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13 Struggles Every Physician Assistant Student Can Relate To

Being a P.A student is harder than most people think here's 13 reasons why.

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13 Struggles every Physician Assistant Student can relate to

Note to readers: This is a buzzfeed article. It was written to be funny, exaggerated, and relatable. It was by no means written to be analyzed word for word or to be taken seriously. ENJOY =)

1. Didactic Year

All P.A. students know that didactic year is just a nice way of saying, “HELL”.

Whoever it was, who originally came up with the idea to cram everything med-students learn throughout their four years of school, into a single year, clearly was not concerned with the physical or mental well being of the their students. Students during didactic year are in a constant emotional battle between “I desperately need sleep” and “I really want a good grade on this exam”. However, all of the information that is being crammed into their little heads is so cool that some how they manage to pull through it.

2. Your friends don't get it.

Hi, yes I still exist. Sorry I don't have time to call, text or write. I’m too busy sitting in a classroom from 8am to 5pm everyday. Then I have to study when I get home. Yes.. I have to study this weekend too. Listen, if I make any effort to call, communicate, or see you at all, it means I love you.


3. PBL Groups

So let’s take people in the class you aren’t friends with, and put you together in a group under high amounts of stress, pressure, and time constraints and make you work together to complete HPI’s and powerpoints when you have A MILLION other tests to study for. Oh.. you don’t like someone in your group? Well that's too bad, for the next year you are FORCED to work with them.. GOOD LUCK.

( p.s love you all nowwww :] cutest PBl group everrrr)

4. Every Patient calls you “doctor” or a “nurse”

For some reason, the concept of a physician assistant is too hard to grasp for most patients. And being a physician assistant student, well, that is just straight mind blowing. It doesn't matter how well you explain to them the role the physician assistant in the health care system, 10 minutes later they’ll just call you doctor or nurse again.

5. No guys/ girls you meet know what you do with your life.

Every ice breaker conversation starts with…..

-“What do you go to school for”

-“I’m gunna be a Physician Assistant”

-“Oh! so you're the one who goes around and takes everyone’s blood pressure and temperature!?”

-“No that's a medical assistant; a physician assistant is kind of in-between a doctor and a nurse”

-“So you just follow the doctor around all day…”

6. Some Attendings just expect you to be stupid.

Having received compliments such as “Wow you’re smarter than the med students” or “I couldn't even tell a difference between you and the med students” I can honestly tell you, compliments like that are really great when you first receive them. You walk away all happy and smiling, telling yourself you're awesome. A few minutes later, you start to actually think about what they said. And you’re kind of just like “… I only got that compliment cause they thought I was going to be dumb”. Unfortunately, by the time you realize this sad fact, it’s too late to go back and tell them that you didn’t just do P.A school because you couldn't get into med-school, you actually didn't even apply for med-school, you actually would rather be a P.A.

7. No I don't want to be a doctor

90% of people who actually know what a Physician Assistant is think it’s just a stepping stone to med school. I actually wholeheartedly want to be a P.A. I truly appreciate the flexibility and their role in the health care system. How can you beat the fact that if you wanted to do more than one specialty at once or change your specialty all together, you CAN and you can do it without any additional schooling!

8. 5 week rotations

Oh, you just got comfortable at this site? Your preceptor finally knows your abilities and trusts you enough to give you much more responsibility? Time to rip you away from all the new friends you made and put you in a place where nobody knows your name.

9. Your white coat.

First day ever of rotations, you feel like a boss walking around the hospital in your white coat, don’t even try to deny it.

By the end of week 1, you realize that the top pocket, is secretly just a death trap for cell-phones. You can’t store it there, it’ll fall-out and your screen will break.

By week 3, you realize you can’t really put anything in that top pocket. It’s really just for show. Whenever your bending over to examine your patient’s feet everything’s just going to spill all over the floor and you’re going to look incompetent.

By week 5, it’s finally happened… you’ve gotten your first stain that won’t come out. It’s probably of coffee origin. It doesn't matter how many times you wash it, you’re now destined to look like a slob-kabob for your next 9 rotations. Good going kid.

By your 8th rotation, even though you’ve been washing your white coat once a week, you probably have ring-around-the-collar that is irremovable in combination with the most grotesque of stains on your sleeves. Good thing the warm weathers coming, …because you’re going to be rocking the rolled up sleeve look for the rest of your time as a student. If you want patients to let you near them that is.

10. Snow Dayy WOOOO!!.

LOLJKJK . You don't get snow days. You don't get holidays. Just because the rest of your University is off.. doesn't mean you as a P.A student don't have to go into work. You will risk your life to get to your rotation site that’s 40 miles away, crossing bridges, in a blizzard, because your grumpy old preceptor tells you to... Just to show up and find that that same grump took the day off. Sorry.. I forgot my life doesn't mean as much as yours does.

(90% of my preceptors understood about stuff like this, but you always get that one)

11. End of rotation exams

So you have 70-hour+ workweeks, not including the 2 hours in each direction it takes you to get to your rotation site? You want to just go home cuddle and watch T.V.? Well, when you get home you can’t simply just relax. At the end of those 5 weeks you have to worry about a test that can have any random question on it that relates to the rotation you just had. And NO, you don't get extra days off to study. Have funnn!

12. Coffee

You will become addicted to coffee. You NEED it. By the end of your rotations, even the free coffee they give you at lectures will taste like liquid gold. It's the sweet elixir of life that allows you to function on these crazy schedules. Sure, you can try to go without it for a day.. if you want to be an irritable crank with a massive headache. Might as well just play it safe and fuel the addiction... don't try to fight it, it's best for everyone around you.

13. When it’s all over, you miss it.

The crazy hours, the crazier stories, the ridiculous amounts of schoolwork and studying. It doesn't matter if you didn't like that one professor; the fact that you may never see them again is some how depressing? As I sit here typing this while taking small breaks from studying for my boards, it all just seems so final. I can’t wait to start my life as a real person and have an actual career, but I know part of me is going to miss being a p.a student and seeing all my classmates at call back day.

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