Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

In the spirit of Halloween...I figured it's time for the cadaver introduction. If you get spooked thinking about dead bodies...skip this post. You've been warned!!!

Not every program uses cadavers. Some programs use computer simulations and some schools just teach anatomy straight out of the book. At other schools, a small group of students work on one cadaver for an entire semester. They dissect the cadaver at their own pace. At my school, we have 3 hours of anatomy lecture each week and then we break into smaller groups that same evening to observe the prosection done by an MD.

There are 30 cadavers in the "cadaver room". Each cadaver is individually laid out on a metal table and enclosed in a white body bag. The two cadavers that we work on are located in the back of the room. So, you have to walk past 28 cadavers to get to them. Each one is chemically preserved and by the time you get to the back of the room and closer to the exposed literally takes your breathe away. The smell is noxious.

I was "lucky" enough to participate in cadaver "night" last year at a local university. I thought we'd be viewing the dissection of one body. But, I was wrong. When I walked into the room, I couldn't believe my eyes. There were 20 bodies lying about, fully exposed, that already had been dissected by the medical students. It was my first experience and it was a shocking introduction to "life after death."

The experience this time around is much more intimate. We have a male and a female cadaver. So far, we have observed prosections of the back, thorax and abdominal cavities. The MD points out different organs and structures and the ten of us collectively "ooohh" and "ahhh". Then we all put on our gloves and we each take turns holding, touching, even caressing the organs. It's a phenomal experience. I do not possess the words to explain how incredibe it is to literally wrap your hands around another person's heart. I can't imagine what it would be like to experience that with a beating heart! Time will tell...

There are many lessons to be learned from each prosection. It is a humbling experience and I'm very grateful for those who chose to donate their bodies to science. For the most part, the person is unrecognizable. Each section of the body that is not being observed is covered with white towels, including the face. We do not know what they look like...the head/neck/face is covered until the last week of class.

The most amazing aspect of this experience thus far? The realization that as human beings, we are so much more than just our bodies. Our bodies are created, function for a certain amount of time and then die. Our bodies die...but our spirit?

Although we haven't seen their faces and we don't know anything about their history, we've learned a lot about the factors that attributed to their deaths. We discovered that the male had an abdominal aortic was incredible when we located the hole, and the dried blood that stained the walls of the organs around it. And we've determined that the female most likely had a myocardial infarction based on the amount of plaque that we removed from her arteries. The MD literally scraped out chunks of plaque. Chunks. And removed a marble sized gall stone from her gallbladder. She also suffered from constipation, and I'll just leave it at that...

These dead bodies, were once filled with spirit. And each week we try to put together another piece of the puzzle. We don't know and never will know anything about their lives. I can only imagine what their lives were like...which makes the process even more mystical, more enchanting...and even more beautiful.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


After tonight, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that being a PA is for me. I was celebrating my Nana's 83rd birthday with my family and my Nana asked me to do her blood pressure! So, I whipped out my tool box of fancy medical gadgets and eagerly pumped away! Then my Dad wanted his done. Then my sister asked me to look in her ears and although "ears" is tomorrow's lesson in Physical Diagnosis Lab, she urged me to take a look. Lo and behold...I saw something. Not exactly sure what it was...but the right ear looked a lot different than the left ear! And she had been complaining about having pain.

Now, I'm not happy that my sister has some kind of funky goo in her ear...but it was thrilling for me! haha And she's not going to be happy that I'm sharing this with the world...but was thrilling!

And I cannot wait until 10am tomorrow morning when we learn about the EAR!!! I'll be a nice sister and give her a call to let her know what I learned! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2005


What's the quickest way to start widespread panic in a classroom?

Schedule 5 exams within 6 days...with 2 exams (back to back) on a Monday!

What exams? You know...the "EASY" ones:

Physical Diagnosis Lab (where we play PA)

(and I'm kidding about the "easy" part!)

During the last week of every month, we are given a monthly schedule for exams/classes/meetings for the following month (which are always subject to change...and they often do, AT THE LAST MINUTE!). It is unfortunate that we don't have this information earlier...but that's the way things are done here. Exams start next Friday and continue to the following Friday, with 9 hour lectures scheduled on the days in between! That's the KICKER! My brain is fried after 9 hours of it won't be easy coming home to study afterwards.

