Monday, June 29, 2009


I know this is a topic that has been talked about, but I never came across this option.

Physicians always introduce themselves as Dr. Smith, and from what I see PAs generally always introduce themselves like "Hi, I'm John a Physician Assistant." Many PAs have said that they like to keep it personal by using their first name only.

At the same time though many PAs feel they are not taken as seriously as they should be. People question them and we mainly attribute it to the word Assistant being in the title.

While I think the word "assistant" definitely contributes to this, I wonder if introducing oneself as "John Smith the Physician Assistant" may help make the difference. If we want to be treated like the professionals we are, then maybe we have to start carrying ourselves like that. Lawyers, business men, etc never introduce themselves by just their first name.

I personally think I'm always going to use my first+last name. Let your bedside manner make the patient feel comfortable, not the name you use to introduce yourself.


If anyone ever has questions for me it should be known that you can e-mail me at gregoryhousepa[at]gmail[dot]com. And I think I'll post the questions and responses in order to make this blog a little more useful. I'll even try to start using the tagging feature, so that maybe one day I'll have an easy to access archive of advice. And also, questions don't have to pertain to PA school and such. I'm pretty sought after for advice because I'm coldly logical and honest.

I read in your blog that you have an EMT degree and was able to get a job as a medical assistant. Do you also have a medical assistant degree or was your EMT degree enough for you to qualify for this job? I hope to hear from you soon and goodluck on your first day of PA school. :)

The reason that I got the EMT-B was because from what I saw many, many PAs started out as EMTs. I should actually say many of the "older generation" PAs use to be EMTs. They all told me that it was a great entry field for health care and would give me good experience learning how to do an initial examination and assessment. The training did just that, but to be perfectly honest I didn't learn much in terms of medicine outside of doing a history. But learning how to do a history is critical. Before the class I had a B.S. in biomedical science, and knew much more on the science side than my classmates and maybe some of the instructor EMTs. I digress.

I also did the course because I thought it would help me get a job as an EMT. I later found out in my area there are very few paying EMT-B jobs.

I know that I would have gotten my job as a medical assistant without getting the EMT. However, I can't say that I would have gotten into PA school. They did ask me about my EMT training and why I did it. They liked my answer about how I did it because senior PAs told me to and that it gave me a valuable knowledge on taking a history.

So in short. No, the EMT-B did not help me get my Medical Assistant job. My college degree did. And no, I did not get a medical assistant degree. The EMT-B did help me get into PA school though, and so did my job.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Move In

Pick up 14' U-Haul at 8AM. I've been dreading driving this thing for weeks.

Start packing up my stuff at my family's home.

9AM call from unidentified person confirming my installation at 12PM. I assume this is the Cable company because they've called multiple times lately to confirm even though I cancelled my appointment. I say to the guy "I don't want Cable. I cancelled my Cable installation. I said the Cable companies name many times in the conversation."

An hour later I get a call from Satellite company confirming my cancellation. I go "Nooo. That guy never told me he was Satellite. He never corrected me when I kept calling him the Cable guy." So he confirmed my 4-8PM installation.

Satellite Installer calls back to confirm my 12PM appointment. "Noo. It's a 4-8PM appointment." He then asks 4-8PM on Sunday? NOOOO!!! 4-8PM TODAY (Saturday)!!!!! He says okay and that it would be around 5-6PM.

I get everything packed up. Drive the truck without issue. And get everything into the apartment.

When I got to the apartment I see a note from UPS saying they tried to deliver a package but no one was home to sign for it, and that's it's at their pick-up center. They were trying to deliver the modem I order to be sent to my GRANDPARENT'S ADDRESS. When I order internet I made this perfectly clear that I needed it sent to the grandparent's address. I spent an hour on the phone to get this shipping address corrected. I finally did, and they sent it to the wrong address anyway. FUCK MY LIFE.

The note says that it's going to be returned to the sender on the 29th. I call UPS and they said they already sent it back, even though it's 2 days early. Bastards.

I call Internet Provider and they apologize but I'm going to have to call Billing to get a new modem sent. Billing is only open on weekdays. Fuck my life again.

So 8PM rolls around. Satellite guy never shows up. I decided there is no way I'm staying at this apartment without internet or TV and go back to the grandparent's.

