Why did I choose to become a Physician Assistant? Not a doctor or a lawyer or hey! a full-time blogger? Why was becoming a Physician Assistant written on my heart? My story begins as a stubborn little girl who tried her best to run away from anything resembling her mother…
The Scrub Closet
You see, I watched my mother wake up around 4:30pm most evenings for as long as I can remember. As a child, I imagined that every time she walked into her closet and came out in a fresh set of scrubs, she was turning into a superhero. My mom must be out there saving the world between her “Bye, Yall” and her “Good Morning”. For 27 years my mom worked overnight as a pediatric nurse, so my imagination wasn’t too far off.
But soon, the curious little girl became the defiant teenager. There were more than a few times I brought my parents a fresh headache while wanting to express my independence. Like most teenagers, I rarely took my parents advice, always ready to rebel. I began forging my own path, away from my parent’s expectations: I graduated early, moved away from home and thought I figured out what life was really about.
Oh, how naïve we are in our 20s!
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I went through almost 4 years of undergrad, unsure of where I wanted to be after graduation. Although I lacked a specific drive, I knew early on that I wanted a life in Medicine. I had successfully fought off my parents’ incessant push toward becoming a doctor. Nothing about a Doctor’s life or title ever intrigued me. I was adamant about what I wouldn’t do but still clueless on what I wanted.
One week, out of frustration, I decided to look into nursing programs. So many of my friends were going into nursing, my Mom was a nurse, so maybe I needed to give it a chance. I talked to my Mom about my new goal and she blindsided me with her answer.
“Honestly, I can’t see you as a nurse.”
Excuse me, What??
I finally considered doing something I believed would make you happy but instead, you shoot me down?
Looking back, my mom was most likely saying this to nudge me towards medical school. But her words lit a different fire in me. I realized I couldn’t settle for a career I wasn’t excited about. So I went back to the drawing board to find my passion.
Becoming A Physician Assistant
I did relentless research to find out other uncommon careers in medicine. I came across Genetic Counseling, Respiratory Therapy and finally, stumbled upon Physician Assistant. Guys, if I could only explain the excitement that fell over me when I discovered my future profession. I know I almost cried. The perfect combination of challenge, responsibility, and flexibility that my soul was looking for. From that day forward I was DETERMINED to become a Physician Assistant.
Despite the many obstacles I faced from a low science GPA to never having met a PA in person, I wasn’t going to let go of this dream. I can’t wait to share my story on how it became a reality.
After getting accepted, graduating and passing the PANCE, I was amazed at what I was capable of. Yet my parents weren’t surprised at all. They always knew my potential. And as a clinician, you would think that my whitecoat held the greatest pride for me. And, it did.
Until I became a mother.
It feels like serendipity, now that I’m beginning to understand where my mother was coming from. Yes, she was (almost) always right. Most importantly, her strength while balancing the world on her shoulders let me know I could do it too. The sacrifices she made were so purposeful and I pray she continues to see the fruit of her labor.
My scrubs hold a fond connection to my mother. Now I know how my mother must have felt leaving home for work, while trying to manage a home with 5 kids that would always need her, no matter how big or stubborn they got. One day, as I walk out in my scrubs, I hope my sons will look at me with pride and imagine me saving the world.
Just like my mom.
Happy Birthday, Mommy.
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