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How to study during clinical year

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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 ! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The EORE from PAEA are not state regulated. Not aware of any exams within a program that are state regulated. There are states where it is required to obtain certain CME in subjects after licensure or pass an exam prior to becoming licensed that the state adds onto the usual PA pipeline of complete training program and pass PANCE.


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