Monday, February 4, 2013

This Week the Trend...EXAMS!

I’ve noticed that I’m already bad about posting regularly (I promise to try to get better).  It is hard to believe that the fourth week of the PA program is starting. We are just finishing up our first round of exams: Anatomical Techniques was last Monday, Anatomy was Friday, General Pathology was today, and our Anatomy Lab Practical is Wednesday.

Here’s a rundown of what the tests are like:

Anatomical Techniques- A mix of short answer and essay type questions with a few multiple-choice questions. For this exam you really had to know the material; which makes sense because we need to know all this information for when we are practicing PAs as well. 

Anatomy- The first half of the test were multiple-choice and fill in the blank style questions based off of the lectures. The second half consisted of labeling anatomical plates. To the right is a plate for the next exam.  We are given about 10 of these plates to learn before each exam and then 3-4 are chosen for us to label during the exam.  For the last test I started learning these plates 4 days before, which wasn’t an adequate amount of time.  My strategy now is to learn a plate a day so that when exam day comes I’ll be much more confident in the plates. 
Anatomy is straightforward and is pretty much memorization based.  I’ve always been good at memorizing things quickly. When I was little I loved to play “Guess Who?” (anyone remember that game?) with my dad.  The premise of the game is to guess your opponent’s mystery person before your opponent guesses yours. By the end of the game I could recall which characters we had already used and in what order; so that I could immediately guess which character my dad had in his hand.  In a way, the anatomy exams are like a very intense game of “Guess Who?”.

Pathology- This exam was more similar to the exams in undergrad.  It was completely multiple-choice and based directly from the lecture notes.

Last week taught me a lot about time management while in the program.  Although I feel that I did decently on the tests, I know that I need to change my study strategies for the future.  Studying for tests in grad school is completely different from undergrad.  You definitely cannot wait until the day before a test to start studying; it won’t end well. Also I should mention that we do a TON of reading (articles, textbooks, procedures, etc.) You can’t get stressed about the readings or studying for exams; you just have to accept it and make it routine.

On a more exciting note, we have also been attending various pathology conferences.  So far we’ve gone to ones regarding autopsies, brain cutting, the pancreas, and gross dissection.  At the conferences the Pathologists and the residents take turns presenting a case and then state their findings.  It reminds me of Grey’s Anatomy when they do rounds (yes I just compared real life to a TV show). The conferences are completely over my head right now, but I still think it is a great experience.  I cannot wait for the day when I know just as much about pathology.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I didn't realize all you had to do for the program. It sounds like a lot of work but seems that you're managing just fine. BTW guess who was my favorite childhood game.