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TPA16

I feel like within one month something clicked and I feel disenchanted with medicine

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PA student on 6/9th rotation

I would like to  express my thoughts and possibly get some feed back,corrective train of thought or agreement..

I went into medicine with self admittedly rose covered glasses of what it would be. Over the years i've primed myself knowing it wouldn't be nearly as glamorous as what i thought but somehow the inner vibe stayed with me. its weird, only one rotation ago I was considering working ICU after an intense rotation there, but now that I had a very relaxed primary care office rotation, I realized... I don't think I want to stress myself out in a hospital setting. although I'm extremely social, I don't resonate with "hospital life" like i thought i would. what I see is a lot of doctors who like their egos stroked and PAs being talked about by docs as "just grab one of em PAs to do this! and that!"

 

Also as i delve further into nutrition and fitness (a lifelong hobby of mine, almost competed in bodybuilding) it pains me more to see how much of a disconnect there is between health and medicine.. Like today, I ate breakfast with my doctor and PA preceptors who all ate typical western diet foods i.e. bacon/eggs/whitebread.. something about this just seemed funny in abstract as they wore their white coats. "we treat symptoms, we don't prevent illness" Why are we still giving cardiac diets full of carbohydrates to DM pts!?? I realized that the medical model is a business model more than a healing one. I feel like I am either surrounded by idiots who fail to see the bigger picture who are fooled by the system they are part of, or they too have long ago accepted that we're in the business of patching holes and not curing disease, either way its not a humbling feeling. 

 

I also realized something about myself, I don't think I care about managing chronic life long issues. whether its because I am selfish or I have a short attention span, I feel like I want to work in a field where there is a sense of more instant gratification from my work

 

At this point I see myself going into specialties that are purely lucrative, or more of a visual/physical component

As of now, I am looking forward to my dermatology rotation.  in my naive pre-rotation opinion, its a field where I don't have to feel guilty about treating someone with drugs that don't necessarily cure their chronic and lethal issue, its usually shorter appointments per patient, and its usually more of a visual (or if i go into cosmetics, aesthetic field)

 

I am looking forward to responses of any kind, I feel like I need to discuss this with people

 

 

 

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So just so I understand, you're disenchanted with the current docs and PAs who have the mentality of 'this is a business' which prompted you to decide to pick a specialty that is purely lucrative?  Because that's how that reads above.

I'd love to know what your HCE/PCE was prior to PA school just out of curiosity to understand how much exposure to healthcare you had.

Food for thought:  Yes, medicine is a business.  That's not likely something that will change anytime soon (or ever).  But the only way to find good providers that want to help their patients make good decisions about their health, to improve their quality and quantity of life, and to promote the marriage of health and medicine is by BEING the provider that does that.

You're going to find bad eggs anywhere you go.  And whether you think the hospital setting or the outpatient setting is for you is fine.  But when you look around and see providers not caring or not doing the best they can for their patients instead of thinking 'medicine is ruined' you need to think 'I am going to do better than that'.  Unfortunately, yes, sometimes all we can do is patch holes.  It's the nature of some diseases.  But our job isn't always to 'cure' things.  Sometimes our job is to do the best we can with what we have.

And yea, I know that all sounds a little cheesy.  And it is.  But honestly, as someone who sees a dermatologist regularly, even your attitude about derm would send me running to another provider ASAP.  You need to dig deep and determine if you really even want to work in medicine.  That's a hard pill to swallow after you've spent this much time and money on PA school but don't torture yourself or patients for years on end if your heart isn't in it.  

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I guess you are right. I will have to reflect inward.

it does seem cheesy... when i get to know a doc well, they usually talk about the $$ to me "oh do this, do that, thats where the money is". docs talk about their money, hell its all i hear my med school friends/pa school friends  talk about. lets be real here.

I am not saying i am completely in this for the money.. of course not, I do appreciate and love the science behind it. but it seems like we are just employees generating income

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7 minutes ago, TPA16 said:

I guess you are right. I will have to reflect inward.

it does seem cheesy... when i get to know a doc well, they usually talk about the $$ to me "oh do this, do that, thats where the money is". docs talk about their money, hell its all i hear my med school friends/pa school friends  talk about. lets be real here.

I am not saying i am completely in this for the money.. of course not, I do appreciate and love the science behind it. but it seems like we are just employees generating income

That is literally every job in every field.  We've all got to make a living but if your plumber showed up and duct taped your sink pipes and said, well, as long as I get paid I don't care that this won't hold long term, you'd find a new plumber.  So yea.  I talk about the money, too.  But I also want to be helping people and knowing I'm doing the best I can/the right thing when I earn that money.  

