New Feature of Site

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 30-07-2008

I like for there to be new things every once in while on the site and today was one of those days.  Actually this is a feature that will help many of you out.

After each post and on each page you will now see a little rotating icon.  It says “sharethis.”  If you click that link a box will pop up.  You then have the option of sending a link of the page or post to a friend or to post a link to facebook, myspace, digg…whatever!  I am doing this because I see that many of you are coming to the site via e-mails.  In other words, someone has send you an e-mail about the site and you are then visiting.

With the new feature you never have to leave the site or sign onto your e-mail to let your friends know about my site.

So check it out and use it!

Day 52

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 30-07-2008

Day 52:

Tuesday July 29, 2008

First I would like to say thanks for everyone that has left a comment!  So far all the comments have been great…i’ll really excited to read all that you guys have to say.  And to answer a question that has come up a few times in comments…

“where do you find the time?”

Great question…and the answer is——I hardly do.  I guess while others are maybe watching an hour of their favorite TV show or taking a few mintues from studying I am writting a blog post like this one.  Actually this has turned out to be somewhat of a study tool for me.  Being able to post or write about what I learned on a given day helps me to remember what it was that we actually went over!

On to the day’s activities…we started off with a lecture on sickle cell.  Nothing to special there i’m sure most of you have heard of it or can google it ;)   Next was the interesting lecture.  We talked more about being being aware of cultures while practicing.  To this point we actually did little skits at the front of the room.  One was supposed to be between a husband and wife.  The husband wanted a big truck and the wife wanted to “go green” and get a hybrid car.  I guess the point was to see how people have different points of view and will say things to try and get what they want.  More importantly I think the point was how should you react.

And I’m happy to say…well happy in a its over for now way…today was our last genetics and physiology lectures.  Now just time to study for the comprehensive finals for both of them.

So the next day or two will be spent studying for a Medical Communications exam on thursday.  So, that covers things like interviews, HPIs, PMH…..those good things.

Until Thursday,

please vote if you haven’t already…you can find the poll a few post down!


Day 51

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 28-07-2008

Day 51:

Monday July 28, 2008

I feel like a star…well maybe not, but it was cool when one of my fellow classmates came up to me today and asked for my autograph.  At first I really had no idea what she was talking about.  Then I saw the paper she was holding.  If you remember back to an earlier post you will see that I talked about being interviewed by the AAPA or American Academy of Physician Assistants.  Well, that interview and article was published in the latest AAPA journal.  There are even two nice pictures of me…if you have ever wondered what it is I look like :)   So I want to thank my class president, Michele, for showing me the paper and giving it to me…thats right, I had only seen the rough draft…this was the first thing I had even heard about it being out in the public!  So if you are a member of the AAPA make sure you look for the article and my pictures.  And if you are not a member of AAPA think about joining.  You can click the symbol below to so to the offical website.

Now to move on to the lectures and learnings of the day.

We started out with a lecture on STDs.  I think the pictures really drive home the message as to what certain STDs can do.  If you have free time google Syphilis and Gonorrhea.  You may be amazed by what you find.

Next was out last lecture this semester on radiology.  We finished by talking about ultrasounds and MRIs.  I think most of you are pretty familiar with ultrasounds and MRIs so I won’t talk too much about them.

The teacher then had a review for the radiology test that is going to be Friday.  I thought he was joking when he said “I have a roster here so i’m going to use it.”  Well, he wasn’t.  And low and behold I got called on.  Actually wasn’t that bad and I was even used later as an example patient.  Why?  I don’t know ;)

Off to put the finishing touches on my Ethics paper that is due tomorrow!!  Good thing it is already done…just needs some polishing up!

