Today, I’m going to chronicle a day in PA school. Now, this is going to seem SO light in its load, but that’s because UTMB has tried to “ease” its incoming students in with the short summer semester to allow them time to adjust to school again. For our first summer semester, we are taking three courses, Patient Evaluation, Intro into Health Professions, and Health Promotion and Prevention. All of those sound like cake, huh? Well, although they are all important, the meat and potatoes of the summer semester is Patient Evaluation. Patient Evaluation allows the Physician Assistant, and other practitioners, to become a detective for a short while, looking at the general appearance of the patient, feeling for abnormalities, listening for heart murmurs and wheezing, and asking patients what feels like a million questions. Patient eval lecture is two times per week, and the lab is also two times per week. In lab we work on the interview structure and obtaining a proper history on a patient, as well as working on the physical examination part that includes full organ system examinations like cardio, thorax and lungs, abdomen, etc. Thats where we listen, feel, sometimes tap, and do other weird things to you! Haha!
Intro into Health Professions is a course where we learn more about the history of the PA profession, medical ethics, end of life care, health insurance and other topics along those lines. The Health Promotion and Prevention course has a similar point of view as a Public Health course because it encompasses disease prevention, health promotion (in the title), and learning to how encourage healthy habits in patients before all we do as health care providers is treat disease.
My longest days right now are Wednesdays, so I’ll talk about that schedule! Class is at 8am, and all professors suggest arriving 15 min early. I live close to my campus, about a 5 minute bike ride, so I don’t sweat it too much if I’m ever running behind schedule. I have been waking up at 7am on those days to get up, shower, eat breakfast, and choose my wonderful business casual outfit that I get to wear that day. I usually am out of my home by 7:35, I bike to my building, and walk in by 7:45, grab a seat and pull up the powerpoint and notes for the lecture. The first class ends at 9:50am, and the next class starts right at 10am and ends at noon. After this class I have a lunch break from noon-1, then my last lecture begins at 1 and goes until 3:30pm. After all of my lectures, I have patient evaluation lab from 3:45 until 7:45. Yes, you’ve counted that right, I’m at school for 12 hours on Wednesdays, but thankfully that is not the schedule every day. After getting home and eating dinner, I have ended up studying and reviewing what all we went over that day and prepare for the next day!
Knowing that this summer semester is SO extremely light compared to the impending fall semester honestly scares me, but knowing that others have gone through the exact same thing gives me some pease. My biggest goals for the summer are to obviously do well in my courses and learn as much as I can, but to also enjoy the free time I am getting due to my schedule, make sure to incorporate exercise into my routine where I can, and something else that I like to do for fun for downtime. I’m enjoying my time here so far, and I like Galveston more than I remembered as a child! 4 weeks down, only about 48 weeks left of didactic year! LOL