Some people are seriously flipping out about the schedule. When I see other people flip out, I automatically become calm, especially in situations where I have no control (this trait should serve me well in the ER!!!!) I've been told many times, by many PA's, that no matter what school you choose, this is what PA school is all about!! Although I'm not pleased...I'm not surprised. Some people want to go to the director to break up the exams...but I think it's better to let it be (besides, it's too early to be asking for favors!). There are 3 more weeks after this exam week in November...which means more exams will be scheduled...

...and round 2 of biochemistry will be one of them.

And we all know how I feel about biochem! (Results will be in next week...)

Sunday, October 23, 2005


"Sam" the Cambodian man in my class approached me the other day in the lunchroom. He told me that he spoke to the director of the program about going to Vietnam for a rotation. He told me that the program director loved the idea and told him to recruit some other students.

So, he asked me if I was interested in going to Vietnam to do a rotation. A rotation is between 4-6 weeks. I didn't even give it a second thought..."absolutely."

We'll see where this goes...

Friday, October 21, 2005


So, the biochem exam wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. All of the concepts finally clicked around midnight last night. All of a sudden, the lightbulb switched on. Big sigh of relief. But, I still don't like it!

Exam ended at 10:30am and Happy Hour started soon thereafter. :)

And now we're off till Thursday again...which is good and bad. Good because I have time to catch up in Physio, Pharm, and Microbio.

Bad, because we're gonna pay for it in November.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I feel a lot better tonight than I did last night. For some reason, I just spooked myself. And it's totally because we have so much time off this month. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop...but, it hasn't dropped I need to just chill and stay in the moment.

Yes, in a few weeks, we'll be having 2-4 exams per week and I will not have the luxury of focusing on one subject for 3 days straight. But, for now...I have the time, so that's what I've been doing.

I also feel better today because there was a boot sale going on at a local department store. So, I took a much needed study break and checked out the sale. So, even if I fail the exam least I know I'll look good doing it!



I know there are those that don't understand the inherent gifts that abound when one decides to leave familiar territory and venture into the unknown. I've been lucky enough to receive many gifts from my travel well as the awareness that they indeed are gifts.

The greatest gift right now...having friends in Japan that are sitting at their computers while I'm up studying at 2am (it's 3pm in Japan). Nobody likes to be alone (well, not all the time)...especially in a room with biochem. Absolutely frightening! It's nice to have friends on the other side of the world.

So, to my friends in Nippon: Arigato Gozaimasu!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I think I can?

I've been quiet because I've been studying biochemistry. I'm about to hit the panic button though. I've finished reviewing all of my notes and am doing practice questions...and getting them wrong. My head hurts, my stomach is in knots...sounds like fun, eh?

I'm fighting off the panic stage by thinking about my favorite children's book, "The Little Engine That Could".

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can."

I thank my mother for reading this book to me every night before I went to bed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My "Vietnamese" Buddy

The directors of our program are very proud of the fact that we have an ethnically diverse student body. They pointed this out during the first week of class and introduced a few of the international students. One man was introduced as being from Vietnam.

I finally had the chance to introduce myself to the Vietnamese man, Samlain. I approached him during a 15 minute break from biochemistry. I introduced myself and asked, "Where in Vietnam are you from?" To which he responded, "I'm not from Vietnam, I am from Cambodia! Many Americans don't know about my country, they get it confused sometimes!" He has a very thick accent and I couldn't help but smile as I was trying to understand every word that he said. It brought back a lot of memories.

He explained that although he was born in Cambodia he did live in Vietnam for several years, and that since Cambodia and Vietnam are close to each other, that was probably why the directors confused his homeland. "Sam" is very humble. I certainly wouldn't be so understanding if I moved to a country that haphazardly confused the US with Canada!

So, I asked Sam what city he lived in while in Vietnam.

And he responded, "Why you ask me about Vietnam? Nobody asks me about Vietnam!"

I laughed and answered, "I visited Vietnam for 2 weeks with my father five years ago."

"You WHAT?!?!"

It's been a long time since I've seen someone so excited about something that came out of my mouth! He began to quickly rattle off the names of the Vietnamese cities that he lived in. He also rattled off the things he loved about the cuisine, culture, environment....all the while I smiled and tried my best to understand.

I explained how I was teaching English in Japan at the time and had the opportunity to travel to a lot of SE Asian countries. It turned out that we both had visited some of the same cities in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. He continued to rave about Vietnam and the people and how much he wanted to go back to Vietnam as a PA.

I wasn't aware that there are international programs for PAs to work in Vietnam. And I nearly fell over laughing when he suggested, "Yes! You come back to Vietnam with me and we help the sick people, together! They love American girl in Vietnam!"

