Choosing Medical Specialty-Medical Specialty Aptitude Test

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 03-03-2009

I think one of the big questions I have had while being is PA school is which medical specialty I like.  I think it is really hard to pick a certain field when all we have done is talk about them in class.  It seems that rotations will be the place to figure out of a field is right or wrong.  This still doesn’t keep me from wondering which field would be best for me.  To help answer that question I stumbled upon a cool site and helps by telling you which specialty you fit best with.  Basically you answer 130 questions.  Don’t worry they are very easy questions like…”are you a thinker?”

I think it is really a cool tool.  After you finish the test it gives you 50 or so specialty fields and ranks them in the order that best fits with you based on how you answered on the test.

Everyone should give a try and if you do post a comment with your results!

You can find the Medical Specialty Aptitude Test and the link below:

http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/specialties/

Day 130

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 02-03-2009

Day 130:

Monday December 8, 2008

So I came in early today to be the patient for two of my fellow classmates.  It was funny because the teacher that was grading both of them brought a space heater into the exam room and cranked it up.  All I can say is that it got a little warm.  Luckily by the time it was my turn to perform my physical it had cooled down and I had a different teacher grading me.  Everything went well.  I really didn’t miss anything…well I forgot to say something, but the teacher said she saw me do it so she gave me credit.

Now that one stress is gone its time to study for the written physcial exam final that is tomorrow!!

Day 129

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 02-03-2009

Day 129:

Thursday December 4, 2008

It is somewhat of an exciting day…our last lecture of the semester.  We did, to my shock, talk about new material in Biostat today, but it was rather short.  At the end he told us all that he really enjoyed teaching us and looked forward to seeing us in the professional career setting.

My physical examination is on Monday so I get tomorrow off :)   Now I just have to force myself to practice the physical exam as much as I can in the next three days.  I guess I will have to set a pillow on a table and act like it is a patient.  Better yet, i’ll just get someone in my family or girlfriend to be a patient for me!

Day 128

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 02-03-2009

Day 128:

Wednesday December 3, 2008

We started the day with our last day of physiology and that would be with the 6th and final test.  It was all on the most recent material, renal physiology.  The test was pretty easy…I hope the rest of the test and finals coming up go the same way :)

Next we had a lecture in pharmacology.  We basically wrapped up all the material that we have been going over and talked more about the cumulative final next week.  There will be two discussions questions, but we are not sure how much they will count.  The teacher said he would make sure that they didn’t hurt anyone’s grades overall.  So I guess we will see.

The last lecture for the day and of clinical medicine was on EKGs.  To be more detailed, it was on diagnostic electrocardiography.

Now just to learn to read all these EKGs and to practice for my physical examination that is on Monday.  I’m excited that tomorrow will be our last lecture of the semester!

Day 127

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 02-03-2009

Day 127:

Tuesday December 2, 2008

Another short day and the second to last class meeting for Biostat today.  We continued with new material and got our test back.  I did well.  At the end of class the teacher informed us that everyone in the class got an “A” as their course grade  no matter what they got on the test.  How cool is that???!!!

Now I have to go home and study for the last physiology test which is tomorrow.  We don’t a final in the class so tomorrow will be our last day of physiology!!

Day 126

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 01-03-2009

Day 126:

Monday December 1, 2008

First let me say how nice it was to actually have  days off from class.  I think little breaks are needed throughout the semester so that we, the students, can rest a bit and regain some of our strength and stamina.  I’m not saying we should have 6 days off all the time, but maybe a day here or there would be good for refreshing the brain.  Maybe that could be a research topic…who knows.

As before we started bright and early on this Monday morning with renal physiology.  Actually today was acid/base balance as it applies to renal physiology.  We actually had already covered all this material in the summer semester during our fast run over of physiology.  So nothing really new today…more like a refresher.

Our second to last pharmacology lecture was next.  Again the final is next week, Thursday and will be cumulative.  But like I said before, it will be mostly new material and some old material thrown in.  So i’m no longer that worried.  As long as I can get the new material in by next Thursday with all the other stuff I need to study for especially the physical examination.

Speaking of physical examination…the next lecture was on examination of the geriatric patient.  Like pediatrics it seems there are another subset of rules and ideas that apply onlly to geriatrics.  I really don’t see this as a field that I would ever really want to work in.

The rest of the day was more EKG.  First a lecture on cardiac medications and electrical therapy and then a lecture on artificial pacemakers.  Up to this point we have been told that the test for the EKG section of the class was just going to be added to the final.  In other words, we would just have 10 or so EKG questions on the cumulative final for clinical medicine.  It now seems that the powers that be have changed their minds and want there to be a separate EKG test and a final.  Ok…so thats not soooo bad.  What is the problem??  Well, they want us to take the cumulative final and then hand out the EKG test to be taken.  As if I won’t be exhausted by the final I have to try and focus long enough to take a 3 hour final and then a test.  What fun!