Day 50

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 28-07-2008

Day 50:

Thursday July 24,2008

Difficult patients…thats right hard to deal with patients!  That was the topic of lecture today and I have to say it is quite a fun one to talk about.  The one thing that I really woke up to today was that in most cases it is the physician or PA that is making the situation difficult.  Sure there are some patients who are just down right hard to deal with, but its important to take a step back and see how much PAs and physicians contribute to the situation.  You might be surprised…it might be a lot.  Maybe the communication between the patient and healthcare professional is lacking…or maybe there are bias that the healthcare professional has that is holding back the healthcare professional-patient relationship.

What if you walked into a room to interview a patient and the first thing you notice was that his right fist was balled up and tense?  Would you think he were angry?  Would you think he were ready to hurt you?  Would his body language automatically make your opionion of him bias?

See how much goes into seeing a patient.  You can’t always make assumptions.  What if the guy’s fist was balled up and tense because he had it slammed in a car door and that is the only position that felt comfortable??  If you automatically thought he was angry and ready to explode you might not ask the right questions or treat the patient in the same way.

I’m not saying don’t be prepared.  You have to always be prepared for anything, but never be bias.  Now there is something to that statement also.  We all have bias, but as healthcare professionals we just can’t allow them to get in the way of treating patients how they should be treated.  EQUAL!

So here a little test to see how you would react to a patient….

So you have probably already seen the picture posted below when you came to the site!  What did you first think?  Why did you think that?  What if he was one of your patients?  Could you treat him like any other person?  You should!


Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 27-07-2008

What you may notice over the next few weeks are interesting little polls appearing on the site.  What I am trying to do is gather a little info.  I thought it would be cool to know things like…what gender the majority of our visitors are, age range, location(region of the country or what country)…those types of things.


Well, I think it is something that may help people get a better idea of those interested in the information I have to offer.  In other words, does it seem that most of the people visiting are females…this would make sense because the majority of those in the PA profession are females.

A lot of the information is just for me too.  If I can find out the majority of stats of those visiting maybe I can start giving specific advice aimed at that crowd.  Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean I won’t cover all aspects and information.

For example…if most of the visitors are females…I would like to get one of my fellow classmates to write a post for me talking about life as a female in PA school.  Maybe even a married female in PA school or a female who just had a child while in PA school.  Yes we actually have someone who just had a child :)

Don’t worry no one will ever know who voted for what or when…not even me.

So to start off I would like to get an idea of gender…..

Thanks for your help!

Day 49

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 24-07-2008

Day 49:

Tuesday July 22, 2008

As with most days today was very interesting.  We began by having one of the MCG lawyers lecture to us about lawsuits.  Interesting enough, it seems more and more people are becoming aware of what exactly a Physician Assistant is and hence are being sued more.  That may seem like a bad things…but read on before you make that opinion.  In Georgia there was something like 5,000 settled lawsuits against physicians last year.  By settled I mean the doctor had to pay money to someone…or in other words, the doctor lost the lawsuit.  PAs on the other hand have had a very low number…44.  So 44 lawsuits in Georgia were won against PAs.  Not bad at all.

To brighten things up even more, compared to the national picture, PAs account for 1% of the total lawsuits brought against healthcare workers.  Now, I think something should be said with this point.  No matter what, PA…nurse…doctor…we should all try hard not to make mistakes.  Mistakes do happen, I know…we are all human.  And those mistakes will probably be dismissed by a court.  It is those mistakes where the individual didn’t do something or did something that they should not have missed or done.  Something that a court can’t let go.

Anyway, next we  had a lecture by the Dean on Culture in medicine.  He actually brought a foreign colleague of his and let us ask questions.  It seems that the best way to approach someone that you think may have different cultural beliefs is to let them tell their story.  In most cases they will tell you everything that you need to know about their culture and lead you to the best method of treating them.

As always on Tuesdays we had a genetics lecture and then a physiology lecture.  Today was a little special though…out teacher turned 50 today!  We had all planned it out and all wore black clothes today.  It actually looked like we were all headed for a funeral somewhere :)   We also had cake and candles and balloons…the whole nine yards.

Now time to relax…and I get tomorrow off!

