This week's adventures brought us to the medical center's radiology department. I thought I would have a chance at meeting some happy doctors here, since radiology is one of the "lifestyle" fields. (ROAD - radiology/radiation oncology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, dermatology) First I joined one of the physicians doing some films readings. Lots of ultra-sounds and CTs. I couldn't tell the difference between a fetus, a kidney, or a gall bladder on the ultra sounds. The physician was very happy when I responded to the question "what do you see here," with, "Absolutely nothing." He went on a little rant about how so many people are full of bullshit nowadays, and it's nice to hear someone actually say the truth, and doctors forget how many people are working alongside with them, and they become really self-centered and ego-centric. I've realized that physicians like to rant, and hit many topics at the same time. Then he started to go through some CT scans. I would say that he was scrolling in and out of slides at a rate of about 20 slides/second. It kind of made my head hurt. He commented that when most people watch him read CT scans they fall out of their chair. Good thing I was standing. He also spoke crazy, crazy fast into his recorder, and cursed, a crazy, crazy amount. I mean I'm definitely not shy about coloring my language. But this was just down right excessive.
Then I was following one of the PAs around as he preformed some tests. I got to see a CT-guided biopsy and an ultra-sound guided biopsy. Both of which were infinitely cooler than reading films.
Back in the reading room I started asking each of the PAs how long they had been in their profession and what other specialties they had been in. I was surprised that they had all been in other fields, since I had previously heard that most PAs stayed in one field because the learning curve was too great to want to change fields. Evidently that's not the case. And that makes me happy.
At the end of the day I told one of the PAs that I think I was leaning towards PA over medical school. He gave out cheer in jubilation saying that I was joining "the team." This was something that no physician has ever done in my life. The PA I shadowed was legitimately happy with his job and he's been working in the profession for over 20 years. This was very reassuring. After the PA had his moment a physician walk in from around a corner and said something along the lines of, "Yeah, that's definitely the smarter move from a totally economical point of view." I was kind of surprised about this because this wasn't something that I had heard from physicians before. He didn't actually seem to hate his job, and even he was telling me to become a PA.
Score another one for PA school.