The Callous Workplace

“I’m suprised at how much you don’t know.”

“Clearly, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

“How old are you anyway? Like 19?”

“Well, I read an article about it and you’re wrong.”

“There is a culture here and you need to get with the program and understand that.”

“Perspective is reality. Accept it.”

“You’re not working hard enough.”

“You need to see more patients.”

“You need to chart faster, work from home, and work during lunch. You can’t afford to take a break.”

These were the constant comments I heard in a previous job as a PA.

It was full of negative, demeaning, angry, resentful feedback…from my co-workers, supervising doc, and management.

I spent my entire time there thinking that I was going crazy. But I hung in there.

I didn’t jump ship and run because my patients were wonderful and I knew that when I applied for another job, this experience and employment history would pay off in the long run.

But also because it was God’s plan.

I focused on doing good work for my patients and counting down the days until I could quit.

And I prayed. Every day, I prayed for peace, strength, and a way out.

Then the day finally came when I could quit. I was required to put in a 90 day notice (pretty standard in medicine) and I was r-e-a-d-y!

After I sent my email to resign, things became more hostile and the hostility was now present during company meetings and in front of front desk and nursing staff. It was humiliating.

And I finally had enough. I wasn’t going to make it 90 days. I sent yet another email, resigning immediately, effectively ending my contract 60 days early.

I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, and I wondered if I made the right decision…about everything. Should I have become a PA? Should I have gone into family medicine, my favorite field of medicine? Would I suffer at my next job? Would I be good enough for my next job?

Then, on this very day of confusion, hurt, and anxiety, God’s grace showered me.

I remember walking back to my desk and finding a small envelope on my desk. It was a thank you card. This particular patient was thanking me for saving their life during an emergency.

I sat at my desk and read it over a few times. I smiled and felt my anxiety simmer.

Later on during the day, I came back to my desk and found another small piece of paper, neatly folded, sitting on top of my keyboard. It was a hand written note from a patient.

She wanted to personally thank me for finding her cervical cancer when no one else would listen to her about her symptoms.

I sat at my desk, read it over a few times, smiled, and placed it in my bag juxtaposed to the thank you card.

I felt my broken heart start to mend.

And at the end of the day, as I packed up my things, ready to sprint out of the building, one of my co-workers brought me another small envelope.

It was a $25 donation to a local hospital. They made this donation in my name because they admired, loved, and respected me as their primary care provider.

And this particular patient struggled financially. But they decided to make this donation, with the very little bit that they had, in my name, as a thank you and as recognition for my love and passion for family medicine.

And at that moment, I felt butterflies in my soul. My confusion transitioned to clarity.

These patients didn’t know I was leaving. They had no idea I put a notice in to not only end my contract, but end it immediately.

And it was no coincidence that I received these three thank you notes on this particular day.

It was God’s grace.

God was telling me that He loves me. God was telling me that my patients loved me. And He was telling me that He would bless me, not only in my future employment, but in the many more years I planned on spending as a PA in family medicine.

God was telling me that my hard road had come to an end. He knew I struggled but he was preparing me for what was to come. And at that time, little did I know, it would be for a new set of patients in family medicine, during a pandemic.

Do you feel stuck where you are? God has a plan. God has a purpose. And God is preparing you for it.

Are you suffocating in your current work environment? Look up. Seek God. He will fill you with his grace.

I chose this profession to help others. And the devil still tries to oppose me.

But God’s grace is sufficient and God’s power is unmatchable.

So here I am, continuing my work as a PA in family medicine, to help my community and to do the work of God’s kingdom.

So to all of my patients, thank you.

And thanks be to God.

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