When I asked him when he last visited his home country (Cambodia), he responded, "I went to Phnom Penn this summer to look for my sister."

Phnom Penn. Phnom Penn. Phnom Penn. "Did he just say, PHNOM PENN?"

Now, I am not a history expert. But, Cambodia was a country that I tried to visit. I did a fair share of reading about the country's tumultuous political history and had hopes of visiting Phnom Penn and the infamous "killing fields" when I was backpacking in that area. So, when he mentioned Phnom Penn...bells and whistles went off in my head.

And then it occurred to me that the Khmer Rouge invasion was not a part of ancient history....that it was in the late 70's. And that was less than 30 years ago. And...

...and then I looked at Sam a little closer and realized there was a hell of lot more behind the story.

I asked, "What city was your family from in Cambodia?" He responded, "Phnom Penn."
My stomach dropped. He looked at me and asked, "Do you know what happened in Phnom Penn? Do you know what happened to my people?"

I responded, "Yes, I know a little bit about it."

He continued, "Well, I left Cambodia as a refugee and that is why I lived in Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and that is why I am an AMERICAN citizen today! I have been an American citizen for 15 years!"

His pride of being an Amerian citizen was palpable as he grinned from ear to ear.

I was hoping for a miracle when I asked, "So, did your family come to America too?"

But, he became silent.

He leaned into me and put his hand on my shoulder and whispered, "My family never left Phnom Penn, only I left Phnom Penn."

I was confused because he was whispering, I was confused because we were on a 15 minute break from Biochemistry, I was confused because the rational part of my brain did not want to believe that his entire family was killed by the Khmer Rouge.

But, by the look on his face, I knew that is exactly what happened.

And when he went back to Cambodia this past summer, he went back hoping to find his sister's remains. He was hoping to identify her skull, among the MILLIONS that were left behind.

But, he was unsuccessful.

And now Sam and I sit in the same class studying to be Physician Assistants. I am humbled by his courage. He is determined to study hard so he can "give back to society". Those are his words...not mine.

We are becoming buddies and this morning I showed him an article that was written by a young girl about her trip to Vietnam with her father, a Vietnam Veteran. As he read the article, tears started to well up in his eyes. He stopped reading and looked at me and said, "I think you understand where I am from...these people (motioned towards the class)....they don't makes me very happy that I have someone that can appreciate where I am from!"

Little does he know how nice it is for me as well. As the years go by, I get further and further away from the young girl that had the guts to up and leave everything behind to follow a dream. It's nice to be reminded that she's still alive and kicking.

Rain, Rain...Go Away!

So, this is rainy day #6...that's 6 consecutive days of rain. And according to the weather "people", it's not letting up for another 2 days. I'm not talking about sunny days with occasional raindrops. The sun disappeared almost a week ago and it's been dumping every since! And to top it all's a cold rain. It feels like we jumped from summer to winter in one week. And that doesn't make me happy.

So...I went to yoga tonight and the instructor led us in sun salutations. She told us to close our eyes and imagine the sun, way up in the sky...and then added, "Each and every one you has a sun inside of your hearts, feel the warmth, feel the glow...the weather outside can't hinder your own personal sunshine." doesn't that feel good?


What is a PA, continued...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Public Service Announcement

I am always ecstatic when I meet someone that has studied, worked or even took a couple of months to travel overseas. And having lived the life of a "gaijin" (foreigner), I have a lot of respect for those that leave their home country and come to America to follow their dreams.

For two years, I was that person that held up the line you were standing on because I couldn't fully understand the cashier. I was the person that held up the bus trying to figure out if I was getting off at the right stop. I was the person that rode my bike on the opposite side of the road and caused major headaches at the intersection as a result. I was the person that tried to speak a foreign language in a foreign land and was made to feel stupid on numerous occasions. I frustrated a lot of Japanese people, but never intentionally.

I was that person. And because I wore those shoes, I understand how difficult it is for those that are non-native English speakers living here in America. The world can be a very scary place when you realize that nobody can understand you, and that your mere presence is enough to aggravate them. I've lived it. I've felt it. I was that person.

That concludes today's public service announcement.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


So, our Yankee party was short lived. I called it a night after Bubba and Sheffield smashed into each other. I had a feeling it was going downhill after that. And what kind of name is "Bubba?"

