MediMike Posted August 15, 2012 Share Posted August 15, 2012 Medicine has always been around in my life. Mother an RN, father a medical imaging physicist, both coming home and telling stories of the patients they had seen, the care they had provided. These were the tales I grew up on, and that which helped shape my life. My father an officer in the Army, which meant every four years we would be on the road again. When, as a child, you are uprooted that many times, you develop the ability to quickly form social connections, and learn the excitement of meeting new people. Our last move brought us to Washington state, and the high school I began attending offered a class in sport's medicine. This simple class teaching basic anatomy, common sports injuries, how to provide first aid and how to tape became the catalyst for my future. Soon after high school I enrolled in an EMT-Basic program at a local community college. The opportunity to volunteer providing aid at Special Olympics events was provided and I jumped on it. This is a tradition I have participated in every year since. Upon completion of this program I began working for a small ambulance company and quickly moved through the ranks to become a field training officer. It was a very eye opening experience for me, these were not the emergent critically ill patients I had mentally prepared myself for, but they still presented complex problems, problems that I had no clue about at times. In an effort to gain greater knowledge I changed companies and began working with a paramedic on an ALS ambulance. I was lucky enough to end up partnered with a medic who enjoyed teaching as much as I enjoyed learning, I spent a year gaining as much knowledge as I could and applied to paramedic school. It was then that I made the greatest mistake in my life. My friends and I went out to celebrate my upcoming interview, and I made the decision to drive home. I was pulled over and received a DUI, later dropped to negligent driving. This ended my career in EMS due to my inability to be insured by my company. I was adrift, with no clue where to go in life. I began nursing prerequisites, and discovered that it was not the path that fit me. Over the course of the next five years I returned to Washington, worked in a saw mill, joined the ironworker's union, and ended up attending an electrical lineman school in Georgia. I began working as a helicopter lineman across the country, spending the majority of my time on the road. While this was a glamorous, exciting career I never felt the same love for it that I did medicine. A pilots flying once flew medevac and we spent twenty days in Alabama reliving different calls we had been to, what we had seen and experienced. It was at that point I realized what I needed to do. I informed the company of my resignation, walking away from a high paying job in a terrible economy to pursue medicine once again. I renewed certification, applied to paramedic school, and completed the program as one of the top five in my class. I figured that my desire for knowledge would be satiated at this point, that the pathophysiology, clinical exams, diagnostic procedures and technical skills would put an end to my curiosity, but I was wrong. A little over a year into my career I learned just how much I didn't know, and would never know staying in this specialized niche of healthcare. I found that assisting a patient obtain access to a charity care program for prescription assistance was just as satisfying as intubating a trauma victim, that talking an elderly woman through the proper use of her insulin was as rewarding as running a cardiac arrest. I have found that this field can not offer me what I really need, the knowledge and ability to make a lasting difference in the lives of patients. While we as pre-hospital providers are there at the worst times of a person's life, I want to be there at the good times as well. Throughout my career I have interacted with many medical professionals, and believe that the career of a physician assistant is the best fit for me. I have always operated in a team atmosphere, never feeling the need to be the “top dog” in charge of everything. I have discovered through the years that primary care is what truly holds the most interest for me, the complexity of juggling numerous chronic conditions is an appealing challenge, as is the opportunity to establish more of a connection with my patients than a twenty minute trip in an ambulance. Through a variety of shadowing experiences I have witnessed the impact that a physician assistant can have on a patient's care, and I know that this is what I want. I didn't grow up as an orphan on the streets of Columbia, I've never spent the last few moments of life with a family member, nor have I watched a medical miracle save someone close to me, I have no dramatic experience in my life to draw upon.. What I have done is worked hard my entire adult life, learned many of life's lessons, been brought up high and knocked down low. It is these experiences which I believe have prepared me well for the next step in my career, that of becoming a PA. It's a little long for CASPA, and I'm curious about including my grand 'ol mistake in there. I figured it would help to explain the gap in my career. I appreciate any and all feedback! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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