Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


  • Profession
    Physician Assistant

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

mhgutierrez02's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)



  1. Often people tell me I'm so lucky to have finished PA school at such a young age. And Lucky I am, but at the same time It's not about luck It's about how hard you work for something and how bad you want something. Ever since I got into college I knew I wanted to study medicine , At that point I didn't know about the PA profession but once i found out my second semester it became everything I worked for. I sacrificed the college life and took 18 hours a semester while being a college cheerleader, volunteering , job shadowing, Oh and trying to become a US resident. I was working so hard, but I knew if I stayed as an illegal immigrant my dreams wouldn't come true. For that I am extremely grateful for my parents, they sacrificed so much to get our citizenship fixed, spent a lot of money and put their whole life on hold for me. Sometimes you will feel like your pushing against a big tide and not moving forward but that's when you need to push the most and not give up. Never once did I doubt god and his plan for me. I knew I would become a US Resident eventually and for that I kept working on my dream-- Becoming a Physician Assistant. My parents instilled in me that Education is so important. They were perfect examples of it too , My dad Graduated with an Engineering Degree and My mom with Finances , once they moved to the US they weren't able to continue their careers but they moved here to give my sister and I a better life. Thanks to the morals that they raised me with I finished my Bachelor's with Honors in three years and got into PA school when I was 21 years old. So many times during my journey I felt that I was working so hard for a goal that wasn't going to come true , but With God first I accomplished it. I love to be passionate and share my passion with others. Anyone who knows me can tell you I love what I'm doing, Becoming a Physician Assistant is not just my career its Who I Am, who my parents raised me to be. When the odds are against you , you PUSH. I'm the type of woman who you give me a challenge and I won't just accomplish it but I will crush it. Because I was always raised to do things full heartedly and with everything you have. Now I'm a PA-C days away from my first day at work. Don't get me wrong I face challenges and obstacles daily , its how you overcome those obstacles that makes you stronger. I hope sharing a little part of myself and my journey will help you fullfill your goals and dreams. Never Give up, Dream Big, and ALWAYS ALWAYS keep pushing against that tide. Melissa Gutierrez MPAS, PA-C melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com
  2. So I've received several requests asking me how to handle rotations in which your preceptor or staff may not like you or give you a difficult time. My biggest advise to this is be yourself and remember : " It's not about you , its about the patient " It does get hard , but you are there to become a better provider . It's a challenge but try and learn the most you can from that rotation. Even learning how you DON'T want to be as a provider, how you would want to change things if you were ever a preceptor yourself. I have faced uncomfortable situations in rotations and Sometimes it did get hard to deal with it , but I have to remember my end goal which is to become an AMAZING PA , so I'm willing to put in the work and go through the challenges to get me there. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Always focus on your patient 1st and i assure you that will help you face diffult challenges. Seeing a smile on your patient's face, getting the diagnosis right, being able to help them with their pain those scenarios overcome any challenge you will ever face. Melissa Gutierrez MPAS, PA-c
  3. I found it extremely helpful however it was more helpful as I was preparing for PANCE but i will def recommend.
  4. Hi ! I would take breaks often between studying, small breaks would be made up about 15 min -- these breaks i would walk around get some air, check my phone, call my husband etc Long breaks i would go to the gym or nap depending on where i was at mentally. BUT you will need breaks and I felt very strong about them so i always scheduled them ! Listen to your body , you will know if you need a nap, or to step away from the books a bit. Quality of studying over quantity of studying. Any questions message me or follow my blog melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com Melissa Gutierrez MPAS , PA-C .
