"In my life, family will always be my greatest priority. I love my patients like I love life itself, but I love my family even more than life itself." - Stephen Pasquini PA-C.
Years ago, I dreamt of being an MD.
Since I was a small child, in fact, to me, this would be the pinnacle of life. Stethoscope around my neck, working in the trenches, saving lives!
This was my childhood dream and my young adult dream, all the way through college.
Not even Organic Chemistry could stop me. I just pushed through it, head to the grindstone, determined to reach my goal.
Then one year away from finishing all my pre-med training, something happened: I met a physician assistant!
To me, life has always been more than my job. The reason I created this website is that I love art, photography, and technology. I love kids, the outdoors, and my family. I love to surf, bike, and take my son and daughter for long walks. I like to make shapes out of the clouds, go on long weekend getaways, take my wife out dancing.
I love life!
If you don't know already, being a doctor requires a TON of sacrifices.
If you are not prepared to give your life over to medicine, then I encourage you to take a long deep inward look at yourself and decide if what you want is really MD.
Before many hours working at the University of Washington Medical Center, I thought to be a doctor was fun like Michael J. Fox in the movie "Doc Hollywood" or rugged like the doctors on Mash. I wanted to be like George Clooney in the TV show ER.
This is an illusion. Being a Dr. means long hours, late nights on call, missed birthdays, missed anniversaries often second marriages. That last one is the part that is like the movies.
Wants vs. Needs
I realized that what I wanted most out of life was to help people be healthy. I love the human body, I love anatomy, and I love science.
I liked the thought of propping a young child upon the exam room table, making a funny face, and treating their ear infection.
I loved the idea of sewing up a wound, setting a fracture, being there when another human being needed someone to hold onto.
Helping someone come to terms with death while helping another come to terms with life.
I didn't want MD; I wanted all of the above. There was no other way.
I have met more doctors who want to be PAs than PAs who want to be doctors.
Why? Because there is more to life than medicine. PAs have the unique opportunity to live this.
It is not about being lazy; it is not about a lack of dedication. PAs tend to be some of the most dedicated and hard-working people I know.
PA is the sweet spot! Where life and medicine meet in the middle.
I honestly believe you can be better at compassion when you are more grounded. Having a life outside of work justifies life. It makes for a happy person, which translates to better patient care.
After quite a bit of soul-searching, I realized that I never really needed to be a doctor, but I wanted to feel like one.
If you are on this journey to being a healthcare provider, know that life exists beyond MD. It is a beautiful life, and it has fulfilled every single one of my dreams of being an excellent health care provider.
And every time I prop a small child up on the exam room table and write the script to make their ear feel better, I smile. Then I go home in the evening and give my kids and my wife a big hug and a kiss.In my life family will always be my highest priority. I love my patients like I love life itself, but I love my family even more than life itself. Click To Tweet
I don't think I could have found this balance as an MD, and I thank my lucky stars that life, or God or whatever directed me to UMDNJ, to PA School, to the job of my dreams.
Being a PA is truly where life and medicine have found the perfect balance. I hope you, too, will give the physician assistant profession consideration as you go about life and pursue a rewarding career in the field of medicine.
Stephen Pasquini PA-C
Often the decision between PA and MD is considered a difficult one, but should it be? Click Here.