Official Start Date and Pre School Work?!!

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 26-02-2008

As I said earlier, I would let everyone know once I had an official start date.  In other words, when my day to day posting would start.  Well…that official start date is May 12th.  So I guess you could say, 76 days and counting!

On another note, I was also informed that I had pre-starting school work to do.  What in the world?  Well, that is what I though at first.  Before school starts on May 12th I have two books to read.  One of which I will have a test on the first week.  Talk about jumping right into things.

The first book I must read is on medical terminology and the second is about disease.  No small books either :)

The lesson or important thing to take from this post, for those of you looking to apply for PA school and here for advice, is that PA is no joke.  Obviously the learning starts right away.  So much so, there are things that must be learned before even starting school.  I think this before school assignment is great.  I think it will be much to my advantage to have already learned about medical terminology.  That way, when school does start we can jump right into the “meat” of things.  So my advice would be to get as many things done before school starts as possible.  Be it CPR certifications, readings, paperwork…the more you get done before school starts the less stress you will have once the real work starts!

Importance of Shadowing

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 11-02-2008

An important part of getting into Physician Assistant school is showing that you have shadowed multiple PAs.  I know I have mentioned shadowing before, but it is worth its own post!  Don’t think of shadowing as something that you have to do.  Think of it as something you want to do.  If you take this approach the shadowing experience will be much more enjoyable and you will learn much more. 

 When looking for a PA to shadow, look in areas of medicine that you have interest in.  If you like internal medicine, try to find a PA that works in internal medicine.  This is a great way to find out exactly what a PA in an internal medicine position does.  They may do more than what you think! 

When shadowing asks lots of questions.  You will be working with a PA who has gone through all the things you will be and are hoping to go through.  They have all the inside tricks and tips on everything you could need to know.  Also keep a log book of all your shadowing experience.  Write down the date and the time you  shadowed.  This will make it easier when you sit down to work on the application for admission and have to fill in how many hours you have shadowed.

Make sure to shadow multiple PAs and in as many different fields as you can.  Not only will this help you get a better idea of the profession, but admission boards like to see this.

A great idea is to send the PA a card after your shadowing is over.  Thank them for their time.  Most importantly, if you get to know the PA well enough, keep in contact.  You never know when you may need that person’s help again or if you might want to come back later and do a rotation with that PA. 

 Again, shadow, shadow, shadow and have fun while doing it!