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About PineappleHead

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  1. sketchy pharm videos may help if you're a visual learner
  2. If it's any consolation, it's not like med school in a shorter period of time. The material doesn't get nearly as in-the-weeds as the med school curriculum.
  3. I worked as an MA in a small family medicine practice and a larger orthopedics practice prior to starting school without certification, and I found it all to be valuable experience. In primary care, we answered the phones, checked patients in and out, called with test results, did prior authorizations, processed referrals, roomed patients, took vitals, performed tests/collected samples (EKGs, urinalysis, H. pylori breath tests, spirometry, glucose and INR finger sticks, etc), drew blood, administered injections, etc. I would say I learned a great deal about medications from this experience that has helped me in school. In orthopedics, we roomed patients, gathered and recorded complete medical histories and HPIs, sent patients for appropriate x-rays in-office, set up for injections, assisted with casting, removed staples/sutures and casts, input physical exams and coding in the EMR, etc. For me, this experience was really helpful in learning to take a relatively thorough and efficient medical history and HPI. From what I've seen personally, ED techs have similar duties with drawing blood, placing splints, cleaning wounds, etc. I was under the impression the most valuable experience is one where you get as much hands-on experience as possible and demonstrate development of critical thinking.
  4. I feel you. It's frustrating, and you keep overanalyzing everything you said wondering what could have gone wrong. I'd say don't beat yourself up over it. Go into future interviews with a clear mind and just let your personality really shine through.
  5. I'm honestly a terrible interviewer, and I feel like in the past I've made the mistake of rambling about my academic history when realistically they could have gleaned that information from my application. I personally feel like there is merit in "just being yourself". Talk about your passions and the experiences that have shaped you. When interviewing for residency, a bunch of my friends have talked about their upbringing and their experience as first generation college students. It's an opportunity for you to showcase a side of you they don't see from your resume or personal statement. Don't hold back. I feel like my biggest mistake was failing to convey confidence or passion. Good luck with your upcoming interview!
  6. I found the official ETS book to be more than sufficient. I went through that maybe two weeks beforehand and ended up with I think 163 verbal, 168 quant, 5.0 writing.
  7. It probably depends on where you live, but connections absolutely help. I'm in Jersey, and I got my first job as an MA at a family med practice through my mom's friend who was an NP working there. A year and a half later, I got a job as an MA at an ortho practice. Technically my connection was another one of my mom's friends, who's married to one of the surgeons (I had shadowed him in college 3 years prior, and he helped me get the MA job). I've never been certified and was trained onsite for both. Loose connections can make a difference, I think.
  8. I work as an MA in an ortho practice, and the shifts are pretty flexible. A number of my coworkers are also nursing students or completing nursing pre-reqs and are able to balance working. Some days I'll do a 12 hour shift, and most days I work either a morning or afternoon shift.
  9. I'm only a student right now, but tbh I'm already jaded and beginning to think I should've outright gone to med school. But if I had to choose, I'd still pick PA > NP because of the education model, overall greater clinical experience, and generally more standardized curriculum.
  10. I only used the official ETS book plus a short vocab review book. I studied for maybe two weeks before the exam.
  11. You'll adjust and find what works for you. My study habits were a mixed bag in undergrad. I was either completely lazy and put in no effort or went really hard and wrote out pages of meticulous color-coded notes. I had a three-year gap period, so I was really concerned about how I would adjust to didactic year. Surprisingly, it wasn't that difficult to get used to, despite the enormous load. As to whether you'll have time to make condensed review notes... it depends on what you find works best. Personally, I find it to be a waste of time to rewrite material when I could study straight from the powerpoints or text. I mostly just reread the original material as many times as possible and as efficiently as possible. I only take abridged notes for long textbook passages that I won't have time to reread later. Most of my classmates still prefer making condensed notes and quizlets for everything. You'll find your own method, I think.
  12. However you choose to spend your remaining time, I just wanted to say you'll surprise yourself with how well you can pick it back up. I was out of school for 3 years before starting. I thought I would completely forget how to read, let alone study, but it only took about a week to readjust. Try to enjoy your free time :]
  13. Like everyone else said, you can probably find a number of places to train you on the job, depending on where you live. I'm from New Jersey, and from what I've seen, a lot of hospitals hire patient care techs without needing certification. I ended up being hired as a medical assistant at two offices that just trained me on-site. It ended up being the most direct way of getting experience without having to jump through too many hoops.
  14. I got an automated email with a link to schedule the day and time.
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