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Love2BePAC

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  1. Hi everyone! I have a question for working moms (or dads). Have you found it better to work fewer, but longer shifts or more, but shorter shifts? For example, I currently work in FP 5-6 days per week, averaging 5-7 hour days. My total weekly hours are 34-38 hours. l would be taking call every other weekend, which is generally very light. I have a job offer for four 10-hour shifts at a preop clinic (7a-5p, generally more than enough time to eat during the day so no one leaves for lunch). No holidays/call, low-stress, etc. (And best benefits in the state...I used to work at this specific university hospital, though that's not really relevant here). Any opinions on longer vs shorter shifts with kids (and if age matters, mine are almost 5 years old and 18 months old)? Thanks, Sheryl
  2. Well, I decided to order a new suit and pray it gets here by Wednesday (which is the promise date) so I have time to have it tailored for the following week. The problem is that I'm short and plus-sized (with strange proportions, esp a small waist and larger calves). And the stores I went to around here have next to nothing in suits. I don't feel comfortable wearing my other suit again -- one because it's extremely hot in this weather, two, because I already did wear it, and three, it's just not comfortable at all. I ordered several and can return the ones I don't want for free. I needed a new suit anyway, so this gives me a good reason to buy one. I really like the look of the white blazer, but, alas, I agree it's not dressy enough. Thanks everyone. Sheryl
  3. Thanks, good advice. :) I am not sure about the numbers aspect; It's a hospital system that gives you a score based on your time as a PA, direct patient care, etc. That's how salary is calculated. They're generally fair. But the last time I was there, the lead PA asked me to write down how many hours per week I worked for positions on my resume. Maybe it's a good sign? I guess we'll see. My interview isn't until 7/30.
  4. I had a call for a third interview. Is it common to do more than two? It is a surgery preop clinic. My understanding is they're very selective with who "meshes" well with the other PAs. My first interview with the lead PA and clinical director (ordinarily it would have just been the lead PA, but I was internal and he was at the hospital, so he came by). The second was in the clinic with all the staff (PAs, MAs, RNs, office manager, etc). I was able to meet them and shadow with them. Like a "get to know you session." Now, I have a third interview with the clinical director again. I'm very nervous about this and am trying to prepare. Part of me thinks, "Well, if I were impressive enough, he wouldn't have to meet with with me again." I know it's a lack of self-confidence talking and I need to, instead, congratulate myself on getting this far. My biggest dilemma about having 3 interviews: I can't wear the same suit again! I'm wondering if it's okay to dress slightly down this time around? I have a crisp white blazer (3/4 length sleeves), patterned white and gray tiered shell with some coral accents, and gray pants (with pumps of course). Otherwise I'm stuck wearing a black suit when it's 95 degrees. I want to look professional -- but I also want to look like I know what's going on in the world. Any advice on what to expect? Thanks, Sheryl
  5. I know when I was a brand new grad, I had to send out a lot of resumes to get any sort of response. Don't get discouraged. Just keep sending them out. And it seems like once you get one break, you'll get several. In one day, I had 4 people call me about applications I submitted. For me, it was very time consuming because each hospital system here has a different application. But once you submit to one posting, the system saves your resume. Another thing to do is to contact recruiters from each hospital you want to work with. They usually want a short interview and then when open positions come up, they will call you. I've had them call several times (for jobs I wasn't interested in, but I appreciated their follow-up). Finally, check with alumni postings at PA schools. In my area, there is an alumni section at one school that posts jobs for anyone to see (not just their grads). Good luck!
  6. This is exactly it! A lot of the issue is the paperwork! The practice has not converted to EMR yet (coming in September) and the paper charts are ridiculous. I cannot find anything in them. I don't know how to bill/code. My SP is "teaching" me how he codes the exams, but I worry about it. Technically, he does everything "by the book" on paper to be able to bill as many 99214 as possible. Ethics seem questionable. But he knows how to CYA. I thought initially I was being used as the urgent care add-on, but then they started scheduling me my own patients. I didn't realize my SP didn't have my scheduled blocked off. Initially, I was supposed to see 1 patient per hour in June and then 2 per hour in July. Then it all went haywire and my schedule wasn't blocked. Today, the NP I work with said that her father (a FP doc) just hired a new grad PA who will receive 6-12 months of training. The NP said that her dad really liked this person and felt that she was worth the time and money to invest in her training. I think that's the best approach. I don't know why my SP thought the "sink or swim" approach would be preferred. As an aside, I felt mighty cool today when I was comfortable with a feeding tube issue and he wasn't. Working in thoracic, I dealt with them all the time. I told him what antibiotic to use and he claims he didn't hear me; he called a GI doc and the GI doc told him the same thing. ;) It felt good to actually know something more complex. When I think about it, my SP's only experience hiring a PA was one who was in his office as a student for 4 months (2 month FP rotation and 2 month preceptorship). So I don't think he had realistic expectations at all with me coming in fresh. He keeps saying, "You just come across as knowing so much, I guess I assumed you'd be ready to go." But I'm not and now I feel so dumb. I'll learn. Thanks for all the input everyone! It's much appreciated.
