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Took a job but already having doubts


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Hello,

A few weeks ago I accepted my first position in ortho surgery at a private practice. I feel as though I'm already having doubts and I'm not sure what to do. I accepted an offer that starts in April. I haven't seen a single patient yet, and haven't been paid any of my salary. The doubts are stemming from a few things..

I have been basically guilted into coming in for the last three weeks for "credentialing and shadowing" where I'm being paid $25/hr.. less than half the salary. This was never mentioned in the offer. Multiple times have I brought up that I shouldn't be paid half for training, but they really don't budge. They won't pay me full until I'm credentialed fully. 

I'm supposed to move into a new apartment in a week. When I asked, since my contract time hasn't even started, if I could take a few days to move.. my SP/CP said to do it on a Saturday.

I've already noticed that the PA i'm replacing sees about 30-35 patients per clinic day. They double and even triple book his every other appointment. His notes eat into his lunch, and he struggles to get them done before the day ends, even with 12 years experience. I've already been told that this won't be expected of me.. but how long before I have that to look forward to? I feel like I will burn out so quickly..worsened by my next point.

I've learned that I have little to no interest in orthopedics very quickly.. I really want to do emergency medicine and took the job hoping the experience would be good for future applications. I'm already bored out of my mind seeing 25 knees a day. I know this is my fault and I can own up to it.

What should I do? Be unhappy for x amount of time? Work the position while still applying for other positions? FYI, I'm pretty sure that while going over initial paperwork that it said both the employee and employer may terminate employment for any reason within 6 months of starting so I'm not worried about that being stuck.

Any advice appreciated!

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After following the sagas of a couple of other recent new grads on these forums, I'm going to say that if your gut is telling you this job doesn't bode well for the future, you are probably right.

If you want EM, I would keep applying for those positions. If the local market is not new-grad friendly, you may need to consider moving out-of-state. There are new grad friendly groups out there. My classmate (who is from Mass-area) recently signed a contract with the local EM group (we are a little under 1000 miles away from her hometown). I'm conducting a site visit next week with an EM group in California.

Good luck! 

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2 hours ago, Monte said:

Hello,

A few weeks ago I accepted my first position in ortho surgery at a private practice. I feel as though I'm already having doubts and I'm not sure what to do. The doubts are stemming from a few things..

I accepted an offer that was suppose to start in April. I have been basically guilted into coming in for the last three weeks for "credentialing and shadowing" where I'm being paid $25/hr.. less than half the salary. This was never mentioned in the offer. Multiple times have I brought up that I shouldn't be paid half for training, but they really don't budge. They won't pay me full until I'm credentialed fully. The shadowing is absolutely training, and worse every time we walk into a patient's room my CP/SP says to the patient, "this is *my name*, my new assistant."

I'm supposed to move into a new apartment in a week. When I asked, since my contract time hasn't even started, if I could take a few days to move.. my SP/CP said to do it on a Saturday.

I've already noticed that the PA i'm replacing sees about 30-35 patients per clinic day. They double and even triple book his every other appointment. His notes eat into his lunch, and he struggles to get them done before the day ends, even with 12 years experience. I've already been told that this won't be expected of me.. but how long before I have that to look forward to? I feel like I will burn out so quickly..worsened by my next point.

I have zero core interest in orthopedics.. I really want to do emergency medicine and took the job hoping the experience would be good for future applications. I'm already bored out of my mind seeing 25 knees a day.

What should I do? Be unhappy for x amount of time? Work the position while still applying for other positions? FYI, I'm pretty sure that while going over initial paperwork that it said both the employee and employer may terminate employment for any reason within 6 months of starting so I'm not worried about that being stuck.

Any advice appreciated!

Unfortunately, you got yourself into this position knowing you had no interest in it and only using it as a stepping stone, so own up to it. It's messed up to back out now but only you can decide if the bridge is worth burning. After all, you technically haven't even started yet, at least according to your contract. 

Talk to your employer. A contract is a contract. Does it list training pay or training period? You've unfortunately set up the precedent that you'll work before your contracted start date and for low pay and backpedaling now will be difficult. 

Gen ortho/sports med is very narrow and limits your scope as a new grad, especially if you want to into ER. You can try to own up to your mistake, suck it up, learn from it, learn all you can ortho-wise, make your money, and then find a position elsewhere. But once again, that's for you to decide. 

I don't have any advice on what looks better on applications. It's a crappy situation that you've gotten yourself into, so I don't think there's really going to be a clean or easy way out, but good luck.

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9 minutes ago, Sed said:

Unfortunately, you got yourself into this position knowing you had no interest in it and only using it as a stepping stone, so own up to it. It's messed up to back out now but only you can decide if the bridge is worth burning. After all, you technically haven't even started yet, at least according to your contract. 

Talk to your employer. A contract is a contract. Does it list training pay or training period? You've unfortunately set up the precedent that you'll work before your contracted start date and for low pay and backpedaling now will be difficult. 

