It’s September! The home stretch of our didactic year here at Elon PA. My classmates and I are so close to getting our white coats and starting our clinical rotations, we can taste it.
Sadly, we’re not quite done yet. We have so many assignments in PA school – tests, quizzes, anatomy practicals, standardized patient exams, group projects – and they come at you in such rapid succession, you can start to feel like a hamster running in a wheel. Another pharmacology quiz this week? Okay. Your test will be 40 multiple choice and 10 matching? Bring it on. You work hard and study for every single one, but it definitely starts to feel routine. So, when our anatomy professor recently assigned us a paper where we could have total creative freedom in the format, I jumped at the chance! We’re currently working on the male and female reproductive systems, so the topic I chose was: “Starting at the site of a primary spermatocyte, ‘follow the sperm’ through meiosis, and trace its pathway through the spermatic cord, all the way to the tip of the penis”. I decided to do my paper in the form of a children’s book, complete with illustrations. I sat down to compose my paper, and felt the words flow out of me like a river. I’ll admit, it was a little challenging to make the subject of sperm development child-friendly, but no matter – if PA school has taught me anything, it’s how to problem solve.
I’ve known for quite a while that I’ve wanted to have a career in medicine, and PA school is absolutely the best path for me, but, like any twenty-something, I have my secret dreams. Unfortunately, I know now that I’ll probably never be a Disney princess (fingers crossed, just in case) but I’ve always wanted to write stories for children, especially if they involve math or science! So who knows, maybe in addition to being an awesome PA, I can have a second career as illustrator extraordinaire? Or maybe I’ll find my calling in pediatrics? Whatever the case may be, you can read my “Sperm Story” below – hope you enjoy! (And, if you’re a literary agent reading this – call me.)
Laura Ciompi PA-S