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Of my purpose as a PA. I feel like I need to do MORE, that I need to make a difference. I know I'll never "change the world" but I want to touch people more than I am. I need to chase my dreams of working in Peds oncology but I just don't know where to start! Outpatient Peds perhaps?

 

Anyone ever had to "take a leap of faith" when changing jobs/ specialties, etc? Anyone have to change states... Maybe even move across the US to chase your dream? Anyone ever hate your job as a PA and know that the specialty you are in is so WRONG because you are just not IN it? I need to be passionate about my job because that's just who I am!! Otherwise what is the point of getting up and going to this place where I have to treat child molesters and rapists... (I know, I know, ethics)

 

Sorry there is really no point of this post.

Some serious soul searching going on...thanks to anyone who listened!

 

 

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You can do it. It takes a bit of work (job hunting) and money (change states) but worth it. I changed states, from PA school in CA to Oregon my home state, (liked) to Nevada (lik-ing, but its no Oregon, which I miss). School in CA. 3 moves.....ugh ugh ugh......It always works out. Still worth it....Find the job you want, get it and go there. I did. Go where you can get training. Worry about the ideal locale in 3-5 years. (Yes ill go back to Oregon someday) I totally felt what you described at one point. So much better now. Actually getting really good. Wrong place wrong time can kill your spirit, cheat the patients where as the right place, in the near futre, can repair and lift it. Dont settle. Move forward! ;)

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Your feelings came out in nearly every word you wrote and I hope you find a path to more life satisfaction. 

 

Your job is very important though it’s just one part of your life. As I’ve gotten older, I have slowly come to recognize that it can be helpful to sit back and look at all the aspects of your life as one big stew. One missing ingredient isn’t necessarily enough to make you feel like a failure. There’s always your family, your friends, your location, your health, and so forth. And there is that old saying: flowers can bloom where they are planted and so can you.

 

All that said, it can sap your very soul to be working in the wrong job. You drive from home to work through a virtual tunnel, seeing little but that looming soul-sucking destination and thinking only of how you are wasting yet another day of your life.

 

If that’s you, then it’s time for a change. I’ve changed careers many times and have always been happier that I did. As I kept changing who I was, I kept changing what I wanted to be doing. I found that to be OK. All the while, I stayed with my same family and we led a happy life in all other respects. Over the decades, we’ve lived in three cities, had three kids, made friends, and enjoyed our life.

 

Making changes in my career didn’t always come easy or happen quickly. Even so, knowing that I was on a new path gave me more than enough motivation and satisfaction to keep moving forward.  I was no longer waiting to be “slaughtered in the trenches.” Instead I was on my feet and headed that-a-way. That is why having at least a short term plan is so critical.

 

If your job is sucking the very life from you, then go somewhere else. If you want to work in pediatric oncology, find a city that has such a facility and make contacts there, even if you have to work somewhere else in town until you get your shot. Make contacts, volunteer, take some good CME -- whatever makes sense to you.

 

Above all, count the rest of your blessings. And, think of yourself as a pediatric oncology PA who -- for the moment -- is just working somewhere else.

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Thank you all. I actually still consider myself young (28) and have been a PA for less than 2 years. I love where I live and my fiancé loves his job... But he is willing to move wherever I want because he can do what he does anywhere and he sees how unhappy I am. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE being a PA just not where I am! I volunteer in Peds and that's when I am most happy. I am happy in all other aspects of my life... Just at the end of the work week I let all the stress build up. I have begun to apply to other places to get my foot in the door of Peds so thank you so much for all your kind words.

 

 

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I am not nearly as eloquent as UGoLong, but basically "what he said.....".   It can be so scary to take a leap and leave what is familiar, even if the known is unhappiness.  Don't let the fear of the unkown freeze you in place.  Sounds like you have an amazingly supportive boyfriend.  Life is too short to not enjoy your work.  It won't be your only source of happiness, as others have pointed out, but going to work every day without feeling like you want to vomit is pretty important. 

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peaceloveandPA, as noted before in prior threads, I am 28 years ahead of you and have, as well as continue to have, the same feelings that you are experiencing.  I took that "blind leap of faith" one year ago and at this time one year ago I was finishing out my final month with my employer.  I have been in four total specialty areas and after a matter of years (they have gotten longer in duration as I've gotten older) I find myself becoming bored and disinterested.  I had a goal in place as to how I wanted to proceed this time last year, and to this point, I have yet to be able to fulfill what I believe I would like to do (EMS involvement as discussed in another active thread here).  It may be more difficult for me because of the fact that I'm in a suburban major metropolitan area and that whatever I would like to do there are many physicians that are more than capable of assuming those roles.  While my wife and I are "empty nesters" at this time, her career goal is being fulfilled as a college professor and I have an elderly parent to watch over, leaving me to find something else locally.  As I look back I realize that my career experience hasn't been as fulfilling as others on here have experienced due to the same parameters previously noted (EMEDPA gets to look for Sasquatch out his ED backdoor when he isn't seeing anyone at one of his moonlighting jobs due to his being in the boonies).  It isn't all gloom and doom.  I have had a handful of folks that over the years I've been able to help (not always necessarily by "saving a life") and the opportunities that I've had financially as a result of this field have allowed for experiences that I may not have otherwise been able to share with my family.