  7. And I agree about the complexity issue. My biggest issue is that these patients are complex! Today alone (scheduled every 15 minutes), I saw man who was hit on his bicycle by a car, a lady with new onset LE edema and headaches (with 15 PMH), an uncontrolled newly diagnosed diabetic (who just got out of the hospital from a DKA coma), and new patient with uncontrolled HTN, gout, DM, hyperlipidemia, back pain, GERD, and hypothyroidism. He was the easiest! I can do a cough/cold, sinusitis, wheezing, pap, headache, allergies, abdominal pain, and so on in about 10-15 minutes. But I keep getting these other ones because the docs have no room on their schedule. But with these difficult ones, I'm not really having too much difficulty with the diagnosis. Part of my issue is the treatment and the workup. I'm not having a great time with the antibiotics this practice prefers. And all the docs are completely different. In this clinic, almost all coughs get a cxr. All that wheezes gets PFTs. Tympanogram for a URI/otalgia. It's just that I wasn't trained this way. So, I have to learn the practice's way of making more money. Good or bad, not sure. Anyway, I know I will get better. I don't think my SP would keep me around if he didn't see potential. I just wish he listened when I told him I need to start more slowly and be mentored more closely. Then I don't think I'd feel so dumb. And I'm harder on myself than he could ever be. So I will buck up and read and read. And see as many patients as I can to practice my skills.
  8. Thank you for your recommendation. I looked on Amazon and I see one from 2003. Do you know of any new versions or do you think that's okay?
  9. For those out there working with new grads in family practice (or for those who have been new grads in family practice), what is the expectation of time to get up to speed? My first job was a terrible fit for me -- thoracic surgery. It was bad from the get-go. I was there 6 months and then, thankfully, had found a job in family practice. I was really excited. I started this new job at the beginning of June. I kept telling my SP that I am new to family practice, having had only one 2-month rotation. He kept saying, "You're smart, you'll catch on quickly." So, he gave me my own schedule off the bat and when I'm not busy, I am with him or other physicians. Generally I'm there with at least one other doc or sometimes the PA who's been there 7 years. This month has been very trying. Some days are good days where I pretty much know what to do for patients. Then other days are not good days...like today. He called me tonight and said that he's going to back off my schedule because it's obvious that I'm uncomfortable and have a lot to learn, but that I'm motivated and intelligent and he's not worried about me learning it. Most of the time, I will be with other physicians acting in the role of a student for the most part. It was a relief, but at the same time, I feel so dumb. Having it happen this ways makes me feel completely inept. I am overwhelmed. I knew that I wasn't ready to see my own patients, especially when they book them every 15 minutes. I tried to communicate that. I'm not sure what to do. I'm really down on myself and my confidence is shaken. So, I want to know: What is an appropriate time frame to build up your skills and knowledge to successfully treat patients on your own? Or at least 90% of patients? I study at night and write important stuff down. Not sure how else to get better other than seeing patients and discussing them with the docs/PA. Thanks, Sheryl
  10. I'm late to this thread, but I am in family practice (just started) and the doctors see about 20-25 pts/day and the PAs about 10-20 (20 being quite rare, 15 seems average) like the OP also. This practice is definitely profitable. ?? Not sure why the discrepancy.
  11. I just started a new job as a family practice PA. In this family practice, some of the docs practice integrative medicine (all to a certain extent really). One in particular does. I'm hoping to learn under her as much as possible. That might be your best bet. Plus doing CME in integrative health. I'm really fortunate to have found this position because it's exactly what I wanted. I will tell you from what I've seen, it's seems that FP docs are more open to integrative medicine. I'm not sure about the Institute for Integrative Medicine...only CME in California? Sounds strange.
  12. I guess my biggest concern is having fewer benefits and such a low base salary. And a 2 year contract. I have a very good "gut feeling" so I have decided to go for it. The other PA who is there has been there 7 years and he loves it. He said he can't imagine ever leaving. He works afternoons like 1-8 and makes six figures. This job is a great opportunity, I believe. This practice just keeps growing and growing. They have built a new facility because the second office was way too small to accommodate the patient load. And all the docs have an awesome reputation in the community. I hope it ends up being a good experience for me. I'm going to go with my gut and take it. I do think I will make decent money and work in an office that values family life outside of work. It will be nice to actually spend time with my kids.
  13. I am currently in general thoracic surgery at a large university hospital, making $102k. The benefits are amazing. But the hours suck. I work 55-60 hours/week (at least). I also have a strong interest in integrative medicine (not the unproven stuff, but more the lifestyle/preventive etc stuff). I applied for a family practice position in a well-respected, well-known office that is incredibly busy and needs help (who also practices some components of integrative medicine). All the practitioners have been there years and love it. But they need help. The owner of the practice said, "When patients can't call by 10 am and get in the same day, that is unacceptable to me." He is all about patient care. He is funny and passionate about patient care. He is also a great business man. He has another office opening soon and he's already getting calls for patients wanting care there. He allows patients to see PAs for all their visits, only seeing a doc if the patient wants to. Some FP offices require visits with docs at certain intervals. In any event, he offered me job yesterday. I will have about 32 patient hours per week, the rest charting/office work as necessary (working 35-40 hours/week). The base salary is only $70k or 30% of your collections, whichever is higher. The other PA in the practice earns a nice living making at least $120k right now. He does give productivity bonuses and a loyalty bonus ($4000 each year for the first 2 years). My other issues are only 12 days paid time off, CME of $500 (but he pays DEA, licenses, etc separately...and if someone is interested in a class that will benefit the practice, he'll send you). I get the feeling he will pretty much pay for whatever you ask if it's necessary or an interest of yours that you can employ. Health/dental/vision insurance there is paid for me, but costly for family. There is a matching 401k and short term/long term disability. I am having a difficulty with this because he made it clear that the docs sign the same contract (except their base is $100k). He said that he knows that $70k may not sound like a lot, but by month 6 or so, I'll probably be passing that and not have to worry about it. I really want to accept this job; I don't feel very comfortable trying to negotiatie for some reason. This office is a division of a large group, so I don't even know how much negotiation can be done. For good experience, hours, and a great environment, would you put up with subpar benefits/pay? Thanks, Sheryl
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