided to enroll in the first place vs now make me feel like I'm in a totally different person. I feel like the spark of interest for medicine that could have ignited a flame of passion just kinda fizzled out as time went on for me. I don't get interested in medical topics anymore. I don't feel motivated anymore and have trouble feeling empathy for anyone. I sure this is part of the burn out but can't shake the feeling that it's more than just that. I lay awake at night contemplating whether I've had enough and seen enough to say "I've gave it an honest attempt and now it's time to move on" or if actually being in clinicals will make a difference. When imagine winding up to grind through a 2nd year for clinicals, i get a sinking feeling in my stomach. When I imagine not being a PA, i think, "im ok with that". If I quit now, it would feel like be a huge financial and time wasted on this path and a lot of resistance from those around me. If I continue, it could possibly be an even bigger wager of time, money, and effort on a "maybe" I'll change my mind during clinicals. I think about this on a daily basis now. Anyone who have experience care to give some advice?