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Need advice from current PA Students


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So I am starting a 3 yr program this August 15' with Rutgers University.

 

*Should I be reviewing material right now?*

 

I've been hearing I should be studying/reviewing material such as A&P, BioChem (which I never took), and med. term. People have been telling me how much headache I'd be saving myself.

 

On the contrary, most current practicing PAs and MDs have been telling me to just relax for the next couple of months until school starts because I already have 3 vigorous years of schooling ahead of me. 

 

Of course the later sounds much more appealing, but I don't want to regret it later, like my friends. So, is it worth trying to learn biochem right now and reviewing important classes I've taken?

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I start my PA program in May. The advice I got was don't try to pick a subject (or subjects) to learn, or relearn, to 'get ahead'. However, if you want (or need) to get back in a regular study mode (recondition your brain to be in learning mode!), then medical terminology, physiology, & anatomy would be good subjects.

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Looking at Rutgers course schedule, you will get plenty of A&P and Biochem.

The difficult part of preparing for that is one does not know what the emphasis will be in each of those areas.

The assumption is that whatever is reviewed will be helpful. But how is that determined?

Plus, I think in 3 months it would be difficult to develop and stick to a program of study that there is no context for, you have no objectives and no one to ascertain you acheived anything worthwhile. 

Since there is no Med Term as a course, it would likely help to do that. I would seek out an online course that is self paced or at least buy a programmed text for Med Term to guide you. 

I have recommended to other students a book called Make It Stick. I would read this prior to the start of PA school.

There is a section that discusses a med student and his successful approach to handling the voluminous material he was responsible for.

It is an approach I would recommend any Pre PA or soon to start PA school student review.

Good luck.

G Brothers PA-C

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Current PA student halfway through my first semester...

 

Study, don't study, do whatever you want to do but either way you're going to get pummeled by all the information hitting you on one side from anatomy and on the other side from physiology. This is REGARDLESS of how well you think you already know these two subjects....just my 2 cents

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No. Just no. There are a million threads with this same question. 

 

Unless you are extremely weak on medical terminology, don't review anything.

 

Tons of others will disagree with this, but I don't care. You will be studying 15-17 hours a day when you are in PA school. Live your life while you can, because atleast for your didactic year, you will do nothing but study. I study while eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I study while I drive to school.

 

Do not pre-study for things that you will not benefit from. If you don't listen at all........just review some medical terminology or read medical journals that you find interesting.

 

You'll look back on this post during the craze of your didactic year and understand. Trust that the program chose you because they knew you would make it.

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Almost finished with didactic year here, take some time to relax and enjoy the precious time of freedom that you have before you start. If you are really ambitious work extra hours, or an additional job to save up extra money towards paying for school and housing. NJ's standard of living is a lot higher than most other states and the less debt you come out with the better off you will be after graduating.

 

Only pre study if Rutgers requires you to, for example if you have a med term exam that you are required to take before starting school. You were evaluated, selected out of hundreds of other applicants and accepted, if your fear is failing out, you most likely won't, even if you are a gunner you'll have time to achieve high flying grades w/o pre-studying (please don't be a gunner)

 

In short, spend time with family and friends. Have fun, store up vitamin d. my life right now is very similar to dchampigny's. I thought I was the only one studying while driving to school! O_O

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The assumption implicit in many of the above replies is that PA school is a period of MORE work, followed by a period of LESSER work afterwards when you get a job.  Nothing could be farther from the truth, especially in the case of a 3-year program.

 

I definitely recommend tune-ups and getting into the habit of studying... but far less so for a 3-year program than for a typical 24-27 month program.  The pace will not be laconic, but it will be less ridiculous, so your firehose SHOULD have lower PSI than theirs.

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The assumption implicit in many of the above replies is that PA school is a period of MORE work, followed by a period of LESSER work afterwards when you get a job.  Nothing could be farther from the truth, especially in the case of a 3-year program.

 

I definitely recommend tune-ups and getting into the habit of studying... but far less so for a 3-year program than for a typical 24-27 month program.  The pace will not be laconic, but it will be less ridiculous, so your firehose SHOULD have lower PSI than theirs.

 

I agree with the lesser work when you get a job notion. I'm still in the didactic year, but I anticipate working in the field challenging and time consuming. Becoming a proficient practitioner isn't done by taking it easy. Everyone on here who is highly skilled probably worked harder to get their current skill set n their field than they did in PA school. The process is probably more enjoyable, I would assume. That would be the better verbiage instead of "lesser" work. 

