First and foremost, I appreciate any and all feedback. I am a December 2019 graduate and am starting my first PA job this week (amongst the COVID crisis...perfect timing...)
I have, for as long as I can remember, struggled with feeling like I don't belong, am not good enough, am not smart enough, etc. and this has transformed into anxiety about being an inadequate provider. I am extremely excited to start caring for patients and I have the desire to learn as much as I possibly can, but I constantly have this nagging thought at the back of my head telling me that I am going to fail. That I'll hurt people due to lack of knowledge. That my attending and peers will think I'm dumb or that I'm not catching on quick enough.
For those of you who have been practicing for a while, or even if you're a new grad who has found ways to deal with this - please help! I need some reassurance that my fellow PAs have not only felt this way, but found ways to overcome it. Thanks again!
Need some help/advice for dealing with anxiety.
I just started my first quarter of PA school about a month ago. At first glance, everything is seemingly going great- classmates are nice and I have made A's on all exams up to this point.
However, I have been dealing with a LOT of anxiety since day 1. It makes me feel not like myself at all! It has turned me into a quiet, sheepish, and slightly awkward person. I hate this.
At first, it was believing I wasn't as smart as my peers or outgoing enough (so, more of a social intimidation, unintentionally). Then, I convinced myself I'd probably not make it through the first quarter because of the sheer volume of info. Now that I've proved to myself I can conquer the material (so far), I still feel insecure because I find it difficult to connect with my peers. Sometimes I feel like I can't be my true self around them since we are supposed to maintain our professionalism.
Overall, I just feel a bit lonely and anxious with moving out of state and starting this rigorous program and I don't feel like I have an outlet. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, honestly why I am posting about this anonymously. I don't like to ask for help- and actually no one who knows me knows I struggle with this. But this kind of anxiety is a new beast I haven't dealt with before. Almost feels like my throat is being strangled :/. Considering therapy, but who has time for that??
Will any of this get better?
IMHO there is a great deal of potential in this specialty.
This article is a few months old but the numbers are solid...
According to this article ' Nationally about 1,800 PAs, or roughly 2% of the total number practicing, specialize in psychiatry'.
Looking at Psychiatrist shortage ' From 2003 to 2013, the number of practicing psychiatrists declined by 0.2%, to 37,889 nationally by 2013. During the same decade, the number of adult primary care doctors increased by 9.5%, to 211,121 total, and by 14.2% to 862,444 among physicians overall'. ' By 2015, 60% were 55 years or older'.
I know.... You are thinking that new grads need experience for this type of work. This is not true. The right personality and an opportunity are all you need.... That and a desire to work in mental health, I should say...
Of course you can apply for a clerkship. I found 7 programs here: