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  1. Hi all! I am in the last 3.5 weeks of studying before I take my PANCE for the first time. I've gone through everything on the blueprint, done PACKRATs, and will be going to a review course right before the big day. I have done well on the PACKRATs (average 180) and am well within the "green" area overall on the NCCPA practice exam, but I can't shake the feeling that I am weak in therapeutic interventions and pharmacology. I feel like so much empasis is placed on diagnosis and proper diagnostic testing (rightfully so, they are vitally important), that I have neglected to pour a lot of time and effort into studying therapeutics and clinical interventions. That's a big chunk of the PANCE! Can anyone share some advice for studying those areas specifically? Also, what is your opinion on PACKRAT questions vs. PANCE questions. I've heard so many people saying that they feel like the PANCE questions were much harder than PACKRAT questions I am afraid the PACKRAT may not be a good indicator of performance. I don't want any huge surprises on test day. Any additional advice for the next few weeks would be so appreciated. I first found this board before I was really studying hard for the PANCE and was able to develop a study plan based on what was suggested in these forums. I am SO thankful for all of the help and advice thus far, I just need a little more study advice and then I will (hopefully) be done with hardcore studying for a while :)
  2. Adopted from Bucaramanga, a little city in Colombia, at two months old into a loving family that anxiously awaited my arrival, made me very appreciative early on of the opportunity in life I was given. I was my parents only child, their pride and joy, and wanted nothing more than to make them happy and proud of fulfilling what would eventually be my dreams to become a physician’s assistant. My decision to become a physician’s assistant did not arise from childhood aspirations, but as a result of a variety of experiences I encountered in my life. With my father passing at the age of four, my mother unexpectedly took on the role of a single parent and unknowingly, my inspiration and role model. My mother instilled in me values, such as compassion and respect for others, stressing the importance of giving back to the community. She also emphasized the idea of reaching high, and following your dreams; she herself had always dreamed of becoming a nurse, but at that time and in her upbringing such ambitions were not supported. She paved the way for what became my passion for medicine by first exposing me to volunteer work and its immense satisfaction, and supporting my strong interest in the sciences. Although not far from home, dorming at Rutgers as an out-of-state student had removed me from my once protected environment; and from this I experienced tremendous growth. Early on in my college career, I lacked the discipline and time management skills necessary to excel as I had previously in school. Coinciding with this digression in school was the life altering news that my mother was diagnosed with MDS. She would have to receive treatments at Sloan Kettering every other week and its progression into Leukemia was something we would have to possibly prepare for. Distressed with my mother’s health, being ill prepared for the rigors of a college curriculum, coupled with efforts to keep my dream alive, initially interfered with my academic work. Yet, despite my struggle, the continuous effort put forth allowed me to mature, grow, and strengthen my drive to do whatever it takes to achieve my dreams. Intrigued by anatomy and physiology in high school, but it was at college where I became truly inspired by my brilliant professors in the sciences. My initial faltering in the general science courses had momentarily shaken my academic self-confidence, but never deterred me away from my fascination in the sciences; It was then during my sophomore winter break, that I decided to major in nutrition. For I had loved to read health magazines when I was growing up and it appealed to me that it effectively intertwined with medicine, and in fact was much more closely related than I had previously thought. My coursework gave me an excellent background in independent research such as low-bone density risks posed to lactose-intolerant populations and analytical thinking with endocrine disorder based scenarios. I had partaken in multiple group projects where many consensus decisions were made, much like that of a P.A. and his/her team. Labs such as microbiology, allowed for me to see and perform tests and see the importance of their validity and results. As I progressed in school, my interests in the people-oriented aspects of medicine became much more prevalent. This interest in people was manifested in many of my extracurricular activities; where a central theme was helping people with cancer. Personally I’ve known and lost both friends and family to this disease, so to be able to empathize with those going through the same rollercoaster of emotions was something I sincerely wanted to do. During my experience with Colleges Against Cancer and Adopt-A-Family, I gained profound insight into the healing relationship between patient and P.A. While I participated in these two organizations, I would make visits to RWJ and CHOP to visit a 3-year-old boy named Logan who was diagnosed with Leukemia. The first time I entered his room, I initially felt overwhelmed with emotion seeing an innocent frail young boy with such a debilitating disease. However, as soon as I walked in I soon realized, faces of both Logan and his family that had previously appeared withdrawn, began to glow, as a reaction to the company I was providing. At that moment, I realized how even a brief visit could have such a powerful effect and serve almost as a healing medicine, that temporarily, could transform people, into a vibrant, healthful state. Knowing that I had made a difference the in the lives of a few individuals was very rewarding. I then took on multiple positions in the organizations executive boards that allowed me to become much more involved and undoubtedly confirmed my dreams to enter the P.A. profession to help others. Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. Solely completing a P.A. program by itself will never make me happy in the long term; but it’s who I will become, as I overcome all obstacles necessary to achieve my dream, and that will give me the deepest, and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment. I know, that when I’m granted the acceptance into your P.A. program I will do everything and anything I can to ultimately become the best P.A. I can be; and it’s that by-product of happiness that I’ll receive that I know I’ve chosen the right career that makes me feel fulfilled.
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