Friday, July 15, 2016

Big dreams, another year out

Two years ago I left my highly paid dysfunctional job to commit to being a PA. Well, I left to be a CNA and take more classes so I could apply to PA school. One year ago, I applied to five or six programs, knowing I met the minimum requirements, convinced that my amazing essay with my lifechanging story and my advanced age life experience would help me stand out from the charming young honor students. It did not. My top school regretted to inform me that 1500 bright, hopeful, driven people applied for just 50 seats. I assume those other applicants were bright, hopeful, and driven, because the application process is a bear.

This year, I'm much more humble, even with more experience and more hours studying. I've switched from CNA work to scribing for a PA in family practice. This new work has challenged and delighted me; I've learned diabetes, the disease, and about the million reasons people with diabetes can't just follow our list of recommendations and prescriptions. Medicine is about the individuals, their bodies and their quirks, more than the treatments we can offer. I like the variety of cases we see, and I love seeing patients come back. I love building relationships and working toward long-term wellness, or at least a measure of comfort. I've also learned how much I miss hands-on care. I miss feeding, bathing, and talking to my patients, who called me Tomato Lady because we talked about my garden all last summer.

It's surprisingly difficult to write essays answering such simple questions. Why do I want to to be a PA? It's like asking someone you love why they love you. Poor Cordelia, after all, was just as dumbstruck as I am. But of course PA schools are not foolish old kings, and my English degree is showing.

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