I’d like to offer advice to those entering the didactic year of PA school.

During my time as a first-year student I found myself working tirelessly to maintain the breakneck pace of the classroom phase. I would study all hours of the day — feeling guilty if there was a moment when I wasn’t. This is PA school after all. Where you only have one year to learn all that you can before working with real-life patients. But I’m here to tell you that modus operandi […nope I can’t do it. don’t tell Dr. Armao it would break her heart – but it’s MODE OF OPERATION] didn’t work for me, and it might not work for you.

Winston Churchill was once asked what he attributed his success in life to. He responded, “Economy of effort. Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.”

Reflecting on my time of tireless and endless studying, I can confidently say that my productivity during those times was half of what it could potentially be. It was a burn-out effect. I was “always studying” only to find myself taking 10 minute breaks for 5 minutes of work.

What ended up working for me was to take a legitimate break! Leave it behind for an hour. Take a whole day off. Unthinkable!? No way. It turns out, for me, I could get twice as much done the day after a day off! Revolutionary I know.

All this is to say, I encourage you to find a balance — whatever that looks like. You just might find that your desired results can be achieved by taking care of your whole self, instead of just pummeling your poor brain all day long.