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Struggling in PA Didactic Year

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Hey guys! I am looking for advice from anyone who has successfully completed their PA program but found difficulty in the beginning. How did you succeed? What steps did you take to do better? Do you have a specific resource that helped you with material, or did you learn how to improve your study method, and if so, HOW?! I'm struggling with keeping up with the amount  of information that we are required to master. I guess I am feeling like a much slower learner than the rest of the bright students in my class (or maybe a worse memory?) and am putting in the time (sometimes even more time than others), but wondering how to become more efficient and ultimately, how to succeed. I'm not even in the clinical medicine phase of the program - currently taking pathophysiology and gross anatomy. Any tips are greatly appreciated! 

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I completed didactic.  Every semester got worse and worse as far as work,  but my grades got better and better.  Started off without a group to study with and once got group grades got better.  Group made objectives to cover, didnt move on unless all members understood things. Made clinical scenarios to test  each other etc

anatomy is brute memorization .  Can use cadavers and skeleton to understand movement etc 

Helps if everyone in class is non competitive.  

What r u doing now?

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Go to the lab daily. Learn 10 things each time. Repeat those 10 and learn 10 more. Flashcards in between. Go over the questions at the back of the chapter. Re-Learn anything you can't explain. Work daily, every day on 10 new things. If time is short, you may need to learn 10 things twice daily. Hang in there! You can do it! 

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I have two weeks left of didactic and this is what helped me.

My style of studying is repetition. Read, rinse, repeat. I usually was one to put in more time than my fellow study group to get the material, so I feel your pain a bit. 

I would read chapters or packets/handouts 3-4x depending on the amount of time until the exam.

1st time reading through I am just getting a lay of the land. 

2nd time - I am getting the big picture with some details thrown in.

3rd time- starting to get more detailed and so on

Get the big picture first and then work on some of the details each subsequent times you read the same material. 

Some classmates swore by sketchy med, if you're a visual learner. 

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I just finished my first semester of what we’ve been told is the basics to get everyone on the same playing field. I found studying alone for a test, which is what I did in undergrad, was not gonna work for me. I made friends and found out what they did before PA and how committed they were to doing the best and not just getting by. Physiology came pretty easy to me where as anatomy was a monster but through my group of 3-4 people it got to be a lot easier. My biggest recommendation is to find people you like being around but that will also push you/hold you accountable. Create some friendly competition but nothing that discourages the person who got the lowest grade and have fun with it. PA school is tough/serious enough so having a laugh or two will make studying a little more bearable. 

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I found anatomy to be fairly challenging. I did well by talking through each packet with a friend. Your clinical knowledge is so small at the beginning of didactic year. I remembered thinking “holy crap, how can I do this for the next year?”. There is even more material that is piled on and it seems very overwhelming, but the deeper you get into school the better you get at managing your time and figuring out the stuff you really need to know for clinical practice and exams


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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The topics/work/time commitments never get any easier - you get better and more efficient. Never listen to "this won't be on the exam" - half the time it will anyway, and even if not it will be on EoR's/PANCE. I ALWAYS studied for the PANCE on every exam, it's worth it to build up your knowledge, and any extra tidbits you might get tested on from specific examples in the book or PP's are never enough to really hurt your grade so it's worth it to just stay focused on that and not get bogged down; use the resources/formats that you best connect with to study (I recommend PPP/AMBOSS/onlinemeded)

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