It has been six years since I began working as a Physician Assistant.
I still can’t believe it.
When the NCCPA sent me my first PANRE reminder letter I figured they must have miscalculated. But, it's true, I have been working six years in the field, I have some new gray hairs to show for it.
On this date, we as PAs have to recertify, it is a “chance” to see how much we know or find out how much we have forgotten. In reality there is quite a bit of both, probably more of the latter.
I am looking forward to the future, contemplating the past, thinking a lot about my next six years.
Where will I be the next time I sit to take my PANRE? Is this where I should be now?
I love my job and consider myself privileged in this matter?
How many people can go to work each day and look forward to being there? I am surrounded by wonderful supportive people, doing something I truly believe in.
I am grateful for my work, grateful for an organization that considers us more than cogs in a wheel.
We are given freedom to be more than just pushers of patients and providers of “numbers”. We have autonomy in harmony with teamwork.
I feel empowered to serve my community and my patients are like family. I bring my ideas and my character to my job and am given the freedom to be an "artist" for the day.
It is easy to get caught up in the complaints of any workplace. There is always an endless stream of complaints if you are willing to dip your cup into the well.
But I can't complain, my community is built on the backs of fieldworkers. A community fueled by long labor intensive work, built upon the love of ones family and friends.
I am humbled in their presence, I am jealous of their ability to find peace in the face of such adversity. Happiness in such simplicity.
As Seth Godin reminds me in his wonderful book Linchpin:
"Finding happiness in work is not about finding a job that matches your passion but about making your passion match your job."
In other words, find something you enjoy well enough. Then bring your passion to it to transform it into something remarkable and meaningful.
You don’t have to get what you want, when you want what you have!
So, as I prepare to take my PANRE, and skim through endless pages of PANCE/PANRE review books. I am reminded of what it took me to get here. I am reminded of the work I have left to do, and how time seems to go by without a moments notice.
I hope that when I do this again in 6 years, I appreciate where I am and will still bring passion to my work.
I am reminded of another quote, this time by Gandhi:
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
Too bad he didn’t have any advice on how to pass your physician assistant board exams, or maybe that is it!
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