Maxwell Quick Medical Reference

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 14-12-2009

I have been getting quite a few e-mails asking me what books I used during my first year of PA school and what things have been helpful during my rotations.

I thought I would start with something that has helped me greatly during my rotations.  And that would be “Maxwell Quick Medical Reference”

At $7.95 on Amazon its not expensive and it has info that will save you during rotations.  Many times I have quickly flipped to the labs section to get a refresher on the normal lab values right before being pimped on the subject.

The pages are color coded so its easy to find the section you are looking for and the book is tiny.  REALLY tiny.  It will fit in any size pocket and you will actually forget you have it, its so small.

It contains guidelines for writing admission, discharge, and other notes commonly encountered on medicine, surgery, and ob-gyn rotations. It also includes commonly used formulas and cheat sheets for H&Ps and the neuro and the minimental status exam.

And I have to say, mine has been through hell and back and is still holding in strong!

So make sure you grab a copy before you start rotations!

You can buy it here:

Laptop a must for PA school

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 14-12-2009

I can’t think I have never blogged about this before, but it is important when thinking about going to PA school or actually starting PA school.

In the old days note taking was done with pencil/pen and paper.

In today’s world its done with a computer. All throughout my first year of PA school I used my laptop more than ever before. Heck, all the lectures were provided to use in either powerpoint form or pdf.

To take notes most people in my class would use OneNote by Microsoft. It basically takes the powerpoint or pdf and puts it into a format that allows for note taking on the slides.

I actually wrote all my notes while in class, while having the lecture up on my computer. I would just note the slide number and then wrote my note.

Heck, even now while on rotations a laptop has come in as a must.

Now I used an old laptop that I had used for quite a while. Other, well most the class, had bought new computers, mostly PCs. There were a few people that had MACs as well.

So I guess you should buy a computer that is going to last for a while. So buy something GOOD.
Make sure to get Microsoft office, but wait on this as in most cases as you can get it cheap through your school.

If you have found other software to be useful while in PA school let us know by commenting!

Proof that Physician Assistant students do have lives

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 13-12-2009

The guys and gals of the 2010 Emory PA class created this cool spoof video.  A must watch.

I  think it just goes to show that even if we as PA students spend all our time studying we do still have time for fun and a sense of humor.

The Help the Physician Assistant Student Campaign

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 01-12-2009

I was sitting at my OB/GYN rotation thinking today how crappy it is to know that I can’t afford to buy things that I might need or want.  For example, textbooks are just down right expensive and being on rotations means having to pay for gas to drive to the rotation site.

Then the thought came to me….

Why not try and start a HELP the Physician Assistant Student Campaign.

The idea is that the Physician Assistant community and the the general medical community could help selected students by making donations to them.

How much donated is determined by the persons doing the donating.

Maybe even the donation person could buy a few books off of that a student needs and have them sent to the student.

What do you guys think?

Sound like something you would help out with?

Reproductive medicine conference patient presentation

Filed Under (Rotations) by Dave on 19-11-2009

So every Thursday I have to pick a patient that I saw in the past week and present the patient in front of the reproductive medicine board.  Board being the 3 or 4 doctors in the department as well as a resident and at least one medical student.

I presented a patient last week, but one of the doctors seemed to have thought I didn’t provide him with enough or THE information that he wanted. Hence I was “wasting his time.”

Now I have gathered said information that he wants and am to present the patient again today at 1:30.

I even went over the information with another of the doctors this morning who said I needed to still find the dosage for Bi-est.  I repeated that I had already called the local compounding pharmacy and was told twice what the dosage was.  He still felt I was missing some information.  At that point I pulled up a google site created by a compounding pharmacy and showed him that the dosage was as I was told.  If the bi-est is 40/60 2mg then its 40% estriol to 60% estradiol. Just that simple.  So he then seemed to agree that I had the information I needed.

I guess we will see what the other doctor who wasn’t pleased with the presentation last week thinks today.

