Physician-Assistant-ED http://physician-assistant-ed.com The Most Comprehensive Physician Assistant Education Website in the World! Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:47:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Exciting Start for University of Charleston Physician Assistant Program http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2013/01/exciting-start-for-university-of-charleston-physician-assistant-program/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2013/01/exciting-start-for-university-of-charleston-physician-assistant-program/#comments Sat, 26 Jan 2013 13:50:02 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=8148 The University of Charleston Physician Assistant Program launched its inaugural class of thirty students on Monday, January 7th, only three short weeks ago! Since that time, students and faculty have felt the mix of emotions that come with the beginnings of such a journey – enthusiasm, gratitude, anxiousness, excitement, and yes, even fear. In 28 short months, each of these students will launch their careers as the program’s first graduates, taking  [read more →]]]>
The University of Charleston Physician Assistant Program launched its inaugural class of thirty students on Monday, January 7th, only three short weeks ago! Since that time, students and faculty have felt the mix of emotions that come with the beginnings of such a journey – enthusiasm, gratitude, anxiousness, excitement, and yes, even fear. In 28 short months, each of these students will launch their careers as the program’s first graduates, taking on the sacred role as medical practitioner. So what have these students been up to anyway?

Orientation

Orientation was filled with interesting activities. Here’s a sample of what was covered and some of the comments that were made by students through an anonymous survey:

  • Learning Preferences Assessment: Sandy Stennett PA-C, one of our core faculty members, did a great job of facilitating a learning preferences assessment and strategies session using the VARK questionnaire. — Student comments: “I loved this presentation, I felt it truly helped me figure out the best way to learn.” — “I really liked the information given to us during this session. I think that it made us all think about what our most beneficial learning style is. For me, it broke down all of the different forms of learning that I could incorporate into my study habits. It was helpful to get to discuss these different methods with my classmates as well.”
  • Anti-Procrastination Planning: Jennifer Pack PA-C, our Director of Didactic Education, shared a great presentation on procrastination including key strategies for avoiding this plaguing habit. — Student comments: ”I now know how sometimes I am procrastinating even when I do not actually mean to or realize it, such as doing little tasks first.” — “This was very helpful to me. I want to try and stay on top of everything, these tips will be very useful. Glad to know I am not the only procrastinator.”
  • Cloud Computing and Note-Taking Softwares:  I had the opportunity to discuss several strategies for implementation of cloud computing applications and note-taking softwares into students’ workflows. It was also fun to show the students how this technology can be used after they graduate. We covered several applications including Evernote, Dropbox, Notability, and LiveScribe. — Student comments: ”I absolutely love the programs that were discussed and will definitely be using them throughout the program in order to keep my notes and studies organized.” — “This presentation was mind blowing. It was extremely informative and helpful. It opened my eyes to a world of things that were in front of me that I did not know existed. This was very helpful and will re-shape how I will take notes, record lectures, and store information.”
  • Memory Enhancements Presentation: Tina Chafin PA-C, our Director of Clinical Education, provided a fantastic presentation on memory enhancement methods. I especially enjoyed some of her acronym examples, including one useful in learning the cranial nerves. — Student comments: ”This was awesome! Very helpful, and somewhat eased my nerves on the bulk of info getting ready to consume me.” — “I enjoyed this presentation. I do some of these things already but I am going to really try to use them more often while studying.”
  • Listening and Lecture Notes: Richard Bennett PhD, our Director of Admissions, helped the students understand more about the art of listening and difference between approaching studies as a graduate versus an undergraduate, including how one should approach taking lecture notes. — Student comments: ”This presentationUniversity of Charleston Physician Assistant Program Mentor-Mentee Lunch was very good. I plan on using these tips while I am listening to lecture.” — ”Very good advice, taking a lot of it to heart. Will be trying to stay ahead rather than fall behind.”
  • Mentor/Mentee Team Lunches: In our program, we have developed a mentoring program where each core faculty member is paired with 6 students. During lunch on the first day of orientation, all students had a chance to meet with their official faculty mentors and team members.
  • Other: Several other activities occurred as well, including overviews of both the on-campus and clinical curricula, medical equipment presentation, and a program director pearls session.