During the first couple of innings, my sisters and I debated over who had a crush on Mike Mussina first. I swore it was me, during last year's series...but Kristen wholeheartedly disagreed and tried to convince me that my crush was on Tanyon Sturtze (who?!?). We proceeded to argue until she looked up his age on the internet....turns out, Mikey is closer to 40 than she is to this prompted my darling little sister to say, "Geez...he's're closer in age to can have him!"

Don't you just love sisters?? And now you know what happens when girls sit around and watch baseball!!! For the record, I'm not interested anymore!!!

As far as PA school...things are going well. Got my grades back for all 4 exams...and I'm happy with them. I'm on vacation again, until next Thursday. The first biochem exam is next Friday, so I have plenty of time to catch up and make sure I do well on that exam. Biochem is the has surpassed physiology on my scale of difficulty. If I can't see it, feel it, touch it, smell it, etc. I'm just not interested. And yes, viruses, bacteria, fungi are tiny, but you can see them under a, I don't have any problems with those buggers. Ions, molecules, atoms, acids, bases...YUCK! I didn't like chemistry in high school, I avoided it like the plague the first time through college and questioned my ability to get into PA school because of the pre-requisite chem classes that I needed to take. But, I made it through Chem 1, 2, and organic chemistry. This Biochemistry class is the last time I will ever have to take chemistry again!!!

Well, I probably shouldn't say that...who knows what I'm going to want to be when I grow up 10 years from now!

Monday, October 10, 2005


Don't you love it when the easiest class of the semester delivers the hardest test so far?

Everyone was whining, I don't have much else to say about that.

On a positive note, we learned how to examine the eye today using an ophthalmoscope. I didn't even know what an ophthalmoscope was a month it was pretty cool to learn how to turn it on and look at the blood vessels inside of the eye. Even cooler to come home and find my Nana was visiting. Who knew I'd grow up and be able to look inside of my Nana's eyes.

The best part was that she giggled the entire time!!

Ok, gotta go put on my Yankee hat...we're having a PARTY! (although I'll probably fall asleep by the 4th inning!)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Yankee Fever

Kind of stinks when you have an exam at 8am and the Yanks go up 1 run in the 7th. And you hear your family and the neighbors cheering as you sit at your desk studying.

So much for going to bed early!

Adios Mio!

When I first moved to Japan, I didn't know a word of Japanese. So everytime I tried to communicate with someone, Spanish would come out of my mouth. It was frustrating at times but Japanese started to sink in....slowly but surely.

Unfortunately, the same thing is happening now. Everytime I try to speak Spanish...Japanese comes to mind. This is not a good thing when you're living in the NYC metro area. Especially when you really want to be able to converse with someone.

The conversation goes a little something like this:

Him: "Hola, mi amor!"

Me: "Que?"

Him: "Tienes una sonrisa muy simpática!"

Me: "Que?!" "Tu tiene apprendar ingles!"

Him: "No!" "Tu tienes estudiar Espanol entonces tu puedes ayudar los gentes estan mal de salud en Mexico!"

Me: OK!

"Entonces, vivieron felices y comieron!"

**this post is not based on actual events...all characters are fictional...** ;)

"Thank You"

Being of service to others is important, but make sure that as you do this, that you are taking care of yourself as well. Today is a day to turn up the heat on things and let yourself expand into other worlds. There may be an extra amount of dramatic flair that goes along with the events of the day so feel free to participate in the absurd. This may be exactly the break from reality that you are hoping to find.

So, that was Friday's horoscope. I'm not a big believer in that stuff, but it's kind of funny when your day turns out to be exactly what the horoscope predicted! And even funnier, when you read the horoscope after you've finished your day...for me, it was 3am Saturday morning after hostessing at George & Omar's restaurant, BOGOTA, in Brooklyn.

We had our anatomy exam Friday morning and it was a very fair exam. I was surprised at how fair it was...which made me wonder..."what in the world is going on here?" Perhaps they want everyone to get through the first semester, so that they can charge for second semester's tuition?? Call me a cynic, but we've only had to pay for the "arm" so far....the "leg" is due in January. ugh

It was 100 fill-in questions. That got me nervous at first, but after a while I got into the rhythm of the exam and got through it. There is a very interesting psychological twist to all of these exams though. Since grades don't necessarily matter, once I know I've gotten to the passing point, I chill out a bit. By chilling out, I mean I'm not going to sit and bang my head against the desk over one or two questions. Last year, it was a different story. Last year, getting A's was a MUST in order to get a seat in this program. But, now that I'm sitting in that seat...I'm more focused on learning and not memorizing. There were a few questions on the exam that stumped me and I came home and looked up the answers. Essentially it's because there is a purpose to all of this knowledge. There is a reason why we're learning what we're learning at the pace and order that we're learning it. And in a very short time, I'm going to be using that knowledge which I am very excited about!

