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transition from didactic to clinicals


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Hello! I am currently in my didactic year of PA school and had a question for all of you who have made the transition to clinicals (and even beyond that!) already.

Although right now Im just focusing on getting through this 2nd didactic semester (ūü§£) , I was wondering how you prepared all of your notes/ information from didactic year to study from during¬†clinicals. I know that in clinical year is constant reviewing/ studying, but I was wondering if anyone had specific techniques of organizing all of the didactic notes? A girl in my cohort prints all her study guides/ notes for each test into a big binder that she plans to study each night. Another said they have all their notes on google drive and will study from those at night and at the hospital/ rotation. Someone said they handwrote flashcards all year so far and will bring those.

Does anyone have any recommendations of what actually worked for them? Just feeling lost and want to prepare myself the best I can with my materials.

Thank you for any/ all of your help

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Think this belongs in PA Student General Discussion, not the professional board.

Perhaps someone who used handwritten notes could answer for that. I and most of my classmates used digital notes of some sort, which makes it easy to organize by subject matter, and then search by key word or phrase. Particularly when, as during clinical rotations, you are focusing on the EoR blueprints for study.

I personally found making flashcards to be very time-consuming, it would have been easy to go overboard... but still helpful in moderation. I used digital flashcards using a program called Anki. It is more than just flashcards though, it uses a system of spaced repetition to time when it shows you the card, and based on patterns of right/wrong, tries to help you cement the information long-term. I think it helped a lot by the time PANCE came, if less so for particular short-term exams like the EoRs. Flashcards, while very helpful for drilling down specific details, are insufficient. Discussing problems with classmates/preceptors, and doing lots of practice problems, were perhaps more important. (There's simply far too much information to flashcard everything, how do you know what is important, much less how or when to apply it? This is how, from more experienced folks telling you, and from problems showing you what you don't know.)

Edited by mbioguy
clarification
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make a list of the nccpa blueprint on a 4x6 index card for each specialty, they are easy to carry arround

you literally can not put all of didactic into a format like that.  Go through and pull out the essentials, like IM:

  • an index card with wells criteria
  • diagnostic criteria for whatever

use an index card to write down things you see that you did not know, and look up later

a preceptor would give us a topic, then allow us a 3x5 card to fill up; if you needed more, you were adding too much.  

 

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On 1/11/2021 at 11:04 AM, mbioguy said:

Perhaps someone who used handwritten notes could answer for that. I and most of my classmates used digital notes of some sort, which makes it easy to organize by subject matter, and then search by key word or phrase. Particularly when, as during clinical rotations, youare focusing on the EoR blueprints for study.

I personally found making flashcards to be very time-consuming, it would have been easy to go overboard... but still helpful in moderation. I used digital flashcards using a program called Anki. It is more than just flashcards though, it uses a system of spaced repetition to time when it shows you the card, and based on patterns of right/wrong, tries to help you cement the information long-term. I think it helped a lot by the time PANCE came, if less so for particular short-term exams like the EoRs. Flashcards, while very helpful for drilling down specific details, are insufficient. Discussing problems with classmates/preceptors, and doing lots of practice problems, were perhaps more important. (There's simply far too much information to flashcard everything, how do you know what is important, much less how or when to apply it? This is how, from more experienced folks telling you, and from problems showing you what you don't know.)

thanks!were you able to bring your laptop/ whatever you used for digital notes during your rotations and use it? 

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I think I only had 2 rotations where I could actually get out my laptop and use it, do proper study during on-site time, was simply too busy everywhere else. I couldn't even log cases during on-site time at most rotations. So I kept hipaa-compliant notes in a little notebook, and did actual case logging at home at the end of the day. Some preceptors didn't even like that, so I had to wing it from memory afterwards (not recommended). I had anki on my phone, so even during a few minutes of downtime, I could flashcard then. But only after checking with my preceptor first so they didn't think I was on facebook or somesuch nonsense. Two didn't even like that. Just have a chat with your preceptor at the beginning of each rotation to ask what you will have time for and what they are ok with, and so they know what you're doing.

thinkertdm's advice is good.

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