A Day in the Life: Didactic Year

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hi everyone! Since I've been posting a lot less on here pretty much ever since our fall semester started, I figured I'd do a life in the day post to show you all what a PA student's typical day is like. I loved reading these while I was waiting to get accepted to PA school and even now as a PA student, to see what other PA students do daily.

6:40 am: alarm goes off and I wonder how is it morning already. Didn't I just go to bed? Today is a non-exam day so I get to "sleep in" till 7, otherwise I'm up by 6 (sometimes even 5:30) to review.

7:05 am: roll out of bed and sleepwalk to the bathroom.

7:20 am: I make my usual breakfast, 1 or 2 eggs sunny side up and coffee. Today I added an avocado since I had it and because let's be real, avocados make life complete.

7:50 am: pack my lunch, pour my coffee in a travel mug, and head out the door. Even though I stay only 10 mins from my school, I leave 40 mins before classes start due to rush hour traffic.

8:04 am: surprise! I hit little to no traffic on my way to school and get here early only to find our parking lot jam packed due to some event on campus. So the extra 25-30 mins I had to review were wasted on trying to find a parking spot & then hiking across campus to get to our classroom.

8:30 am: Our first lecture today is Clinical Medicine.  It's a 3 hour lecture today (duration ranges from 2 - 3 hours depending on the day of the week) and we're currently on a pulmonary infectious diseases block. Today we're talking about acute bronchitis, croup, bordetella pertussis, and RSV specifically. I make my study guide in a word document during lecture so that when we're done with lecture, my study guide is already done. This saves me so much time in the long run.

9:35 am: we get a 10 min restroom/get up and stretch break. And then back to class it is.

11:30 am: Clin med lecture is finally over. I head outside with my study guide to make my laps as I  review for our quiz in our next class. It helps to walk around after sitting for so long and supposedly it's supposed to help you remember things better if you study while you walk! Next up is Medical Physiology and Pathophysiology II (MPP II) and the quiz is over kidneys in long term BP control, cardiac output, venous return, and cardiac output during exercise.

12:30 pm: head back to class. We take our quiz, which was 10 questions and chit chat in the lounge waiting on everyone to finish. I munch on the black bean hummus and chips I packed this morning. It was my first time trying a black bean hummus and I have to say, I like it a lot more than I expected to.

12:45 pm: The quiz wasn't too bad. We go over the quiz questions quickly and start lecture. Up until now for our cardio block in MPP II, we went over the cardiac physiology. Today, (finally!) we start going over some cardiac pathophysiology including congenital heart defects, valvular disease, endocarditis, and pericardial disease. Once again, I'm making my study guide so I can review it for our next quiz/exam. We didn't get through all of it so we'll be finishing that lecture on Friday.

1:52pm Another stretch break. I take this time to zone out and not do anything because my brain is so fried.

2:30 - 3 pm: We have one last break before our last lecture for the day which is Introduction to Psychiatry. I call my best friend to escape the chaos that is PA school and head back to the lounge to make some tea before class.

3:00 pm: Psych lecture. By this point we're all pretty brunt out. Regardless, I'm trying my best to stay focused and pay attention. Today we're talking about alcohol related disorders. To make things fun, our professor had us form groups of 5 and we did a few questions on kaboom on alcohol disorders. It was a good way to make sure we had some fun and also kept us awake!

4:30 pm: FREEDOM! Seriously. Although we learn so many great things everyday, I would say the worst part about didactic year is being stuck in the same room ALL day long. At least our professors make our classes fun (we've played jeopardy twice as a review before our exams and we all got so competitive about it and it's great fun).

4:35 pm: I head to the library to study for a few hours to avoid rush hour traffic. We have a clinical medicine exam the next day over Infectious Diseases so there's no time to waste sitting in traffic. The goal is to get through at least 1 lecture before I head home for the night.

5:14 pm: I get hungry and finish my lunch from earlier today while I continue studying (I didn't get a chance to finish earlier. Oops). It was a delicious pasta meal that I picked up from Publix last week. Boiled the pasta, added some Alfredo sauce, and that was it! I'm already contemplating when I want to eat the second one waiting for me in my freezer.

6:00 pm: I went through 2 small lectures (by small I mean only 60 slides a ppt) and took a break to write this post. I decide to stay and finish reviewing my last lecture before I head home. That way when I get home I can just call it a night and wake up early tomorrow to look at it some more.

9:04 pm: Finally heading home. Below is the view I got of the library at night as I was driving away. I usually don't stay on campus so late so it was the first time I'd seen the library from the outside at night. So pretty!

9:20 pm: Once I get home I eat a snack, do a quick clean up in my room, and head to the shower. I started taking showers at night since it helps me (especially my brain) relax between studying and going to bed. I also sleep so much better when I shower before bed.

9:40 - 10:40 pm: I review some more for tomorrow's exam before my eyes start closing.

10:50 pm: I feel semi-confident about this exam tomorrow so I chose to let myself sleep in tomorrow instead of waking up early to review. I brush my teeth, get in bed, and turn off the lights. 6:40 am is going to get here quick!

1 comment :

  1. This was great! What program did yo attend? Waiting to receive my second interview.