Gen ortho/sports med is very narrow and limits your scope as a new grad, especially if you want to into ER. You can try to own up to your mistake, suck it up, learn from it, learn all you can ortho-wise, make your money, and then find a position elsewhere. But once again, that's for you to decide. 

I don't have any advice on what looks better on applications. It's a crappy situation that you've gotten yourself into, so I don't think there's really going to be a clean or easy way out, but good luck.

There was nothing about training pay in the contract, no. How would applications from here work, is it mandatory to list a position you worked for a month? But yes, I know it's my fault on the interest part. 

 

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1 hour ago, jeepgirl said:

After following the sagas of a couple of other recent new grads on these forums, I'm going to say that if your gut is telling you this job doesn't bode well for the future, you are probably right.

If you want EM, I would keep applying for those positions. If the local market is not new-grad friendly, you may need to consider moving out-of-state. There are new grad friendly groups out there. My classmate (who is from Mass-area) recently signed a contract with the local EM group (we are a little under 1000 miles away from her hometown). I'm conducting a site visit next week with an EM group in California.

Good luck! 

It's definitely tough! I just felt so hard-pressed to take a job because nothing was panning out besides ortho. Good luck with your visit and thanks for your input!

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59 minutes ago, Monte said:

There was nothing about training pay in the contract, no. How would applications from here work, is it mandatory to list a position you worked for a month? But yes, I know it's my fault on the interest part. 

 

It's not mandatory. You've done a trial period, felt it wasn't for you. Don't list it on your CV. My advice: leave and go do what it is you think you want to be doing - things only get worse from here. I worked at a spine surgery center for all of 4 weeks. Very similar story to yours, although I was paid in full during my training period. I could see through the cracks pretty quickly that it was a miserable work environment, I didn't have any passion for seeing back pain patients and the physicians viewed PAs as work horses rather than colleagues. I left (position isn't listed on my CV as I didn't even complete the training period), took a job in Urgent Care and haven't looked back. One of the best decisions of my life.

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2 minutes ago, beattie228 said:

It's not mandatory. You've done a trial period, felt it wasn't for you. Don't list it on your CV. My advice: leave and go do what it is you think you want to be doing - things only get worse from here. I worked at a spine surgery center for all of 4 weeks. Very similar story to yours, although I was paid in full during my training period. I could see through the cracks pretty quickly that it was a miserable work environment, I didn't have any passion for seeing back pain patients and the physicians viewed PAs as work horses rather than colleagues. I left (position isn't listed on my CV as I didn't even complete the training period), took a job in Urgent Care and haven't looked back. One of the best decisions of my life.

Such a similar story! I honestly went into it positively.. and I feel like if I was seeing 20 patients a day it would be fine. Being able to take it slow and talk to people is great no matter the speciality for me, But if I were to see 30, that's the burnout I worry about already. I suppose I really just need a glimpse of hope that I can find something in UC/ER to make the final call. Thank you for your input!

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1 hour ago, Monte said:

It's definitely tough! I just felt so hard-pressed to take a job because nothing was panning out besides ortho. Good luck with your visit and thanks for your input!

Thanks.

Definitely read your contract, make sure you understand everything. You haven't technically started the contract yet so if you're considering walking away, now is the time to do it. If you wait until after the start date, it will definitely be more difficult.

If you can make it down to NYC, there is a Practice Match Job Fair scheduled for April 7. It might be a good opportunity to meet APP recruiters and network your way into a job. I have attended a Practice Match Virtual Job Fair and it resulted in a couple of solid leads that have lead to an offer.

https://www.practicematch.com/physicians/career-fairs-and-events/career-fairs.cfm

Again, best of luck.

 

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It's not mandatory. You've done a trial period, felt it wasn't for you. Don't list it on your CV. My advice: leave and go do what it is you think you want to be doing - things only get worse from here. I worked at a spine surgery center for all of 4 weeks. Very similar story to yours, although I was paid in full during my training period. I could see through the cracks pretty quickly that it was a miserable work environment, I didn't have any passion for seeing back pain patients and the physicians viewed PAs as work horses rather than colleagues. I left (position isn't listed on my CV as I didn't even complete the training period), took a job in Urgent Care and haven't looked back. One of the best decisions of my life.


I don’t think that this is unusual. You won’t be doing the surgery, it’s a complicated sub-specialty (been there, done that), and realistically you’re not in a position to be turned loose on these folks right out of school. It took me three years back in the mid-80’s to start to feel really comfortable with that crowd dynamic and the surgeons. One of the best compliments I’ve gotten was when I was told when I left for cardiology that I could assess a new spine pt. better than FP/IM docs.
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2 hours ago, Monte said:

There was nothing about training pay in the contract, no. How would applications from here work, is it mandatory to list a position you worked for a month? But yes, I know it's my fault on the interest part. 

 

Did you actually work though? Sounds like you just shadowed. I wouldn't bother listing it since you didn't do any medicine or surgery.

