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!
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:
Does anyone use any of these? I find it useful with my patients to have for 2 reasons:
1- It gives you a number for future reference, to use as a base line for tracking patient progress.
2- Something objective in the patient's own hand to scan into the record for future reference.
If anyone is interested I have about 15 different ones I use. I also made short MACROS for pasting into the PE section when having the patient fill one out. Bonus: while the patient is filling out the assessment, I update the EMR, check the PMP and look at the intake documents.
Tomorrow I am posting a dilemma that I have been struggling with.... Stay tuned and please comment..
How to deal with excessive TEST ANXIETY
I am a high stress / high anxiety test taker. I took and passed the PANRE in 8/2014. Here is some of the research I did to help deal with the stress.
A study in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment compared thirty five university students with ADHD and one hundred and eighty five typical peers on measures of speed, test anxiety, reading comprehension, vocabulary, test taking skills and time management. Surprisingly there was no significant differences between students with and without ADHD outside test anxiety. There was significant differences with anxiety during, and perceptions of, test taking. It appears that students with ADHD perform similarly to peers on timed reading tests, although they perception of performance was less and worried significantly about their performance.
The take home message is that if you suffer from test taking anxiety it is important not to label yourself, drop the negative thoughts. The label is a cognitive disorder and will do more harm than good.
Strategies for overcoming test anxiety.
1. Be prepared i.e. Joe’s @PABoardReview.org or other accredited test prep. programs, PANCE/PANRE review books.
2. Practice test questions in duration and complexity that mimic the PANCE/PANRE
3. Meditation. The PA Program @Touro University Nevada teach their students Koru “Jon Kabat-Zinn” University of Mass Mindfulness for stress relief.
Reference: Test Anxiety and College Students With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment September 1, 2014 32: 548-557