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Second Year PA-S student nervous for real-life PA-C

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Hi everyone,


I'm a second year PA student in the midst of my 8th rotation. I will be graduating in April and plan to take the PANCE in May. Hope to have a job by the end of the Summer 2016.


As clinicals fly by, I feel more confident with my clinical knowledge and skills, but still feel extremely nervous for the "real-life" moment of my first job and being "the" provider. So, I wanted to come to the forum to seek any type of feedback and advice to ease my anxieties.


Some of my questions include:


What was it like during your first year of practice?

Is there a certain career path that is more ideal for a new grad?
What is typical to expect in your first career as a PA? (more supervision, extensive training, knowing this can be limited by the state you work in)

I've heard that depending on where you work, employers provide quite a bit of training? 

How long did it take for you to feel comfortable (knowing that this will never be 100%, as we learn new things every day)?


I think we have all felt like this at some point, and it's a realistic thought/feeling to be nervous. I just want a little more outlook on what to expect during my first year on the job.

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I'm a big fan of starting out in family medicine.  Problem is, you may fall in love with it and stay.


Do not accept any solo coverage ANYTHING as a new grad unless you're a traditional PA student with 10k hours as a corpsman, medic, nurse or the like.  You will miss stuff that may actually hurt patients, rather than just delay the right care.


You don't necessarily need to have an MD to bounce things off of--another PA or an NP is probably sufficient in most cases, especially if experienced in that same specialty.


Don't be afraid to say "I'm pretty sure what this is, but let me go double check" or "Can I get the doc to take a look at this with me?"  Be very open about your level of training and experience.  One thing I say to a lot of patients is "You know, I have a great medical generalist education, along with a great rolodex, but I don't have the depth of knowledge a lot of specialists do, so I want you to see someone who's made this area their life's work...."  Of course, you need to have a good enough differential so that the worst you get back is "I don't need to see this patient again" and a referral to a different or subspecialist, rather than an "It is unclear to me why this patient was referred to me in the first place".

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