Week 30: Calm After The Storm

          After nine classes, a countless number of exams, and an even more countless number of hours studying, I’ve reached week thirty of PA school, completing my first year! This afternoon, I bubbled-in my final answer on the last exam of the semester, and exited the same classroom that I first entered not so long ago, back in September. A mere nine months have passed by and I cannot believe how much new information I’ve been taught…it’s unbelievable.

          Relative to last semester, this semester was definitely more challenging, but all of my finals thankfully went well. The written exams (Clinical Lab Medicine, Clinical Skills, Pharmacology, Informatics, and Nephrology) were all generally fair. For my Clinical Skills practical (when I have to perform a physical exam on another student, in front of a professor), I was observed performing the cardiovascular physical exam, which is much simpler and quicker to perform than the lung and abdominal exams, so I was happy to have randomly chosen that exam. Overall, the endless marathon of studying did pay off, and I think I managed the stress a bit better than last semester around this same time. It wasn’t that I cared any less this time around, but I had more of an attitude of whatever happens, happens (especially after surviving that Cardiology final back in March). Honestly, there’s only so much one can learn in such a limited amount of time, so it’s all about trying your best and finally hoping that your best effort will be enough.

          So, to sum up this semester, I would say it was definitely chaotic, and obviously kept me super busy, but I probably wouldn’t have done anything differently. It’s absolutely crazy to think that one year from now I’ll be starting my rotations, practicing on real patients, in real medical settings. And although it feels like I’ve learned so much up to this point, there’s still an enormous amount of information that I’ve yet to learn. Next semester (semester three) has been regarded by most students as the most difficult one of the four…so I guess this year of school was only a warm-up for things still to come. But, luckily, I have three months to relax, and only one-half of a textbook to study (we have an exam in Clinical Skills the first week we return, just on everything we learned this semester). This will likely be my last summer off until I retire, so I’m going to make it a great one!

          Thank you to everyone who’s been reading this blog. You all don’t know how much of a difference it makes knowing that people are supporting me and truly care to read about my experiences as they unfold throughout the course of this three year (now only two!) journey. I’m certain that there will be many more stories to tell over the next two years. For now, these blog posts are to be continued…(start checking for new posts mid-August!)

Here are the answers to your final: True; Nephrons; Tricuspid valve; Lithotripsy; False (Prednisone is a steroid)  

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