Journal of Dermatology for Physician Assistants

The official journal of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants

How 2020 Taught Us to See Opportunity through Obstacle

by Travis Hayden, MPAS, PA-C

“The impediment to action advances action.
What stands in the way becomes the way.”
–Marcus Aurelius

lot with me this past year. All through the pandemic, whether parenting my own children, working with
graduate students in the physician assistant (PA) program I teach at, or caring for my patients, I have found
myself continuously trying to help them to see a way forward when problems seemed to keep piling up one
after another. I encouraged them all to try not to dwell on the obstacles that they were faced with, but rather
on how they could adjust their own attitudes toward them and find the support and encouragement from
others needed to forge ahead confidently and successfully.

As dermatology PAs, we have dedicated our careers to the institution of healthcare. Our community
took tremendous steps forward in adjusting our attitudes to what seemed like insurmountable obstacles,
and we have forged ahead. I think of our colleagues who created the new flow of their clinics to safely
accommodate patients, those who helped to take part in assisting other specialties outside of dermatology,
and those who adapted by providing telemedicine visits. Making these adjustments was not easy, but with
renewed attitudes of determination, gratitude, and optimism, we were able to continue to provide care for
the patients who were in need. This was huge. The obstacles did not stop our progress but rather allowed for
us to discover new and innovative ways forward.


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