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It can be learned through constantly improving.

Slow down, complete one task one at a time. Check and recheck. Figure out where you're going wrong.

Even during PA school I've learned to be more detail-oriented and am currently on rotations and still working on it. Just going from my first semester in to my 2nd during didactic, I have learned to reread questions and not rush to answering them even if it's a gimme gimme question. It has easily raised my average exam grades 4%, which equates to about 2 questions that I would have missed by not taking the time to reread them. and those 2 questions can mean the difference between failing or passing...you will see!

I promise you faculty will be putting in those questions where they ask which of the following ISNT, or if so and so has this which will you NOT administer, and so on.

 

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It's a skill you can learn just like many other skills. Often, learning the 'why' helps in terms of staying on task. Check-lists and prep work ahead of time goes a long way. Working for a detail oriented doctor can be helpful for you to observe what skill-sets they bring to the table and adopting them. Anticipating what comes next is a big area for being detail oriented, both in life as well as in medicine. I wouldn't throw in the towel on your desire career path from the statement of one background actor in the movie that is your life.

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By "detail oriented" I assume you mean disciplined which is taught and learned but what It sounds like from this perspective is simple mental laziness. I am of a mind that people can change what they consider innate traits by simple repetition but you have to be convinced that the altering of the behavior will benefit you. Im going to be honest with you, it sounds like your current processes that you are living by probably wont cut it in PA school or an other intensive program. We all strive to minimize our energy expenditure due to evolutionary adaptions, but just like the similar adaption the desire to eat excessively, you have to overcome the programmed laziness in order to truly optimize your potential. 

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On 8/22/2019 at 10:17 PM, belozory said:

I do not consider myself a "detail oriented" person. I work for a doctor right now who is concerned that the field might not be for me due to this one trait. What do you think? I keep wondering wether being detail oriented is innate or if it is a skill that can be learned.

Very little in life is "innate", though I will never be on a superbowl team. That said, before starting a new career, you should understand what is required and then decide if you're willing to pay that price.

I am not sure what not being "detail oriented" means in your context. As a PA, patients will be putting their health in your hands and they will naturally assume that you will be attentive to the details of their care. For example, treating their complaints with a fresh mind, not assuming it's just exactly the same diagnosis as four patients ago. Not succumbing to always treating empirically and actually investigate their complaints. Using a process to interpret a test, not blowing it off as "it's OK." Waking up in the middle of the night with an "aha" and then acting on your suspicions.

Assuming you really want to be detail oriented, you can develop your skills in that direction. If you're not sure that you want to be detail oriented, then probably not.

We're interested in what be not detailed oriented means to you.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 8/23/2019 at 4:34 PM, Endeavor said:

What do YOU mean by "detail oriented"? Can you give some specific examples? @belozory

As an example, I was hired six months ago as a scribe. I have scribed before but this is was a new program and occasionally I left the ROS or some other part of the note blank. In addition, I got my phlebotomy cert and was expected to do PRP procedures without any real written instruction. The first time I did the procedure by myself, I had two back to back and messed up because I forgot to put anticoagulant in the syringe when I was drawing the blood. 

 

I wonder if I have had bad training but also I have always had issues with forgetting details of things or having poor craftsmanship in art. I used to be an aquatics director and did fine with those kinds of things.  

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53 minutes ago, belozory said:

As an example, I was hired six months ago as a scribe. I have scribed before but this is was a new program and occasionally I left the ROS or some other part of the note blank. In addition, I got my phlebotomy cert and was expected to do PRP procedures without any real written instruction. The first time I did the procedure by myself, I had two back to back and messed up because I forgot to put anticoagulant in the syringe when I was drawing the blood. 

 

I wonder if I have had bad training but also I have always had issues with forgetting details of things or having poor craftsmanship in art. I used to be an aquatics director and did fine with those kinds of things.  

Sounds like you're just a human who forgets things. I find myself having poor craftsmanship as well, but primarily because I was never interested/ didn't practice too much. With practice comes permanence. Medicine is a wide-ranging field. Perhaps you won't be the best at surgery or procedural skills (more detail oriented) but will be just fine doing inpatient medicine or Psych and that's OK. I wouldn't let that deter you, especially if you have what it takes to get into, and ultimately pass PA school.

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