Spring 2013 Courses

With orientation completed, no time was wasted in getting students engaged with their studies. Below is a sampling of some of the content covered thus far in each of the seven first semester courses of their curriculum.

  • Professional Development I: Self-Reflective Physician Assistant Competencies Project, History of the Profession, Student Driven Commitment to Excellence Project
  • Patient-Centered Care I: Team Approach to Care, Patient-Centered Medical Home, Health Professions Roles and Responsibilities, and Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Mechanisms of Disease: Health versus Disease, Cell and Tissue Structure and Function, Acute Inflammation, and Cardinal Manifestations of Disease
  • Medical Physiology: Action Potential and Synaptic Transmission, Autonomic Nervous System and the Adrenal Medulla, Neuromuscular Transmission, Muscle Physiology, Somatosensory Pathways and Physiology of Pain
  • Applied Human Anatomy: History and Physical Examination Skills Lab 
    Anatomical Sectional Overview, Anatomical Planes and Orientation/Movement Terms, and Head and Neck Anatomy
  • Clinical Pharmacology:Drug Discovery and Approval, Pharmacodynamics, Drug Receptor Interactions
  • History & Physical Examination: Overview of History and Physical, Health History and General Survey, Vital Signs, Basics of Documentation and Clinical Reasoning

As you can see, these guys have been busy.  Heading into their fourth week, they are starting to grasp what experienced Physician Assistants mean when they say that PA School is “like trying to drink from a firehose!”

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Physician Assistant Profession Six Core Competencies http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/09/physician-assistant-professionsix-core-competencies/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/09/physician-assistant-professionsix-core-competencies/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2012 12:07:07 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=8074 There are six core competencies that the Physician Assistant profession has adopted: medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems based care. Here’s the problem… since the beginning of formalized medical education the vast bulk of emphasis has been on the first two, medical knowledge and patient care. This is a heavy train that has been moving for years. Trying to put the brakes on that structure is very challenging!

Yes, of  [read more →]]]>
There are six core competencies that the Physician Assistant profession has adopted: medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems based care. Here’s the problem… since the beginning of formalized medical education the vast bulk of emphasis has been on the first two, medical knowledge and patient care. This is a heavy train that has been moving for years. Trying to put the brakes on that structure is very challenging!

Yes, of course we need to ensure we are adequately addressing medical knowledge and patient care. However, tell me the importance of competence in either if the student is unable to connect with patients (interpersonal and communication skills). What’s the point if the student lacks professionalism and loses his or her license? They matter not if the student is not taught to be flexible and willing to reflect upon and change practice habits during this era of seemingly continuous breakthrough and constant change (practice-based learning and improvement). And who cares how much they know if they cannot understand how to work within, and help their patients navigate through, a complex health care system (systems based care)? As Physician Assistant educators, we must think deeply about how to adequately train on ALL SIX of the core competencies. For they have never been more important! And they will only grow more important as our health care system evolves.

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Physician Assistant School Mock Interview http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/08/physician-assistant-school-mock-interview/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/08/physician-assistant-school-mock-interview/#comments Sat, 11 Aug 2012 14:55:46 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=8007 Thoughts of my looming interview terrified me. I was scared that once I entered that interviewing room that my brain would shut off from nerves and stress. My anxiety stemmed from past experiences. I would trip over words, stutter, forget my train of thought, etc. Whenever this happened, I would get more flustered and my communication skills would fly right out the window. I was scared that if I had one of these mental road blocks during the interview,  [read more →]]]>
Thoughts of my looming interview terrified me. I was scared that once I entered that interviewing room that my brain would shut off from nerves and stress. My anxiety stemmed from past experiences. I would trip over words, stutter, forget my train of thought, etc. Whenever this happened, I would get more flustered and my communication skills would fly right out the window. I was scared that if I had one of these mental road blocks during the interview, I would not make a good impression and thus lose an opportunity for placement at the Physician Assistant program I wanted to attend.

