Lessons Learned in my Clinical Year
Graduation day is just around the corner (but who is
counting?), so I've decided to reflect back on the "lessons learned" during my
clinical year of PA school. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience
for me. There have been ups and downs; both were very much needed. Live and
learn, as they say.
- Avoid asking questions that start with "Why?" It
may seem judgmental. I learned this the hard way.
- Always check to make sure you have the right
patient. I spent 30 minutes interviewing the wrong patient once. How
- Use your patient's name regularly. They will
remember you for it.
- Remember that it is a privilege to serve
patients. We're in the service profession and are not doing anyone a favor.
- Touch is important, but be aware of
circumstances where it might not be appropriate.
- Always check those medication lists. The answer
you're looking for might be there.
- Provide hope, but be realistic in what you can
offer. Honesty is important but it takes practice to deliver it in a sensitive
- Do not judge. Your attitude will reflect that.
that you can't always be in control. Patients will not always follow your
recommendations. It's frustrating, but it is their right.
- Take care of yourself. You can't take care of
others when you're not well (physically or mentally).
- Do not burn any bridges. Some rotations will not
be your thing. Come with a good attitude anyway and do your best. There is always
a learning opportunity.
- Do not
take things personally. Patients are usually not upset at you but at the system
or their illness.
- Remember that you can't please everyone. Some
patients will dislike you for doing the right thing.
- You might feel incompetent at some point in your
training. This is normal; things do get better!
- Finally, remember to have fun!