Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is a bit elementary, but you might take a moment to determine what kind of learner you are.  Most classes do powerpoint/lecture, which aren't ideal for everyone.  

 

http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire

 

Also, instead of trying to remember every single detail of something, try to understand the underlying concepts.  I think this will prep you a little better in the long run.  

 

Lastly, I agree with all those calling BS on the very limited time.  I was pregnant for my didactic year (don't do that) and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I'm not a genius, and I passed all of my classes first try.  My classmates found plenty of time to watch games, go on hikes, and drink.  Just use your time wisely.  Accept you won't possibly know everything and do the best you can. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday night, Taking the night off! I need a mental break, it has been a LONG week!!!! Our first round of exams went good, passed them all so thanks everybody for the support! Exam and quiz monday so I will be right back at it first thing in the morning. 

 

Rev, I don't think I would have done much different because there are certain details they want us to know, and other things that they tell us not to worry about. That being said, having the underling idea of location and concepts it probably the biggest help. If I could have done one thing different, I probably would have picked up a pharmacology book sooner....Thats another bridge I will be crossing next semester....

 

As many people has stated there is a big adjustment period, and It is just taking me a while to get adjusted. The biggest adjustment I am having is staring at a computer screen all day. Come 5 O clock I have a huge headache from staring at the screen all day, but info is coming so fast I could not imagine trying to hand write..Not saying people have not and don't do it...but my handwriting goes down hill FAST when I have to write fast, so typing is my best option. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably beating a dead horse by now, but for other readers too, Your shorthand will get better, out of necessity :) develop abbreviations that you know so U can jot stuff quickley. I totally agree with Fri night off. No other nights off. I spent every Fri afternoon in cadaver lab, usually alone, once in a while a random person studying too. That quiet non pressured time was so valuable. Look for opportunities like that. They go miles in lab exams. And the short term sacrifice is worth the long term gain. Fri eve is the time you give your brain permission not to worry or think about what you should or could be doing. Also goes miles in exams. (Helps aleviate or negate the depression amd anxiety) Glad to hear exam went well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, I feel your pain, even though I am farther from PA school every day. I still remember some of the lessons I learned. I was older than my classmates and all nighters were out of the question. I lived alone, which was esssential for me. I came home from class, ate dinner, took a mind-clearing walk, and studied until about 9-10. Then I watched one mind-clearing TV show and went to bed. I would wake up early -- sometimes at 4, sometimes 5 -- and study for a while before I used washing up and eating as a break before walking to campus for my first class.

 

Anatomy was my hardest course, but there was a lot of material in all of the classes. I personally am not a team-studier -- it seemed like we spent all of our time on what others didn’t know and not enough on what I didn’t know. So I studied alone. It’s a personal thing; some people do better in groups. Only you can decided which category fits you.

 

The most important lesson I learned was that you must to be willing to try different study techniques if what you start with isn’t working for you. I like to write outlines and patch in diagrams, then reduce the material down to what I don’t think I can remember and study from that before exams. The process of building these notes as at least as important as studying from them for me. That worked fine for me except in anatomy and pharmacology.

 

In anatomy, what you see with the cadaver is quickly lost as the dissection progresses. I bought the computer program ADAM (probably something better now) that I could go back to to review. I found that the best thing for me was repetition using plastic models, etc. I guess I should have realized earlier that anatomy is more of a visual skill than memorizing words on a paper.

 

For pharmacology, some people studied from huge tables but that didn’t work for me. I drew family trees of drugs, illustrating the members of each family and then using colors to indicate pros and cons. I found that I could recall the shape of the trees for exams and that helped a lot.

 

The important thing overall is not to panic. Get your sleep, no matter what they say. Try different study techniques until you find what works for you in each course. Plan ahead a bit so that you don’t find yourself the night before a test without notes or whatever you study from the best. Don’t worry if you can’t remember what last week’s exams were even about. Take breaks and get some exercise. Celebrate your victories, which includes just getting past the latest test.

 

Others have walked your path and made it. You can too.

 

Good luck!

  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt this is anything new as the posts I have read have been full of great information. You simply will adapt unfortunately. Appreciate that you have made it to the program and don't let the faculty intimidate you by giving you those horror stories of no sleep. That is poor form. I am assuming they are trying to emphasize how serious this is and how much work will be required of you, but that just isn't the way to do it. My program did that to an extent, but you will quickly realize what is needed from you. GET SLEEP! It may not be a full 8 hours every night, but if you can't stay awake through lectures or while studying, then how are you going to remember the information? You need a well functioning brain which requires sleep. Why do you think they put these restrictions on residents who were being worked to death?

 

This was what personally worked for me: Get to know your classmates and figure out who you work well with. Form a study group with up to 4 people. You don't want too many or nothing will get done. Come to an understanding that you are going to be each others support system. Study everything together and come up with a system. Quiz each other, simply just lock yourself in a room with them, or whatever works for you. Don't be disappointed if you don't get A's on everything. Most people who get into these programs are used to being high achievers and this is a tough thing to get used to. 

 

And for goodness sake, take a night off a week, even just for a few hours. You need to decompress and see your friends/family. Plus, your classmates are always good for a fun night out. It gives you a good outlet to vent your frustrations about the program because everyone has plenty to gripe about! 

 

Good luck! It will be over before you know it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From reading all your responses, I really feel good about getting started with the PA program.   I had a lot of anxiety and felt I couldn't do it but now I feel that I can and I'm not alone in this journey....

 

Thanks for your encouragement!!!

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From reading all your responses, I really feel good about getting started with the PA program. I had a lot of anxiety and felt I couldn't do it but now I feel that I can and I'm not alone in this journey....

 

Thanks for your encouragement!!!

If you feel like you cannot do it even before you started, you are paving a road for failure. You already doubt yourself, and you have not even made a single step. Of course you are not alone...you are not the first one, and would not be the last. Believe in yourself, and go for it. A day at a time. Sometimes, that is all you can do.

Good luck!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It IS overwhelming, but you will get used to it.  You need to get enough sleep.  It becomes about return on investment.  If you are over-tired, less efficient, etc.  Keep going and don't give up.  All the PAs before you have made it through - you will too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anatomy, try to find hands-on ways to study what you are supposed to memorize.

 

Here's what I did:

 

1) The anatomy coloring books are great -- and you can often find them in used book stores for a buck or two.  The time spent coloring in the ischial tuberosity or the carpal bones hammers it in in a way reading does not.  

 

2) I picked up my dog, palpated his bones, and compared his anatomy to a human skeleton (e.g. his xiphoid process is much more prominent).  He thought I was petting him, so he didn't mind.

 

3) To learn a specific organ's function and structure, such as the skin, think of states where it isn't working correctly.

 

4) Teach someone who doesn't know much about science about something you are learning, but sell it as the coolest thing ever.

 

Hang in there.  I am in the same boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • 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