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Transitioning from specialty to primary care?

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Hi everyone!

I am a graduating PA and am currently looking for outpatient jobs, particularly in primary care. From what I have heard and seen, many primary care clinics are going through hiring freezes, and the few positions I have seen have required 2-5 years of experience. I have applied to them anyway in case they take a look at my CV and consider me, but they have either not contacted me or told me that I do not have enough experience.

I had a good first and second interview for an endocrine PA position. I do like endocrine, however I believe at least 90% of my time will involve working only on diabetes management. If I am offered this position--or if I am offered a position in another specialty that I do not see myself in long-term--should I take it to get experience (and a paycheck)? Should I wait it out hoping for a primary care position? If I take a specialty position will I be less desirable as a future applicant for primary care positions? The job market is difficult, generally, for any new grads, but the pandemic seems to have made things a bit harder as well. 

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If the office environment seems conducive to allowing you to grow/ get the guidance you need as a new grad, you have some interest in endocrinology, and if the offer is right for you go for it!  There are many offices out there that will value your experience in endocrinology, it's a 6 month wait in my system for an appointment with them.  This allows you to bring some of that care to the primary care office.  You will be seeing people with endocrinology conditions who also have comorbid conditions (such as obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, etc... For DM) so even transitioning later wouldn't be completely new (a ton of primary care pts have DM that is poorly controlled).

 

Personally I worked in psychiatry for over 1 year prior to primary care.  My experience in psychiatry helped me in my transition and has been invaluable for the patients in the office.  It took some reading, CME, and up-to-date to be a jack of all trades, but it is doable!

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Any port in a storm.  And you don’t want to lose to your cat to chew on your shoes for food.

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I agree with the above. Number one, you don't know when that perfect primary care job is going to come around so take any good job offer in these times The longer you go without working, the harder it's going to be to get back into the mindset not to mention the hit to your bank account. Secondly, even 1 year of endocrine experience makes you much more desirable later on when transitioning to primary care. I would guess that in many IM clinics, nearly 50% of patients have DM. Lastly, you may love a specialty and never leave it. There are a lot of benefits to working in specialty care. Just think, no GU issues, weird rashes, etc. 

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