Dream of Becoming a Physician Assistant: An Inspirational Experience
Walking into the operating room, donned with a surgical mask and cap, my eyes are eagerly glued to the patient lying on the operating table. The patient is covered in a sterile barrier with exposed abdominal muscles and organs awaiting repair by the trauma surgeon and physician assistant. I immediately recognize the patient’s injury as I saw her the previous day in the ER. She was wheeled in on a stretcher after a restrained motor vehicle collision. The patient sustained a large complete tear and laceration to her left anterior abdominal wall musculature, so the trauma team was paged for possible surgical repair. The OR’s ambience is calm, unlike that of the ER, as soft music plays in the background. The team focuses their attention on the surgeon and physician assistant anticipating their next move. It has always been my dream to pursue medicine, but it was at this moment that I knew with complete certainty that I would do whatever it takes to become a physician assistant.
I wanted to expose myself to as much of the profession as I could. I continued to shadow PAs in multiple specialities, including trauma surgery and cardiology. I have always appreciated the lateral mobility that the position offers that allows PAs to actively learn and explore multiple facets of medicine. It comes with many advantages that I envision in my life including flexibility of the profession, continuous intellectual challenges, financial and emotional reward, and sufficient quality time for family.
To gain as much exposure and experience with medicine as possible, I began working as a medical scribe in the emergency department of a Level 1 trauma center at UT Health East Texas for the past 20 months. I work alongside physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners by charting patient encounters in real time during medical examinations. Recently, I took over the position as the Chief Medical Scribe. My role consists of managing a team of scribes, administrative support, quality assurance, and partnering with our client to ensure the overall efficiency of the scribe program. This position gave me the opportunity to assume a more demanding leadership role by continuously strengthening the interpersonal relationships between the physicians and our scribe team while assuring continued excellence of the scribe program.
I began volunteering at local non-profit organizations including the Bethesda Health Clinic and PATH (People Attempting to Help). Both organizations work to provide health care or assistance to the low-income and underserved community. Working at both organizations exposed me to new people and environments that help me see the world from the perspective of others. Continuing to build relationships and provide services to this community has allowed me to develop empathy for the underserved population. These experiences continue to push me towards becoming PA, so I can advocate for people who need healthcare that may be overlooked.
These experiences continue to show me why I want to be a physician assistant. They have not only shown me what it means to be a physician assistant, but it has also impassioned me to succeed in my dreams of becoming a physician assistant. I hope that through my experiences of shadowing, working, and volunteering show my determination to be a physician assistant despite any challenges that lie ahead.