Trying to make this snappy, because let's be real here - PA students have to manage their spare time wisely!
College: UC San Diego c/o 2010
Major: B.S. Biochemistry/Cell Biology
Minor: Psychology, Theatre
Why I decided to become a PA: My story is simple. I was always fascinated by medicine ever since I was little, but never felt that a career as a Physician was right for me. My sophomore year of college, a friend was telling me his girlfriend in PA school, something clicked, and I basically had the "PA school and I, we were meant to be soul mates..." feeling. The more I read about the career, the more I thought, "Hey this really suits me." After graduating, getting some experience as an EMT, then spending 6 months in Guatemala on an amazing pre-health cultural immersion/volunteer program sponsored by USC (check it out here: www.somoshermanos.org), here I am at PCOM!
Why I chose PCOM: Because it's awesome. Also because I'm a California girl at heart that loves to globe hop. More on this later. But really, PCOM makes something as grueling and overwhelming as PA school manageable. I really fell for this school during interviews. From the anatomy lab, to the faculty, to the gym (where the Philadelphia 76ers practice and I try to holler when I can haha), to being surrounded by other health profession grad students, to their 7-year maximum accreditation renewal, to Miss Debbie who will yell to you "HAPPY FRIDAYS' EVE!!! And you look absolutely beautiful today!" from across the lobby on Thursday at 8am, this is a great place to begin your PA journey. Really though, I should eventually devote an entire post on this, so I'll save details for later.
Since we're already about 4 months into PA school, there have been a ton of big events that have already occurred. I'll try to address them as much as I can in later posts, but for now, this is where we're at: two-thirds of the way into fall term. Our biggest course right now is History Taking and Physical Examination, aka H&P, aka the first time you palpate a liver/use a tuning fork/see an eardrum/feel awkward asking people about the frequency of their BMs and sexual history....Basically we learn the full techniques of H&P before we dive into Clinical Medicine next quarter. Anyway, since I'm a visual learner, I'm all about photos. Here are some of my top instagrams of H&P thus far:
In lab. Our first day learning how to use the otoscope and perhaps the only time we will ever have the chance to see our own tympanic membranes as they are projected onto the big screen. I'm in the lower right box. On the lower left, that's Brian testing Tyler's gag reflex (for Cranial Nerve IX/X!) and faculty member Paul in the back, chuckling at all of us for finding this amusing.
Getting some musculoskeletal practice in and practicing our tattoo artists skills at the same time. Drawing the palpable landmarks helps visualize exactly what is going on in the joint.
Spending time in the sim lab, where my years of playing Street Fighter and mortal combat FINALLY come in handy. We were able to practice laparoscopic surgery techniques, and do cool things like a cholecystectomy and tubal ligation. Bet you can't beat my high score!
Much more awesome, insider-scoop to come. I promise you this is going to be unlike ANY other PA student blog you've ever read. Stay tuned!!!