Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The elusive “A”

Since I’ve been back to school we’ve continued our weekly exams and from receiving our marks it made me think,
"Do my grades really matter? How important is it to get that A or A+?"

Currently in PA school we are given a letter grade and need to maintain a B (70%) average to fulfill the requirements for the faculty of grad studies to graduate. There has been disappointment in the class including myself in some of our exams. I began to think what I had done mentally since the beginning of the program to get through PA school. Of course this all depends on your personality, everyone is different. ;)

1. There are some things that are out of your control. The motto we have if I remember correctly is “Change, Adapt, Achieve”. This holds true to this program. Most of our teachers are doctors and they are busy important people. A lot of our classes are cancelled unexpectedly and rescheduled at non convenient times. My motto is “Go with it and chill”. There is really nothing you can do about this. 

2. Forget about going out like you used to! – I remember at the beginning of the program I would get calls and invites to parties and events and now…. not so much: P I may be over exaggerating but you do find yourself too busy to see your friends it's even harder to see your family. I’m just learning this now but you have to remember that you’re in the program for 2 years and your friends and family will understand. The *KEY is to do try to go out once in a while. This will bring you back in touch with reality and keep you sane.
3. Handle your stress – You have to remember to take care of yourself. Exercise, eat healthy! I know it’s difficult but it will make you a more productive student in the long run.

4. Your grades may lower :( - Yes, it has been hard to accept that I’m not always getting that “A” *sigh* but the only thing you can do is let it go and move on to the next task. You also have to give yourself some credit for studying every week for another exam. From my perspective, how you deal and react to a situation shows strength and perseverance if you move on and it doesn't affect your next exam/assignment. You can and should take some time to be upset, but let it go afterwards *sigh*.  It will be hard the first time but you will get used to it (I was joking on the last part…or am I? :P )

I found this research poster and it made me feel a bit better

 “Employers appear to be more interested in applicants’ personalities, future career plans and recommendations from preceptors and faculty than in either grades or whether grades were P/F. This may be encouraging for schools that are considering moving to a P/F system. PA schools may want to re-examine their admission criteria and/or adapt their programs to cultivate the personal attributes employers find so valuable”
PA schools grading systems & relationship to job placement and clinical performance - Le Moyne College, NY 

(I’m hoping the program chose me for my personality and valuable personal attributes :P)

Next up for our class is our Pharmacology exam on Monday. The exam includes anti-reject drugs, anticancer drugs, drugs for asthma & allergy, drugs associated with thyroid and gonadal hormones and drugs to treat diabetes. Looking at this list I guess I better start studying. :S

I almost forgot. The new prospective recruits are coming in on Monday for their interviews. It will be great to be on the opposite end this time.


Just thought I would blurb a bit on how my recovery is doing. Last week I went to school at one week post-op and wrote the psychiatry exam. That was a very exhausting day for me, my legs were swollen and I'm quite sure I had low blood pressure, I was pale, light headed and extremely thirsty. I ended up taking Friday off. I came back Monday afternoon to write the physiology exam and have been back at school since. My mood has improved and I decided not to take any pain meds, you can't study on them and the pain I am having is tolerable (less than before surgery and less then getting a tattoo). I must admit it has been hard. Walking to and from class is daunting with crutches but like my motto “go with it and chill” :) - My classmates and family have been very helpful.

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