I could tell while practicing interview-style questions with my husband this fear was interfering with my ability to answer questions. I was so scared I wouldn’t know what to say… and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. My poor husband probably thought I had no chance of getting in! Here is an example of one of our practice sessions:

Bryan (my husband): “So tell me why you want to be a PA.”

Me: “Um… because PAs are AWESOME!” [Bryan just stares at me]

Bryan: “Let’s try this again. Why do you want to be a PA?” [I giggle nervously]

Me: “Uh…” [Long pause]

Bryan: “You know? You’re not really winning me over on this one.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of reasons why I want to be a PA: I love healthcare, I love helping people, I want to practice medicine as part of a collaborative team, I want to volunteer and make a difference in my community! I have so many more reasons yet I couldn’t even think of one when my husband asked me?

I think part of the problem was that I was too comfortable with my husband. I wasn’t too scared that if I answered a question poorly that he was going to give me the boot! The only problem with this was that I wasn’t gaining any confidence from these epically awful practice sessions. (Nothing against you Bryan!) I just kept having these nagging feelings that if I couldn’t even impressively answer questions with my own husband there was no way I was going to impress my interviewers.

I was sharing my fears with a couple I had become good friends with through church. They offered to do a mock interview with me. I eagerly accepted. He was an assistant superintendent of a school district and had interviewed many. She had her doctorate in nursing so I knew I couldn’t pull a smooth one regarding medical questions. This experience was the biggest builder of my confidence I had ever experienced.

We wanted to make the mock interview as realistic as possible so I dressed up in my suit that I had bought for the interview. It was scheduled for 8pm so I had time to eat dinner, but found that my nerves were choking out my appetite. I was so nervous because I personally felt that however I did at this mock interview would directly reflect how well I would perform at the actual interview.

Eight PM found me sitting in the couple’s formal living room to conduct a “formal” interview. Sweat graced my brow (and unfortunately other places) as we began the interview. At first my responses were a little shaky, but I tried to maintain a sense of professionalism. Pleased that I hadn’t train-wrecked after the first several questions, I started to get this happy, almost giddy, sensation in my gut. I started to feel like I could do this! And as I continued to answer questions without tripping over my words, my voice became strong and my posture became tall. I could do this! I was a capable adult who had a strong, sincere desire to be a Physician Assistant, and I had worked hard to get this far! I had no reason to be scared or timid. The PA program had extended an interview to me because they thought I was PA material!

It’s hard to describe the feeling of confidence. I guess the best way for me to describe it is as empowering. The fear that had once consumed me had vanished. I knew that I would interview well the following week at my real interview, and if I didn’t get accepted it wasn’t because I didn’t try my best.

This wonderful couple gave me good feedback on my mock interview — what they liked and what they thought I could improve on. They both shared personal experiences that helped me recognize what would be appropriate for my own interview. They also gave me words of encouragement and support.

Truly this couple gave me the confidence that carried me through my interview. I am so grateful to them, my husband, and family and friends who supported me. Their support gave me wings.

For those of you that have been extended an invitation for an interview, I highly recommend that you find someone to practice a mock interview with. Whether to build your own confidence or gauge how well you are prepared, the experience will definitely be worth your time!

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Physician-Physician Assistant Team http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/07/physician-physician-assistant-team/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/07/physician-physician-assistant-team/#comments Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:57:38 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=8042 The video below highlights the relationship that can be formed between a physician and physician assistant in caring for patients as a team. Great video!

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The video below highlights the relationship that can be formed between a physician and physician assistant in caring for patients as a team. Great video!

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News-Line – David Payne PA-C – Physician Assistant Educator http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/06/news-line-feature-david-payne-pa-c-physician-assistant-educator/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/06/news-line-feature-david-payne-pa-c-physician-assistant-educator/#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 10:58:55 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=7674 I recently had an excellent opportunity to do a Q&A about working in Academic Medicine. I also had the opportunity to discuss www.Physician-Assistant-ED.com. I’ve provided an excerpt below but make sure to check out the full version by clicking here!