I hear of a lot of new grads go where the money is rather than a good, supportive work environment and then situations like this happen. My post was harsh and I apologize for that. I'm sure you didn't need me pointing it out. Take your time finding a first job that's a good fit, pays decently, and helps you grow as a PA. If the money is there too, then that's icing on the cake. 

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14 minutes ago, Sed said:

Did you actually work though? Sounds like you just shadowed. I wouldn't bother listing it since you didn't do any medicine or surgery.

I hear of a lot of new grads go where the money is rather than a good, supportive work environment and then situations like this happen. My post was harsh and I apologize for that. I'm sure you didn't need me pointing it out. Take your time finding a first job that's a good fit, pays decently, and helps you grow as a PA. If the money is there too, then that's icing on the cake. 

Hey Sed! It's okay. No I haven't worked a day, just shadowed. But yes this should be a PSA to new grads to not accept a job you're on the fence about. At this point I'm going to apply for more jobs this week. I still have time before I start working but will have to make a decision soon!

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2 hours ago, Monte said:

Hey Sed! It's okay. No I haven't worked a day, just shadowed. But yes this should be a PSA to new grads to not accept a job you're on the fence about. At this point I'm going to apply for more jobs this week. I still have time before I start working but will have to make a decision soon!

I encourage you to read the sticky in the contracts category called, "don't do this new grads!"

Start to network like crazy, ask around, look through state association and field-specific ad boards, etc. If all else fails, consider taking a FM or rural medicine position where you can develop as a practitioner while keeping up your general knowledge base, and then try to get a per diem gig on off days to get your foot into the UC and eventually ER realm. Just my orthopod two cents.

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Hello,
A few weeks ago I accepted my first position in ortho surgery at a private practice. I feel as though I'm already having doubts and I'm not sure what to do. I accepted an offer that starts in April. I haven't seen a single patient yet, and haven't been paid any of my salary. The doubts are stemming from a few things..
I have been basically guilted into coming in for the last three weeks for "credentialing and shadowing" where I'm being paid $25/hr.. less than half the salary. This was never mentioned in the offer. Multiple times have I brought up that I shouldn't be paid half for training, but they really don't budge. They won't pay me full until I'm credentialed fully. 
I'm supposed to move into a new apartment in a week. When I asked, since my contract time hasn't even started, if I could take a few days to move.. my SP/CP said to do it on a Saturday.
I've already noticed that the PA i'm replacing sees about 30-35 patients per clinic day. They double and even triple book his every other appointment. His notes eat into his lunch, and he struggles to get them done before the day ends, even with 12 years experience. I've already been told that this won't be expected of me.. but how long before I have that to look forward to? I feel like I will burn out so quickly..worsened by my next point.
I've learned that I have little to no interest in orthopedics very quickly.. I really want to do emergency medicine and took the job hoping the experience would be good for future applications. I'm already bored out of my mind seeing 25 knees a day. I know this is my fault and I can own up to it.
What should I do? Be unhappy for x amount of time? Work the position while still applying for other positions? FYI, I'm pretty sure that while going over initial paperwork that it said both the employee and employer may terminate employment for any reason within 6 months of starting so I'm not worried about that being stuck.
Any advice appreciated!
This is a rough start. I'd always advise new grads to go over things with diligence and even a fine toothed comb when starting. This half salary to start is awful and insulting. If you didn't have a new apartment, I'd say, get out of that job NOW. However, since you do, perhaps you should actively look for a position now. ...or discuss openly what you expect... meaning your salary etc.. I absolutely would, if I were there.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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17 hours ago, Noreaster said:

This is a rough start. I'd always advise new grads to go over things with diligence and even a fine toothed comb when starting. This half salary to start is awful and insulting. If you didn't have a new apartment, I'd say, get out of that job NOW. However, since you do, perhaps you should actively look for a position now. ...or discuss openly what you expect... meaning your salary etc.. I absolutely would, if I were there.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

I honestly need an apartment in the area so that isn't really a big deal. I think that this week, and until credentialed, I'm going to only go in to "shadow" surgical days. Also going to keep applying for jobs in the meantime! Thanks to everyone who posted!

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Another perspective:

Your contract hasn't started yet, you are shadowing and paid half-pay....and you "ask" for a day off to move.

Suggestion:  don't "ask" for things like that.  Just schedule it.  Tell the scheduler you won't be in on Tuesday This is simple when you have no clinical responsibilities, more difficult if you are scheduled to see patients.

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On 28/03/2018 at 0:56 PM, Boatswain2PA said:

Another perspective:

Your contract hasn't started yet, you are shadowing and paid half-pay....and you "ask" for a day off to move.

Suggestion:  don't "ask" for things like that.  Just schedule it.  Tell the scheduler you won't be in on Tuesday This is simple when you have no clinical responsibilities, more difficult if you are scheduled to see patients.

You're right, you'd be happy to know that's what I've been doing this week, and next week when I move. Thanks!

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