Hi everyone! I’m back with another PA-C interview, this time in pediatric surgery! Onyi has been a Physician Assistant for 3 and a half years in several different specialties but is currently in peds surgery. She has her own website that she has relaunched that focuses on balancing being a mom, her career, and marriage. You all can follow her journey as a PA-C mommy on sincerelyonyi.com or follow on IG: @sincerelyonyi
How did you hear about the PA profession/What got you interested in the PA profession?
I heard about the PA profession while doing research in the middle of undergrad trying to figure out the best career for me. My mother is a nurse and my family has always motivated me to go to medical school. Granted, I love Medicine but I couldn’t see myself doing either of those.
When I learned what Physician Assistants were capable of; such as managing their own patients but being able to collaborate with a Supervising Physician when needed, I was hooked. All of my post graduate efforts went toward getting into a program even if it would take me a couple of tries. I was very prepared to apply again but I was blessed enough to get into a program my first try. The work life balance along with ability to switch specialties were other deciding factors.
What specialty are you in right now, how long have you been in it, what do you like about it, what don’t you like about it?
I have been working as a Pediatric Surgical Hospitalist for the past year and I love it. I am first call for Emergency Room patients that need to be seen by Urology, Plastic Surgery , Orthopedics or General Surgery. We are able to perform minor procedures at bedside such as facial laceration repairs, phimosis reductions or G-tube management. But if the patient needs to be taken to the OR, we coordinate that with the attending on call and expedite the process.
It is a pilot program at our hospital that has only been around for a little over 3 years so there are still frequent changes and growing pains in our department.
Are you interested in changing your specialty at some point?
I am actually moving out of town after my maternity leave in a few months so I will most likely be entering another specialty or going back to one I have previously worked in; such as Urgent Care or Orthopedics.
If you were to renegotiate your contract with your supervising physician right now, what would you change?
I would have negotiated tail coverage if I could go back. Fortunately, I have never had to get familiar with my malpractice coverage but it’s better to be covered all the way then not.
Advice to PA students for entering the workforce
My advice would be to always research salaries for your specialty in that region before interviewing and don’t hesitate to negotiate for more after getting the offer. Not only are you avoiding leaving money on the table but for the good of our profession you do not want to be undervalued.