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  • ED Rotation: Week 2 Review

    With nine shifts down and six to go, it's hard to believe that my emergency medicine rotation is more than halfway complete. (You may remember that I was originally scheduled to work just 12 shifts this month. Through a change of events, I was fortunate enough to pick up three extra days in the ED.) This month I am given 150 hours on the job to ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on April 12, 2010
  • ED Rotation: Week 1 Review

    Wow! The first week in the ED was an eye-opener! I walked in on Monday and the preceptor said, ''Pick up a chart and go.'' For a moment I thought she was joking or I was in some sort of dream. I opened the chart and read the chief complaint, ''Right side pain.'' As I walked toward the patient's room, my mental rolodex of differential diagnoses was ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on April 5, 2010
  • A Test of Confidence

    Last week my classmates and I began a clinical skills course. The professor described the course as a time for students to ''put away your laptops and notebooks and simply use your eyes, ears and hands.'' Topics and workshops covered include aseptic technique and surgical scrubbing, casting and splints, injections and phlebotomy, suturing and ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on March 1, 2010
  • Responding to a Reader's Questions

    One of my readers had some good questions that I would like to address. Being that I am a student, my answers may need some help from practicing PAs. Here we go: ''I want to be in surgery, but I'm afraid that being a PA won't allow me to be as involved and hands-on as I want to be. What do you think of this?'' Surgery PAs are very involved and ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on February 15, 2010
  • Rejoicing Over Clinical Rotation Schedules

    The UNTHSC PA class of 2011 is counting down the days until we head out the door for rotations. On March 29th, we will go our separate ways for 3 ½ weeks at a time and come together every 4 weeks for testing, presentations and re-connecting with each other.  Each student has 12 rotations ranging from 1-2 months each. Our core rotations ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on February 8, 2010
  • Dealing With Conflict

    PA school provides many opportunities for students to test their character and develop a sense of what it means to be a professional. Recently, I have observed how conflict can be a refining fire for us.  There seem to be two general methods of dealing with a problem: the initial, emotionally-driven reaction or a careful, thought-out ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on October 26, 2009
  • Evidence-Based Medicine: It Just Makes Sense

    In clinical practice, we will work with health care professionals who confidently make a treatment decision based on their own experience. On the other hand, we will work with health care professionals who move forward with treatment on the basis of proven data. Experience- and evidence-based medicine are constantly at odds in clinical ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on October 20, 2009
  • Always A Patient

    What does it feel like to wait nearly an hour in a cold room with only a thin cloth separating your private parts from the outside world?  More than likely, we have all had some uncomfortable incident where we were the patient.  Now, the dominant perspective has us behind the white coat.  As PAs or aspiring PAs, it is possible for ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on October 12, 2009
  • A Patient Is Not A Number

    When PA students are exposed to the clinical environment, dilemmas are sure to arise, namely between how we imagine we'll practice as PAs and the reality of the clinical atmosphere. In the clinic, you are bound to encounter patients who provide information that is excessive or totally unrelated. But a working medical office operates under time ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on October 1, 2009
  • Outside the Norm

    Prior to clinical exposure, PA students become accustomed to the normalcy of the physical exam. We can identify the S1 heart sound, palpate the typical abdomen, visualize the tympanic membrane and even examine a healthy retina. Lectures provide systemic pathology with the associated signs and symptoms, which calibrates our approach to the ...
    Posted to Adventures of a New PA (Weblog) on September 1, 2009
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