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RPS13

Are my feelings normal? (Memory of didactic material)

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Hello fellow PA's & PA students.

I have just finished my 2nd quarter of PA school and am currently at a 3.8 GPA. Despite this, I have been doubting my ability to remember everything for the PANCE 1.5 years from now. This is because I find myself not remembering 100% of everything I have learned these past 2 quarters. I feel like I am forced to remember and dump my memory, and that I retain less and less as the days go by. When I review the material, I panic because I find that what I had a solid grasp on weeks/months ago, are no longer with me. I fear that I will graduate and not know enough to pass the PANCE at this current rate. What scares me more is that there is still more medicine to learn, leaving very little time to review old material. Many people have been able to get through PA/MD/DO school and successfully earned their license, but for some reason I feel that I am doing something wrong; I am unsure if it is me or my lack of confidence in myself. Has anyone felt this way during their time in PA school, and do you have any advice for someone like me who feels this way?

I look forward to hearing back from my fellow peers, and thank you in advance for your replies.

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7 hours ago, RPS13 said:

Hello fellow PA's & PA students.

I have just finished my 2nd quarter of PA school and am currently at a 3.8 GPA. Despite this, I have been doubting my ability to remember everything for the PANCE 1.5 years from now. This is because I find myself not remembering 100% of everything I have learned these past 2 quarters. I feel like I am forced to remember and dump my memory, and that I retain less and less as the days go by. When I review the material, I panic because I find that what I had a solid grasp on weeks/months ago, are no longer with me. I fear that I will graduate and not know enough to pass the PANCE at this current rate. What scares me more is that there is still more medicine to learn, leaving very little time to review old material. Many people have been able to get through PA/MD/DO school and successfully earned their license, but for some reason I feel that I am doing something wrong; I am unsure if it is me or my lack of confidence in myself. Has anyone felt this way during their time in PA school, and do you have any advice for someone like me who feels this way?

I look forward to hearing back from my fellow peers, and thank you in advance for your replies.

It's been a while since I was a PA student, though I was an older one (58) with appropriately age-degraded memorization skills. But I remember feeling the way you do and now that I'm a clinical professor, I work with students who feel the same way.

It is not uncommon to not only not remember things on your last test but maybe not to remember which tests you even took a week or two ago. Don't be overly concerned: the didactic process pretty much works for everyone. You are being exposed to a ton of information. The next time you come across the topic of Tokotsubo cardiomyopathy (or whatever), it will take far less time to come back up to speed on it than the first time you learned it. When it's time to take the PANCE, the same will be true after a week or two of review.

And that's nothing to say about what happens during your clinicals, which are an incredibly important step in learning. I've likened didactic year to building a hologram, which doesn't look like much until a laser shines through it and the hidden image is revealed. That laser is your clinical year, during which dry words on seemingly long-forgotten PowerPoints come back to life.

So, don't doubt the process; it's worked for many tens of thousands of PA students. It should work for you, too.

Good luck!

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You're going to notice as the semesters pass you're getting repetition of the major concepts. It'll start to click around rotations time when you can finally tie real life experiences to stuff you've read about in books.

Edited by JD2012

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Wait till you have been out several years and then, speaking only for myself, stuff starts coming back and it all starts to make sense.  I found that that was when I even started to question statements of fact that looking back weren't facts at all but associations deduced by that generation of healthcare providers.  If you truly learned it, regardless of what exam scores might have been, it starts to click.  Case in point, I can remember to this day classmates getting together in a hotel room when we returned to Galveston to take what others now know as PANCE.  One of the review statements was regarding Kawasaki disease.  I didn't remember ever hearing of it before and made light of it.  Damn if it wasn't on the PANCE written exam.  I sure know what it is now.

Edited by GetMeOuttaThisMess

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