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IwannaPA

Didactic year

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Hey guys. I'm applying for some schools right now and was searching up the daily schedule of PA students and got worried. Based on my research, fall semester as an example, classes are 8-5 M-F. You take 5 classes every day. The part that's making me question whether I'm capable is that I keep hearing that each class goes over 60 PowerPoint slides. So now you have 300 PowerPoints a day? Multipied by 5 days equals 1500 slides per week?? Can someone clear up any misconceptions if there are any? Am I grossly overestimating? Because I'm not sure how it's possible (for me at least) to MEMORIZE these many slides, especially since the only other study time is 5-10 M-F and Sat/Sun. Thanks!

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You're not over estimating.  You are in school full time.  There are a LOT of slides.  Plus required reading.  And assignments.  And learning clinical skills.

The goal however is the LEARN the material, not memorize the slides.

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I would say your estimates are not too far off. For one exam I would have roughly 400 dense slides to cover and this is with an average of 3-4 exams/quizzes per week for my program. Those slides could be covered in 4-5hrs of lecture time.

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Your days will not always be of the same length and are a mix of labs and lectures. Using your free time between lectures is key; it could be an hour or a couple of hours. Live close or find places to hide to review. "Kit" your study materials as you have time so that you can pull them out and review before exams.

Like many things in life, PA school is a challenge to your time management skills, and the willingness to change study methods when your old standby doesn't seem to work well in a given class.

This is all doable; over one hundred thousand PA students have done this at one time or another.

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On 12/7/2018 at 2:30 AM, IwannaPA said:

Hey guys. I'm applying for some schools right now and was searching up the daily schedule of PA students and got worried. Based on my research, fall semester as an example, classes are 8-5 M-F. You take 5 classes every day. The part that's making me question whether I'm capable is that I keep hearing that each class goes over 60 PowerPoint slides. So now you have 300 PowerPoints a day? Multipied by 5 days equals 1500 slides per week?? Can someone clear up any misconceptions if there are any? Am I grossly overestimating? Because I'm not sure how it's possible (for me at least) to MEMORIZE these many slides, especially since the only other study time is 5-10 M-F and Sat/Sun. Thanks!

Our previous classes have made packets that follow along with the powerpoints.  I am more of a packet person so I have used those instead.  Hopefully your programs PA student council will pass these on to your class when it's time. The great thing about these packets is that a 100 slide lecture turns into a 6-7 page packet.

Either way it is doable! As UGoLong said there have 100,000 other people who have gone through the process.

Edited by JD2012

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It's a lot of information but you'll figure it out. Some topics are pure memorization and there is no way around it. I find those to be the most difficult. However, with most topics there is often a pattern, and if you know the underlying physiology, you're doing less memorizing and more applying. Cardiac murmurs, for example. If you can visualize what is actually going on, then you don't have to memorize anything. 

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I’d say your estimates are pretty dead on. We had about 5 lectures of dermatology. Each lecture was 2 hours. The first hour of the lecture was the PA and consisted of about 100-120 slides and the second lecture was the DO, consisting of 120-180 slides. Do the math and that’s well over 1000 slides for just 1 exam. You get through it either way

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It’s all true!

Don’t think about it too much, and never ever count the slides again!




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It's a lot of information but you'll figure it out. Some topics are pure memorization and there is no way around it. I find those to be the most difficult. However, with most topics there is often a pattern, and if you know the underlying physiology, you're doing less memorizing and more applying. Cardiac murmurs, for example. If you can visualize what is actually going on, then you don't have to memorize anything. 


This!

Your goal should be to learn basic principles so that you don’t have to memorize as much. This becomes even more essential when you start seeing patients and their atypical symptoms.


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