Life as a Physician Assistant - Lynzy & Co.

Life as a Physician Assistant

Life as a Physician Assistant in the ER

I have been practicing as a Physician Assistant (NOT to be confused with Physician’s assistant) for 10 years. I frequently get asked how I knew that I wanted to be a PA and the honest answer is that my father basically told me that if I wanted to go to college, that’s what I was going to specialize in. I had NO idea what it entailed or what I would be doing but I WAS a science geek so it struck my interest. I applied to 7 PA schools from here all the way down the east coast and got into 6 of them. Back when I applied there weren’t nearly as many as there are now. You can find PA schools just about anywhere now but back 15 years ago it was much more difficult. I decided on a nearby college close to my hometown because it was rated the best and the students coming out of it seemed to have had a really great education. So, off I went….

{Just a few side notes about Physician Assistants. Many people don’t quite understand what we do and how we function. Here is a great resource about what we do}

Life as a Physician Assistant in the ER

PA school was far from easy and there were so many days that I wanted to quit. I went through an accelerated masters program that was 5 years long (the last 2 years being straight through, with little breaks). The last 27 months were the hardest of my life and I swore I wouldn’t make it through. The first three years of college were spent in the dorms and I truly loved it but it was also difficult at times because my classes and curriculum were much more demanding at times. I wanted to be with my friends 100% of the time but the reality was that the library needed to be my best friend and fortunately, I committed myself. Of course, I still had fun too šŸ™‚

The last two years I commuted from home. There was no way that I could immerse myself in the college dorm life and be successful during such a stressful time. Being at home with my parents support was what got me through those dark days of studying from sun up until sun down. When I wanted to quit, my parents were there to peel me off the ground and keep me going. My last year in PA school I also took up the opportunity to become PASO president (Physician Assistant Student Organization) and even put together a 5k in support of another class member with a significant medical condition. I look back on those years and I am incredibly proud of who I have become through all of it and being a PA was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life. 

When I went through my clinical rotations, I was bummed because nothing was catching my interest. That is until I had my Emergency medicine rotation and then I knew. I knew that this is where I would be for the rest of my life. The best thing about being a PA is that you can switch between specialties at any time, unlike MD’s who have their training in one specific specialty and can only do that for the rest of their career. The ER is my happy place. The chaos is something that drives me and I love it. Nothing has opened my eyes up more than working in the ER. I am more appreciative of my own life and what God has graced us with. We sure are lucky to be healthy and loved with a roof over our heads. 

Lastly, being a PA has given me an incredible amount of flexibility in the last few years. I have worked in the same ER for nearly 10 years now and went per diem about 4 years ago. Being able to go per diem has benefited our family in so many ways and has allowed us to always have a parent at home with our children. I am able to choose my days and hours and the staff I work with has been so accommodating.  I will never stop being grateful for this opportunity ad it truly is my number one passion to serve my community in the ER (despite how much complaining may happen when I am in “the thick of it”. Ha!

 

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  1. Love hearing your back story, I’m currently in my first semester of nursing school, but have a long term goal of possibly going to PA school or getting my NP. I’m also very interested in ER medicine.

  2. I love this and absolutely love your blog. It’s been my saving grace as a new Mom! I started following you when I found out I was pregnant last November. I had just graduated PA school and started my career in hematology/oncology with my dream job….then two months later found out I was pregnant. My husband and I had been married 8 years so we were excited but as a new PA who just worked so hard for my career I was also terrified. Your blog and instagram gave me inspiration and hope that I could have a career as PA and be a good Mom. I am now in family medicine and the pace fits my life perfectly. My son Quinn is 7 months old now and being a Mom is the best thing that ever happened to me. Thank you for your relatable, real post. You are such a role model and an amazing person. And an amazing Mom and PA!

    1. Alex! How funny! I started reading your comment and thought this sounds like someone i know… then saw your name at the top. Small world, kinda, in a virtual sort of way. Emily N.

  3. I love this! Being a PA is a long-term goal of mine (after babies are done & in school). So neat to read about how you balance your career with your creative side and family life. Basically #goals!

  4. Having a job you truly love and feel valued at makes leaving the little ones possible right!? Appreciate your advice and stories…first time momma of a 4 month old and Iā€™m an ER PA-C as well!