Twenty-Three

At twenty-three, I was in my second year of PA school.  Most of the year was a blur (probably just like 29 will be, in retrospect.)  I rotated through 10 different clinical sites, over 12 months of rotations.  (I worked with one orthopedic group for three months.)  I worked hard over those months, although some months (cardiovascular surgery) were harder than others (my hospitalist/internal medicine rotation required only a few hours’ work a day.)

I saw all sorts of clinic patients, assisted in all kinds of surgeries, had some really fantastic rotations (my peds preceptor was wonderful, and I loved my ER rotation in the busy University ER) and some really crappy ones (the OBs used us mostly as nursing assistants to hand them swabs for pap smears) and ultimately developed a love of acute care/procedural medicine.

I could tell the story about the time I broke someone’s toe off in the OR (dry gangrene, we were amputating the foot already) or the time a clamp slipped off an artery and shot me in the face (again, in the OR), or the time that my preceptor at an urgent care clinic forgot to put on her hairpiece before coming to work and had to make an emergency run to the nearby “hair store” but the babies are waking up, so I’ll save that for later.

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