Day 125

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 01-03-2009

Day 125:

Monday November 24, 2008

Its always hard to focus on the day before you get to go on a four 6 day vacation away from school, but I tried.

We started with another renal lecture in physiology, this time on electrolyte imbalance.  Another topic that I think is important to get a grasp of since i’m certain it will appear throughout the rest of our schooling and career.  You always have to know about electrolytes and how what you are giving or doing will mess with them.

Next was pharmacology.  We did get word that the majority of our final will be new material that was been presented since the last test.  Thank goodness.  Old material will be on the test but it won’t be more than a third.  The only part that worries me a little is the fact that we will have a few discussion questions on the test.  This will be the first time we have had discussion questions for pharmacology so im not sure what to expect for those.

In physical assesment we take a guest lecturer talk about the mental status examination.  The lecture was great, but what happened at the end of the class was even better.  At the end of class he handed out envelopes to everyone.  To my shock inside each one was money.  10s, 20s, 50s……..and one envelope had a hundred dollar bill in it.  I ended up getting a 10 dollar bill, but the guy who sits next to me got the hundred.  I was only one off from getting it……only one!!!

The rest of the day was spent on EKG with Ben Taylor teaching again.  This time he covered Myocardial infarctions and how to interpret a 12 lead EKG.  The 12 lead EKGs are a little harder than what I thought they were going to be.  There so so many things to have to consider when looking at them.  I guess I’m just going to have to spend some time on the Internet looking at all the examples I can find.

Now time to enjoy my Thanksgiving BREAK!!!

Day 124

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 01-03-2009

Day 124:

Friday November 21, 2008

More renal material today in physiology.  The specific topic of the day was fluid balance.  Come to think of it, i’m sure I will see most of this material again when we have to take clinical medicine class  on the urinary system.  So I guess it is good to learn some of the basics now.

Next was another pharmacology lecture.  Looking at the calendar its hard to believe that after thanksgiving break there will 2 more pharmacology lectures.  Our last day of lecture type classes is Thursday December 4th.  We actually had to go ahead and sign up for a day to do our physical exam on a fellow classmate.  Some how I am being the patient for two of my fellow students.  How nice of me.  Actually it may help me out seeing as I am going to be the patient twice in a row and then I will have to be the one performing the physical.  So I should have it all fresh in my mind when I have to go.  Our choice was to either go Friday December 5th or Monday December 8th.  I went for the 8th seeing as it will give me the weekend to get everything down. We actually have an exam everyday the week of the 8th excluding Friday.  And on that Thursday the 11th after our pharmacology final exam we have to stick around and get certified in BLS….how fun that day is going to be.

Moving on…next we had a lecture in physcial examination on pediatrics.  Its weird to see how a different set of rules apply when dealing with pediatrics.

After lunch we continued on with EKG lectures.  We actually had a guest lecturer come talk to use for both lectures.  His name is Ben Taylor.  He is a PA and used to work in the MCG PA department.  He now working at the MCG ER.  He is an extremely intelligent man and travels around the nation giving lectures on EKGs.  I guess he is something of an expert in the area.  Even so, he made everything really easy to understand.  He first talked about AV blocks and then rhythms originating in the ventricles.  He also shared some very cool tricks to help remember certain things.  All around I think we did a great job of teaching us.

Day 123

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 01-03-2009

Day 123:

Thursday November 20, 2008

I started the day off with small group going over the physical examination.  Actually we have a second year PA student teaching our small group as part of his research and teaching rotation.  It actually helps quite a bit to have someone teach you tricks and tips of the physical exam that they remember from having to do it in a small group setting.  He told us to move as quickly as we could, but not to get lost.  I think this advice is right on.  You have to do aspects of the physical quickly since you only have so long, or in our case, we only have an hour to complete a full physical.  If we miss more than 4 things we do not pass the class and have to redo the physical until we can get it without missing more than 4 things.  It is a little stressful thinking about how few things we can miss.  You forget to do something with the ears and you just missed 2 things…since you have 2 ears.  I think I should have been practicing little parts of the physical the whole semester, but I haven’t really.  So it seems i’m going to have to pull it all together over thanksgiving break next week.   The students teaching us has also offered to let us do mock physicals next week and he will grade us to see where we stand.  That should help some.

So my advice to any people that will read this and that will be students at MCG next year….learn all the aspects of the physical as you go along and don’t wait to do it!!!

Next was Biostat.  Still no word as to what we got on the last test, but we did get some very good news.  We only have class next Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday all we would have is Biostat.  That being so, the teacher has opted to not have class on Tuesday and let everyone have a long thanksgiving break!!  YAY!

As with every Thursday there is a test in the afternoon.  And today’s killer was pharmacology.  The test wasn’t too bad, but not easy either.  I’m still wondering how to pull all the information together for the final we will have in 3 or so weeks.