Survival Tips for Current Students
- Exercise regularly.
- Do something fun every Friday evening.
- Maintain communication with loved ones.
- Purchase a large bottle of Tylenol.
- Use www.citysearch.com for ideas of activities and events in which to take part in Portland.
- Bring an umbrella.
- Have fun and relax. It will all come!
- Make time for yourself.
- Keep up with assignments and do not get behind!
- Panic is a normal reaction; you will get used to it.
- Your classmates are a tremendous source of support. They understand what you are going through in ways that no one else can.
- Pace yourself!
- Make sure your computer is working properly, and you know how to use it!
- Be flexible and have a good attitude.
- Set short-term goals that are easily achieved in order to feel as if you are working toward something more immediate than graduating.
- Get as much sleep as possible.
- Do not listen to anyone else right before an exam.
- Do not change your answers on an exam.
- Set up a schedule for yourself allowing for exercise, play and learning, of course.
- Put your family first and do a lot of praying.
- Eat well-balanced meals with occasional fun foods (i.e. the essentials like pizza).
- Anything is possible for a short time no matter how busy or difficult it seems.
Advice for Prospective Applicants
- Set your goals and have a plan. If PA school is part of your plan, take all the prerequisites, get the best grades possible because programs are competitive, be willing to move, and apply to as many programs as possible. If you do get an interview, be yourself. Once you get accepted, realize that life as a student is not permanent; it is only a miniscule part of eternity.
- Explore Oregon while you are here, be flexible with your schedule, and work hard.
- While you are working in the medical care setting, go the extra mile, read, ask a lot of questions, and help out in other areas if given the chance. If you learn as much as you can before PA school, it will definitely help you out in the long run.
- Take any opportunity to be in a primary care office. Learn to be comfortable with vital signs, procedure set-ups, and general clinic management. It is a plus if you learn blood draws and injections. You cannot have enough hands-on experience prior to this program. It will help make your educational experience easier.
- Take pharmacology prior to beginning your program if possible.
- Review Anatomy and Physiology as much as possible. It helps to take a refresher course and to review much more thoroughly than is recommended in the acceptance packet. Purchase the course recommended color photo atlas for the anatomy cadaver lab. (The first semester is hard work, but the second is harder and much more intense so be prepared).
- Buy the book "Getting into the PA School of Your Choice" by Andrew J. Rodican. It was very helpful for writing the application essay and practicing for interviews.
- PA school is a lot of work but definitely doable with some nights off. Focus and stay on top of your studies.
- Do not give up on getting admitted to school no matter how far down your name is on the waiting list; the list can move fast even in the last few days.
Have confidence. Confidence exudes from successful individuals and can be felt by those around them.
Get a copy of the current Physician Assistant Programs Directory.
- Apply to PA school early. Leave yourself plenty of time to write your essay.
- Relax during your interview.