News-Line Feature Excerpt

Q: How is being a Physician Assistant educator different than being a clinician?

A: The most important thing to understand is that academia is  [read more →]]]> I recently had an excellent opportunity to do a Q&A about working in Academic Medicine. I also had the opportunity to discuss www.Physician-Assistant-ED.com. I’ve provided an excerpt below but make sure to check out the full version by clicking here!

News-Line Feature Excerpt

Q: How is being a Physician Assistant educator different than being a clinician?

A: The most important thing to understand is that academia is an entirely different career. You go from practicing as a clinician to educating as a professor. Yes, the content you are delivering is medicine, and you have to have expertise in that arena, but that’s only a prerequisite to the knowledge and skills you must develop and employ as an educator. Becoming an outstanding educator is challenging. It’s not as simple as walking into the classroom and sharing the experiences you have had in the clinic or the vault of medical knowledge in your head. I’ve seen some brilliant clinicians perform rather poorly in the classroom. Even though they had great expertise in their specialty, they hadn’t a clue as to how to effectively deliver that information to students.

Q: What is going to be unique about UC’s Physician Assistant Program?

A: The first thing we did in developing this program was to reflect upon our previous experiences as students and educators in other programs. We thought deeply about what worked well, and what didn’t. As a result, I feel we have put together a phenomenal program that is truly learner-centered and application-based. Some highlights of our program include excellent faculty-to-student ratios where we can take advantage of education through mentoring, a strong emphasis on analytical thinking and problem-solving, a curriculum that will train students to be exceptionally resourceful, and a pass-fail system that reinforces collaboration and a team-based model of patient care. Our students will also produce a practice portfolio, a master’s degree-level project designed to cultivate a consistent pattern of self-reflective practice that will prove to be a major strength for them throughout their careers. I wrote a blog post with more information (University of Charleston Physician Assistant Program Now Accepting Applications) for anybody interested in learning more.


Make sure you read the entire interview by clicking here!

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Book Review – “An Applicant’s Guide to Physician Assistant School and Practice 2nd Ed.” by Erin Sherer, PA-C http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/05/book-review-an-applicants-guide-to-physician-assistant-school-and-practice-2nd-ed-by-erin-sherer-pa-c/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/05/book-review-an-applicants-guide-to-physician-assistant-school-and-practice-2nd-ed-by-erin-sherer-pa-c/#comments Thu, 17 May 2012 12:08:08 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=7267 If you’re looking for advice on a subject, you know the best source to ask is someone who has personal experience on the topic. In this case, our topic is not only how do I get into physician assistant school? But also how do I become a successful PA satisfied with my career?

Once a prospective PA, now a practicing PA and educator, Erin Sherer, PA-C is just the person to turn to. Her book: [read more →]]]> If you’re looking for advice on a subject, you know the best source to ask is someone who has personal experience on the topic. In this case, our topic is not only how do I get into physician assistant school? But also how do I become a successful PA satisfied with my career?

Once a prospective PA, now a practicing PA and educator, Erin Sherer, PA-C is just the person to turn to. Her book: An Applicant’s Guide to Physician Assistant School and Practice 2nd ed. is a valuable resource for prospective PAs, student PAs, and practicing PAs alike.

What I really liked about this book was her easy to read, down-to-earth writing style.  While reading, I kept envisioning the author as a big sister who I could keep in my pocket or as a best friend who shared with me all the nitty-gritty about how it really is in the PA world: the things to avoid, the things to deal with, the great opportunities to take advantage of, etc. Because her advice is directed to people in the different stages of their PA journey (prospective PAs, students, new grads, practicing clinicians) I will format my review to match. Refer to the portion(s) that is/are relevant to you or that you are curious about. I think that you too will concur that that there is something for everybody!