  5. How to study during clinical year Hey everyone ! I have a lot of people reaching out to me on clinical rotations and how to study during this year. Every program is different , in my program as well as a lot of programs are known to have End of Rotations exam that are written by PAEA. Meaning we had state regulated exams for Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Ob/Gyn, psychiatry, Pediatrics . The PAEA offers End of rotation exam blue prints which shows what topics you need to review for exam. This adds a lot of pressure to your clinical year-- not only do you need to prepare for clinic and your preceptor but you need to prepare for this exam. So here are some tips on how I studied and stayed on top of my study material during Clinical year * Always carry your IPAD ( in my program we were given an IPAD as part of the curriculum and we had our books , notes, and etc on the IPAD) * APPLICATIONS to have in your ipad : epocrates ( awesome app for medications , dosages , usages, contraindications, side effects etc), UP to date ( can look up pretty much any diagnosis, treatment plan, diagnostic studies and get the most current information) LAB values app ( will show you lab references and what it means if those labs are high or low) medscape ( i liked this app because it would show everything for any given diagnosis such as etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic studies, treatment plans etc). *always carry a notebook and pen -- I would like to write quick hit notes on the patients I saw without violating any HIPPA regulations So for example-- 42 year old female, Chief complaint : cough, then I would write my physical exam findings, note what the diagnosis ended up being and the treatment. That way I could review the patients and cases I saw that day, If for whatever reason I didn't understand something I could study it . * Always have your backpack in your car -- in my backpack I had all my study materials that way if I had downtime in clinic or during lunch I would be able to study . * Scheduling is important- majority of your time when you are in clinical year will be spent in clinic/ operation room etc . Your mornings will start early and you will be getting home late , the last thing you want is to study when you get home but you have too. Let me give you an insight to my day -- typically .... wake up at 5:30 AM , get ready for clinic , listen to podcast on topics that are on blue print, be at clinic by 7:45- 8:00 AM . usually if I was in clinic I would be there from 8:00 AM- 5/7 PM. If it was surgery I could be there from 5:30 - 6AM until 8-10 PM. If I was in clinic I would get home eat dinner and study at least 2 hours. Surgery days I would maybe do 1.5 hours. My catch up time was weekend which meant I needed to use my weekends wisely, and try and put anywhere from 12-14 hours of studying . Clinical year is exhausting and tough --- but remember your preceptors have been through all of it -- so they will be hard on you and tough and they expect you to perform. However we are human and you will make mistakes -- so always be open to learn and if your preceptors see you are working hard they respect that. It will be hard to find a rhythm and find a schedule that works for you but you will figure it out and once you do clinical year will be easier. Have a wonderful thursday !
  6. Hey everyone ! Melissa Gutierrez MPAS, PA-C , graduated December 2017. thought I would share my experience of failing during PA school Today I will write about my hardships during PA school , specifically failing. YES I did fail while in PA school, I'm human and I struggled. I failed the medicine part of the neurological module-- it was the last module of the fall semester , and I was tired. Neurology throughout PA school was something i struggled with , it wasn't my strenght. During them module I would get easily confused and overwhelmed with the information. It was apparent to me that I was intimidated which is why I had such a hard time comprehending material . This goes for anything in life, when you allow the intimidation of things take over it can blind your vision. I knew I didn't have a good background on neurology, I knew that i had a hard time learning this so eveyrtime i studied the matieral i would easily get frustrated. And this was the issue , I was allowing myself to get frustrated even before I tried to really understand it. During PA school , you will not know everything, you won't get A's in everything, its not all going to make sense-- and truth is that is OK! PA school is only 2.5 years but this career takes a lifelong commitment. PA school is there to lay a good foundation , to get you started into this profession but truth is you won't be great right away. It's going to take time, trial and error ,and lots of learning to get you to where you need to be. I realized that instead of seeing it in a negative light , I should want to improve in neurology because truth is in family medicine I will see my fair share of neurological diagnosis. I can't run away from it , and everything during PA school was telling me that i needed to put in some extra work in this organ system. I started breaking it down even more than what i usually do, sometimes even take 1 day to review 1-3 diagnosis vs 5-10. I started trying to understand why i was missing it because who cares if i miss on an exam , it will matter if i miss it in a real person. I made sure everyday I reviewed neurology , and honestly it paid off. When I took my PANCE i got 100 % on the neurological portion and honestly this was a reward in itself for me because not only did i pass my pance but i succeeded a goal that I set out for myself. If you fail or struggle during PA school it is OK , instead of getting frustrated try to see why you are struggling and remember it's never about you its about the patients, so always be better, always learn more, and always improve. In this career and profession is not about getting perfect scores , its about truly understanding the material , these are peoples lives we are in charge of , so work a little hard, hustle everyday, love what you do , and the pay off is worth it for you and your patients. - blog: melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com