Today I call Satellite when I wake up. They say that the installer showed up at 4:15PM and no one was home. I'm 95% sure that I was at the apartment by them. But am willing to accept that I might not have been. So I ask why they didn't call my phone when they had been calling me all day. They claim that they did call and left a voicemail. Yeah, right. Because you know if I got a voicemail I would be calling with all these questions.

Blaaaaaah. Moving is so much fun. At least my apartment is looking good.

The End.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Get What You Asked For

Some people have given me shit about voting for McCain even though he's not for gay rights. Back in November I wasn't overwhelmed by Obama's support for homos. My instincts have proven me correct, as usual.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Retired and Moving to Florida

Friday was my last day of work. It was a busy day and actually not a pleasant one, so it wasn't a sad departure. It was sad in the fact that I was so busy that I didn't really get to say good bye to anyone. The office wasn't able to gather around to say bye because I was so busy. I ate my departure cake more or less by myself, with maybe 5/20 co-workers. Lame. Oh well, Florida vacation here I come!

So lets see. College: done; EMT Training: done; Getting job: Done; Getting into PA school: Done; Finding roommate/apartment: Done; Moving In: Pending.

Moving is the next great step. I'm trying to get the family clan organized so that this can be done in one great sweeping motion. Tomorrow I'm getting the keys from the landlord. I think next week Roommate said he was going to move a few things in. I'm hoping to meet him there and get things like room layout, tv/internet and utilities things all straightened out. Once that's out of the way I'll know what I need to bring, buy and schedule. I must say I rock at this.

On an entirely different note I've been reading a lot of commentary by nurses and physicians about PAs. Some of the stuff they say use to outrage me. Now I honestly laugh at the misinformation they put out there. NPs making their claims of superiority and Physicians dumbing down the work of PAs. It makes me laugh out loud. My attitude now is they can say what they want about the profession. It really doesn't change the reality of the situation. All these physicians talk about how they could never be intellectually fulfilled doing the work of a PA and that they can't handle not being the final say. You know, that's totally fine - to each their own. I think the fact that I don't have issue working under someone works to my advantage. I say this because when I ask physicians if they would go into medicine again, most say no. PAs say the opposite. So lets see, I could be the final say and be miserable, or work under someone and be happy. I'll take the latter.

I've made a very concerted effort to develop an attitude where I don't have issue asking questions, admitting I'm wrong, willing to try new methods, and letting someone make the final call that I disagree with. You know why I'm cool with my opinions being totally disregarded? Because the blame can never be thrown squarely on me (normally), since I'm not the supervising physician. I will do my best to voice my opinion and have an intelligent discussion. The physician can do with it what he likes. I think I would get more satisfaction in occasionally being the PA that's right, than the physician who's often right during disagreements. I think this attitude of openness to learning from others but at the same being able to diplomatically disagree are going to be my greatest assets.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

4 Days of Work, 40 Days Until Class

This is nuts I'm almost done with work for good. Since I started training people I can see huge changes in myself in terms of being capable. Everyone keeps reminding me of how unsure of myself I was when I first started. And now the new people have moments where they wonder how I'm so knowledgeable about the office. It's good assurance that in the future I'm going to be able to adapt even without good training. These new medical assistants are getting some real TLC from me, unlike how I was received when I started.

I'm starting to freak out about a little about moving. I'm moving to Too Big City. A city that I've lived near my whole life and am well acquainted with. I worked there for two summers and go in often enough with friends. I've never liked it. Too many people, too congested, too dirty, and even though it was good public transportation I still feel like it takes forever to get anywhere. But it's impossible to avoid the fact that this is where my school is. Technically, I'm not going to be living in TBC. I found a slightly more manageable city that has a super easy commute to school.

I'm going to be without my car for the first time in a few years. I'm truly converting into an urbanite. This scares me, because I don't know how living like an urbanite works. I'm a suburban boy damn it!! I don't know where I'm going to get my groceries, how I'll get them home, especially during the winter. Things like that. I also don't know my neighborhood that well. I'm going to have to do some real exploring when I first move in. God help me if it's not safe. When is move in? I have no idea. I need to figure that out.

Eep. Starting to freak out a little.