Physician Assistant Program: Central Michigan University
December 9, 2013
It is currently finals week of my second semester of PA School. We have 7 finals this week! After this week, I will already be halfway done with my didactic year! This semester has been truly amazing. I have learned so much that I can hardly believe how much more I know now than I did 16 weeks ago. This semester I had 20 credits that consisted of: Clinical Medicine (focusing on the topics of Cardiology and Pulmonology), Cardiac and Pulmonary Physiology, EKG, Chest X-ray, OBGYN, History and Physical Exam II, Pharmacology and Clinical Problem Solving. Along with these classes, on Monday's I spend all day following a Family Practice MD to get a feel for what it is like to start seeing patient's. My Family Practice mentor that I follow is really awesome and has taught me so many things. I love having the opportunity to get to apply the information I am learning in my classes to a patient setting. Having a mentor and spending one day a week out in the field is something that is pretty unique to CMU's PA program and I am so happy that I get to take part in it!
Another opportunity that I have gotten to take part in this semester is that I got to attend the Michigan Academy of Physician Assistant (MAPA) conference in Traverse City this October. This was a blast!!! Our school provided funding for us to stay in the condos at the site of the conference and meals were provided. I got to sit in on several medical talks, cheer for our team in Quiz Bowl (we took 2nd place), and even got to go wine tasting with some of my classmates. It was really great to spend an entire weekend just learning about my future profession as a Physician Assistant.
So far, I have learned that PA school is very fast paced. At CMU we have 4 semesters of classes before we start our clinical rotations. There is a lot of information being thrown at us in a very short amount of time, but my professors do a great job of organizing everything and making sure that we understand the material before we move on. The key to getting through so much material I have found, is to study every single day. There is always something more to learn! I have also learned to utilize my classmates when studying. We have a small class (41 students) and we all spend a lot of time together. My class has been really great about organizing study groups and I have found group studying to be very beneficial thus far.
My Advice for anybody who is going to be attending PA school or plans to apply: Work hard!!!! It is worth it. Study every day, it will pay off. Also, if you haven't figured it out yet, time management skills are VERY important.
In all, I am so happy that I have chosen this career path and I think the further I get into my didactic year, I will be even happier with my decision
September 3, 2013
Right now is the second week of my second semester. I can hardly believe how fast time has flown by! The first semester ended very well, and I have to say that I am very happy to be done with Anatomy. Most PA students in the classes above me say that Anatomy is the hardest course we take as PA students because of all the time that has to be spent studying in the cadaver lab. I finished 16 credits this summer, and all 41 of my classmates came back for the fall. (which is a good sign I guess ;) ). We had a wonderful 3 week break in August to relax and give our brains a break. I spent every minute back in the UP.
We have 20 credits this semester, so we shall stay very busy! Starting in October we all get to spend 1 day a week doing a "mentorship" where we spend the day with a Physician or PA in their clinic. I will get to spend every Monday with a Family Practice MD in Mount Pleasant. I am very excited for this because it gives me a chance to start applying and practicing some of the skills I have learned.
I started PA school this past Monday, May 13 at CMU. So far, it has been very challenging and they jump into everything very quickly (we already have our first anatomy exam on Tuesday). My class is a group of 41 kids and we have every single class together. The PA staff is very helpful and friendly, and seems like they will go out of their way to make sure we succeed. So far, my classmates have been great as well, and we all collaborate and help each other during our studies. Most of us came straight from undergrad, but there are a few nontraditional students as well. I am really enjoying myself here so far, and am very happy about choosing CMU.