Welcome to my blog, [P]erspective of [A]ppreciation! If you didn’t connect the dots yet, [PA] is meant to sort of be a play on PA, or physician assistant, which is what I will be when I grow up. Here, instead of referring to “physician assistant,” I’m using the letters to describe my goal of approaching each day with a perspective of appreciating all the things in my life–the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. I want to provide a little perspective and encouragement on life as a PA student (and eventually a PA), as well as share a little bit about faith, fashion, food, and fitness.
Like I said, I am in physician assistant school. For those of you who are not sure what a PA is or does, they are mid-level health care providers that can be most easily described as a cross between a physician and a nurse. Though I will be able to do most anything a physician can do (see, diagnose, and treat patients on my own, prescribe medications, etc.), I will not be able to practice completely independently, like a physician can. I will always have a physician supervisor who at the very least, signs off on my documentation. Prior to starting PA school, I completed my undergraduate education with a bachelor of science in human biology and kinesiology at the greatest university in the world, Michigan State University (Go Green!). The PA program that I’m in is 27-months long and consists of a didactic portion (in the classroom) and a clinical portion. The program that I’m in uses problem-based learning curriculum. Instead of sitting in lectures each day, we use case presentations about a patient. We learn about a variety of disease processes and disorders associated with the patient’s symptoms, and we eventually diagnose the patient and come up with an appropriate treatment plan. It sounds confusing, but it comes down to teaching us to approach our patients like they are a person presenting with symptoms (which they are), rather than trying to make them look like the presentations we read about in textbooks. PA school is pretty intense. We are expected to spend at least 70 hours per week on school-related activities, including class and study time. That seems extreme… but 70 doesn’t seem like enough. A perfect description of PA school is that it’s like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant.
At this point, I am unsure of what specialty I will choose to work in after I graduate. I expect I will gain a better understanding of what I like and what I want to spend my time in after my clinical rotations. My interests at this time are in pediatric care, neurology, and hematology. Who knows how those interests may change over the next 17 months, though! After finishing school in August 2018, I will take the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam) and hope to land a job (and start paying off these loans!).
Although it is stressful and often quite overwhelming, I do enjoy PA school. For the same reason I decided to go into medicine in the first place, I still love learning about the body, how it works, and how to fix it when something goes wrong. I am also excited to care for people. While my primary goal is to mend their physical status, I also want to help improve their emotional and spiritual status with my own positive and encouraging attitude.
At this time, most of my life is pretty consumed by PA school… but believe it or not, there is more to me! And I hope that the “other stuff” is more of the focus of this blog!
My husband, Aaron, is obviously a huge part of my life… he is truly my other half! We were married just a few months ago, on NYE. We have been together for more than 5 years, and we are each other’s best friends. We enjoy sports, being active, eating delicious food, and spending time with family.
My faith is also a big part of my life. I grew up in a Christian home, have attended church my entire life, got really involved with student ministry at Michigan State, and now attend a small church with Aaron in our hometown. As my faith is so important to me, I try to allow my faith to affect every aspect of my life. I am definitely still a work in progress, but aren’t we all?
There are many other things in my life that I am passionate about… I have an absolutely incredible group of friends and family, all of whom I love dearly. I love to (try to) stay up on style, but on a budget. I was raised to be frugal… check the clearance rack before anything else, and there are treasures to be found at Goodwill. It takes a little extra effort, but style can be achieved on a budget! I also love to cook! Especially since becoming a wife, I love coming up with delicious, healthy recipes to show off my cooking skills. Cooking has also become a nice creative outlet for me that is actually productive. There’s little extra time in school to spend on hobbies, but we gotta eat! Exercising and staying fit is also important to me. I have been in sports as long as I can remember, and now that I’m a NARP (non-athletic regular person… a.k.a. retired athlete), I still enjoy doing what I can to stay active.
So that pretty well sums me up! There’s certainly more to me than these few things (my love of dogs and waterskiing and Michigan State, etc., etc.) but I’ll just let that come out over time! I hope that you can get a little bit of something out of what I post and what you read here. In this life that seems only to be moving faster, getting harder, seeming more stressful, and feeling downright overwhelming, I hope to be able to shift your perspective a bit. To help you choose joy and thankfulness. To help you take on a perspective of appreciation!