 

Bottom line, I don't have that specific answer for you, though I do agree that if relocation is a possibility and oncology is your true love, then the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson facility in Houston may be where you might want to look (we don't have a state income tax and housing is much cheaper than compared to many other areas).

 

Speaking for myself, I do believe that we each have a pathway to follow, some easier and brighter than others, but still a pathway.  Try to find yours, and at your age, I suspect that you still have plenty of time to do so, even if that "step of faith" points you in a direction that you would have otherwise never seen coming.  I wish you the best.

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Thank you everyone!!! I have looked into Md Anderson and can only hope to one day get a job there... I have also looked into others Peds onc hospitals. I do need a little bit more Peds acute care experience but I am hoping to move close to one of those hospitals that I may be able to moonlight or even volunteer at to get my foot in the door. I have been taking the online oncology courses with MD Anderson. I am lucky my fiancé is very supportive and told me to "look anywhere I want" because he said I worked too hard to not be happy in my job. So thank you all for your words... It means so much!!!

 

 

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Thank you everyone!!! I have looked into Md Anderson and can only hope to one day get a job there... I have also looked into others Peds onc hospitals. I do need a little bit more Peds acute care experience but I am hoping to move close to one of those hospitals that I may be able to moonlight or even volunteer at to get my foot in the door. I have been taking the online oncology courses with MD Anderson. I am lucky my fiancé is very supportive and told me to "look anywhere I want" because he said I worked too hard to not be happy in my job. So thank you all for your words... It means so much!!! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

I'm not sure if you actually looked at the link but it is for the PA residency.  You may want to consider applying as that would make you competitive for a hem/onc position anywhere you want to go.

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Oh I did not !!! I saw MD Anderson and assumed it was the website. Thank you so much I will definitely look into it!

 

 

Let food be thy medicine

 

Sure thing.  Check this video out also(and the others at the bottom of that original link):

 

http://www3.mdanderson.org/streams/FullVideoPlayer.cfm?xml=cfg%2FPA--Postgrad-Onc-Program-Intvws--cfg

 

MDACC is an awesome place to work and go to school.  I really enjoyed my time there.

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Go for it. Sometimes it takes a while before you figure out what you love doing. I've jumped from various surgical specialties to Derm, Urgent Care, Occ Med, and Family practice. It can be done. One of my favorite quotes is, "what would you do if fear was not a factor?"

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This is probably the best and quickest door into peds onc that you will find:

 

http://www.mdanderson.org/education-and-research/education-and-training/schools-and-programs/clinical-education-for-non-physicians/physician-assistant-program-in-oncology/index.html[/quote

 

Do u happen to know the cost for the program? I can't seem to locate that anywhere... Maybe I have to email for that info. That would be my only concern as a I do have a hefty loan balance, but this program looks amazing. Thanks for all your info!

 

 

Let food be thy medicine

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This is probably the best and quickest door into peds onc that you will find:

 

http://www.mdanderson.org/education-and-research/education-and-training/schools-and-programs/clinical-education-for-non-physicians/physician-assistant-program-in-oncology/index.html[/quote

 

Do u happen to know the cost for the program? I can't seem to locate that anywhere... Maybe I have to email for that info. That would be my only concern as a I do have a hefty loan balance, but this program looks amazing. Thanks for all your info!

 

 

Let food be thy medicine

 

You don't pay for residencies. They pay you a stipend which is usually in the ballpark of $40,000-$50,000 a year

 

 

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Do u happen to know the cost for the program? I can't seem to locate that anywhere... Maybe I have to email for that info. That would be my only concern as a I do have a hefty loan balance, but this program looks amazing. Thanks for all your info!

 

 

Let food be thy medicine

 

Per the link:

 

 

A competitive stipend, as well as excellent benefits, will be provided. The stipend for FY 13 is $75,000. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate and have earned approximately 100 hours of continuing medical education credit. They may also discover future job opportunities by networking within MD Anderson Cancer Center.

 

$75,000 is very high for a residency stipend and the benefits there are excellent.  

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