(Thanks for the title suggestion Madeline!)

Well, spring is in the air (finally), and we have just returned from spring break, which seems an appropriate time to step back and take stock of the year so far.

We’re moving right along through Cardiology in all of our courses; the week before spring break, we got to meet Harvey, who is a real heartthrob, if you’ll pardon the bad pun! He’s a very cool robot that can produce regular and irregular heart sounds, and he even has a pulse. It never ceases to amaze me that, as useful as our more high-tech gadgets like the otoscope and fundoscope are, the most versatile and effective tool we have used so far is the stethoscope, a piece of equipment that has remained fundamentally the same for a century.

stethescope

Well, maybe it’s changed a little…

The next major date on our school calendar is the AAPA conference in Las Vegas, and representing our class at the Challenge Bowl will be…(drumroll please)…Brittany and Caleb! They’ll have their own cheerleading squad consisting of some their fellow classmates (including myself), and the rest of the class will be there in spirit rooting them on!

In other news, congratulations to Michael for finishing the Umstead 100! The hundred mile-race consisted of 8 laps around a 12.5 mile course, and Michael finished it in under 30 hours, an incredibly impressive feat!

Returning to my hometown for the first time since December, I realized how much has happened in such a short time. Three months ago, I had not met my classmates, I had never used a scalpel, and I did not know what coarctation of the aorta was. It’s easy to get so caught up in studying that months go by without thinking beyond the next exam, and that’s why breaks are good for gaining perspective.

Of course, you can take the girl out of PA school, but you can’t take PA school out of the girl, and when I was home over break I realized how ingrained my studies have become in my brain. I couldn’t help myself when it came to spouting out random facts to my family and friends (“Hey Mom, did you know that Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common cyanotic congenital heart disease?”), and excitedly blurting out the names of drugs when their commercials came on TV—alas, I did not see any commercials for aflibercept, which would have been really fun to say.

In addition to exhausting my friends’ patience, this impulse to share what I’ve learned has shown me that, slowly but surely, we are becoming PAs. As overwhelmed and clueless as we might feel sometimes, we really are learning, and we’re improving our skills every day.

I want to start including quotes at the end of these posts, so I’ll start with this one:

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.” –Beethoven

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