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Seeking advice on leaving toxic PCE job gracefully

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I've worked as a medical assistant full time for the past 6 weeks. According to my friend at work, most new MAs at this clinic leave after about 2 months. They've had ~50 people quit or be fired in the past 5 years. The whole office has a staff of 13. The ones who have stuck around are all young mothers with tragically low incomes. Sexual harassment, ethics and labor violations, negativity, and weird abusive behaviors are rampant in the work culture at this small clinic and I don't want any part in it anymore.

So far I've gained about 200 hours of PCE from this job, but I'm actively applying to others. I have other jobs and sources of income already, so I could quit and still make ends meet, albeit less comfortably, but I was very excited about this job and want to keep the momentum going with something similar. I love my time with patients and still feel like I'm gaining valuable experience, but I know I could have those experiences in a better work environment.

The final straw for me was being told to falsify treatment plans for patients, saying that my supervising physician reviewed results and treatment plans that they did NOT review with the patient at all. This is, of course, in the interest of trumping up the charge codes for the doctor to make $40 more or something. I'm ashamed, but I typed up and signed off on two false reports so that I could go home at 6p on Friday.

Anyway, the place is a mess and I'm sick of working there. It seems like all of my co-workers hate working there, as well. How can I move forward in terms of toughing it out/quitting, speaking about this problem to potential employers, or including the experience on my CASPA?

I plan to apply for my first cycle Spring 2021, and have about 2300 hrs of paid patient care, 1800 in the last four years.


Edited by disgruntled
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In my opinion, you already have a respectable amount of PCE and you still have a good chunk of time until the next cycle opens. I would definitely prioritize your sanity and quit. Since you have only been working there 6 weeks, you probably don't want to include this experience on a job resume, but I do not see why you can't include it on CASPA. On CASPA, you fill out your start and end date, your average hours worked per week x how many weeks you were there, and your job responsibilities. They do not ask about why you left or anything like that, and I never got that sort of question in interviews either. Now, maybe if you have a long history of job hopping, programs may notice that and question it? But I had two short-term jobs listed on my CASPA and it was never brought up (one of them was about 6 weeks long, like yours). So I think you would be fine.

As far as how you should exit - since you probably won't include this on a job resume, then you probably don't need to leave with 2 weeks notice. It is considered the polite thing to do, but I wouldn't do it if I felt my work environment was truly toxic. You need to take care of yourself and your own mental health, because at the end of the day, that matters way more than a job.

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Hi! Thanks for your honest post. I can relate a bit in that I previously had a medical employer with many toxic and borderline-unethical practices (would be happy to discuss via PM if you want to chat in more detail), and more recently worked somewhere for only 2 weeks before deciding to accept a different job offer instead. In my experience, "less is more " is best -- you don't need to get into all the dirty details, sometimes jobs just don't work out or aren't a good fit. As long as it's a one-time thing and not a pattern it's generally ok, because otherwise a pattern suggests either 1) something wrong with the employee, or 2) just bad judgment in selecting employers. I think that most of us at one time or another have started a job that seemed like a great opportunity, only to have the rose-colored glasses fade and see that it wasn't what we thought it was. I think the key is getting another job lined up and leaving your current one to start the next one. Saying "I had the pleasure of working at ___ for a few months, but ultimately received a better offer that was more suitable for my goals" or something like that seems mature and tactful. 

Like a previous poster said, I included the job I only worked for 2 weeks on CASPA (I mean, why not! It was interesting experience), but would not on my resume in the future. 

Hope this is helpful, and that something better for you comes along soon! 

Edited by alysd
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