Prospective Physician Assistants

I have to compliment Sherer on her skill to explain what a Physician Assistant is and how the PA differs from other care providers. If you had uncertainties about what a PA is or what they do, I am sure her explanation will answer most, if not all, of your questions. This will help you set your resolution to become, or not to become, a PA.

Physician Assistant School: Aside from deciding you will pursue the PA profession for your career, you must also decide on which PA school is right for you. According to the author, some of the criteria an applicant should consider are: program reputation, location, cost, type of degree offered, program curriculum, acceptance rates, pre-requisite requirements, and the PANCE pass rate. Sherer explains these different qualities in much greater detail and how these items will pertain to you as a future student. Her advice on evaluating a school is very insightful.

Application: I believe that if you read this book before you begin your application process you will find that there will be few surprises for you. As you know, the biggest hurdle that stands in your way at this time is getting accepted into a PA school. To help you, Sherer lists the statistics of the competition so you can gauge yourself against them. She also shares tips on how to prepare yourself so that your application can make a strong impression.  There are essay examples, advice for your letters of recommendation, and words of caution to the applicant regarding how long it can really take to fill out the CASPA application. (Most, but not all, PA schools have applicants apply through the CASPA website.) She also provides several checklists like the “Pre-PA School Checklist” and “The CASPA Checklist” that are helpful in confirming that you have completed everything as forgetting something could be fatal to your application.

School Interviews: If you have been invited for an interview, Sherer writes about what you can expect, what topics you should be comfortable with, what kind of questions may be asked (including examples of appropriate answers), questions you should ask the interviewers, and many other numerous interview tips.

Current Physician Assistant Students

I love how she titles her portion dedicated to the students- “Surviving PA School” (isn’t that the truth?!). Here are the topics that she covers:

Finances: School is going to be expensive. Provided in the book is information about student loans, PA organizations that offer scholarships, and programs that reimburse or pay for your schooling. Budgeting is also explored and an example of a student budget is listed.

Didactic Phase Pearls: Need ideas to help you pay better attention in class, use your study time more effectively, or find a way to manage your stress? Sherer weighs in on how to do just that and more.

Clinical Phase Pearls: Again this is where the advice of experience proves to be so vital. Some of my favorite Pearls listed describe not only what to prepare for but how to deal with those you will be working with.

New Physician Assistant Graduates

I felt like this portion of the book was the strongest in the amount of valuable information.

PANCE: Sherer lists many resources to turn to when studying for the PANCE exam. As the reader, you will learn what to complete before taking the exam and what you can expect at the testing center. After passing PANCE, Sherer lists what will need to be completed for completing licensure.

Erin Sherer, PA-C

Starting a New Career:  There are so many things to consider when beginning a new career as a PA. What specialty will you practice? What setting will you work in? Are you interested in contract work or per diem? Or would you rather be full time with benefits? Should you do a residency or fellowship? Where do you even begin to find a job? And what qualities should you look for in a supervising physician? All of these questions are answered in detail.

What I thought was very unique and helpful was that the author listed the benefits and cons of different work settings; there was also a questionnaire where your answer would list what environment you may want to consider working in.

Resume: Clear advice on creating cover letters, curriculum vitae, and resumes is appreciated in this section of the book.

Job Interviews: Tailored advice unique to the PA job interview is listed. While you are receiving your interview, Sherer warns that you should be interviewing the job as well: look for certain attributes in the prospective employer. If you do receive a job offer, be sure to go over your contract.

Job Expectations: Hopefully Sherer can calm any anxiety you may have over your new job by informing you about starting salary, how to get over first day jitters, billing, and what to understand about malpractice claims and insurance.

Clinically Practicing Physician Assistants

Finding satisfaction with your career is key to your success, and success is key to finding satisfaction with your career. Each PA’s definition of success will be unique to his or her circumstances, but Sherer describes in detail what one can do to continue to have satisfaction with his or her career. These topics include: continuing education, knowing when to ask for a raise, being able to identify when it is time to move on and acting upon it, learning how to work with difficult co-workers or deal with difficult situations, promoting yourself as a PA, and continuing to build lasting relationships.

