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I am in semester 3 or 4 in didactic year of PA school. I took the fast-forward route so I went straight into a BS-MS combined program right out of high school. This PA program is all I've ever known of college. But I am in semester 3 of didactic year and I just don't know if I can bring myself to continue. This program has completely drained me of my desire to be a PA. I no longer want to work clinically. Every single new thing we're taught about what being a PA involves is something I don't want to do. I don’t want to be in charge, I don’t want to be responsible for patients, I don’t want to prescribe medications, I don't want to do any of the stupid procedures we've been taught in class like venipuncture or IV or urinary catheters. I don’t want to write stupid SOAP notes every day for the rest of my life, I don’t want to get yelled at by rude doctors or rude patients every day. I don’t really care about learning the "art of medicine" or trying to help people get healthy when they don't even want to be healthy in the first place half the time. I hate everything about what the PA profession is thanks to my school, which has made me dread waking up every morning and have to attend classes. All my program has done is made me regret choosing to be a PA and makes me feel like I can't do anything correctly every single day of the week. I want to quit, but I also don't know what to do if I do quit, because technically I haven't even earned my BS yet - we are given both our BS and our MS at the end of our five years. I've thought about just finishing my BS at my current school and just doing a general health sciences degree or something, but I don't really think I want to go into health sciences anymore. What I really want to do is teach Gross Anatomy, either at a college level or even teach an anatomy class at a high school level. That's what I'm passionate about. But I don't have the financial resources to try and get a PhD in anatomy or something along those lines. And quite frankly, PA school has put me off of continuing any journey in higher education. I don't think I have the mental motivation to go back to school if I quit PA school. So basically, I'm looking for any advice or any ideas anyone has about what to do if I decide to quit (which is highly likely at this point in time). 

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3 hours ago, pashustudent2021 said:

I am in semester 3 or 4 in didactic year of PA school. I took the fast-forward route so I went straight into a BS-MS combined program right out of high school. This PA program is all I've ever known of college. But I am in semester 3 of didactic year and I just don't know if I can bring myself to continue. This program has completely drained me of my desire to be a PA. I no longer want to work clinically. Every single new thing we're taught about what being a PA involves is something I don't want to do. I don’t want to be in charge, I don’t want to be responsible for patients, I don’t want to prescribe medications, I don't want to do any of the stupid procedures we've been taught in class like venipuncture or IV or urinary catheters. I don’t want to write stupid SOAP notes every day for the rest of my life, I don’t want to get yelled at by rude doctors or rude patients every day. I don’t really care about learning the "art of medicine" or trying to help people get healthy when they don't even want to be healthy in the first place half the time. I hate everything about what the PA profession is thanks to my school, which has made me dread waking up every morning and have to attend classes. All my program has done is made me regret choosing to be a PA and makes me feel like I can't do anything correctly every single day of the week. I want to quit, but I also don't know what to do if I do quit, because technically I haven't even earned my BS yet - we are given both our BS and our MS at the end of our five years. I've thought about just finishing my BS at my current school and just doing a general health sciences degree or something, but I don't really think I want to go into health sciences anymore. What I really want to do is teach Gross Anatomy, either at a college level or even teach an anatomy class at a high school level. That's what I'm passionate about. But I don't have the financial resources to try and get a PhD in anatomy or something along those lines. And quite frankly, PA school has put me off of continuing any journey in higher education. I don't think I have the mental motivation to go back to school if I quit PA school. So basically, I'm looking for any advice or any ideas anyone has about what to do if I decide to quit (which is highly likely at this point in time). 

The only thing more tragic than finally finding out what you want to do in life... is not using that insight.

No, it won't be easy to quit PA school and go learn to be an anatomy instructor.  But if you continue on in your PA program, you're just going to be miserable, older, and more in debt when you finally give up and pursue what you've finally ascertained you want to do.

Unfortunately, your story is far from uncommon.  I tend to NOT recommend people do the 5-year PA BS/MS programs because of it--you don't have a chance to learn what it means to be an adult, let alone grow into one yourself, before being thrust into the role of medical provider.

Transition, especially when it means letting go, is tough, but it sounds to be a better alternative than sticking with a course of action you will regret.

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I feel for you; you may indeed be in the wrong career. And I agree with Rev regarding the issues with signing up for any long education path at 17 that ends up in a specialized advanced degree without first getting a chance to see all that's out there.

That said, the fact that you now hate literally everything about being a PA can be a red flag. Maybe something that recently happened started this line of reasoning for you and maybe that one thing is the real issue?

I remember talking to one of my kids when they were absolutely so down on something that they could think of not one good thing about it. It usually meant that their judgment was so clouded by their emotions that they didn't have the energy -- or the perspective -- to work their way out of what often turned out to be an identifiable -- and workable -- current problem. My daughter's fiance at the time (now her husband) referred to it as "She doesn't care what you say; the world is going to end tomorrow!"

I can't tell how far you are away from clinicals or how much of an opportunity you've had to see directly what life is like as a PA. As a believer in the concept that spending a few hours in a job situation is worth more than months of thinking about it, I would encourage you do take some time over the upcoming vacations to do just that.

If, after that, you decide that you really are in the wrong place, what to do next? Only you know that but, if it were me (and it's not), I'd get some kind of BS as quickly (and cheaply) as I could and then move on. Look into what it would take to finish where you are; going someone else may set you back years (and more dollars.) After you have a BS -- in almost anything -- you can change your career directions and get a masters or some additional classes and be qualified to do something else.

And before you pick a different career, spend some time in it, working or shadowing. 

Good luck. One way or another, you'll get out of this. Don't despair.

Edited by UGoLong

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