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Aunt Val

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  1. A great case. Just getting around to reading it. Thanks to everybody for their input.
  2. I used Anki and found it very helpful. I didn't dig very much into the specialized kinds of cards you can make, mostly did normal front-back cards. I liked the built-in spaced repetition. Probably any advice from med school users would also be applicable for PA school.
  3. All of this sounds kind of strange to me. My program let us review almost all our exams, whether we did well or poorly. My pharmacology professor (who rewrote every exam every year) even encouraged us to use past years' exams as study guides. I think there was one professor who only let us see our online exams for a few minutes and then they were cut off. Sounds like my program must be an anomaly. EDIT: Of course this was only for the didactic year. EORs are a different story since they're from a PA organization, not the school.
  4. Thanks to you both! I had found part of the ACC/AHA guidelines, but not the full document, so that's helpful.
  5. Hey all, I was recently hired to provide locum tenens coverage at an eye surgery center. This is my first PA job, and while I would rather be doing something permanent, I'm grateful for the opportunity to get some experience to put on my resume. My job is to provide preop clearance for patients undergoing eye surgery, most often cataract removal. I'm expected to do H&Ps, read EKGs, and interpret bloodwork (when ordered). My first day I was put in an exam room and given basically no guidance except from my MA, who is very helpful but doesn't know everything I need to know--like what exactly I should be looking for in approving or not approving a patient for surgery. The MA showed me a list of a few basic things that would preclude a patient from having surgery (like MI in the last 3 months). Other than that, I was left to figure it out on my own. I talked with the practice manager, who said he would get me in touch with one of the anesthesiologists, but that never happened. A few days later, I got to talk with a part-time MD at the practice, but she just mumbled something about "you're just looking for their general health status." I sought out an anesthesiologist to double check a couple of EKGs for me, and he was pretty dismissive of my questions. Does anybody have any sources where I could find specific guidelines to use in decision making? I did some digging on my own and found some general algorithms, but nothing with hard and fast rules. I get that you have to take the whole patient into account, not just their data on paper, but seems like there should be something out there to use beyond just a clinically-educated gut feeling. I've also found a few articles suggesting that extensive testing for preop clearance is unneccessary (especially for low-risk procedures like cataracts) and just drives up healthcare costs. This makes me wonder why I'm even there. Am I making too big a deal of this? Basically, I just don't want to kill anybody or have anyone sue me for negligence if I give the green light for surgery and then a patient dies on the table, however unlikely that may be.
  6. You're not alone! I pretty much could have written the original post, as I'm dealing with the same thing. It's been rough, and it really is disheartening to get rejection email after rejection email. COVID + no experience = very few opportunities.
  7. I went to a program with a cadaver lab and found it very helpful to actually see and touch real bodies and anatomical structures. My course had three different professors, plus a TA or two, to help us in the lab during class time, and students had 24-hour-a-day access to the lab for individual or group study. I spent so much time in there. I thought it was great and would recommend the cadaver lab option if that were the only difference between your two schools. With the other factors you mention, you'll have to make a decision based on your own preferences.
  8. If you’re willing to do something non medical for a few months, substitute teaching can be a good gig. School systems are usually desperate for subs, and it’s a job with a lot of flexibility. You can choose the days you want to work and turn down any opportunities that you don’t want. The pay is decent, too, for a temp job.
  9. @rubytuesdai You're not alone. I graduated this summer too and have yet to find a PA job. I've applied to a ton of positions in the nearby city, passed out resumes in person to medical offices in my more rural county, and applied to an out-of-state residency, all with no success. In the meantime I started substitute teaching, which lasted a month until schools in my area went back to online instruction and didn't need subs anymore, and I just started working a seasonal job with a shipping company to help ends meet. School loans are coming due soon--I guess I'll see if I can defer for a while longer. Yeah, it can be discouraging, but let's keep up hope and not forget why we entered this field in the first place. I haven't been looking too far out of my area, but you all are convincing me that I should. I've toyed with the idea of working with the Indian Health Service. Maybe I'll give that a shot.
  10. You're good. I've been busy the last couple days with my unfortunately-non-PA temp job. So my first observations on the EKG apparently weren't quite right. I'm enjoying looking over other people's discussion though. Not sure what else to offer at this point besides comparing past EKGs and maybe getting a repeat.
  11. Let me try out my EKG reading skills . . . Rate: approx. 84 bpm Rhythm: irregularly irregular Axis: normal P waves are present before each QRS. QRS is narrow. T waves are present and not peaked. Normal R wave progression over precordial leads. I originally wanted to say A-fib, but it can't be because there are P waves. Calf pain could be related to possible DVT (although less likely if it's bilateral) or bad peripheral circulation. Left flank pain--kidney?? So I have some basic observations but am not sure how to put all this together. Please correct me and teach me more. Edit: I just reviewed some EKGs, and it looks like what you've presented may be a wandering atrial pacemaker, since it has at least 3 different morphologies for the P waves, is between 60-100 bpm, and has an irregularly irregular rhythm.
  12. You'd have to ask some more questions specifically to your program/faculty to get an accurate answer. I don't know how other schools work, but at mine I think the only thing that mattered is that you had to have a 3.0 or above to start clinical year. Rotation sites were allotted by availability, not GPA. If you've got a 3.5 GPA, relax! You're doing great. Don't get down on yourself because of some B's.
  13. I'd say I learned most on my internal medicine rotations because my preceptor let me do all kinds of stuff and talked over patient cases with me. I do wish I had been able to get a hospitalist rotation, as I think that also would have been very useful.
  14. I'm in the process of applying for jobs, and I just got a rejection email from a health center basically because I'm a PA and not an NP. The position would be pretty much my dream job, working in underserved areas of my city, including with refugees. The website only advertised NP openings, but I thought I'd try anyway. However, I "do not meet the minimum requirements for the position," according to the rejection email. Sigh. I'm disappointed.
  15. I was a phlebotomist for 3 years before PA school, and it was a great job for me. I worked in a small hospital with inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room duties. Learned a whole lot about care in different areas of the hospital and about various lab tests, which did come in handy for school. If you decide to go this route make sure that you attend a high quality training program or can be well-trained on the job. There are a lot of sketchy phlebotomy courses out there. You can't learn to be a good phlebotomist in a day or two, no matter what some people claim.
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