Final Thoughts

This book is rich in resources, self-evaluation tools, information, and valuable advice. During my review, I felt inadequate in listing all of the material available as there is so much to write about. I hope I was able to at least give you a taste of the feast of knowledge that Sherer has to offer about the PA profession. If you decide to read :  An Applicant’s Guide to Physician Assistant School and Practice 2nd ed. you will not be disappointed.

*Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for PhysicianAssistantED.com

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Newly Accredited Physician Assistant Programs http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/04/newly-accredited-physician-assistant-programs/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/04/newly-accredited-physician-assistant-programs/#comments Sat, 21 Apr 2012 18:11:39 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=7352 The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) recently announced provisional accreditation for six new PA Programs. This brings the total number of Physician Assistant programs to 164. Of course, we have created Summary Program Profiles for each of them. As always, you can find them searching regionally through our profiles portal, but I have also included the links below for quick access from this  [read more →]]]> The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) recently announced provisional accreditation for six new PA Programs. This brings the total number of Physician Assistant programs to 164. Of course, we have created Summary Program Profiles for each of them. As always, you can find them searching regionally through our profiles portal, but I have also included the links below for quick access from this blog post.

Recently First-Time Accredited Physician Assistant Programs

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Physician Assistant School Pearl – Focus on the Roots http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/04/physician-assistant-school-pearl-focus-on-the-roots/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/04/physician-assistant-school-pearl-focus-on-the-roots/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 20:49:56 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=7322 There are two major approaches to learning medicine: Content-centered and principle-centered. Knowing the difference is critical. A content-centered approach may allow you to pass your courses. You may even pass the boards, get licensed, find a job, and function just well enough to perform at a basic level and stay employed. However, you will not find much satisfaction in your career, your understanding of medicine will be limited, you will consistently find yourself frustrated, and  [read more →]]]>
There are two major approaches to learning medicine: Content-centered and principle-centered. Knowing the difference is critical. A content-centered approach may allow you to pass your courses. You may even pass the boards, get licensed, find a job, and function just well enough to perform at a basic level and stay employed. However, you will not find much satisfaction in your career, your understanding of medicine will be limited, you will consistently find yourself frustrated, and you will never be able to grow into an outstanding clinician. A principle-centered approach, on the other hand, will provide the foundation you need to truly have a remarkable career, one where you consistently feel stimulated, where you challenge yourself to develop further and further. Consequently, you will stand as a tall, full, flourishing oak of knowledge and ability.

Here’s the difference. A student who is content-centered focuses on the individual leaves of the tree while the student who is principle-centered focuses on the roots. When learning about coronary artery disease the content-centered student pulls out the list of typical symptoms and management options and tries to memorize, whereas the principle-centered student seeks deeper understanding of involved pathophysiology and fundamental pharmacology in order to make sense out of why those symptoms occur, and why we choose certain treatments over others.

When learning about physical examination the content-centered student learns the techniques so she can perform well enough to be checked off the list during her practical exams. The principle-centered student wonders why certain techniques are performed the way they are performed. She asks, “Why do I need to use a bracing finger when using an otoscope?” or “Why is it important to listen to the apex of the heart with the bell of the stethoscope while the patient is in the left lateral decubitus position?” And not only does she ask, she seeks out the answer, even though that practical exam is only going to assess whether she performs the technique correctly, not whether she understands its purpose.

There are two major advantages to choosing a principle-centered approach. The first is that when you make sense out of the material, you retain the information much better. Secondly, when you strive to understand principles, you start to see connections everywhere. Oftentimes the principles underlying one disease process or treatment approach also apply to many others. In other words, focusing on the roots allows your knowledge base to be connected to every leaf of the tree whereas focusing on the individual leaves supplies no such connection. That student who sought to understand principles during her physical examination course will learn much more once she begins her study of cardiology.

Always ask “why?” Make sure you attach meaning to everything you learn. To the extent possible, master as much physiology, pathophysiology, anatomy, basic pharmacology, and laboratory medicine possible. These are the roots. Nourish them. Before you know it, you will be enjoying the fruits of your labors.

