It’s hard to believe that I’ve been working as an ENT PA for a year now!
I have been checking in every few months on my progress (more like frustrations) as a new grad. To reflect my journey, I have grown and learned so much in such a short amount of time.
My supervising physician (the one who actually recruited me) left the very same day I started. I came at a rough time, but overall feel like I have made waves slowly, but surely, finding my voice as a new provider.
When I first joined the practice, there were 3 PAs, 1 NP and 5 attendings. Since then, we’ve grown and now have 3 additional attendings and gained 1 more PA (yay, I’m not on the bottom of the totem pole anymore)! We plan on having possibly 3 new attendings to join our general practice by the end year and relocating to the mall (more on this later)!
Overall, I am thrilled to have such a great supporting work family. I love my attendings. I work with some of the most chill, funny docs ever!
Summary of what I’ve learned this year:
- I still don’t know anything and THAT’S OKAY! With that said, I know when to admit it and when to ask for help.
- How medical insurances are your enemies! They dictate how you get reimbursed (if you don’t document properly…more on this later) and how painful it is to sit there hours after clinic finishing up or they’ll make the process of approving medications or scans and find the most inconvenient time to be “available” so that they don’t have to approve your request (UGH!)
- How to anticipate what your attendings need. It’s tough working with a large group, so the only way to float is to quickly learn how your attendings like their patient visits handled and make the clinic run smoothly.
- Understanding your own personal needs. Working in medicine is a demanding field. I often experience mental fatigue. It’s exhausting coming home after having patients/staff asking you questions ALL DAY long. The last thing you want to come home to is your family/significant other asking, “Hey, what’s for dinner?”
- Probably, the most important thing I’ve learned this year is a lesson on patience. Having patience with your patients when they don’t understand your role in their care. And having patience on myself knowing that there is a huge learning curve for life after school. Remembering to take my own advice, trusting myself and know that things will get better with time.
A year out and I can say that I am so blessed for the opportunity to live my dreams and help mentor others along the way. Cheers to that!
What lies ahead?
- More opportunities to learn!
- Annual SPAO ENT Conference
- Attending AAPA as a member without having to work HOD!
- ENT Allergy Conference
- Research projects! Hoping to have a project completed by the end of this year
- More pre-PA interviews/mentoring!
- Excited to have pre-PA students come and shadow now that I’m off of probation.
TLDR; Advice for new grads?
Breathe. Reflect. Trust yourself. Don’t give up. Wash & Repeat!