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The assumption implicit in many of the above replies is that PA school is a period of MORE work, followed by a period of LESSER work afterwards when you get a job.  Nothing could be farther from the truth, especially in the case of a 3-year program.

 

 

Rev hits on a hard truth: every PA job I have had since graduation has, at times, made PA school seem relaxing.

 

Do what you love. Hopefully you are going into this field because you love medicine and the human body. I have told a bunch of students a bunch of times if you hate studying things like anatomy and physiology you might be looking at the wrong field. I worked hard studying things like physio and anatomy, but it was never torture. The stuff was just too damn fascinating. DO what seems most interesting to you - anatomy, terminology, whatever.

 

The one thing I would consider doing is taking a trip. If there is anyplace you really want to see, now is the time. The next few years will be busy with school and the following couple years will be busy with learning to practice your craft. 

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You might want to pick up Study Without Stress: Mastering Medical Science. I'm only on chapter two but it goes thru learning your weaknesses as student and building effective habits, how to take notes, test taking strategies, etc. It's like a workbook that you experience thru six weeks.

 

And it is probably not a good idea to learn biochem on your own, where would you even start?

 

I think the best thing you can do right now is work more hours to save money, find a good book (hopefully not a biochem book), and go camping or do something relaxing, like getting ready before a performance or a big game. Go thru things in your head to make sure you've got all the logistics worked out.

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Congrats on your acceptance! First year student at Rutgers here. I have a biology background so take this with a grain of salt but aside from the medical terminology they ask you to study, I don't think its necessary to study ahead. You just have to be ready from the get go because even a few days of laziness will definitely compound. You want to do well in the early exams because they will schedule all your finals within one week. If you do well early, you can save yourself a lot of stress later. Enjoy your time before school!

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Do what you love. Hopefully you are going into this field because you love medicine and the human body. I have told a bunch of students a bunch of times if you hate studying things like anatomy and physiology you might be looking at the wrong field.

 

I am curious how you would advise an individual who finds step 1 physio, path, biochem, pharm, etc extremely interesting, but is uncertain about performing 1k DRE's a year.

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Clinical practices varies from school to school, so don't waste your time on learning anything clinical. PA school will teach you all you need to know in that respect. If you want to ignore everyone telling you to relax until school and still want to study something, then focus on anatomy. Your anatomy will never change and it'll form the bedrock for everything you learn in school regardless of the program you're attending. Physiology is good to know too, but don't go too crazy with it. You could fill all 3 years of your Rutgers education with physiology education alone, so I'd suggest you wait until you get into your program so you can see what they feel is important for you to know. PA school is all about being an efficient learner, so there's no sense in learning unnecessary material that will confuse you later on. If that answer isn't sufficient and you still want to study physiology, then become an expert on the Renin-angiotensin system as well as diabetes. I haven't hit rotations yet, but from my understanding, you'll see obesity, hypertension, and diabetes on a daily basis so it's important  to understand the processes behind them. The RA system hits many different organs and effects many different processes, so understanding the process as well as when and why it's needed is crucial.

 

I hope this helps!

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I am curious how you would advise an individual who finds step 1 physio, path, biochem, pharm, etc extremely interesting, but is uncertain about performing 1k DRE's a year.

If you're don't want to be doing 1k DRE's a year, don't go into proctology.  Seriously, in family medicine I do probably one a week.  Anoscopy is almost as common as straight up DRE, given how useless it is for prostate cancer screening I rarely do it unless asked.  I'm actually more likely to check sphincter tone for neuro reasons, and that's substantially less invasive.

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If you're don't want to be doing 1k DRE's a year, don't go into proctology. Seriously, in family medicine I do probably one a week. Anoscopy is almost as common as straight up DRE, given how useless it is for prostate cancer screening I rarely do it unless asked. I'm actually more likely to check sphincter tone for neuro reasons, and that's substantially less invasive.

Oh i dunno about completely useless... I do at least one a day..in urology.. fun times
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I am curious how you would advise an individual who finds step 1 physio, path, biochem, pharm, etc extremely interesting, but is uncertain about performing 1k DRE's a year.

 

I would advise that individual that there are things in medicine so gross that if one could replace them with 1000 DREs, one would live a happy, fulfilled life...  ;-)

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I am curious how you would advise an individual who finds step 1 physio, path, biochem, pharm, etc extremely interesting, but is uncertain about performing 1k DRE's a year.

I don't think I have done 1000 in 20 years...chose your specialty wisely my friends...

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