Originally posted on Reddit. Lightly edited for grammar and clarity.
This morning I’m sitting on the Neurology floor minding my own business when I hear a Neurosurgery PA talking very loudly to a patient about how she does neurosurgery. She goes on to say that she does everything the neurosurgeon does on the other side during cases. Which I’m sure is true - but then she starts bashing on residents saying that they have to listen to the attendings for decisions as well and continues on to say many internal medicine doctors and family doctors are just people who didn’t match into residencies of their choice and that they aren’t very smart and might not know what they’re doing. At this point, I’m trying to walk by to check on another patient and notice that she’s sitting in the room with the patient without her mask on and is continuing to bash on doctors. I do my thing, and when I come back, I hear the tail end of the conversation which consists of her saying that she has a medical degree. I’m flabbergasted. I work somewhere with a lot of PAs and I respect many of the older ones because they have genuinely gathered a lot of experience and can troubleshoot a lot of things really well, but hearing that conversation made me super upset. I’m here working 80-hour weeks with minimal pay trying to get through and learn something, and I’m having panic attacks on my way to work because I feel inadequate since some of the attendings like the PAs more and spend more time teaching them because they’re going to be here longer than the residents. Hearing that conversation this morning was devastating. I feel like crying. It totally trampled all over the reason and point of medical education and training.