Thursday, 18 October 2012

The First Month of PA School

Orientation Week - University of Manitoba 

University of Manitoba Physician Assistant Class of 2014 - Our class after taking individual identification pictures for our professors
The first week of school was very exciting for me. I had prepared with an expensive shopping trip in the states, buying "professional clothes" which should be added into your budget when you're accepted. The whole week we had presentations from multiple groups within the university and from different health care organizations. We were all registered with the Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba and were taught about professionalism and privacy laws (PHIA). We met with Manitoba Health and with the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA). 

During the whole week I had mixed emotions. I went from being excited, ancy, scared and nervous. We also found out that week that we have our first midterm in biochemistry in less then 10 days and we haven't had our first class.

Inauguration ceremony

I admit I was choked up when we read the Hippocratic Oath. I was so thrilled that I will be able to help people through medicine. This is what I've always wanted to do.

Class picture - (You can't see me in this one :P)
ASUS Transformer Update

Something unexpected happened before classes started. I accidentally spilled water on my 6 year old MacBook so now the Asus has been my only "computer". I must admit after the first week of school I couldn't break out of my old ways of printing notes and didn't end up using the Asus as much as I wanted to. It does have alot of nice features which I've only begun learning. So in the aspect of writing notes on the Asus I haven't used it enough to form a good opinion.

Because my laptop died, the main problem I have with the Asus tablet is the lack of Microsoft word. At this point I am debating on whether to buy a new laptop, but to be fair I bought the Asus to be a secondary device with my laptop. The purpose of the Asus was for note taking from power points and lectures not for writing papers and running programs. 

Biochemistry Finished! 

We had our final exam in biochemistry last Friday. This course went by fast and we learned alot. It was intense and set the pace for what is expected in this program.


What I've learned from the first month of the program is aside from time allotted for school you need to plan time for yourself. As each day goes by it all begins to blur together. Time seems to be against you. It's best to take PA school one day at a time. Do what you need to do now and worry about things as they come. As for me I love school. I am finally starting to learn about medicine and every subject and topic I come across is another step closer to becoming a working PA. I do become frightened with the expectations they have for us. It is always mentioned in every class that by the end of the didactic year you will know this. Here's hoping :) 


  1. It's such a pleasure to see Physician Assistant students blogging! My experience with PAs has always been within the context of Ontario (PA Consortium) and McMaster University. It's great to see the perspective from a Manitoba PA Student!

    Congratulations on getting into the program Eden! I've linked to you on my own blog, as well as twitter. I'll definitely be referring pre-PAs to your blog! I'm looking forward to reading more of your entries!

    1. I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to reply. Thank you for linking my blog. It is great to know others that are also blogging about Canadian PAs. We need to stick together to increase awareness!

    2. Thank you for all the information you provided in this blog. I didn't know that if there was any MMI type interview for PA until I found your blog. I am from Vancouver, currently in Health Sciences program at SFU. I want to apply to PA program and according to U of M website the requirements are: minimum gpa of 3.0 in last 60 credits and three recommendation letters. What gpa do you think is good enough to get into this program and will I need health care related volunteer hours to be more competitive or its just the gpa and 3 recommendation letters. According to their website, they receive about 110 applications per year and only 12 applicants are chosen. I am pretty sure that decision probably depends on many factors, not just the gpa and letters. Thank you

    3. Hi Usman,

      I'm glad that my blog is able to provide information about the program.

      I encourage you to apply if you have the min GPA. Don't worry to much if your GPA would be good enough. My advice would be that the more volunteer and community experience you have the better. You never know what the program is looking for. Otherwise everyone in my class still can't believe we are in the program :P When I applied I didn't think I would be accepted so again you just never know. :) I'm sorry I can't give you a more concrete answer.

      Good luck!