Journal Entry No. 2
PA students will always be stressed out. After observing two years of PA school and beginning one myself, I have found this to be the overwhelming rule.
It all begins during orientation when the students are scared that they will fail out of school. It continues because they will either be worried that they have too much work or not enough work, which will lead to more work in the future. If they aren't stressed out about work, it's because that stress is canceled out by the stress of a test.
That's what happened to my class last week while preparing for our first exam, a medical terminology test based on a book we read over the summer. Despite last year's class and our teachers telling us not to worry, every conversation during break revolved around this test. What will be on it. How hard will it be?
Although I wasn't sure about this test, I also knew that there were much harder tests to come. This realization brought some of us a sense of relaxation. Others, however, wondered how they would handle the hard tests if they were so excited about this one! And so the stress begins .
I thought since I mentioned the stress of PA school beginning, it would be a good time to introduce my teachers and give a little background and first impressions of each of them.
I think it would be fitting to start with my program director, Christine BruceMSHA, PA-C. She is a truly an amazing and inspiring person. She founded the program, teaches two classes, practices as a cardiology PA and is involved in a long list of other things that will leave you wondering if her days are only 24 hours long like ours.
She is the heart and soul of our program and has made it the success that it is today. I think she runs it with an iron fist covered with a velvet glove. She cares deeply for us and is not afraid to kick our bums if she thinks we aren't living up to our potential. I think she believes that anything that is worth anything in this world is worth sacrificing for. And why sacrifice at all if you aren't going to sacrifice enough to reach your goals?
Triple-boarded physician Edward Jones, MD, MPH, teaches our class on clinical medicine, pathophysiology and pharmacology. I was told not to ever argue with him because he knows everything. If you disagree with him, you are probably wrong.
It is too early to tell if this is true, but I can say that he is a gentle and funny man. I think there will be a lot of good stories about him in the future. I can say that he doesn't waste any time in getting to the meat of our education. The first days of class were spent learning EKGs.
Kathy Ehrhardt, MMS, PA-C, teaches our history and physical exam and clinical anatomy class. She is a PA in obstetrics and gynecology and definitely knows what she's talking about. Though it's still early in my PA education, I already know that I will be deathly afraid to give a pelvic exam for the first time?and a lot of times after that. If there is anyone that has the chance of getting me enthusiastic about it, it's her.
Brian Pepe, MSPAS, PA-C, ATC, is the other teacher for our history and physical exam and clinical anatomy class. I interviewed with Brian to get into the program. I immediately liked him when I found out he graduated from Penn State and that we shared the same major. He was part of the first class at DeSales and practices in pediatrics. Being around Brian just makes you feel good. He has a calming demeanor and seems eager to teach everyday. This will be so valuable when the going gets tough and we need someone to tell us it's going to be OK. He also seems like a big advocate for students, which might come from the fact that he can relate to us in a lot of ways.
Now that you have a little intro to all of my professors you will know whom I'm talking about in future journal entries. Their personalities will be just as important as my classmates' in the whole PA school experience. After all, one of the first things we were taught is in order to get a clear view of a patient you need to know about their family history and dynamics. We are all the DeSales family.