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Is PA school as hard as you thought it was going to be?


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#1 leon24

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:55 PM

This is to those that are currently in PA school or have graduated. Is/was PA school as hard as you thought it was going to be? Was it harder? Was it a little easier? Also what part was harder: diadetic or the clinincal rotations? I have heard a lot about how hard and rigorous it is and sometimes feel a little anxiety about the process.

#2 lzypanda

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:07 PM

It's about as difficult as I expected it to be. I found didactic easier for me b/c of the design of our program. The first quarter (3-4 months) is all class stuff.. then they tossed us out into clinic - so each month we have 1 wk of class, 3 wks of clinic. Each month we return we're tested on the previous month's material... I thought it would be easier b/c I had more time to study.. but realistically I study less than I did during didactic.. also, the switch back and forth between class and clinic can be a little discombobulating at times.. but I love it this way - we get to learn hands on while adding more material to our knowledge bases.

It's natural to feel anxious about it.. you should have anxiety b/c you're going to be learning how to take care of other ppl who are entrusting their lives to you..programs don't want their graduates out there with a license to kill - at least I sure hope not. Just prepare well and get the most that you can out of it and I'm sure you'll do just fine!

Good luck!
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#3 acozadd

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:30 PM

I probably underestimated the workload, but it really isn't all that difficult. If you are a strong student in undergrad you will continue to be a strong student in PA school.

#4 rev ronin

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:02 AM

It's about as hard as I hoped, not as hard as I feared.

#5 Chica724

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:12 AM

Yeah same here in that it was about as difficult as I thought it would be. I originally thought "wow how on earth am I going to do this," but then remembered before I began undergrad, when I looked at the curriculum for my major (supposedly the 4th hardest in the university), I also thought the same thing, but I accomplished it. My major also prepared me well for the long late nights of studying with little sleep and lack of a solid social life.

#6 JoJo

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:46 PM

I'm two months in and its pretty much the hardest thing Ive ever had to do, but its exactly where I wanna be...

#7 chiaroscuro27

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 12:12 AM

I agree with rev ronin. This is totally doable if you have good time management and strong study skills. Some study strategies may need to be tweaked, but once you find what works, it's smooth sailing. Stay on top of the lectures, never get behind (easier said than done), and you should be okay.

It's easy to suffer from burn out early in the game. There's one easy way to combat this: take your hobbies with you to PA school, and enjoy them every now and then. If you like knitting, make time for that. If you enjoy going to concerts or running marathons, do that! It's a great way to keep your sanity and escape the rigors of school. All work and no play is no fun at all.
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#8 leon24

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 04:36 PM

Thanks for the reply's everyone! Its great to hear about everyone's perception and how it actually is/was.

#9 Iain1028

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 05:15 PM

We had a girl in PA class who always sat in the front row and Knitted during every lecture. She had good grades and when asked, she said it helped her keep her stress level down in PA school. It worked for her....

When in doubt, knit....

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#10 MCHAD

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 05:56 PM

We had a girl in PA class who always sat in the front row and Knitted during every lecture. She had good grades and when asked, she said it helped her keep her stress level down in PA school. It worked for her....

When in doubt, knit....


are you kidding me, i don't think i could keep it together if someone in our class did that.

#11 delco714

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 06:45 PM

When in doubt, knit....


Screw knitting, I crochet! ;) :P

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#12 Iain1028

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:22 PM

Not kidding, she would knit through all lectures, get great grades, and took almost no notes....

She was quite good at knitting.

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#13 marilynpac

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:48 PM

I guess it's better than taking a Rx....

#14 rev ronin

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 10:18 PM

Not kidding, she would knit through all lectures, get great grades, and took almost no notes....

She was quite good at knitting.

Hmm.... I find that playing computer games really is helpful to my concentration. Wonder if they'll let me do that? :-)

#15 underserved

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 03:56 AM

PA school is not hard, it's just not easy. Think twice. Unless you're a great knitter, don't do it.

#16 BruceBanner

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 02:20 PM

Totally depends on the school. Some schools seem to have an 'easier' curriculum while ours I think is quite hard. But if you take it 1 exam at a time it's not impossible. Just dont compare yourself to other students----some people will read over the notes one time and get all A's, others will sleep like 3 hours a night and make notecards and lists for everything....everyone's different.

They tried to scare us in our interviews saying "you wont have time for any hobbies, kiss the gym goodbye, etc". Rubbish. You'll have time for whatever you make time for. People always complain about having no time for the gym, but everyone has the same number of hours in the day. They have time for something else like TV or husband/bf...so it's up to you. You can still sleep 6-8 hours a night. You can still go to the gym. You'll just have to pick the one or two things you want to do outside of class/study, because you cant do them all.

#17 acozadd

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 08:27 PM

It also depends on the block of course you are currently taking. Our first block wasn't horrible, but this is brutal... immunology, micro, pharm, physical diagnosis, and women's health/gyn currently... We cover pharm in 3 months and take it with the med students at my school- we are flying through the material. Let's just say sleep has gone down and stress has gone up!

#18 AlmostDone2011

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:51 PM

school is much easier then I thought, but I also work alot at it.
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#19 jen0508

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 10:40 PM

its a little harder than i expected. not really hard, just alot of info in a very short period of time. like bruce said, i do think it depends on the school. some schools curriculums are more intense than others. my school is pretty intense but in the end i kno it will be worth it.

it also depends on the semester/class. depending on ur academic background and previous HCE , some classes will be easier to you while they will be harder to others. i was a biology major so micro/genetics type stuff was easy for me, while modules like cardio required more studying.

it will also get easier as u perfect ur studying habbits. i went thru undergrad studying here and there, so i wasnt used to the continuous kind of studying that PA school requires. i tried a bunch of different study methods and by the 2nd semester of PA school i finally found something that worked for me and my studying became really productive. i had alot more freetime than the previous semester even though we had a bigger courseload.

also, like other ppl said, dont pay attention to other people. at first i would get nervous when ppl would talk about how they were halfway thru studying the material for X test when i hadnt even opened the 1st powerpoint yet. but now i just ignore it and do my own thing. i dont study 24/7 and stress about school but i am doing well and feel llike i am learning what i need to know.

so my biggest piece of advice is do not pay attention to others. some ppl stress and get all worked up over tests and that will rub off on you if you let it. just relax and do ya thang! :)
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#20 jts

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:19 PM

good advice, I 'll go with that




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