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CSCH last won the day on March 18 2019

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About CSCH

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    Physician Assistant

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  1. South College (I believe all of the locations)
  2. I'll jump on the bandwagon and repeat what's been said above: I think the strongest part of my application were my letters of recommendation from clinical preceptors who thought I stood out. I recently asked one of my program directors why they picked me (I was competing with people with much more critical care experience), and they said my interview was a big part, too. No one seemed to care much about my grades (other than that they were decent), they just wanted to know what kind of human I was and how I thought. They're looking for people who can excel in the high-stress residency environment, who have the right combination of assertiveness and people skills to get the most out of it while competing with other learners, and who seem well-suited for actual practice in critical care.
  3. How was the "PA Practicum" structured? I've wondered this about the other PA doctorates as well. My understanding is you just do your normal job and have some extra assignments/papers/presentations related to it.
  4. If I had a dollar for every time I recommended this book... ***The Ventilator Book by William Owens*** Read it twice.
  5. Just wanted to follow up post-residency. I'm two months into my permanent position (and already off orientation), and now more than ever I am grateful for having done a residency. There were moments when the year seemed long, but now in hindsight it flew by. A single year was such a small sacrifice in comparison to what I got: an incredibly broad base of knowledge, procedural competency, relationships with other professionals (many of whom are now friends), and a lot of confidence. My only regret is that it was all over so quickly. If you're reading this like I was, sitting in my PA classes wondering if I should consider a residency, the answer is yes.
  6. For the sake of anonymity, I'm going to keep which program I'm attending private. As far as what to look for in a program, I love that mine has a well-developed SIM lab, bi-monthly dedicated lecture days with really good speakers, and we rotate through basically every major type of ICU (burn and trauma aren't built in, but are available as electives--I chose to do trauma but not burn). I think overall making sure they have a real curriculum is the big thing. A residency without that is just an excessive amount of work. Yes, you'll learn a ton and be exposed to a variety of experiences and patient populations, but I think the didactic portion is what ties it all together.
  7. After residency, I take two weeks off to recover, and then I start my permanent position at a MICU. I'm very excited to be working there! Down the road, I'd like to precept and teach, but also flesh out a few hobbies and get back in shape. I also definitely see myself picking up extra shifts from time to time in the various units I've rotated through in order to keep up the unit-specific skills I've gotten to learn through the year. (Being used to working pretty much every day, I think I'm going to have to really adapt to having so much free time!)
  8. The Ventilator Book by William Owens. It's the best. I read it twice before starting residency and I felt like it gave me an edge. Just make sure you find out what brand of vent your unit uses and what names they have for the standard/special vent modes so you can apply what you learn in the book to your machines. Marino is great; I think the mini is sufficient, but the full shebang is certainly good. I also really liked the Washington Manual of Critical Care. If you like things put into flow charts of if/then, it's perfect. Less theoretical, more about action items. The EMCrit podcast has lots of topics super relevant to the ICU, and the PulmCrit blog is great.
  9. I always recommend The Ventilator Book by William Owens. Short, easy to read, packed with the real info you need about vents. Ideally, in CTICU-land patients are quickly extubated, but you'll certainly have your share of people who need more active ongoing vent management. (When you get to your ICU, make sure you find out what brand of vent they use and what each of the standard modes is called on their machine so you can apply your knowledge.)
  10. If critical care is your passion, and you know you get two electives, I would consider either getting into two different ICUs (MICU/SICU/CCU/neuro) or picking your second elective to be in a field relevant to the ICU, like ID, pulmonology, cards (esp heart failure), EM at a busy hospital, hospital IM. Really anything that keeps you in the hospital rather than clinic setting. I 100% flipped what I wanted to do in PA school, so make sure you keep an open mind!
  11. I'm in a CCM residency right now, and it's the best decision I've ever made. If you're thinking about it, at the very least apply and allow yourself the opportunity. But if you're asking me, you should do it. It has shaped me into a totally different provider than I would have been otherwise. The experience of rotating through every critical care specialty as well as spending designated time with consultants has been invaluable. There's no way to replace the experience.
  12. Thanks, Lt Oneil -- That's exactly what I was trying to say. My amygdala is starting to retain medical knowledge haha
  13. I agree this ProSpectre's point. I looked at and thought about both, but I felt that I wanted my clinical skills to grow first, so I did residency right out of school. Someday I may pursue a doctorate, but I want to feel like I have a real clinical practice established before I choose a doctoral focus.
  14. Also, you need to read House of God. But start it when you're at least 4-5 months in. It's a great book, but it'll really hit you right in the feels if you read it while you're in the midst of residency and you can really relate to the characters. It took me months to finish because of so little free time, but literally everything he goes through I went through (emotionally--and no, not *literally everything*). Another thing I've been musing on today is the way I move around the unit these days. Everything used to be scary. Everything. Now I know what I know, and I know what I don't know. I can recognize most real emergencies, and I know when I can walk down the hall to the patient's room and when I need to run. The machines aren't scary, and neither are their beeps. Questions from nurses don't feel like I'm being pimped (even being pimped doesn't feel like I'm being pimped anymore). But on the flip side, the real emergencies get my blood pumping much more than they used to. As I've taken on more and more responsibility, my spidey senses have become more acute, and there are certain vitals/labs/imaging/etc that (I think I stole this phrasing from someone) make my butt pucker. I always imagined myself going through this process and becoming increasingly more objective, thinking through things in a clear and efficient way. And I'm not saying I haven't grown that skill. But the funny thing is that I've also become much more instinctual, and I've stored all this factual knowledge in a casing of emotional knowledge, and the emotional side is the first thing to appear in my mind. Am I explaining this at all well? Maybe someone else has experienced this and can explain it better.
  15. The most important advice I can give you is to read The Ventilator Book by William Owens. Maybe twice. Maybe three times. It's short, easy to read, and has all the info you need to get started on day 1 with vents. (That man owes me money for the number of times I have recommended his book to some intern.) If you want more reading, Marino is the classic. I like how opinionated he is. When you first start out, you don't have experience upon which to build your own opinions, so I think it's good to borrow opinions and try them on for size. The full-size is good, but frankly the "mini" Marino is probably all you need. However (similarly to before PA school), I think it's really important to just enjoy your time off. Residency is exhausting, and there's no reason to go into it tired because the exhaustion is cumulative. Go travel or visit friends and family, or enjoy the hobbies you won't have time for. Or just sleep. I dream about sleep
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