Quarter 4 Is Complete !! (AKA I Completed My 1st Year of PA School)

Hello everyone!

I know it has been a while (sorry!), but quarter 4 kept me busy, so I was not able to blog as much. This quarter was BY FAR the most challenging academically. We took 23 credit hours (which sounds like a lot, but honestly, that is the norm, lol) with 5 classes + ALE. Along with our normal course work, we had to get BLS re-certified, ACLS certified, several suture labs, patient women and we also participated in United Way. So, I was pretty busy this past quarter! Overall, I am glad that it is over with! And, I am also happy to say that I have completed my FIRST year of PA school!!! I cannot believe that I am halfway to PA-C, and I start rotations in 3 months .

Clinical Medicine and Pharmacology - Clin Med this quarter was by far the most challenging! Our subject matter was the most high yield on the PANCE, so it was imperative that we did not just memorize the information for the exams, but we actually LEARNED it because there is a very good chance that we will see it again on the PANCE. This quarter we focused on Neurology, Cardiology, Pulmonary, Hypertension, and Urology. Along with learning the diseases and their presentations, we also learn the drugs and treatment at the same time, which sounds overwhelming (and at first, it was) but after awhile, I preferred to learn the drugs at the same time because I can study the drugs and diseases at the same time, and apply the treatment while I am studying. A lot of PA programs have a separate Pharmacology class, which probably comes with its own devils and challenges, but I really like how our school has it set up. Of course, everyone has their own preferences. In my opinion, I enough this quarter's Clin Med course the most, and its because I LOVE Cardiology, and since I worked in the ER, I saw a lot of patients with Pulmonary and Neurology complaints, so I was exposed to a lot of diseases and presentations and was able to apply my prior experience when I was studying.

Diagnostic Methods - In this class, we learned how to read EKGs and different imaging modalities (x-rays, CT scans, etc.). This class was probably the most fun because you actually felt like you were a "real PA." In my Human Physiology class in undergrad, I learned how to read EKGs and imaging, so I had prior experience with this, so this helped a lot with this class. Due to the material that we were learning, this class required a lot of outside resources to learn the material. For EKGs, I purchased the Rapid Interpretation of EKG's: Dr. Dubin's classic, simplified methodology for understanding EKG's / Edition 6. I must say that this book SAVED me when it came to EKGs! It is highly recommended. Another resource I used was EKG Practical Skills, which provided quizzes and exercises to test my knowledge. When it came to radiology, there was not a lot of outside resources, so I had to depend on the information that was given to us in our Powerpoints. If anyone has any resources that is helpful for reading radiology, please let me know!

Surgery - I will say I am not interested in Surgery AT ALL! So, I was not too excited to take this class from the start, but after taking the class, I am a little more open to surgery. Our professor is crazy smart and loves surgery, so she made the class super enjoyable! We had a lot of guest lecturers, and they were phenomenal, and gave us a lot of clinical pearls. Even though this was definitely one of our hardest class, I did enjoy it a lot! 

Epidemiology and Biostatistics - This class I struggled in the most. The information was boring, and the information was not science based and was mostly about interpreting data and studies, so of course, nobody really enjoyed this class. We only had 3 exams in this class, so if you did horrible on 1 exam, it was hard to redeem yourself. All I can say is, I NEVER want to hear about a Confidence Interval again!!!

Applied Learning Experience (ALE) - This quarter we went to the nursing home, which was such a good experience! A lot of the residents have completed medical histories and long medication lists, so it was so rewarding to apply the knowledge we had to these patients. We had to obtain a history and physical from the residents, and we were also there for moral support. It was so much fun and I am glad that I got the opportunity to do this! We might be the only visitors that the residents get, so they were so happy to see us and talk to us.

Along with your regular classes, we had to be recertified in BLS (boo!), and we also were certified in ACLS. Since I want to do Emergency Medicine or Critical Care, I was so excited to get ACLS certified. It was a 2 day course. Even though I did not enjoy spending an entire Friday and Saturday morning being at school, I did enjoy the course overall. Our instructor was very informative and funny, so it softened the mood. 

We also had 3 suture labs this quarter.  I will go into more details in a future post, but it was pretty much a self-taught lab. We were provided with videos, which we were required to review prior to coming to lab, and we practiced when we got to lab.

Like we have done previous quarters, we participated in community service activities. Our campus president is president over the United Way in Savannah, so we went to one of the rallies, and tried to raise money. It was a good experience, and he ended up making his goal!

Overall, this quarter was very busy. I had to find ways to decompress, and I found other bloggers that focused on beauty, lifestyle, and positivity, and got tips from them. I also became more diligent with my workouts, which helped a lot. Quarter 3 I slacked off with my workouts, and I could definitely tell a difference in my mood, so for those who were used to working out prior to PA school, I suggest you guys keep that up and find ways to fit a work out in, even if it is 30 minutes. 

...I almost forgot, I received my rotation schedule this quarter!! It feels surreal that I am about to start rotations. I am super excited, and I cannot wait to start in April.
  1. Emergency Medicine
  2. Sugery
  3. Pediatrics
  4. OB/GYN
  5. Internal Medicine
  6. Elective
  7. Behavioral Medicine
  8. Primary Care
My rotations are all over Georgia, which will be such a good experience to get away for Savannah for a few weeks and experience a new place. If you have guys have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. Also, remember to subscribe, and follow me on Instagram (AmbzThePA___xo) for frequent updates xoxo

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