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Motivational Medicine

           Hello! Welcome to my blog! My name is Sarah and I am a physician assistant (PA) student. If you don't know what a PA is, there are many resources that adequately explain the profession. I'll probably do a post about it some other time...BUT BASICALLY, I'm studying medicine. My program is 28 months long. The first half is an all-classroom experience and the second half consists of clinicals where I rotate between different specialties and get to care for patients. 2019 was all-classroom training for me. I was in class 8 hours a day - same classroom, same time, same seat, same people. It’s enough to drive anyone insane. Over the course of that year, I had a million breakdowns from constant stress and I began comparing myself to others (even though I was doing fine). Shortly after, I failed an exam by 1 question (this actually happened twice but the first time the exam was curved so I experienced the emotional trauma of failing before I figured out the exam was
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PA School Interview Tips!

These are some interview points I shared with my best friend after she received PA school interviews: Practice your responses out loud . Practice with a friend or by yourself. I used to talk to myself by practicing in the car and in front of the mirror. It felt crazy at times, but it helped me develop my flow and transitions. Research interview formats/schedules. The main interview can be structured as a group interview, MMI (multiple mini interviews), or traditional one-on-one. There are often extra activities in addition to the interview, like a writing component or group activity. Review common interview questions and have your answers prepped, like: Your strengths and weaknesses Why do you want to be a PA and how would you describe the role? Ethical questions Tell me about a time… Have stories ready to tell. Why this school/city/town? For more interview questions check out the book "How to Ace th

Tips for Surgery Rotation

This rotation was the hardest rotation I've ever had, but also by far the most rewarding. I’m going to be honest surgery is... emotionally exhausting  - if you are a driven student, it's easy to feel like you aren't good enough because the learning curve is so steep. physically exhausting  - because you can have unexpected 14 hour days and surgeries that can last 8-10 hours long if complications arise, shifts can be draining. mentally exhausting  - in addition to studying for rotation exams, you also need to prepare by studying the surgical procedures you will most likely be pimped on in the OR. Following are some tips that may help you succeed in your surgery rotation. Being familiar with these before your rotation will make it go more smoothly. Before you step foot into the OR... Make sure to change in the locker room. Change into the hospital-provided OR scrubs and make sure you also have a head cover, mask, and shoe coverings. Check the OR schedule to ide

4 Ingredients Brownies

  4 Ingredients Vegan Brownies    Ingredients 2 cups of sweet potato 1/2 cup of cocoa powder 1 cup of almond butter 1/2 cup of maple syrup or agave Directions 1. Cook the sweet potato. You can bake it in the oven, but I put mine in the microwave. I just pressed the button on the microwave that said potato. Usually it’s a couple minutes depending on the microwave, you really can’t mess it up just make sure not to overcook it. Don't forget to poke a couple holes in the potato before you stick it in the microwave or oven. 2. Take the skin off the sweet potato, and if you are impatient like me, be careful its hot. Otherwise wait until it cools off. Measure 2 cups of potato and mash in a bowl. Make sure there are no chunks. The next couple steps I mixed by hand, but it’s significantly easier with an immersion blender. 3. Add almond butter, mix until consistency and color is uniform. The mixture will be pretty thick at this point. 4. Add agave or maple syrup, wh

Soy Chorizo Tofu Scramble

Vegan Soy Chorizo Tofu Scramble Ingredients  • 8 oz extra-firm/firm tofu (dried & crumbled)  • 8 oz soy chorizo (from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)  • 1/2 bell pepper (thinly sliced)  • 2 cups spinach (loosely chopped)  • 3 mushrooms (diced)  • 2 Tbsp olive oil  Seasoning mixture  • 1/2 tsp sea salt  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin  • 1/4 tsp chili powder  • 1/4 tsp turmeric  • Water (to thin) Topping  • Your choice of salsa! Instructions  Pat tofu dry and wrap in a few clean dry towels and place a cast-iron pan (or something heavy) on top, for 15-30 mins.  Prepare seasoning mix - add dry spices to small bowl and add just enough water to make a pourable sauce. Set aside.  Warm a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, add red onion and bell pepper with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened - about 5 minutes. 

Resources & Tips for Didactics

So you just started PA grad school and you hit the ground running. In PA school you jump right in and there is no time wasted. After all, it's basically medical school squished into half the time. You feel like you haven't developed a system to study, but don't worry this is normal in the beginning. The more important question becomes, How do I study for didactic?! I get this question all the time, so I decided to write a post I can refer people to instead of writing the same monologue of tips for success each and every time. I truly want to help as many people as possible so when people ask me I just forward them this post. Step 1 Check out the PANCE Content Blueprint-NCCPA here It's a list of the important medical conditions organized by organ system. The list isn't all-inclusive of what will be on your exam, but it will have all the high-yield (and most of the low-yield) diseases and disorders. It's important to study what you learn in cla

Easy Acai Bowl

Easy Acai Bowl Recipe Ingredients Bowl: 1 Frozen banana 1/2 cup Coconut water 1/2 cup Frozen pineapple 1 packet Trader Joe's Organic Unsweetened Açaí Purée  Toppings: Pomegranate seeds Blueberries Raspberries Strawberries Chia seeds Granola Directions Break up acai packet by running under hot water and squeezing. Keep frozen. Add acai packet with coconut water (you can add pineapple juice or orange juice but coconut is my favorite) to blender and blend until smooth. Add frozen banana to blender and blend until smooth. Add frozen pineapple to blender and blend until smooth. Scoop mixture into bowl and add toppings as desired. Get creative! 

Survival Tips for Emergency Medicine Rotation

My first rotation was Emergency Medicine. Although I had previous experience working in an ER as a scribe, I was extremely nervous and wanted a systematic method to assess each case. Below I've included what I found to be my favorite approach to patients in order to determine the level of care they require. I also included some thoughts and tips for making your emergency medicine rotation a success. Vitals - I found it helpful to always check the patient's vital signs before entering the room to meet them . Vital sign assessment is a simple step that can indicate a patient's level of acuity.  Chief Complaint - It is important to check the patient's chief complaint because it helps drive your differential diagnoses. It also helps prepare you for what you encounter, as long as you have a wide differential and consider atypical presentations of illnesses. While it is important to look at a patient's chief complaint, it is not always accurate or relevant to why they