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  1. 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?
  2. Hi everyone, I am looking for some help and advice. I will preface this with a short about me. I am a PA with 8 years of experience in mostly primary care. I currently live in Michigan. I have no history of any malpractice claims against me and all reviews about me online I can find are positive or 5 stars. I went to a private school and have about 25k in student loans of an original balance of 180k.I am married with 2 young children. Being a PA is a second career for me after burning out as a teacher in AZ. My current situation is this: My wife is a teacher who has had a hard time finding work In MI because of out of state certification finally found a job she liked but was far away from my job and caused a burdensome commute. We agreed to move in spring of 2020. Shortly after my contract would be over. My employer learned of this when discussing if I would renew contract and they found a replacement for me this ending my employment in violation of contract (I was supposed to be given 60 days) I chose not to fight it because I knew I would need them as a reference I the future. I scrambled to find something in the 3 weeks I was given and was hired at an urgent care with no benefits no retirement. It is a newer clinic not part of a chain and less than a year old and I see about 10 patients in a 13 hour shift on average. I have been there 3 months now. I have interviewed at a small nonprofit private school that is starting a PA program, am waiting to hear back and a different urgent care looking for people to start in 3 months that is part of a larger physician group. It offers benefits PTO and retirement. Have also applied to other family med practices or specialties etc with many sounding sketchy or too far away. The whole situation has left me burned out and depressed. I feel inadequate as a provider and just disenchanted with medicine. Before the job change I was frustrated but primarily with the insurance bureaucracy. I do not think the current office has long term sustainability and think I need to find something better. Teaching would be nice but I wonder if there are too many PA programs and if it is sustainable past 5 years. Also I wonder if I am feeling so burned out and frustrated should I be teaching other students. Another urgent care would at least have benefits but sometimes I even just feel sick of dealing with the patients and trying to keep them happy. I need to at least be a PA for a few years more to pay off student loans. I really don’t feel like specializing much because a l have known too many that seem to push procedures and don’t listen to patients and I don’t want to get into that world. Not interested in doing insurance reviews because insurances are a lot of the problem with healthcare especially for low income people. I am looking for any opinions or guidance on what I should do. Should I be teaching? Should I even be practicing medicine anymore? I have already gotten placed on Cymbalta. Waiting for it to kick in. I know now I should have just lied to my old employer and said I would be around forever and jump ship at my convenience. I can’t do anything about that. Need some opinions on what to do going forward. sorry for such a long post......thank you for any opinions
  3. I don't really comfortable speaking this frankly to my colleagues. None of my close friends or family are in the medical field so they don't truly understand. I am still a somewhat new PA and I am already considering a new career path. I went to PA school 2 years after graduating college, so I don't have any experience in any other fields besides healthcare. But I've been having serious thoughts about quitting my job and quitting the medical field altogether. A little background about me, I am in my late 20s and I have been a practicing PA for about 4 years. During this time I have been at the same practice, a specialty and internal medicine office. There are several physicians, but I am employed by one. I see patients in the clinic, in several acute care hospitals, and at nursing homes. Although I like the variety and the types of patients I see are very interesting to me, there are downsides to the job that just become more apparent every day. I work M-F 9-5 and 2 weekends per month. I have to take round at the hospitals and take calls on those 2 weekends, plus take calls 3 weekdays out of the week. I often work 3 weekends a month, and occasionally even 4 when my contract technically says 2. My supervising physician is retirement age and he refuses to retire and instead delegates more and more tasks to me. For example, sometimes if he is too tired / lazy he will tell the staff to just transfer patient appointments to my schedule. Patients are understandably upset when they made an appointment with the doctor they've known for years and get switched to the schedule of a PA they don't know. I feel like "as the PA", and an employee of the doctor, I pretty much get saddled with all the grunt work and undesirable tasks that he doesn't want to do. I know in other settings PAs are treated with a little more respect and not just given the busy work to do. There are some upsides, I do like my SP, we work well together, and I feel like I can honestly and freely discuss patients with him without judgment. I also know that he may retire in a few years so this job won't be permanent either. I don't know if getting a new job will help. I applied for two separate jobs that I did not get. One was a family practice M-F with no call/weekends and the other was an allergy practice M-F with no call/weekends. Getting rejected for both of those jobs really discouraged me and made me feel trapped at this job. It won't be easy to find a new position. I get frustrated with patients too. It just feels like there are so many patients who are med seeking. Some providers in my area were recently sentenced to prison time for overprescribing narcotics. They were reckless with their prescribing and I am quite careful, but the fact that jail time is in the realm of possibility for our profession constantly looms over my head. Patients also often want to be on disability when they clearly do not need to. There are so many patients wanting DMV disability placards and getting irate when I tell them they don't qualify. In addition, patients whose licenses get revoked want me to sign off on them being safe to drive when there was a clear reason the licenses were revoked. Again, I am on the receiving end of the brunt of their frustration and anger when I say they need a specialist clearance. There is just so much liability in our career field and so much stress involved. Liability is always there medically too. YOUR decision can affect whether a patient LIVES or DIES and it's so much stress that I have actually developed my own health issues secondary to the stress. I have had a patient stalk me and become obsessed with me. He wrote me unhinged letters and made many calls to the office describing my car, etc. We had to get the police involved and I considered filing a legal restraining order. I know this is possible in any profession, but it feels like healthcare can be personal and intimate and patients can get the wrong idea. I again contemplated quitting the profession at this time. I have looked into other careers such as being a pharmaceutical representative, working in research, being an accountant, ANYTHING other than this. I have contemplated quitting and just living off my savings until I figure it out. I have talked to some colleagues to an extent, many are much older and have been PAs longer than me. I sometimes question if I'm just being an entitled millennial who wants life-work balance early on in their career until I realize that it's not normal or common to work 24-25 days in a row. It's not normal to only get 4 days off a month (if that. Some days I would get 2 days off a month.) I actually finally told my SP I was considering leaving because I was too burnt out. He trivialized my concerns and said "Why are you burnt out? You're young. I have been doing this for 40 years." Which is true, but this wasn't the life I envisioned for myself. After talking, he did acknowledge my concerns, and he hired an NP who can help me with the workload and guaranteed that I will only have to work the 2 weekends a month as outlined in my contract and I did get a raise. (I still feel like I'm underpaid which is a whole separate story.) Sorry for the essay, I just really needed somewhere to air out my frustrations with other people in my career field. Thanks in advance for reading.
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