I had a preview to the satisfaction of being able to educate someone about physiology this weekend. I met a young woman (31) that was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) the day before. As she was telling me about the experience she admitted that she was so upset by the diagnosis that she wasn't able to remember anything the doctor had told her about the disease. Her focus was on the medication that the doc told her she was going to have to inject into her muscle once a week for the rest of her life. So then she asked me..."do you know anything about MS?" Initially, I thought..."nope, we've only had one month of school so far!" But then I remembered that we did have a lengthy discussion about MS and it's effect on the nervous system and exactly what happens. So, I opened my mouth and out came everything I had a way that was easy for her to understand. Sometimes it feels like the stuff we learn in class just cannot fit into my brain, especially by the 9th hour of class. But, to my's sitting up there...waiting to be used. It was pretty cool when she smiled and said, "Thank you."

And that's enough motivation to get out of bed and show up for yet another exam tomorrow morning.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

International Job Opportunities

The best thing about being a PA is that their are jobs available all over the United States as well as abroad.

So, if I decided that I wanted to run away to Mexico with a cutie patootie, 22 year-old, "no hablo ingles" busboy...I could, and be gainfully employed.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


No, no...not me!

My bestest bestest friend in the whole wide world is expecting. She called me Friday night to tell me and afterwards she said, "Well, I wanted to tell you earlier in the week, but I knew you had exams, so I figured I'd wait because I didn't want to stress you out." And that, my the reason why she's my bestest bestest friend in the whole wide world!

One by one, my girlfriends from High School have been afflicted with this pregnancy fever! It's like a freaking epidemic. If my epidemiology skills are correct...I think this benign "virus" first surfaced while we were all in Cyprus together...and they've slowly been coming down with it one by one over the years! Ok, I guess you can call it true love, too. Somehow I managed to avoid it, I took my chances in Japan with SARS instead. What can I tell you, I like to live on the edge!The stress is not a bad's more of a "Holy crap...who are my kids going to play with type of stress?" Their kids are going to be babysitting my kids at the rate I'm going!

Her being pregnant has occupied my mind more than the fact that I have an anatomy exam on Friday! She's like a sister to me and for some reason...girl's just have a way of taking on their friend's emotions, you would think that I'm the one having a baby. For example: I went to Barnes and Noble to get her some kind of pregnancy book. Her sister already bought her the bible of all pregnancy books "What to Expect When You're Expecting", so I spent a solid 45 minutes looking through all of the other pregnancy books. I would pick up a book, flip through it and then ask myself, "If I was preggo...would I want this?" My answer was NO to a lot of them. Some of them were pretty lame. Anyway, I came across this book that was so incredibly sappy that I almost started crying in the middle of the aisle. The fact that my bestest bestest friend in the whole entire world has a freakin baby growing inside of her really hit me....OH MY GOD, what a BEAUTIFUL thing!!! And then the tears started to form, I thought I was going to lose it in the store!

Yet, there was another book that broke down the baby's development week by I flipped to week 9 and read that this week her baby is developing GONADS!!!!!!

So, then I started cracking up and more tears started to form as a result! I don't think I'll be going back to that Barnes and Noble for a while, they must think I'm a wacko! So, I've decided that I need to write a book after this whole PA thing is over. It will be entitled, "What to expect when your best friend is expecting." Because I need to learn how to better deal with this... :)

Yes, my mind will play all sorts of tricks to help me procrastinate and avoid studying!

Gotta love it!

Saturday, October 01, 2005


I need to write Oprah a letter to tell her that Airborne didn't work for me. My sinuses are never happy when the seasons change. And every year around this time, I get a little cold. But, it's official...I have a "bad" cold. And I'm not happy about it.

I haven't had a full-on stuffy head, runny nose, sore throat, itchy eyes, bronchial spasm-type cold in a very long time. I knew I shouldn't have worked out Thursday night as hard as I did. Not enough sleep, too much studying, and then I threw in a hard core elliptical workout that left me drenched in sweat. It felt great at the time! But, when I finished my workout I knew I had pushed my body too far. It's almost like I felt the switch go off.