And since the online pharmacy site was such a help, at least at this point I hope, I want to post a link for others.  So here it is…

OB/GYN Grandrounds

Filed Under (Rotations) by Dave on 18-11-2009

I’ll be attending my first OB/GYN grandrounds in close to an hour.

I’ll update later as to how it went.


So grandrounds was covered by the NICU.  It was a discussion about preterm birth complications.

Actually they presented a patient who was born at 22 weeks with some complications, but is now doing fine.

The odd thing I noticed while at grandrounds had nothing to do with the discussion.

I felt a little out of place as I was the only PA student there.  Actually everyone else was an M.D.

The odd part comes when everyone looks at my white coat to read who I am.  I guess its because my patch or the patch for PA student’s white coats is different than that for the medical students.

Again, it was just odd to see every M.D. that walked by my seat look down to read my jacket.

Website downtime!

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 17-11-2009

So this past year has been an adventure with the site.

First the site was hacked several times.

Next the server went haywire as things had been changed and damaged by the hacker.

Then recently, the server went down and seems to have grown a mind of its own.

And so the few updates that I have made to the blog are gone..

but I have moved the site to another server and things should be working like magic now!

So hopefully you are here reading the blog with no trouble and I will try and get a few things posted about how rotations are going!

Site was hacked!

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 13-07-2009

I’m sure many of you have noticed by now, considering the feed subscription numbers have dropped from 40 to 12, that this site was hacked.

Lucky for me I keep backups of the site, so only a few things were lost.

I guess it is one of those things really.  With WordPress being so famous among bloggers these days, its a platform that is target to script kiddies all over the world.  They are nothing more than script kiddies and nothing more!

Lucky for everyone, the server that this site resides on is a little more sophisticated than one would think.  The the information of the person who hacked us was recorded.  Even though they tried and hide themselves, they left some things uncovered.  My OP has reported this information to the proper authorities and will be dealt with as such.

I plan to get the post back to where they should be and catch up on this site….geez, I know, its way behind, but it will be caught back up by the end of the month!

Day 137

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 07-04-2009

Day 137:

Friday January 9, 2009

We started our Friday off with a lecture in ACLS at 9am on PEA or pulseless electrical activity.  In other words, you don’t feel a pulse, but you still see electrical activity.

Next was another pharmacology lecture.  Not much to say here.

The last lecture of the day from 1-3pm was again in ACLS.  We covered aystole and then practiced everything we have done so far.  Asystole is quite cool.  Its what you always see on shows like ER or Scrubs.  Most of the time you you watch the show though they say “flat line” and not asystole.

Day 136

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 07-04-2009

Day 136:

Wednesday January 7, 2009

We start the day with a 9am lecture in pharmacology.  I looked ahead in the book last night and saw that we will probably be covering antibacterials at the end of this semester.  I really hope to get to those sooner as it seems these are drugs that are used most often.

After pharmacology we had our real first lecture for ACLS.  Today’s topic was on ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.  Nothing too too complicated, but still a challenge.  We actually have quizzes that we will have to turn in.  The person teaching ACLS also likes to include people in the lectures.   By this I mean she likes to put peoples names or pictures on slides and ask them questions.  I guess this is a good way to make sure everyone pays attention, but wow…how stressful.

After lunch, we had our first surgery lecture.  The lecture was on introductory surgery and was basically a fast overview of surgery.  After that we had surgery lab.  Knot tying boards where handed out and we learned how to tie our first knot.  Some of us also went over how to tie a surgeon’s knot.  Playing guitar for quite a while not, tying knots is quite easy.  It seems after doing it a few times, like playing guitar, my fingers remember what to do without me thinking about it.  I think i’m going to really love surgery!

Lucky for us…we haven’t started small groups yet…which means we don’t have class at all tomorrow.  YAY!  Normally thurday will also be test day.  So we would normally have small groups in the morning and then a test at 3pm.