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Showing page 1 of 7 (63 total posts)
  • Dealing with Discouraged Patients

    You're scanning the EMR and you see four office visits in the past month with the same chief complaint. You walk in the room knowing it's not going to be an average cut-and-dry visit. The patient is frustrated about their bowel, their bladder or their other non-emergent complaint that keeps driving them back to the office, and you have to address ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on August 4, 2014
  • How to Avoid Absolute Frustration

    Primary care is so imperfect. Each day I could probably find as many things to complain about as complaints my patients come in with, and I am beginning to see why burnout can occur. That is, if you don't have the right perspective. As I forge ahead on this year-one journey, I am creating tenets to avoid burnout. I'm honestly not a huge ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on July 21, 2014
  • Until We Meet Again

    I sat in the airport terminal in November of 2012 and stared at my cell phone. I flicked the screen on and off as I waited out another wave of anxiety. I was about to place a call that would dictate the course of my life. At the time, I could barely comprehend the changes that would take place over the next year. It would be the year that ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on January 9, 2014
  • The Secret of Death

    I'm too young for this. That's what everyone says-or at least thinks, the way their eyes track across my features, down to the name on my coat, then back to my face. It's OK. I tell myself that I can earn the respect automatically granted to someone with a few gray hairs. Besides, there's a difference between age and maturity and these days I ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on December 17, 2013
  • The Quarterly Check-Up: Part 3

    We have carved deep into the second half of my first year as a professional physician assistant. This is the perfect time for a Quarterly Check-Up to examine some of the biggest lessons over the last three months We learned that our patient's beliefs can trump the strongest medicine and that our acceptance of those beliefs makes us better ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on October 3, 2013
  • The Lessons Never Taught

    I remember all of my great preceptors: The ones who reaffirmed my choice of career or mentored my special projects or were less of a taskmaster and more of a friend. As a student, I pictured myself in their position, guiding some wide-eyed student through the treacherous surf of clinical rotations. I imagined that sage, professorial Harrison ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on September 19, 2013
  • The Don’ts of Cryosurgery

    Cryosurgery is a process where liquid nitrogen is applied to a lesion to induce cell death. It is a procedure done every day in dermatology offices and is now done routinely in primary care offices as well. It is a relatively low-risk procedure, causes minimal scarring and can be used for a multitude of conditions, including actinic ...
    Posted to Dermatology Practice Today (Weblog) on August 9, 2013
  • The Secret Ingredient

    People always want to know the secret ingredient. And, frankly, I can't blame them. In a lot of ways the physician assistant profession seems too good to be true. We study medicine for two to three years after obtaining a bachelor's degree. We practice medicine without post-graduate training or residency. We can switch specialties without ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on August 8, 2013
  • Holes in Our Armor

    At the risk of sounding arrogant (my close friends are shaking their heads and thinking, ''That ship has sailed, Harrison...'') I must confess something: I haven't made a lot of critical mistakes in life. I'm not saying I am perfect. I am light years away from that. But if you had to write the tagline for the story of my career thus far, it ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on July 25, 2013
  • Life in Transition

    As I approached high school graduation years ago, my Health Careers teacher shared the popular modern parable, Who Moved My Cheese? It is a story about mice and miniature people who look for cheese (a metaphor for happiness and success) in a maze. Silly, for sure, but I found that the story's lesson sticks its nose into my life on occasion. ...
    Posted to First Year PA (Weblog) on February 7, 2013
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