Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello!

I'm currently in my undergrad program taking my prerequisites for PA school. I plan on graduating in the Spring of 2023 and applying for PA school that same year.

As I begin my PA school research, I keep having self-doubts on my ability to learn the content in PA school, which questions my ability to "make it" as a PA.

While I am doing well in my undergrad/prerequisite courses, I fear I am not genuinely learning the information - just merely memorizing and doing well on exams. My question is: Will I/How badly will I struggle in PA school if I don't remember/didn't efficiently learn the coursework from prerequisites like Biology/A&P/Chemistry?

I do not fear applying for PA school/getting accepted (aware that it may not happen the first time I apply), but my current GPA is 3.8 and I've been working full-time as a medical assistant for 3 years (plenty of PCE, HCE & shadowing). However, I fear getting into PA school and having the feeling of "what did I get myself into". I've had PAs that I work for all tell me that I can do it, but I keep having this lingering self-doubt that my ADHD brain and I will not be able to grasps concepts like others will due to my lack of deep understanding during prerequisites (and just having recently been diagnosed with ADHD & still learning what medication works best for me).

Is this feeling normal?

Thank you to whoever can give me some honest insight!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes this is normal. Nearly everyone feels that way and the feeling will continue throughout PA school once you get accepted. It is called the impostor phenomenon. Once you recognize what it is and have a better understanding, it will get better, although it probably never truly goes away. Based on what you said, you are probably underselling yourself and you probably understand those courses more than you believe. It is a common occurrence in people who are overachievers and people who are actually experts in their field. I encourage to look into it. Don't worry, you'll be fine.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, A&P was the most important to have an excellent grasp of. Sure you’ll use knowledge from other courses as well, but just being familiar with concepts and topics will help you in PA classes, even if you don’t remember specifics from undergrad. I don’t know anyone who felt solid in all their undergrad studies in my cohort, but we all worked hard and did fine.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Janie55 said:

For me, A&P was the most important to have an excellent grasp of. Sure you’ll use knowledge from other courses as well, but just being familiar with concepts and topics will help you in PA classes, even if you don’t remember specifics from undergrad. I don’t know anyone who felt solid in all their undergrad studies in my cohort, but we all worked hard and did fine.

Thank you for this! That’s exactly how I was feeling. Out of all the prerequisites A&P is the one I definitely have the most genuine understanding of the topics. However, I feel like the finite details of the topics are what I’m just sort of memorizing for the sake of exams, I worry that might hold me back compared to others. Now chemistry is a completely different story..... (lol) but A&P I feel confident in the general topics/basics.

For example, I’m currently learning the cardiac system in A&P 2. Anatomy of the heart I got, details of the EKG I got, basics of the wigger’s diagram I got, but then our professor relates it back to neurophysiology unit from last semester and I blank on which ions are moving in and out of the cell.... 

Sorry... I’m rambling & I feel like I’m over thinking things and letting my anxiety/imposter syndrome take over as I’m studying for an exam/doing PA school research! Lol! 

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it a lot!! :)

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, TheFatMan said:

Yes this is normal. Nearly everyone feels that way and the feeling will continue throughout PA school once you get accepted. It is called the impostor phenomenon. Once you recognize what it is and have a better understanding, it will get better, although it probably never truly goes away. Based on what you said, you are probably underselling yourself and you probably understand those courses more than you believe. It is a common occurrence in people who are overachievers and people who are actually experts in their field. I encourage to look into it. Don't worry, you'll be fine.

Oh wow, thank you so much! I've heard of imposter syndrome before (and relate VERY hard since I was young). I think it's crazy (in a good way) that just from me posting what I posted, you suggested imposter phenomenon. I googled it and there are so many articles relating it to the PA profession - I'm shocked but after reading up on it I completely get it. I've always been told I'm "underselling myself", so hearing it from a stranger really solidified it (I have a tendency to believe those around me are just saying it to make me feel better).

I will definitely continue to look further into this and work on gaining more self-confidence when it comes to my studies. Definitely a huge goal of mine before starting PA school.

You really helped a lot, thank you, much appreciated!

P.S: I like the quote!

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/24/2021 at 12:06 PM, KH21444 said:

Hello!

I'm currently in my undergrad program taking my prerequisites for PA school. I plan on graduating in the Spring of 2023 and applying for PA school that same year.

As I begin my PA school research, I keep having self-doubts on my ability to learn the content in PA school, which questions my ability to "make it" as a PA.

While I am doing well in my undergrad/prerequisite courses, I fear I am not genuinely learning the information - just merely memorizing and doing well on exams. My question is: Will I/How badly will I struggle in PA school if I don't remember/didn't efficiently learn the coursework from prerequisites like Biology/A&P/Chemistry?

I do not fear applying for PA school/getting accepted (aware that it may not happen the first time I apply), but my current GPA is 3.8 and I've been working full-time as a medical assistant for 3 years (plenty of PCE, HCE & shadowing). However, I fear getting into PA school and having the feeling of "what did I get myself into". I've had PAs that I work for all tell me that I can do it, but I keep having this lingering self-doubt that my ADHD brain and I will not be able to grasps concepts like others will due to my lack of deep understanding during prerequisites (and just having recently been diagnosed with ADHD & still learning what medication works best for me).

