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Why a Physician Assistant (PA) . . .

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

This is probably one of the questions I get asked the most and in reality I never have a good answer. It always seems to catch me off guard and I never seem to collect my thoughts fast enough to articulate why I chose to become a physician assistant (PA). So let me do this here because I really do think it's a very important question and ultimately a very personal decision.

I knew I loved medicine early on and you see, that’s the thing...

To work in medicine is to LOVE medicine.

Medicine takes lots away from you and it can get lonely along the road. You have to fall in love with the journey in order to find your happiness. But just as much as medicine takes, it gives so much joy and love.

At the end of the day, it is a privilege to have the opportunity and knowledge to care for your community.

I didn't always know I wanted to be a PA, and there are a lot of things I thought of doing before I arrived to this profession. It really wasn't until about my senior year in college where I really got serious about applying to a PA program. There were times where I remember panicking because I didn't know how to pick a career, let alone what I wanted to do as my “forever job”. Even now I really don't like thinking of things as forever. That’s totally one of the beauties of the PA profession, because let me tell you picking ONE specialty is SOOO hard. How am I supposed to pick JUST ONE, when I’m so good at more than one!? Anyways more on that later...

I finally arrived to this profession after some trial and error. I didn't have the whole picture figured out, but I was quickly figuring out what I didn't want. I thought I wanted to do research for a bit, but that wasn't for me. I missed talking to patients and being in the clinical setting. From there I thought I'd become a pharmacist, but ya'll chemistry is like REALLY hard. On top of that so is Calculus III, and honestly it’s like all theory at that point–I was terrible at it! I was begging for the simpler times where all I had to do was find the derivative! I remember that being fu...


On another note–being terrible at something academically was not something I was used to, so that was bummer. I remember calling my mom crying because I just couldn't pass that ONE class. I took that class multiple times and it was just like foreign language to me. Anyways, long story short I didn't end up passing that class so I was faced with the decision of taking it once again or having to change my major to continue taking higher level classes. In a way I was forced to completely re-evaluate the path I was laying out for myself. Although I didn't know it at the time, the decision I made then redirected me to the path I am on today.

I obviously didn't take that class again, and what I did was change my major to biology. Ironically, biology was the major I had initially chosen when I first started undergrad. I originally switched majors because I didn't want to go to medical school. That was a huge chunk of my lifetime I wasn't ready to commit to or give up just yet. At that time I didn't know how else I would utilize a biology degree, so I switched.

I never applied to medical school and I don't plan on it. I have plans to possibly go back for another master degree, but at this point in time pursuing a doctorate degree is not something I see myself doing. Becoming a doctor was something I decided not to pursue, because I have given as much of myself as I am willing to give to medicine. As a PA I can do all the things I love about being a medical provider. I can consult patients, order diagnostic testing, formulate treatments plans, and prescribe appropriate medications. Yet at the same time, I feel like I am keeping enough time for myself to let myself figure out other passions and pursue other things outside of medicine. Medicine can be ALL CONSUMING, but it is only one side of me.

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