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Knowing Your Patients and the Art of Medicine http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/03/knowing-your-patients-and-the-art-of-medicine-2/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/03/knowing-your-patients-and-the-art-of-medicine-2/#comments Sat, 31 Mar 2012 12:33:56 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=7255

Art and creativity are inseparable. They are intimately connected.

In no way is it creative to simply funnel patients through, check off labs, reorder the same prescriptions, and set up the same follow-ups. But this is what can happen when a rushed internist or family medicine physician assistant sees 30 patients a day. The practice of medicine becomes more mechanical, the provider more robotic. Less time spent with patients equates to less opportunity to practice the art of medicine.

We can  [read more →]]]>

Art and creativity are inseparable. They are intimately connected.

In no way is it creative to simply funnel patients through, check off labs, reorder the same prescriptions, and set up the same follow-ups. But this is what can happen when a rushed internist or family medicine physician assistant sees 30 patients a day. The practice of medicine becomes more mechanical, the provider more robotic. Less time spent with patients equates to less opportunity to practice the art of medicine.

We can only become creative in medicine when we really get to know our patients, when we take the time to both develop and nurture genuine interpersonal relationships.

Practicing the art of medicine is temporarily withholding that diabetes medication for Hal because you understand him well enough to know he will be more motivated to establish an exercise routine if it means having to take less medication. Practicing the art of medicine is starting that same diabetes medication now for Janie because you understand her well enough to know her anxiety disorder will be exacerbated if nothing is initiated right away.

If you fail to know your patients, you fail to practice the art of medicine. If you fail to practice the art of medicine, then you fail period.

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Physician Assistant Student Falling in Love with Primary Care http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/03/physician-assistant-student-falling-in-love-with-primary-care/ http://physician-assistant-ed.com/2012/03/physician-assistant-student-falling-in-love-with-primary-care/#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2012 10:03:42 +0000 http://physician-assistant-ed.com/?p=5880 May 2011 was the beginning of my clinical experiences!  If you would have asked me then I would not have been able to tell you what field I wanted to go into after graduation, I was an open slate! Now that I have just finished my third clinical rotation with the UW-Madison PA program, I have a much better idea.  I absolutely love primary care! Clinicals have been flying by fast.  My first mini-rotation was 3 weeks in family  [read more →]]]>
May 2011 was the beginning of my clinical experiences!  If you would have asked me then I would not have been able to tell you what field I wanted to go into after graduation, I was an open slate! Now that I have just finished my third clinical rotation with the UW-Madison PA program, I have a much better idea.  I absolutely love primary care! Clinicals have been flying by fast.  My first mini-rotation was 3 weeks in family medicine.  My next rotation was a split rotation, 4 weeks inpatient oncology and 4 weeks endocrinology.  Then I spent 8 week in a family medicine clinic in a small town in Minnesota outside of the Twin Cities.  Next up was emergency medicine for 8 weeks.  I enjoyed each rotation for different reasons; however, my initial 3 weeks and later 8 weeks in family medicine were the rotations I was most passionate about…  I loved the variety of patients: the very young, pre-teens, teens, adults, and the elderly. Often entire families would come into the office and the mom, dad, and children would be seen all in one day!  Although it made the rooms crowded at times, I really enjoyed being able to interact with the entire family at once and see the dynamics of their relationship. This gave me clues into the overall health of the family.

I also really enjoy the PREVENTATIVE side of family medicine.  For a while before choosing Physician Assistant as a career, I was planning on becoming a biology teacher.  Educating patients regarding lifestyle, medication benefits and side effects, vaccines, their specific disease pathology, etc. is a way that I can also teach which is very exciting for me.  A future goal of mine is to become very effective at educating patients in order to help them avoid diseases in the future.  This is something I have become very passionate about!

My final rotation is an elective of my choice.  I chose family medicine in a small rural town about one hour away from Madison, WI where I live.  This will give me more opportunity to prepare myself for graduation, which is this May already!

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