Is this feeling normal?

Thank you to whoever can give me some honest insight!

I perfectly understand your situation. Here’s some advice: it’s more important to understand the basics of your coursework instead of memorizing everything about it.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Most if not all PA schools will review/teach the relevant A&P & pathophysiology as they go through particular body systems/branches of medicine.  Frankly, much of the detail that was stressed in undergrad isn't relevant in PA school, not relevant at all to passing PANCE, and not relevant to actual practice.

From what I remember of PA school:

  • A&P: relevant, but needed level of detail was taught
  • Pathophysiology: very helpful, but needed portions taught
  • Microbiology: relevant, helpful, especially with pharm for antibiotics
  • Physics: mechanics and fluid dynamics helpful at a basic level of understanding for understanding mechanism of injury, etc.
  • Chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry: superficial understanding is all that's needed.

Once I started working, I learned Dr. Krebs' preferences when working with him.  Neither he nor I remembered anything about the cycle that bears the name of some person with whom he shares a last name.  😁

So, don't sweat it.  Undergrad is about showing you're able to get good grades in hard classes; not really about giving you specific knowledge that you'll use in PA school or PA practice.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/25/2021 at 8:32 PM, st3ppingstoneinlife said:

I perfectly understand your situation. Here’s some advice: it’s more important to understand the basics of your coursework instead of memorizing everything about it.

Thank you!! This makes me feel a lot better!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2021 at 12:20 AM, ohiovolffemtp said:

Most if not all PA schools will review/teach the relevant A&P & pathophysiology as they go through particular body systems/branches of medicine.  Frankly, much of the detail that was stressed in undergrad isn't relevant in PA school, not relevant at all to passing PANCE, and not relevant to actual practice.

From what I remember of PA school:

  • A&P: relevant, but needed level of detail was taught
  • Pathophysiology: very helpful, but needed portions taught
  • Microbiology: relevant, helpful, especially with pharm for antibiotics
  • Physics: mechanics and fluid dynamics helpful at a basic level of understanding for understanding mechanism of injury, etc.
  • Chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry: superficial understanding is all that's needed.

Once I started working, I learned Dr. Krebs' preferences when working with him.  Neither he nor I remembered anything about the cycle that bears the name of some person with whom he shares a last name.  😁

So, don't sweat it.  Undergrad is about showing you're able to get good grades in hard classes; not really about giving you specific knowledge that you'll use in PA school or PA practice.

Wow! Thank you for this response!! This really makes me feel a lot better and helps a lot- especially saying that undergrad is about showing you're able to get good grades in hard classes. Honestly, I get so overwhelmed by trying to remember the little little details of everything (in A&P for example) that it ultimately does feel like it serves me no good and I don't as well as I could on an exam. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience/reflection of your undergrad classes post-PA school! Very appreciated!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By WomenOfSTEM
      I am a member of AAPA and maybe I am unfamiliar with the website, but I want to make the most learning from the site and using it.
      How do PA-S or PA-C use it? As a Pre-PA how can I use the site and its resources to help?
      I appreciate it!
    • By VirginiaTech117
      Hey guys my name is Geena and I'm a PA at a primary care in Philadelphia. We are currently hiring scribes and medical assistants (no experience required- we will train). This is a great opportunity for pre-PA's who need experience hours! Message me for details 🙂
    • By LCMoon85
      I saw a thread started somewhere but it wasn’t connected to this board. 
       
      I feel like we are slacking this year! Where is everyone?? 😂 
    • By Gratefulguy
      Hi guys, 
      I didn't see a new thread. Hope this helps you guys. Just like in previous years they are moving forward, but it may look a bit different because COVID seems to be slowing down. Here's the email I received on 5/11/2021. I submitted my application on 5/3/2021 and verified on 5/11/2021. 
       
      Thank you for applying to the Radford University Carilion PA program. This email is to let you know that your application is complete, has been marked as "Verified", and we have received your RU supplemental application. Your application will be put in a queue to be reviewed. You may still provide updates to your application through the CASPA website.
      Once applications are reviewed, we will make decisions on whom to interview. Our earliest interview dates will be in September. As we don't yet have exact dates selected for interviews, we will likely make offers for interviews in early July at the soonest.
      We will send out periodic updates to keep you apprised of your status. However, with the necessary changes in how we accomplish our tasks, those updates may not be as frequent as we would like them to be. We are happy to answer any questions that come up, and you are welcome to email me at rhadley1@radford.edu.
      Thank you,
      Bob Hadley
    • By trusttheprocess95
      Hello all!
      Has anyone taken Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 at the Open Learning Academy at Doane? I'm exploring my options, but leaning more towards Doane at the moment. ANY type of feedback regarding the course or other schools ya'll may have completed it at would be greatly APPRECIATED! 
      Thank you so much in advance 
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More