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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

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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

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