  7. I got diagnosed with hashimoto's hypothyroidism Hello all , I recently shared on my social media about my recent diagnosis with hypothyroidism. I have received a great outpouring on people with similar symptoms or people diagnosed with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism that don't quite understand these disorders so i decided to write about them. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism affects your thyroid gland however .... they have opposite effects on your body . Our thyroid helps maintain our heart, muscles, brain , and other organs functioning properly, also a huge factor in our energy. Essentially your metabolism is too active or slows down. With HYPOthyroidism our body essentially doesn't make enough thyroid hormone, with HYPERthyroidism our thyroid makes too much. MOST COMMON cause of HYPOthyroidism is a disease called Hashimoto's ( which is what I was diagnosed with )-- it is an autoimmune disease, where our immune system makes antibodies that destroy thyroid cells which inhibits them from making the thyroid hormone. MOST COMMON cause of HYPERthyroidism is a condition called Grave's disease-- typically will present with swelling on their neck and swelling in the eyes Let's talk how hypothyroidism presents -- so with hypothyroidism your metabolism slows down-- meaning you will feel sluggish , tired, dry skin, dry hair, brittle nails, constipation , weight gain, muscle cramps, depressing , menstrual changes, swelling in front of neck. Hyperthyroidism on the other hands is a FAST metabolism -- will feel extremely hot, sweating, problems falling asleep, racing thoughts, difficulty focusing , change in bowel habits, anxiety, weight loss, menstrual changes, fatigue . Now out of the two hyperthyroidism can be more dangerous -- causing thyroid storms in which your thyroid is doing way to much and this is an EMERGENCY. Now these are often missed, especially the hashimotos hypothyroidism because often they screen your thyroid hormone but not the complete thyroid panel and sometimes that's what they need in order to make diagnosis. I was experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism , but a lot of those symptoms are also related to anemia -- and I am anemic. I was complaining of extreme fatigue, muscle aches, heavy menstruation, and constipation -- I was seen by an amazing PA at my Ob/gyn clinic here in McAllen , tx and she decided to screen me and sure enough my thyroid was not doing well. I began with treatment yesterday and will be following up in 3 months to see if my thyroid is starting to do its job. Essentially , thyroid disorders aren't often screened but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it wouldn't hurt to tell your provider next visit if they can check your thyroid. Thyroid controls and balances a lot of our hormones-- and I can speak from experience It made me exhausted. Didn't have energy for much and I didn't want to feel that way. I feel way better knowing that now i'm on a treatment plan and on track to having better health. if you have any questions please don't hesistate to e-mail me, thank you. Melissa Gutierrez-Perez MPAS, PA-C. blog: melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com
  8. How to prevent burn out ? Hey everyone ! hope your week is going great. This is a popular topic in any student -- the burn out. Sometimes we over do it and we exhaust ourselves. My biggest advise here is listen to your body-- your body knows when its tired, when it needs sleep, rest, food , a break. It took me a while to figure this out -- I thought I was superwoman and I could handle sleeping 2-3 hours , being in class all day, workout, study, and try to make time for my loved ones but realistically I couldn't. PA school ( nursing school , medical school, graduate school ) is very hard. And in order to get through it you need to be rested and focused. I learned that staying up till 4 AM wasn't going to change my grade, realistically I'm not functioning at that time . Just because you are staring at a book and " reading " doesn't mean you are putting good quality studying . I wrote about this earlier in my blog , it's all about quality of studying vs quantity of studying. So if you go to a coffee shop to study , its better if you are fully focused for 2 hours vs 8 hours of unfocused studying. I always knew when I was beginning to tire out, I would start looking at my phone, I would get a headache, I started getting interested of anything else around me except my books ! This is when I knew I needed to take a break to eat, nap, walk around, or even call it a night . You will see a huge deterioration in your grades, mental and physical health. These programs are challenging and they will test your abilities in every way possible. I had plenty of mental breakdowns and it was all part of the process, sometimes it will feel impossible-- how in the world are you going to study for 8 exams, prepare a note, study for lab, and sleep, eat ,rest and in one day. ORGANIZATION and planning is key. take it one day at a time, make sure you are focused in and out of the classroom if you can see you aren't fully focused take a break. Listen to your body always. And always remember you can do it ! Keep telling yourself that every day, believe me you will get there , look at me Im 3 weeks away from my first day at work. One day at a time, one step at a time. good luck ! Melissa Gutierrez- Perez MPAS , PA-C