Day 48

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 22-07-2008

Day 48:

Monday July 21, 2008

As like the past few Mondays, we began with a lecture on radiology.  Today’s lecture focused on nuclear medicine.  The more and more I look at the scans and other things in radiology the more I like it.  It really reminds me of the two years I spent looking through an electron microscope at the University of Georgia.  All those days looking at cells and things others will never get a chance to see…I loved it.  I have kinda drawn a link between those times and radiology.  They somehow seem to be alike.  I guess it is the looking at something and trying to figure out what is really there.  I know I said before that radiology didn’t seem like my thing, but i’m warming up to it now;)

After radiology, we had an hour talk about AIDS.  It is really really interesting to see the facts about AIDS.  If you get a moment head over to the CDC or Mayoclinic and look at AIDS.  The numbers may surprise you!

Medical Interview Cheat Card

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 21-07-2008

So if you have been reading my last few post you see that I have been doing my first patient interview or medical history.  We were actually given little cards to help us remember all the things we need to ask while doing a review.  And no, we can’t actually use the cards while doing the interview;)  I thought everyone would enjoy seeing what the card looked like and maybe some would like to print it out and actually use it.  To this point, I have scanned the card and you should see it below.  If you click on the picture it should give you a larger view.  And yes, it is very large quality if you click on it.  If anyone would like a smaller copy let me know.

And for those of you just reading this for fun…this is a great way to see how your physician is thinking while you are at his/her office with a problem.

Day 47

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 19-07-2008

Day 47:

Thursday July 17, 2008

So the the rest of the week seems like a breeze to me.  Today we met and had a lecture on SOAP notes.  If you don’t know, SOAP stands for subjective, objective, assessment and plan.  Basically it is a narrative of your visit with a pateient.  Subjective means what the patients tells you…in their own words.  Think of objective as all the results you obtain from test.  LIke blood pressures and temperatures.  Assessment is going to be stuff like differential diagnosis or a list of all the things you think the patient may have.  The “plan” is the plan for treatment of the patient.  So what drugs you want them to take, how long, how much…and education for the patient.

On to other things…it seems everyone who interviewed yesterday did a good job.  They actually gave us, for those of us that interviewed yesterday, a DVD copy of our interview in a cool blue MCG cd carrier.  Good to know my money is actually paying for something;)  If I find the time maybe ill rip the video off the DVD and post it so you can all see how it went.

Now time to sit back and relax…this will be the first time i’ve had Friday off in a while!

Day 46

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 18-07-2008

Day 46:

Wednesday July 16, 2008

So today was my day to do my patient interview.  I was really really nervous, but things went well.  I guess it is nice going first as I don’t have anything else to really do the rest of the week.  Let me give you a summary of how things went….

I entered the room and there sat a man.  I told him that I would be right with him as I was going to wash my hands.  After doing so I introduced myself and we began.  I asked his name, age, weight, exercise habits, diet, immunizations and all that good stuff.   I then asked what he had come in for, what his problem was.  He told me “My throat is bothering me.”  From there I asked questions about his throat.  What he thought had caused it, how bad it hurt, how long it had been hurting, exactly what it felt like….etc.  Come to find out he had been out to eat at an all you can eat buffet a few days before.  After which his throat started hurting.  So i next asked about his head, eyes, nose, mouth, chest, breathing, stomach and GI tract.  everything seemed to check out fine.

Now for this exercise I didn’t have to make a diagnosis, but the person asked me what I thought the problem was…just for fun and to see if I had any idea.  Well, I had no real idea.  Come to find out the person I was interviewing was a retire PA and this was actually a case he had seen while practicing.  A patient came to him complaining of a sore throat after eatting at a buffet.  The PA could not think of anything that could be causing it just from the interview.  So he next examined the patient and he had a bone stuck through his tonsil.

I guess you see it all in the medical field.  I think it would have just been interesting to see the bone stuck in the tonsil.  How cool would that have been?!

Now all my stress is over and I can relax!!