It’s 5 AM, and my alarm goes off. I absolutely despise it; yet I continue to set it every night in the hopes of waking up early to get a little exercise. Alright, so I hit snooze more often then I should, but sleep can be hard to come by especially when exams are lurking. If I make it to the Health Sciences gym, sleepy but friendly faces of a few of my classmates greet me. We run a little, chat about the day, but mostly we study. Gym time is prime pharmacology studying time, especially when I have classmates who excel in it on the treadmill next to me.
Class typically starts around 8, so I like to rush through getting ready to be able to have time to grab coffee before we begin. I was never one for much caffeine in undergraduate; now it feels like I need a steady drip just to function. Lecture subjects change with each unit, however the overall schedule is fairly constant. For each organ based system (cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurology, etc. ) we take a Basic Science, Pharmacology, Medicine, Diagnostics, Clinical Skills, and Anatomy class. We also have several guest lecturers from local physicians or PAs throughout the unit to round out the subject. Elon does a fantastic job in creating a balanced education. As stressful as all of the information can be, I feel confident that this knowledge base will help me excel in clinical rotations. Recently we wrapped up an Oncology unit. While I can honestly say that Oncology is not my calling, I try to especially take in the lectures that will be relevant in my career path.
By noon, I am very ready for a break and some lunch. Most days lunch is spent with a few friends in a study room. Sometimes we watch TV, but most days we have notes of some kind out. Lunchtime is prime Basic Science study time.
By one o’clock, I am either headed back to lecture or dressing out for my favorite part of the week; Anatomy lab. Lab allows us to relax, turn on some 90’s hits on Pandora and learn in a hands-on way. The anatomy lab was one of the many reasons I chose to attend Elon’s program. It is a top of the line lab with one human donor for every 4-5 students. While initially very intimidating to work with, the donors provide some of the best learning experiences. To sit in class and have a lecture about the heart is one thing, but to actually see it and how it lies in the body is absolutely incredible and is no doubt invaluable to our education.
When 5 o’clock rolls in, I am ready to go home and create a dent on the couch in front of Shark Week. Usually I’ll take a half hour break, but then it’s back to work (the shark gore will have to wait). Afternoons are prime guest lecture studying time. I’ll have a little dinner, and go back to reviewing. By 11:30 (unless it’s the night before an exam) I am in bed watching whatever is good on TV before crashing only to wake up and do it all over again.
It’s no secret that PA School is difficult. It is by far the most demanding thing I have ever done, but I love every minute of it. I have amazing classmates to help pick me up when I’m down, the hardest working and kindest professors I have ever known, and the support of my friends and family to get me through. This program has been the perfect fit for me, and I am very proud to say that I am a part of Elon’s Charter class.