  9. Hi first of all CONGRATULATIONS, this is a huge accomplishment . I'm Melissa Gutierrez Perez MPAS-PA-C. Just became a licensed PA this last month , and finished PA school December 2017. It is so normal to be nervous. I actually have a blog and talked today about preparing for the first year of PA school today. First and foremost the 1st semester is the hardest because you are going to be trying to figure out what works best for you. My first tip is get a planner and stay organized . Divide your time in between classes wisely, figure out what books you like to use the most ( mine were PANCE PREP PEARLS, step up to medicine, toronto notes. I loved epocrates for pharmacology, I also loved the uptodate application and medscape. Second I would advise make sure you stay healthy- eat right , sleep right, have some time for exercise. Third I would like to think that PA school gets a little easier when you have a good study group ( thats my personal opinion) helps to have a group to divide notes with etc. 4th always stay on top of it- try to read before the next day so you don't go into class so lost, make notes, study cards, listen to videos ( i loved paul bolin, medgeeks ( AKA PA boards ), ROSH review) 5th it will be hard, probably one of the toughest things you will experience but enjoy the ride , if you are truly passionate about this believe me it will be the best time of your life, the hardest but also so rewarding. follow my blog for more tips or email me we can talk. melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com
  10. Hi ! Melissa Gutierrez -Perez MPAS, PA-C. Personal opinion is to forget about it, you have a good GPA , and good HCE hours. Now be prepared for them to ask why you got that C. I myself had once C in chemistry before I applied , I was in the same boat but didn't want to prolong my application. So i decided to keep it. My C was in the first semester of undergrad, and in all honesty i was taking 3 sciences , 3 labs and working 2 jobs to put me through school , therefore I struggled .I barely was getting used to the college work load and trying to figure my study habits out, after that C i didn't have any other C's and did extremely well. You are human they don't expect perfection , they want a well rounded individual. for any other tips email me and follow my blog : melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com best of luck.
  11. thank you ! Yes I sent everything that was required for pre licensing in december only thing pending was me passing boards which I did beginning of february so I'm just waiting now ! Hopefully I hear back soon.
  12. Hi all ! Melissa Gutierrez MPAS , PA-C here with some other tips for didactic year Happy Monday ! Another start to a wonderful week. Today I will talk about the hardest part of the 1st year of PA school. There is several difficult challenges for the 1st year here I will list what I had a hard time with. #1 - WORK LOAD . PA school WILL BE THE HARDEST THING YOU EVER HAVE TO DO , I can assure you that. The work load is intense , you are expected to learn so much material in so little time. One of the hardest parts of PA school will be preparing for these exams ; quick tip : a lot of the material will be self taught, there's only so much material they can cover in class , so it will be expected for you to go home and go over a lot of stuff on your own. In the beginning I wanted to read every chapter, cover everything in one class before moving on to the next -- realistically there's no way you will ever be able to do all of that. It took me almost a full semester to realize this and change my study habits. It's about studying smart, reading the material you believe will be beneficial to strengthening your information. for example , my pathophysiology professor provided power points notes directly from the book -- what I did was read the sections that were covered in his power point only-- made notes as we were in lecture with anything he added that wasn't in notes and then added important notes from book that helped me understand material more. Everything I did was always color coded, power point material was black, red was what professor added in class, and pink was book material. This kept all my notes in one document vs having power point notes, lecture notes, and self notes . I learned that in order to make my studying time easier I needed to integrate material vs trying to study each class individually. So for example , my program was designed in modules -- meaning we began with Immunology & hematology ( they used NCCPA blueprint as the core of the material we would cover added by anything professors found relevant to our profession), we would see all pathophysiology, anatomy, clinical medicine, patient education and pharmacology for immunology and hematology and test over all topics of it in one day -- IT was called black monday so we would have anywhere from 4-6 exams in one day. I began studying material together so let's say we were going over allergic rhinitis I would review what is going on pathophysiologically, how will my patient present in clinic, how will I treat them, what patient education can i give them and in that manner I had reviewed every class . #2 - Time management We all probably are good at scheduling and organization after all you did get accepted into PA school, however this type of work load is like nothing else. Time management will be key , using your time wisely will safe you. I have talked about this throughout my blog - but having an agenda will save you . You need to be organized about your day and study habits. For example , I would get up at 5:30 AM , class began at 8:00 AM i would shower and review a little before class ( whatever we would be seeing that day ). I would be at school by 7:30 am, got my MAC ready ( in my