Hand writing notes has been my go-to strategy since my freshman year of undergrad and when something just won’t stick, I write it until it does.
“I now understand why many people encourage primary care as a first job on which to build a strong foundation as a clinician before going into speciality care.”
Before I started my OBGYN rotation, a former labor and delivery nurse told me that she absolutely loved obstetric work because, “It’s the only time people are happy to come to the hospital.”
I always thought of myself as a Christina Yang to the core but this month really brought out the Izzie Stevens in me.
During this month, I internalized one of the most powerful and profound lessons I have ever learned. My preceptor changed my opinion and preconceived notions about patients (and people in general) with one small sentence.. “Everyone is better than the worst thing they’ve ever done.”
My experience did not disappoint and I was able to first assist a variety of procedures including 10 hour TRAM flap cases, breast reductions and augmentations, liposuction of almost every area of the body, upper and lower blepharoplasties, abdominoplasties, and countless injectables.. Botox, Juvederm, Voluma, you name it!
Don’t wait for your surgeon to yell at you because the camera has fogged up and you’re just sitting there. Be proactive! Have laps ready to dab away blood, suction ready.. You get the idea.
I could tell them all about their baby’s glucuronosyltransferase activity but had no idea how many wet diapers they should be making per day! The realization that I had no idea what was normal for babies hit me hard and I spent much of my time asking my preceptor things like how to choose a baby formula or how often a 2 month old should be eating.
A typical day for me included rounding on the patients by myself before my preceptor arrived, writing progress notes (more on that later), and then presenting the patients with my assessment and plan. I also performed detailed H&Ps on new admits and dictated discharge summaries.
By the third week, I was suturing and performing I&Ds solo and on my last week, my preceptor let me get a taste of being an actual provider by putting in my own orders for labs and imaging, deciding whether or not to admit my patients, and perhaps the most commonly used skill for any medical provider → charting, charting, charting. (CYA, am I right!?)
To celebrate, I compiled the 17 most commonly asked questions about PA school that I received this year. I started the blog to do exactly that, spread interest in the profession, inspire others to pursue their academic dreams, and provide a resource for pre and current PA students.
While it is true that “grades aren’t everything,” exams are an inevitable part of a professional program and let’s be real… it feels SO good to get that A!
When I was in the process of applying, I felt sort of lost. There were no clear guidelines to follow or lists detailing every step of the way. Now, having crossed the stormy CASPA waters and come out on the other side as an excited, accepted PA student, I know that there is no perfect recipe for acceptance but there are certainly some key ingredients, which is the basis for this post.
Before taking the exam, I did some googling for information about it but did not find much. There are endless resources and blog articles regarding the PANCE but not much about the PACKRAT.