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  1. Hey PA Forum, I am Pre-PA and I wanted advice to where my feelings in the application process stand. I went through my undergrad with not much of a direction, graduating with a BS in Biochemistry but a 2.86 GPA. I worked for 2 years as a "scientist" but I was really just running samples through a machine (medical device) and it did not allow any sort of interesting work. I worked as part of the lab at the Boston Marathon, analyzing runner blood samples in the device, and it was the first time I was exposed to the medical field. This allowed me to appreciate their work, and also, for the first time, feel I could make a difference with my efforts. I capitalized on this excitement, and looked into nursing and PA, and decided PA. I got an EMT certification, and gave CPR to a patient in a trauma room at the nearby hospital as part of the certification. I was so excited, and then I got a job as a CNA in a teaching hospital on a heart failure floor. Everything was coming along. I was also taking pre-reqs this whole time, I completed A&P I,II, Genetics, Biochemistry, all either A or B+. As I worked at the hospital, I mainly bathed patients, and provided care in daily living, working under nurses. But the attitude of the nurses really got to me. Some would bully the technicians in a way, it was never intentional but I could not stand them. All the technicians and nurses were gossipy women and I, more of an introverted male, just felt nothing in common with them, and everything I did was judged. Nurses, and techs and female patients would occasionally hit on me, and it just felt uncomfortable. It became so frustrating for me that these shifts became almost me vs them, in my head. But I kept pushing on, I kept searching for jobs in the ER, because that seemed so exciting to me. I shadowed a resident in the ER, and loved every minute of it. I really enjoyed it because it was exciting; very different than anything I had seen; the machinery of the body was in a life threatening situation, and it was very rewarding to fix it. I also really loved all things space, and always was researching things about space. However I wasn't able to get a position in the ER, and I just felt like the oddball out all the time; and the feminine and social aspect of medicine was driving me nuts. I felt like everywhere in healthcare was this; and had this veneer or being the savior for patients, I just felt I was beating up the wrong tree for my own goals. I decided I wanted to try something in engineering due to my love of space. So after 9 months of being a tech, and shadowing 5 PAs (only enjoyed the ER shadowing) I moved to Houston, with my sister (couldn't go home, father is an alcoholic and made life at home toxic). I decided to try everything I enjoyed to figure out if this field was for me. I started taking engineering classes, a geology class, and started to learn programming, and am volunteering in a lab where I help a professor research bacteria on the Space Station. I have been stressed out, figuring out if this career is for me. I went to healthcare career fair, and interviewed for an ER Tech job, to try it out again, and am hoping it is less daunting on me. I also am thinking about pursuing biomedical engineering, as it may combine my interests, but I am nervous, because it seems a bit antisocial. I was wondering if I could get some advice about my situation, and if I have it all wrong about actually being a PA. Thanks!
  2. Hey PA Forum, I am Pre-PA, please don't kick me out, as I wanted to know from PAs what they think about the field, and where my feelings in the application process stand. I went through my undergrad with not much of a direction, graduating with a BS in Biochemistry but a 2.86 GPA. I worked for 2 years as a "scientist" but I was really just running samples through a machine (medical device) and it did not allow any sort of interesting work. I worked as part of the lab at the Boston Marathon, analyzing runner blood samples in the device, and it was the first time I was exposed to the medical field. This allowed me to appreciate their work, and also, for the first time, feel I could make a difference with my efforts. I capitalized on this excitement, and looked into nursing and PA, and decided PA. I got an EMT certification, and gave CPR to a patient in a trauma room at the nearby hospital as part of the certification. I was so excited, and then I got a job as a CNA in a teaching hospital on a heart failure floor. Everything was coming along. I was also taking pre-reqs this whole time, I completed A&P I,II, Genetics, Biochemistry, all either A or B+. As I worked at the hospital, I mainly bathed patients, and provided care in daily living, working under nurses. But the attitude of the nurses really got to me. Some would bully the technicians in a way, it was never intentional but I could not stand them. All the technicians and nurses were gossipy women and I, more of an introverted male, just felt nothing in common with them, and everything I did was judged. Nurses, and techs and female patients would occasionally hit on me, and it just felt uncomfortable. It became so frustrating for me that these shifts became almost me vs them, in my head. But I kept pushing on, I kept searching for jobs in the ER, because that seemed so exciting to me. I shadowed a resident in the ER, and loved every minute of it. I really enjoyed it because it was exciting; very different than anything I had seen; the machinery of the body was in a life threatening situation, and it was very rewarding to fix it. I also really loved all things space, and always was researching things about space. However I wasn't able to get a position in the ER, and I just felt like the oddball out all the time; and the feminine and social aspect of medicine was driving me nuts. I felt like everywhere in healthcare was this; and had this veneer or being the savior for patients, I just felt I was beating up the wrong tree for my own goals. I shadowed 5 PAs, and enjoyed the ER experience the most. I decided I wanted to try something in engineering due to my love of space. So after 9 months of being a tech, I moved to Houston, with my sister (couldn't go home, father is an alcoholic and made life at home toxic). I decided to try everything I enjoyed to figure out if this field was for me. I started taking engineering classes, a geology class, and started to learn programming, and am volunteering in a lab where I help a professor research bacteria on the Space Station. I have been stressed out, figuring out if this career is for me. I went to healthcare career fair, and interviewed for an ER Tech job, to try it out again, and am hoping it is less daunting on me. I also am thinking about pursuing biomedical engineering, as it may combine my interests, but I am nervous, because it seems a bit antisocial. I was wondering if I could get some advice about my situation, and if I have it all wrong about actually being a PA. Thanks!
  3. Hey everybody, I'm in a bad spot and I honestly don't know what to do. I am a PA student attending a 24-month program in the Northeast. I am at the end of my first semester of my didactic year and I know I'm already going on academic probation (GPA <3.0). It's not for lack of effort, when I started the program last year I had a family member come close to death and took an LOA instead of failing/probation/retaking courses. I don't regret that decision but while on my LOA I developed some severe health problems and 3 week before school started I had a major surgery that led to several complications. As a result of constantly being sick and trying to resolve the issues, my grades have suffered terribly. As it stands I will probably be passing all of my classes except Anatomy (this is a dissection lab and the PA students have their own cadavers as we are not attached to a medical school). I have struggled in this class and If i don't pass it (get a C-) I will be allowed to retake the course next fall (we don't have any other way/time to make up the classes as we use cohort training,and it will extend my time yet another 5 months. I honestly don't know if it's even worth it. I'll be spending 5 months, thousands of dollars in extra tuition, creating a terrible situation with my lease, and it just seems to add so many variables. I served as an Army medic, that's how I came to love the idea of becoming a PA after working with some of the best in the world (From every branch of service!). Please, anybody just chime in. As much as I'd be disappointed to leave the program I know there are opportunities in accelerated BSN/NP programs or even doing a cheap RN at my local community college. I'm 28 and thank goodness I don't have a family to support but I just don't know what to do.
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