MD vs. PA: Part II

I don’t pretend to be someone that only dreamt of white coat days in an MD haze. For myself and many others, the question between MD vs. PA school manifests itself. But to what extent and when is anyone’s guess. The last summer after year one and calls to 4 PA friends doesn’t seem ideal, but neither is regret over staying simply because you are capable/smart/expected to etc.

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You Don’t Have to Be a Doctor

Says my mom. This during another lengthy debate concerning the pros and cons of becoming one. And since registration for second year isn’t a declaration of marriage, I’ve flirted a bit with various career options in the medical field.

My first go around was this spring. Lilacs a’ bloomin’ and sun a’ shinin’ and a PhD a’ smilin’. What’s so alluring about the whole gig? I pictured falling in love with…

-No STEP or shelf exams

-Making science happen

-Finding the cure for cancer

-Analyzing data from home (it’s a no-no to bring your patients home)

-Writing Dr. on checks and what not

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Link

Welcome to my new URL, dear readers. I’m pretty pumped to be hosting my own WordPress site. But keep your fingers crossed that it won’t melt into some cyber wasteland of over-coded, under-linked HTML. Creating my own website has left me within this gap of reality and awesomeness… essentially in tears over plugins and widgets and all the other fancy add-ons.

Who really needs this?

Plugin

Too. Many. Plugins.

Or this?

You can OD on widgets.

I know tech people don’t mean to make life difficult. And today, this article reminded me of the good things scientists dream up. Real inspirational. But I think I’ll stick with coding rather than entering the bowels of some university hospital and performing magic on lab rats. And to those who feel my blogging incompetencies, let us [W]press on.

Ran out of ketchup. Made my own.

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If you have bison burger leftovers and veggies, I found a way to make a catsup-esque relish/dressing:

Saute a tsp of garlic powder in olive oil then add 1 part yellow peppers and 1 part tomatoes diced.

Throw in handful of chopped onion.

If translucent, put in enough red wine vinegar to get it simmering.

A teaspoon of mustard and a lil bit of cinnamon (yes, cinnamon) should be stirred in as well.

Let simmer as you chop up your greens.

Sprinkle asiago.

Repeat.

Enjoy.

Flexibility as a Female Physician

Seems [oxy-]moronic, but whether you’re into jet setting or maybe something quaint, oh, say like having a family, you should meet a few of the new friends I’ve made this summer:

Miss Mix-It-Up

This pediatrician grew up and attended medical school in Kenya. After residency and a mandatory year in something akin to the Peace Corps, Michigan seemed like the place to be. Her clinical work became so boring that she went for an MPH and ended up researching pediatric obesity. Currently, two days are spent running a healthy weight clinic at a major hospital while the other three days with data analysis, papers, lectures.

Miss E.R.

She chooses to work 3 twelve hour shifts. At night. Supposedly, never misses a bit of her children’s lives.

Miss Job Share

1 opening, 2 applicants. 1 patient, 2 doctors. It’s like when you signed up to bring snacks after your high school volleyball game. Everybody wants cookies so badly that they won’t turn you away if you can only bake one weekend in October. The same team gets fed. Different girls sign up. Think about it. (At least that’s the line I’m going to feed future employers.)

Miss Part Time

Anesthesiologist, internist, plastic surgeon, gynecologist all come to mind. They’ve not bought the 70-hour-work-week-lie to repay the investment that is medical education. (Oh yeah, lenders forget that we go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt just to earn the little “m” and “d”.) For a pay cut, one can work mornings or three days or evenings etc. Endless possibilities.

Miss Consult

Turns out that you don’t have to enter residency after medical school (think teaching or medical admin–desperately needed as hospitals buildings rise higher than skyscrapers in our economy.) You don’t even have to practice after residency (think insurance claim consultation or research or nursing home management or really anything.)

Mixed messages from Mattel… should I be a mommy? A doctor? A mommies’ doctor!?

Whether guy or girl doc, these are all wonderful options to love what you do. But if there’s one common theme between those I shadowed, it was the presence of an awesome, supportive partner in crime!

How to Skip Ahead

Getting past my schedule for the next 6 years of med school life is pretty hard to do. But, this weekend, I’ve managed to beat the lines, get the DL, and seize the day. I hope you take time to:

1. Get your patients early.

There are physicians that fly through their same-day surgeries. Once I have people to the holding room in an appropriately early fashion, I can kick back. It’s a trend that’s worth keeping for my second year studies. Get things done before they’re due!

2. Read book 3 before you’ve started book 2.

At work, Hunger Games was the big topic. And so I asked why the second book had this disjointed approach. How was there some explosion left unexplained? What was so bad that they going after President Snow?

That’s when the awsomest, sweetest holding room nurse ever interjected, “Stop reading!” I had nearly finished the third part of the series!!! All by piecing together much of the second book’s plot… which I hadn’t read. But hey, if you’re a smart cookie, sometimes reading ahead will help understand what you missed.

3. Eat ice cream for lunch.

While in ATL visiting the long distance BF, I came across an ad for this ice cream fun day in a park along with family-oriented physical activities. Three of my favorite things–running around, SigO, frozen deliciousness. In one place.

Mmmm!

Mmmm!

Dearest medical school friends, last year, I would take mini-vacations and skip class to visit people in Detroit or Boston or wherever. (Online lecture studying occurred for sure.) But have a wonderful break before med schools say you should.

P.S. unless you’re enrolled in a compressed medical school program, there’s no true skipping ahead. And, like one wise OB/GYN told me, you wouldn’t want to. Our conversation began as his last case finished:

Doc: what year are you in school?

Me: just finished my first year… unfortunately.

Doc: You mean fortunately!?! The further you go along the more responsibilities you have. 

Me: [frowny face]

Doc: Your excuse this past case and for a long time will be “I’m a second year.”

Me: [Mind blown because I had forgotten where the cervix was and everything else down there during the surgery] So true. 

That’s why I am pumped to be going into and staying in my second year for as long as the system has me scheduled.