It must have been one of the biggest questions I had for others while coming through PA school...
"Did PA school prepare you for first job?"
Now 6 years out from school I can say the answer to that question is Yes AND No.
I'll break it down in each category to give you a better feeling of what I mean.
-School gave me the general knowledge to deal with a very very broad array of medical issues.
-I had a year worth of patient interaction which helps when your job is to interact with patients
-It gave me a chance to learn to work closely with others to obtain a common goal...patient care
-And most importantly- It prepared for me to pass the initial board exam
-No amount of school could prepare me for my first job...aka my current job after 6 years. Unlike some I went straight into a highly specialized field which was barely covered in PA school. That meant a very steep learning curve. But that can be overcome with the desire to learn.
-Billing, computer system 1, computer system 2, EMR 1, EMR 2, image software 1,2,3...
Learning to use electronic systems that differs from each location and facility was something that school cannot teach. And honestly I don't think it should. There are just too many systems.
So what i'm trying to say is that 'you learn as you go'
Some things will be easy, some will be hard to learn, but each of us has to figure it out as we go.
If you go into general medicine/internal medicine you will probably be well prepared right from school.
If you go into a specialty plan to spend time learning new information and not using a lot of what you learned in school.
Now don't get that last statement wrong. All the information you learned in school is important, but depending on what field you go into, you may not ever use some of that information.
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