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I never said I wouldn't do a good job!, its just that... bleh, i don't even know how to express this. maybe I'm just in a funk for a bit. thank you for the discussion

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18 minutes ago, TPA16 said:

I never said I wouldn't do a good job!, its just that... bleh, i don't even know how to express this. maybe I'm just in a funk for a bit. thank you for the discussion

Speaking as someone who has left jobs (even though the money was good) because I had no drive for what I was doing (I was good at it; I did a good job) it will eat you alive.  And your unfavorable attitude will eventually show up.  It is not a long term plan.

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Just now, MT2PA said:

Speaking as someone who has left jobs (even though the money was good) because I had no drive for what I was doing (I was good at it; I did a good job) it will eat you alive.  And your unfavorable attitude will eventually show up.  It is not a long term plan.

Thank you for this. i will have to work on myself. i know I can do it

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Your thoughts are not unusual. I've worked in several other careers and everywhere you find people who primarily are motivated by the money and others who primarily are motivated by the activity. And the vast majority of people probably fall in the middle.

In the end, you need to be true to yourself. Money always matters but, moment to moment, you get to decide how much. Depending on the environment, you will likely get to decide when a few extra minutes is what is needed. My SP drilled into me that you have to know when you can speed up with a patient and when you need to slow things down.

As far as where you'd like to work and doing what, it's not surprising that you are seeing what you like and what you don't. The surgeon I rotated with said he became a surgeon because he wanted to fix things, not just manage them. That was him; I liked surgery but wanted to work with people who are -- at least most of the time -- conscious. Big or small office, city or country, hospital or clinic, specialty care or primary care. You've got lots of decisions to make.

But not today! Just continue to learn and see what factors would make the best job situation for you. And don't be hard on yourself for wondering what to do. Dissatisfaction with a situation -- even a rotation -- is a clue that some stuff matters to you more than you might have realized. Learning something about yourself is a good thing.

Good luck!

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As for me, you are right. You have your own opinion and that`s great. Do what is comfortable for you and make you happy. It`s the only correct answer! Good luck!

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1 hour ago, UGoLong said:

Your thoughts are not unusual. I've worked in several other careers and everywhere you find people who primarily are motivated by the money and others who primarily are motivated by the activity. And the vast majority of people probably fall in the middle.

In the end, you need to be true to yourself. Money always matters but, moment to moment, you get to decide how much. Depending on the environment, you will likely get to decide when a few extra minutes is what is needed. My SP drilled into me that you have to know when you can speed up with a patient and when you need to slow things down.

As far as where you'd like to work and doing what, it's not surprising that you are seeing what you like and what you don't. The surgeon I rotated with said he became a surgeon because he wanted to fix things, not just manage them. That was him; I liked surgery but wanted to work with people who are -- at least most of the time -- conscious. Big or small office, city or country, hospital or clinic, specialty care or primary care. You've got lots of decisions to make.

But not today! Just continue to learn and see what factors would make the best job situation for you. And don't be hard on yourself for wondering what to do. Dissatisfaction with a situation -- even a rotation -- is a clue that some stuff matters to you more than you might have realized. Learning something about yourself is a good thing.

Good luck!

thank you this makes sense

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but you didn't have a ton of HCE prior to applying, did you? I don't mean that in a disparaging way, but medicine is what it is and had you spent an extended period of time in the trenches before PA school you may have realized this sooner.

 

My wife is a PT and during her rotations she HATED several specialty settings. I'll tell you what I told her- figuring out what you don't like is probably more important than figuring out what you do like. Today she's in a setting she never would have picked during school and loves her job. Keep at it and you'll find your niche. If you are in this for money you picked the wrong career amigo. I wish you the best of luck! 

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I think that you may have overlooked another perspective that it sounds like would drive you nuts, just as it has myself for 34 years.  What do you do with all this care and compassion and wanting to do right by the patient when the patients themselves don't want to do right and listen to what you tell THEM?

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I feel there is a certain amount of apathy you need to be successful in this business. Maybe you would be better off in a surgical setting? 

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On 8/3/2017 at 5:23 PM, HanSolo said:

I feel there is a certain amount of apathy you need to be successful in this business. Maybe you would be better off in a surgical setting? 

I was just thinking this myself. Based off of OP's judgement on how others eat without knowing anything further about their lifestyle (how often they exercise, their functions, balances, etc.) it does seem that empathy (the word I think you meant) is something a lack thereof.

 

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