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Hey guys! I'm 24 and have recently been accepted into a PA program, but I keep having second thoughts.

My whole life I have been interested in medicine and health care. However, I am also a more quiet/introverted/awkward person and deal with social anxiety at times. For patient care hours this past year I became a phlebotomist. Although I loved learning about blood drawing and enjoyed the hands on aspect of it, the actual job itself was very draining for me. I worked at a very busy lab that saw over a 100 patients a day. Having to interact with so many patients left me feeling exhausted once I clocked out. I guess sometimes I wonder if I am making the right choice for myself career wise.

I have shadowed many PAs and enjoyed those experiences, but I know shadowing and actually doing it are two different things. I also shadowed a Pathology Assistant, thinking that may be a better fit for me, but found it slightly repetitive and actually a little too isolating. 

I was wondering if anyone else had similar worries once upon a time? If there are specialties more geared towards introvert/quiet people? Or ones that see a lower volume of patients? Or maybe this isn't the best path for me? 

Edited by lynn1862
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As a fellow introvert/misanthrope, I know where you are coming from. 

You might find patient care is not too bad. It is generally 1 on 1, and the conversations tend to generally be fairly structured with a focus. After initial pleasantries, you don't have to worry much about small talk. "What brings you here? How long has that been going on? How would you rate it on a scale of 1-10? Have you also noticed x..."

You'd probably be better off in a specialty other than something like FM or peds. For some reason, all the nephrology guys I have known are big introverts and severely intelligent. 

Edited by CJAdmission
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I'm an introvert also and had similar worries going into PA school.  Don't sweat it.  Go into an inpatient specialty and your face to face time will be more controlled/limited.  Also like CJ mentioned, patient interaction tends to be more 1 on 1.  It won't be as draining as you think.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congratulations on your acceptance!  As an introvert/quieter-type person myself, I understand your concerns.  There have been times in school and clinicals that I have felt drained from all the interaction, and I've realized that I need to not be afraid to take some time by myself to rest.  It's a discipline, because there's pressure to just keep going and wear yourself out--and while sometimes that just has to happen, you can make things better in the long term by learning to squeeze in short breaks or quiet times.  And then of course take care of your body outside of work time with proper sleep.

Best wishes for your schooling from a fellow former phlebotomist!  🙂

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Agree with much of the above.  Patient care is goal driven with a loose script for you to follow.  You'll have questions to ask with a purpose behind them. There's little small talk.  There's a defined end point (appointment time is over, results received and diagnosis made etc...).  I find I'm less socially exhausted after a busy ER shift than I am after an hour in any other social-type situation.

There is an adjustment to it.  It'll be far easier an adjustment than you think.

 

Introverts unite!  Separately!  In your own places of residence!

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