mac I would open my pre worked notes , here I had power point notes typed up ,as well as my added material in pink from what I had read the night before ) in my IPAD i opened power point in order to follow along in lecture and record professor. As i'm in class I add in anything extra in red meaning I got that material from professor or anything done in class. I would do this for every class, during lunch I would read or get ahead on any assignments that may be due . After school , I would go to library eat a quick meal and review material that we covered for that day for about an hour and a half or 2 and then begin reviewing material for the next day. Now Every person is different , i was able to be on campus for 12-13 hours. You need to know your strengths during PA school, mine were my fast note taking skills and reading skills. I knew that I would be able to read and make notes because that's the way I enjoyed studying. Now making friends and good study groups is key. My group of study buddies during PA school helped me a lot , one of my best friends was amazing at charts -- so she was in charge of doing the pharmacology charts with all the medications, side effects ,contraindications, usages, and dosages. Another firned enjoyed flashcard so she did quizlet for the class, another friend was good at making the reviews for the exam. Finding your strengths and weakness will make a huge difference. #3 - having limited time for family and loved ones I often would hear during open houses I attended for PA school that if you do get accepted you wouldn't have much time for anything else other than school -- it almost seemed extreme but IT IS TRUE. Week 1 of PA school , and reality struck -- I had class monday's and wednesdays from 8:00 am to 5:45 pm. Tuesdays we had lab at 8:00 am until 11:45 Am and thursday lab from 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm. Friday was case study day from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon , then we had clinical lab science from 1:00 to 3:00 ish , saturday we had lab as well from 1:00 until 4:00 By the time I got out of class on Mondays and wednesdays I was so tired but also overwhelmed with all the material we went over -- so those were the hardest days to study because you're tired from classroom but you need to make the time . Tuesdays and thursdays I called my catch up days since I wasn't in the classroom for so long I would be able to get ahead on reading , studying , and note making. Your loved ones may not understand the pressure you are under and how much material you have to review a day, So it will be hard when you are missing BBQs, parties, dinners, etc. Now there were plenty of my classmates that were able to do both , For me I'm a naturally anxious person and I needed to dedicate myself to this completely, You are in the program for 28 months , get the most out of these 28 months because the next time you are in a clinic you will be seeing patients on your own. #4 figuring out what works and what doesn't This is probably a constant struggle all PA students face, coming in you don't know what books to use, how to study , do notes work , flashcards, videos, etc. Every school is different but in our program some classes did have a required textbook while others allowed you to use any book you would like as long as you reviewed the topics at hand. This is hard, coming in you need to figure out what does and doesn't work. In my undergrad majority of what I would do was hand written notes ,it helped me remember material better, Coming into PA school there was no way I could handwrite my notes -- I Would never finish. So I had to make changes , and find out new study habits in order to work more efficiently. The first semester will be the hardest -- but it does get better you figure out how to study , what works for you and how to manage your time by your second semester you will be handling the stress so much better. It's a roller coaster ride of emotions ,it is stressful , it is hard, but its also so beautiful. I loved every part of my PA school journey. It was the best experience of my life. Be prepared , and remember be a sponge , absorb everything ! follow my blog : melissa-gutierrez.simplesite.com
  13. Hi all , I'm Melissa Gutierrez MPAS , PA-C. Passed my boards February 8th, moved into licensing february 20th. Now waiting on my temporary license and licensing anyone know how long it takes for these to typically go out, im desperate to start working.
  14. Thank you & keep working hard and you will be in my shoes very soon ! I loved the university i attended and i do believe i was well trained, for boards and for practicing. The curriculum is module based something that I really liked , seeing all of cardiology from pathophysiology, anatomy, pharmacology, clinical medicine, patient education vs seeing different organ systems in each class worked for me. They do a lot on preparing you for boards, such as the multitude of exams that are directly taken from the NCCPA blue print,end of rotation exams by PAEA in your clinical year, PAK RAT and board reviews. So far everyone who has taken it in my class passed , and last years class had a 99 % pass rate on first try. Program is getting stronger every year. But honestly it comes down to how hard you work and the work you put in, you can attend the best program in the nation but if we don't put in the work and study hard on our own the PANCE will be hard to pass. keep your options open, but I always had a passion for the undeserved community in the RGV so going to UTRGV was the perfect match for me.
  15. If you haven't heard from any of the above i would recommend calling or e-mailing to ask where you application process is at by this time they should have made a decision on one of those 3.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More