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To lie to your preceptor, or not to lie....


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I hope my thread title gets attention but it's not what it looks like...

 

I am a second year student aiming at primary care as a career and currently in my first rotation which is surgery. I told my preceptor when I arrived that I am planning on primary care and may be regretting the decision to do so. I feel like my experience has been altered since my surgery PA preceptor now knows I don't want to work in a similar field. I feel like if he/she thought I wanted to be in their shoes they would teach more of the intricacies of the position and allow more hands on/ in depth training.

 

Would it behoove PA students to tell each preceptor they want to work in that specific field while they are there to gain a richer experience? If I tell my next preceptor I want to be an ED PA, will the 6 weeks be better and/or more intense than if I don't?

 

I see the flip side of the coin being that I can learn how primary care would interact/consult/refer to other specialties if the preceptor knows that's I where I plan to be. But I thought it was an interesting question to ask anyway. I just want to get the most out of each and every rotation.

 

Thanks for reading

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THE best answer to that question is " I don't really know yet, I want to see which rotations I like best" except on the rotation that is in the specialty you want to spend the rest of your life in. that one you tell is your 1st choice. it was easy to figure out for my preceptors in em. I showed up 2 hrs early and stayed 2 hrs late every shift(seriously).

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I treated every rotation as if I were seriously considering going into that field of medicine after my training. You might get more out of each rotation if you approach it this way. Even Ob/Gyn I approached w/ a bias, during it I was surprised how fascinating it all was and for a minute even considered it as a career.

 

Although, I'd had my heart set on Urology, my critical care elective changed all that. Like I said, have an open mind, you'll get more out of your rotations this way. If not, then just lie to your preceptor :)

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I went into this with significant experience in one very specialized field. Everyone has expected that this area would be my main focus area after graduation. However, my expectations for myself were to grow and learn as much as I possibly could in other areas of medicine and use each of my clinical rotation experiences as a trial to see if I would fit into one area more than another. I'm now more than half way through, graduation is a small flicker at the end of my tunnel, and I can honestly say that putting in that extra work in every rotation has paid off in spades. I still don't really know what I want to do, and I'm hoping that the right opportunity becomes clear soon, but I've learned so much more than if I'd just fulfilled the basic requirements. I've found that my preceptors have gone out of their way to find extraordinary experiences for me simply because I've expressed an openness and interest in their field. Providers from other groups also tend to take notice at times and offer experiences as well. So, best advice, don't decide yet where you want to go because you might be surprised at the place you end up.

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THE best answer to that question is " I don't really know yet, I want to see which rotations I like best" except on the rotation that is in the specialty you want to spend the rest of your life in. that one you tell is your 1st choice. it was easy to figure out for my preceptors in em. I showed up 2 hrs early and stayed 2 hrs late every shift(seriously).

 

^^^Agree^^^

 

We tend to telegraph our interest levels anyway, so it's hard to bullsh#@#@ that you like the specialty when you don't, which is what preceptors can usually pick up on.

 

If you really dig doing something, it shows.

 

Similar to EMEDPA, I spent 18 hours in surgery every day and would have gladly spent more.

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THE best answer to that question is " I don't really know yet, I want to see which rotations I like best" except on the rotation that is in the specialty you want to spend the rest of your life in. that one you tell is your 1st choice. it was easy to figure out for my preceptors in em. I showed up 2 hrs early and stayed 2 hrs late every shift(seriously).

 

True, a more honest way to reach the same result.

 

And as far as effort and attitude towards the specific rotation, mine hasn't changed. I'm not just trying to "fill the basic requirements." I do show up well before my preceptors each day and stay late as well. I feel it's my preceptors perceptions of me that may be altered knowing I'm not interested in surgery. Most of my shadowing before school happened to be with a surgical PA so I had an idea ahead of time prior to this rotation that it wasn't my cup of tea. But I know that regardless of the rotation or person I have endless learning in front of me and have an open mind for it. Whether it be nurses, MAs, wound care, casting techs, I'm seeking them all out for knowledge.

 

I think I'll take EMEDPA's ambiguous approach with my next preceptor.

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  • 1 month later...

At my school they told us to never say that you don't want to work in _______. EMEDPA is right, just say that you don't know yet. Maybe you don't want to be in surgery but I bet that surgeon knows a lot of people not in surgery, who might be looking for a PA at the same time that you graduate *winkwink*.

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Common sense says to get the most out of each experience. By keeping your options open, you don't prematurely reject any possibilities (either consciously, or subconciously). While it's "a bit not-good" of your preceptor to take less of an interest in your development because you don't want to go into her field, you kind of started it by saying something that might be taken as being less interested in the specialty.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree with EMEDPA.  I remember on my ER rotations the nurses would ask me if I ever left.  I just smiled and told them sometimes.  If you like it, they know.  Even if you do not really like it they know.  I had preceptors that knew I was not overly excited to go into surgery as a job but that appreciated that I was solely focused on the rotation and put in the work day in and day out.  But, definitely say you are unsure or have liked a lot about all of your rotations. 

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