Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello there,

This is my first time writing on the PA forum. I’ve been having really bad anxiety since the start of rotations and need some words of wisdom.

I have been a very good student all my life. I maintained above a 3.5 GPA throughout my undergrad and I received As and Bs in all my classes though out my didactic year of PA school. I have passed all my EOREs and received good evaluations from my preceptors for the rotations I had so far,  but I feel like I forget everything I learned from my previous rotations and didactic year, thus, I feel dumb and I feel like a fraud.  I am currently on my 5th rotation (which is Cardiology) and I am still not feeling confident in myself and feel like I am no where close to being the PA I want to be.

I grew up having ADHD and have taken various medication since I was young, but I feel like my medication no longer works because my anxiety is so bad that I can’t study during my down time. Also, my anxiety is affecting the way I think, communicate with peers and patients, and even sleep. I take medication for anxiety, but I do not want to increase the dose until I get my sleep problems taken care of.  I feel like I should take a step back and take care of my own health first, but I am so close to graduating and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to start my career feeling burnt out and not getting nights of sleep because of feeling incompetent. Just looking for some advice.

Thank you!

Edited by Detroiterpa93

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are feeling like every PA student... with a little extra anxiety which seems to be recurrent. Remember that clinical rotations are designed for exposure not mastery. You will not become an expert cardiologist or orthopod or whatever in one clinical rotation, and that does not make you incompetent. A healthy fear of not knowing everything is a good thing, and knowing your limitations is a benefit to you, your patients, and your immediate team. 

Push through and manage your anxiety as best you can, and if that means med adjustments I would advise that. You're close to the next bench mark, as there is no finish line- you will be a lifelong learner. Graduate no matter what. 

Edited by deltawave
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's pretty normal to not feel 100% confident. Keep in mind that your preceptor doesn't expect you to know everything, but they expect you to ask questions and be a good student. Anytime I don't know something I'll write it down and look it up when I get off. I don't want to get caught not knowing it next time around. 

As far as the anxiety goes, I used to get so anxious that I would get nauseous. One thing that helped was I started challenging my bad thoughts. Anytime I would have an irrational thought like “I’m going to bomb” I would remind myself “I am not going to bomb. I’m just nervous. I’m prepared and I cant expect everything to be perfect, some things will go well and some wont. That's ok.” If you remember to shut down those thoughts eventually you will automatically do it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have said, a ~ 1 month rotation is an exposure to an area, no where enough time to achieve comfort, much less mastery.  I recall that I had a series of cycles that began with total fear to some slight comfort with the simple routine tasks of each part of medicine.  Remember, every rotation you're learning a new culture, facility, personalities, as well as the medicine.  How long did it take you to learn your way around the facility, where the restrooms and food sources were, etc?  Your level of fear is good - it shows you appreciate the significance of each part of medicine and the risks of doing it wrong.

Think about how long physician residencies are, with the shortest being 3 years.  That's the standard to become a solid beginner in medicine.  Please prepare yourself: it will probably take at least that long practicing in an area to feel confident.

So, push through it now.  Please do your best to find a first job that's a good learning environment.  I didn't do a residency, due to needing to get back to my family.  My first FT EM job was that good learning environment - and I still had many days of doubt, days of being yelled at by consultants (mostly because I didn't yet know how to do a good enough job - some because they weren't good people).  At about the 3 year mark I began to hit the flattening of the learning curve.  All of this, plus extra outside learning, paid off.  I now have a very autonomous EM job at a critical access hospital.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Lk56123
      I am currently working on finishing out my second to last didactic semester and starting to plan for clinical rotations.  I worked as a ED tech prior to PA school and loved it.  I also worked a telemetry/cardiac floor tech and between that and lots of shadowing was most interested in EM.  I would consider primary care and hospital medicine as well.  
       
      Is an emergency medicine residency a must in order to work ED? Can anyone give pros and cons? I am interested in a residency, but also would consider primary care or hospitalist medicine and maybe transitioning to ER eventually if I could not get an ER job right away without residency.  Is that unreasonable to think of transitioning? 
       
      As far as rotations are there any rotations to try to get to either prepare for a EM residency or to apply for ED jobs without residency? We have 3 electives, plan to do extra EM electives.  Is that the best way to use all 3 extra electives? Or add Trauma surgery, urgent care, critical care/ICU? 
    • By ezieba2
      Hello All!
      In search of preceptors!! I am currently a PAS1 student and our school is looking to expand our clinical rotations for next year. I would absolutely love to do my rotations at home in Chicago and our school will allow us to plan away rotations if we make contacts and provide the preceptor (can be PA, NP, DO, or MD). BUT rotations anywhere are very welcome!!! 
      If you, or any of your colleagues would welcome a student rotation in your office please PM me. I would greatly appreciate any and all advice, Thank you!
    • By chandlerjonesuga
      Hey, I'm just rolling through to see if I can help expand your studying database.  Check out this post of various resources you can utilize to help you ACE the EOR exams, and eventually the PANCE!!!  I hope this helps... The final link is to my personal study guides, yes I know I do the most!
      https://randomjournalposts.blogspot.com/2020/02/how-to-study-in-pa-school.html
    • By mliggett
      Hey all -- 
      New to the forum. I'm a post-BA student with a degree in Geography/Economics, where I focused on community development and the more sociological side of things... Years after my graduation, I decided to take the plunge into the medical field instead. I currently am an EMS worker with the goal to be involved with the Global Health field in the future (main interest in water/sanitation/infectious diseases, etc.).. Given the short background, my thought process is directed at doing a P.A. program with the hopes of being able to utilize that both domestically and abroad... 
      SO -- I suppose my main questions are: 
      1.) Does this seem like a good approach, given my main interest being in global health? I'm currently 29 -- so to try and backtrack at this point and attempt to go to Med School seems like an idea I'm being nudged away from... especially from physicians I've met en route at hospitals and others that I know. 
      Additionally -- I'm wondering if there are any sorts of databases that show P.A. programs with International Clinical Elective rotations? Going from site to site to try and find my best case scenario is becoming somewhat wasteful in terms of time utilization it seems. OR -- better yet, have you heard of any programs that seem to offer this opportunity and/or are the best types of programs for this interest?
      May seem like a pretty broad and rounded question, but thought maybe you all could offer some insight. Thanks a ton!
       
      Michael 
    • By lmj1024
      Hello,
      I am a first year PA student at Kettering College in Kettering, Ohio. I am from Michigan in the Metro-Detroit area and am hoping to come back to Michigan to do my clinical rotations starting in early September 2018. I will be living in the Metro-Detroit area so I am looking for rotations around that area or in Toledo, but I'm open to other ares in Michigan or Northern Ohio. If anyone knows of any rotation opportunities or preceptors that are taking PA students please let me know. Any advice or direction is greatly appreciated!
       
      Thanks!
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More