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.
Hi everyone! I knew that Duke's supplemental application would be a beast, but I was just curious if anyone had experience with the patient care and shadowing tabs? Here is what I am struggling with:
- PATIENT CARE: can the description be the same as on my CASPA? And what exactly should I be putting for the agreeable and disagreeable aspects of my responsibilities?
- Shadowing: can I put the same descriptions as my CASPA?
Thanks guys! Best of luck to everyone!
I wanted to know if anyone could add any input on this;
I had requested a PA for a letter of evaluation. He was happy to agree to give one. I also had sent him a copy of my resume just because I thought that was the appropriate thing to do.
last week at work him had mentioned two things... he had brought it up to me that I didn't have my GPA posted on my resume and asked if if I was planning to put it on my resume. he also started asking me things like "do you want me to just not address GPA at all then?". So, for the copy of the resume I had sent to her, I didn't put my GPA in because I didn't think it was going to be helpful (my undergrad is a 3.35 which is not competitive) The whole purpose of sending him a 1 page resume was so that he could know a little more of what I have done in undergrad; like, have a little more amount of information of who I am outside of scribing. (I've been a scribe for about 9 months; about 5 of those months have been heavily involved with this particular PA, so although we haven't had many conversations personally its not like I am a stranger to him
The other thing that he requested is if I had personal statement finished. I will sincerely admit, I am quite behind on the application process as my personal statement still has work to do; I told him it's still being written. He asked if she should have a summary of it or something like that so he has more details to flesh out his evaluation letter.
I told her I would email her about the GPA issue and the personal statement summary because he was asking out loud in front of the other doctors and employees in the nurses station and I was a little shy to answer. I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting him to ask those questions.
So here is what I was asking:
1. Should I have 3.35 on my resume at all? (I was a public health major)
2. Is giving a personal statement/summary super necessary for you LOR evaluators? Because I really have alot more to do on my PS so I'm not sure how I can make a good summary in a short amount of time to give him; as well as the other evaluators.
I am feeling unsure as to whether or not I will get into PA school. I have a bachelor's degree in Public Health Science. My cumulative gpa is a 3.92 and my science gpa is a 3.8 with 61 science course credits. I have 1,000 hours of patient contact currently from working as a physical therapy aide during undergrad. I am taking a gap year and working 36 hours per week as a medical assistant and also taking weekend shifts as a physical therapy aid to reach approximately 3,000 hours when I apply next year. I also have about 200 hours of other related experience through working as a medical receptionist and volunteering and have 100 hours from shadowing. I have about 500 hours of volunteer experience from a service trip for income equity, a social justice student group, volunteering with a group that works to fix low-income health disparities, an LGBTQ+ community health clinic, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the philanthropy committee for my sorority. I am doing research with a nearby medical school and will have about 300 hours of research experience at the time I apply (this is a volunteer position). I was a teaching assistant for anatomy and physiology II for two years. I served as the president of a student organization and the vice president of the same organization, a program lead for a social justice organization, and I was the chair of philanthropy for my sorority. Other extracurricular involvements included Students Engaged in Public Health, Sigma Kappa Sorority, Maryland Public Interest Research Group, Maryland Leadership Education and Development, and Ballet Company M. I am mostly concerned that I have not taken enough science credits and do not have enough patient contact. Are there other things I should work on to strengthen my profile? Should I take more science classes? Should I consider a master's in a science field? I studied public health because I am truly passionate about approaching patient care from this perspective and want to work in health administration health policy in addition to patient care, and I plan to explain this in my personal statement.