I am writing this just as I am starting day 1 of being an Outpatient Internal Medicine PA-C. I wanted to write this to further describe my PA journey and my decision on doing internal medicine.
If any of you knew me before PA school, during PA school, or even upon graduating from PA school you knew that the thing I loved most about medicine is SKIN!! I love dermatology, I love the medical management of skin conditions, I love skin cancer prevention and treatment, love looking at the skin, I love it all. So naturally, you'd figure that I would end up in Dermatology? Right? Well, this is how I believe my journey is different than most and why I want to share my specific journey in case some other pre-PA, PA students, or new grads can relate.
I truly also thought I would end up in Dermatology. In fact, I tried really hard to be in dermatology. The whole internal medicine wasn't my idea from the start. It wasn't until the job I took, kind of tumbled, rolled, and jumped in my lap.
I will upload another post about my job search (cause that was very interesting in itself) however, I pretty much set a deadline that I really wanted to get a job by end of October 2022. This allowed me to graduate from PA school in August 2022, take my board in September 2022, allow 1-2 months for Texas Licensing, and then start a job a few weeks later. I found myself at a cross bridge where I had 3 offers all from great companies and all were different positions. One was Dermatology, one was Internal Medicine, and one was a Med Spa, Urgent Care, and Primary Care all in one. All great options. So no brainer, I would pick Derm right?? WELL. Something was missing. I wasn't sure if it was that the commute was rather long, the office was a little outdated, and that I found myself.... comfortable. Dermatology is what I did before PA school, I did 2 separate clinical rotations of it in PA school, and I really knew it. It was the field of medicine I felt most comfortable, most secure, and least terrified of (if you're a new grad, you'll really understand the terror of being a new grad, but more on that later). Everything about Outpatient Internal Medicine is rather intimidating, it's ALL of medicine, you're treating someone's ENTIRE component of health, you see all types of people and some could be having a really great health day and someone could be having a rather crappy health day. It was the position I kept thinking about. When it came to the trio office listed above, they offered a great offer letter but it really came down to they would be decently far away and they requested I work every other weekend and that was something I decided would not be great for my work-life balance schedule.
I also took a look at the perks of each offer and what would be best for me, i.e. salary, benefits, commute, office setting, my team, etc. Dermatology wanted to offer me full commission which can both be scary and rewarding. I could really be making $$$ or I could really make $. Internal Medicine was salary and therefore, promising.
After a week or two of really sitting on both offers, I decided to risk it. I decided on Internal Medicine.
My decision process: I loved the office. It was close to home, it was brand spanking new, it was beautiful, it is on a top floor of a sky-rise medical building, and there are windows throughout the practice really making it feel open with an abundance of natural light. The doctors were both ranked best in Dallas. It was female-owned (which I've always wanted to experience). And most of all they were very patient and receptive to any and all my questions. They were really willing to let me fly and let me perch. It was very much a "we are here as much or as little as you need us." It was and still is terrifying. To say I am not scared and lost as a new grad PA would be completely false. This was not an easy choice. It was the choice that I never imagined, but weirdly the choice that felt the most ME.
When reflecting on my time shadowing as a pre-PA student and a time when I was a PA student I had 4 role models during that time. 3 of them were Internal Medicine PAs and 1 of them was a dermatologist. I had come to treasure, cherish, and really love Internal medicine and the personality it allowed you to have (and I am ALL about personality). I loved the PA I shadowed during undergrad, Jenna. I loved my PA school mentor, Jennifer. I loved my Internal Medicine rotation with Lizzy. She taught me so much within a span of 5 weeks. And lastly, I love the dermatologist who taught me before PA school and during PA school, Roopal. However, 3/4 of those women were in Internal Medicine.
So I took the jump, and I landed in Internal Medicine. Even though I haven't seen a patient yet, I am excited to learn, grow, and become an Internal Medicine PA. I am excited to master my knowledge of medicine and get to know what medications I really like for my patients.
Plus, years down the line I can do something that being a PA allows you to do... switch and try out dermatology. That is, if I still crave the dermatology world.
As for now... Hi, I'm Izzy, and I'm your Internal Medicine PA!!!!
Edit: I came back to edit this after my first day and let you know that I really did pick the right choice. After finishing with my day, the corporate manager came into my office to let me know they bought biopsy supplies and cryotherapy so I can still have a slice of Derm in the internal medicine clinic!! I think I'm gonna like it here.