After class on Friday, a bunch of us went to happy hour. Actually, it was barely noon and we were the only ones in the bar! I wasn't feeling great, but felt it was important to get to know some of my peers. It's incredibly strange to find yourself surrounded by the same people day in/day out and then have the opportunity to actually get to know them outside of that setting. I realized that our class schedule doesn't enable us to get to know each other during the day. In the morning, everyone rushes to get to class on-time. If you're late to class, the doors lock and you are not allowed into class until the break (something I don't agree with)...that's typically 60-90 minutes of lecture before we get a 15 minute break. During that break, people either rush outside to smoke or to the cafeteria to finish their coffee/breakfast (since we can't eat/drink in the classroom...can you tell that this still bothers me???).

No matter what you fancy, people are trying to find things they can put into their mouth to stimulate them in order to get through the second half of lecture. It's really quite a sight to see! I'm becoming known as "squirrel", since I usually whip out a handful of almonds and eat them one by one to make them last longer! But, there is no time to get personal. Everything is surface conversation, and since the only thing we do everyday and every night is schoolwork...that is all that is spoken about. It is really strange. It's like we're in a cult or something. And people are still watching other people. People are still trying to figure each other out. It's amazing how much you think you know about someone simply based on the way they dress and where they choose to sit in class. Yup, dorks in the front. Bad asses in the back. My posse sits in the middle... ;)

Then everyone rushes back into class...tape recorders are assembled and we barrel through another 90 minutes of lecture. Then people rush out in order to find lunch. Depending on whether or not we have one or two classes in the afternoon/evening helps me decide what I want to do for lunch. If I have two classes left for the day, I speed home to get a break from the "cult". If I only have one more class, then I usually find someone to go out to lunch with. Again, conversations are still pretty superficial at this point. I'm treating my peers as co-workers and everything is still don't know who you can/can't trust. One of the administrator's relatives is in our class. You never know who you are talking to....again, surface conversation rules.

So, it was nice to get outside of the classroom setting. There were only 10 of us at the bar and it was an eclectic sampling of our class, which was very cool. People that sit in the front, middle AND back of the class! And although we've been in class for a month already, I only knew 1 person fairly well. She's part of my posse and I was actually relieved that the two other girls weren't there because sometimes you fall into a "clique" without even knowing it. And, I abhor cliques. So, I spent a couple of hours getting to know them. And it was really nice to be able to sit down and talk about the oddities of our everyday life. It was really nice to know that everyone is still overwhelmed and anxious. That other people are home on Saturday nights studying pharmacology. Extremely nice to know that everyone else feels like "nobody outside of school really understands what we're doing..."

I know I feel that way sometimes, but then I think...."do we every really ever know what other people do everyday?" No. We don't. Unless you're in have no idea.

But I think the reason why we feel it to such a great extent is because we're learning medicine in a short amount of time. 4 years of medical school crammed into 2 years. And we don't do a residency. We learn on the job. And if all goes well...we're going to be practicing medicine in 1 year, 11 months from now. That means we only have 1 year, 11 months to learn everything we need to know to keep someone alive and kickin'!!! And that's a huge amount of responsibility that every single person has to wrestle with....I know I do. This transformation, for me, is going to be a humbling experience. The PA that I shadowed (my mentor) flat out told me that, "You have to get comfortable with the fact that you are not going to know everything. Not only are you not going to know everything, but you're going to have to get comfortable with the insecurity of not knowing everything. Medicine is always changing and you're given a lot of information and training in 2 short years and it takes about 5 before you start to feel comfortable."

So, I think that's why we feel...."nobody understands..." I chose this path, I accept it, but there will be days (and there have been already) when I think, "what in the world possessed me to choose this path?" Although it is a career with "assistant" as part of the title, PAs need to be autonomous in their thinking, reasoning and diagnosing. Every discipline of medicine has it's own rules...and there is a steep learning curve. Did I mention that we must pass a board exam every 6 years to remain certified? Good thing I like to learn!!

So far, this has been the most unproductive weekend. I've spent more time watching the Yankees than studying. Everytime I try to study, I get distracted by how crummy I feel. But, I'm letting myself off the hook. I have an anatomy exam on Friday....and I'm off until then. I have plenty of time to catch up with all of my work. So, I'm giving myself the weekend to "rest"....which is kind of hard when you look at the books sitting on my desk. I just don't feel motivated to do anything. But, watching the Yanks beat Boston did make me feel better :)

So, instead of studying, maybe I'll write that letter to Oprah instead.