Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taking Notes with Evernote in Physician Assistant School (PART 1)

If you have been reading this blog you should know by now that I use Evernote for my note taking in class. (If you missed that check out this post)  I promised a long time a go I would show how I use Evernote to take notes and since I am going to speak to students about it soon, so I thought it was time I delivered on the promise that I made to you all first.

To get yourself acquainted with Evernote  start by going to there website and check out this video below:
Evernote is free so regardless if you decide to use it to takes notes you can still use it to help organize your life. If you are going to use it for school like I have I would highly recommend you go Premium which costs about $5.00/month or $45.00/year. Given all of its benefits and the fact that you can use it across all aspects of your life (not just school) I think its a pretty small price. Plus they run promotions so look out for those.

Lets go over some of the basics of Evernote:

  • What is a Note? 
    • Think of this as just one page in a note book. In this case the note is digital and can hold a lot more text, pictures and audio then a traditional note in a notebook.
  • What is a Notebook?
    • This is simply a place to organize/place several notes.  You will probably start out with just an "inbox" notebook. You can create notebooks as you need them.  For my Topics In Medicine (TIM) class I will create 2 notebooks per module (Dermatology, Cardiology, etc). One for class notes and the other for objectives. I will show examples in videos to come. 
  • What is a Stack?
    • A stack is simply a collection of Notebooks.  For me after I finish a particular module  I will create a Stack with different notebooks related to that module. This is very easy because all it involves is simply dragging and dropping.
  • What is a Tag?
    • Think of a Tag as adding a sticky color thing to a note with in a notebook. I will use Tags to keep track of different subsections with in a Notebook as well as to keep track of where the Note came from (ie which professor presented it).  For example when we get a pharmacology lecture for a module I will tag all the notes regarding pharmacology with something like: "Dermatology Pharmacology"
  • Searching
    • Keep in mind one of the powerful things about Evernote is that you can search all of your notes, just within in particular Notebooks, or Stacks, or even by a Tag. The above features described along with the search power allows you to find things quickly, stay organized and access information quickly. 

For now open an Evernote account and start playing around with it. I think you will find it easy to manage. If you need some help you can check out their video section of their website here: https://evernote.com/video/#D7oSS4i57MY|1|1

Coming up I will post a video on how I make notes from a Powerpoint presentation, edit them, organize them and so on.

Follow Evernote on Facebook and Twitter +Evernote .
Follow me on Twitter @AspiringPAhelp

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Postgraduate PA Programs ...what are they?

A postgraduate PA program is similar to the idea of a residency for a physician. These program offer PAs the opportunity to gain more training and experience in a specific field of medicine. These programs very in length, admissions requirements, class size, and compensation. However to give you an idea I would say these programs can last from 12 months to 18 months, require you to have passed the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certification Exam) and have become certified in the state where the program is located.  Most class sizes are between 2 to 4 or 6 people, and your compensation will most likely be on the lower end of the average salary but remember you are going to come out of there program with a wealth of knowledge and experience that will make you more marketable.

-Is a postgraduate PA program necessary?
Absolutely not!!! Please know that they are completely voluntary!!!

-Should you attend a postgraduate PA program?
If you are a Pre-PA it is way to early to start considering this, but I do think its important to know that these options are out there. Some PAs are in favor of post graduate PA programs and others are against the idea. In my opinion, I am glad these types of programs are available to PAs, it provides us an additional opportunity to improve our skills as health care providers. Each PA will have to make a calculated decision on whether or not to attend a program.

-Where can you learn more about these programs and see a list of all the ones available?
Check out the Association of Postgraduate PA Programs (APPAP).

PA Focus a Great Resource for the Pre-PA!!!

The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) has put together a great site for Pre-PAs. Please check it out here ==>> http://pafocus.org

You can also follow them on Twitter => @pa_focus

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lets Talk Textbooks

-What textbooks did I use in my first year of PA school?
Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment (CMDT) 2014

FYI:  From what I have seen over the years (undergraduate and graduate school) you pretty much can't go wrong with a "LANGE" book.  (That's just my 2 cents).
Bates Guide to Physical Exam and History Taking, 10th Edition

Physician Assistant: A Guide to Clinical Practice 
Conversational Spanish for the Health Professions 3rd Edition

(We did not use this one, but it was suggested in the past: Spanish for Health Care Professionals)

When it came to our Dermatology Module we had some great lectures but we also referenced this book: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology

For our EKG module we used this book to get us stated: Rapid Interpretation of EKGs 6th Edition

To help us in reading and understanding x-rays it was suggested that we read this book or at least parts: Learning Radiology: Recognizing the Basics

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Interested in Emergency Medicine?


Of course!!!!  Well maybe not everybody is interested in emergency medicine,  but it is a rotation you will have to do once in PA school.  There is a ton to learn about emergency medicine the PA and patient interactions are a bit different then in a regular outpatient private office setting and an inpatient service.  To help you get a better idea of  the challenges in an emergency department check out the resources below:

This is one of my favorites!! It is easy listening and very entertaining.



ER Cast's Rob Orman

The EDexit Video

To many to list...

I hope this sparks your interest and gets you studying. If you know of any other great resources please post in the comments below.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

PAs in Global Medicine

- How can U.S. PAs become involved in Global Medicine? 

Mission Statement- 
To promote cross cultural awareness and serve as a resource for Physician Assistant services to domestic and international health professional shortage areas.

Reading List- 
This is a reading list I picked up from them at the AAPA Conference in Washington D.C. back in May. 

They also have their own blog!! Check it out here ==>>  http://www.pasforglobalhealth.com/blog-2/

Monday, July 8, 2013

Are there PAs outside of the United States?

The simple answer is YES!

-Are the PAs in other countries the same as the PAs here in the U.S.?
Yes and NO.  Some of the PAs in other countries are PAs that trained here in the U.S.  However there are several countries with their own PA programs.

-Where is the PA model being used?

-Why should Pre-PAs care about this topic?
     Is this topic going to help you get into PA school today? No. But it will provided you with more information about a unique aspect of the PA profession. I think it is also important to keep in mind that as the PA profession grows and expands across the globe there will be more and more opportunities for U.S. trained PAs. Along with possible job opportunities there will be immense networking and information sharing opportunities. I hope PAs form all over the world will be able to meet at international conferences to share patient care and quality health care ideas to improve the health care of the world.

I know international conferences, I must be crazy! NOPE there will be one in the Netherlands on November 6th and 7th in 2014

Image: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41vD7OQX3zL._SY300_.jpg