Physician Assistant Program

Pause here

When I got accepted to OHSU’s PA program, my husband and I made the decision to keep our home base in Bend and have me return from Portland every weekend. I have, to date, driven 349 hours in 51 round trips. The repetition of this endless loop sometimes gets frustrating [Why do slow drivers suddenly speed up at passing lanes?], but overall I like the weekly echo. My mind can wind down after a crazy week, … Read More

Just tell me a story…

I think we can all relate in the fact that we each know people who seem more adept at storytelling. They build suspense, they hold the punch line until exactly the right moment, they kill it during wedding cocktail hours. They somehow captivate attention, an unofficial prerequisite to succeed in clinical year of PA school. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced. The challenge lies in convincing the most educated person in the room to listen … Read More

Are we there yet?

When I first started at OHSU I had a certain impression of how the next 26 months of my life would unfold. Like so many of my peers, it had been a while since I had experienced a full-time classroom immersion. I anticipated that the didactic year of the program would be the more challenging of the two years that lay ahead. I had visions of few hours of sleep, little free time, high levels of … Read More

“PA school cannot be done alone.”

I heard some variation of this phrase throughout my application process – during admissions lunches, from current students and from practicing providers. Prior to PA school I was usually a pretty independent person when it came to studying, and I took this to reflect on changing these habits to adopt a more group-study focus. Six months into the program I found that this saying had a much broader meaning than I originally thought. I found … Read More

My First Patient

StudentSpeak is pleased to present a guest post by radiation therapy student Annie Mae Jensen. This post is adapted from Annie’s remarks at the 2015 Donor Memorial Service, which honors the anatomical donors and their families who support OHSU students through a gift to the Body Donation Program. Dr. Cameron started the term with our entire class in a lecture hall, where he explained to us what a beautiful gift we had waiting in the … Read More

Dear Future Me…

Clinical rotations in PA school are all about learning. You see patients with conditions and diseases that you have read about during didactic year and learn how to manage them in the “real world.” You become more familiar with the inner workings of various clinical settings: emergency departments, operating rooms, outpatient clinics and inpatient wards. You learn just enough about insurance, billing and coding to make you teeter on the edge of sanity and be … Read More

The Real Rural World

“This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a duplex, work together and have their lives interlinked, to find out what happens when health students leave PDX…and start getting rural.” Okay, so it’s not QUITE the salacious prologue to a hit MTV series, but it doesn’t make it any less valid for those involved. In truth, most of us (three PA students, three med students, one dental student – and one … Read More

Transitioning to Fall…

Physician Assistant programs are notoriously rigorous.  As an incoming student, the years that lie ahead seem insurmountable.  And then … before you know it you’ve hit the ground running and you’re well on your way.  It’s now day 102 of what may very well be the most challenging 26 months of my life, but despite the challenges that PA school has thrown my way I couldn’t be happier.  I’m not trying to minimize the sacrifices … Read More

OneNote to Rule Them All, OneNote to Find Them…

Sometime during the months before PA school I received an email recommending that I familiarize myself with note taking software. I didn’t think much of this message at the time. I mean, I had been pretty successful with a pad of paper and a pen all throughout undergrad, so why change what isn’t broken? Fast forward to my first day at OHSU, and I arrive with said pen and said paper in hand, ready to … Read More

Tiger Blood

This week I will be sitting down with a group of applicants who are interviewing for positions in next year’s PA cohort. As the sage old PA student, I thought I would gather together my new-found wisdom to share with these potential students: The first introductions with your new classmates can be intimidating. Getting into a competitive school like OHSU means that everyone is stupidly brilliant with seriously impressive work and volunteer backgrounds. Recognize that … Read More

StudentSpeak

StudentSpeak

Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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