PA Program: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
How long is your program and what quarter/semester are you in?: My program is 28 months. I am a third year PA student, and will graduate this coming December!
Class size: 60 (50 on my campus, 10 at a satellite campus)
Why did you apply to your program?: I had a friend go to the med center and she had highly recommended it. It was also a program that was close enough to my family and now-husband, which I really liked as well. UNMC is also a top ten ranked PA program in the nation which I thought was pretty impressive.
Why did you end up choosing to attend your program?: I ended up choosing my program for a lot of the same reasons I applied. However, I felt like UNMC was the right fit for me after my interview on campus. I really liked Omaha and the location to my family, I had heard positive feedback from people about the program, and it was a top ranked program in the nation. All these things were things that got me to apply, but after I was on campus I knew it was more than just that. Things just sort of clicked and felt right when I was on campus; the facilities, the faculty and staff that I got to interact with. It was easy after that.
Is there anything unique about your program?: We have 15 months of clinical rotations, which is so great. What’s even greater is that you actually get to choose 6 electives!! I know so programs only get 1-3, so having 6 is so amazing! You really get to broaden your horizon and maybe choose something you wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do so. So yeah, I think that’s pretty unique.
What is your favorite study resource?: Google Docs! I know that’s probably an unexpected answer, but my friends and I made medicine study guides on google docs during didactic, and we constantly are going back to these as a resource to study, or to make new study guides off of. Hands down the best thing we ever did. But, I also love me some PANCE Prep Pearls!
What is the most difficult or surprising part of PA school?: The volume of information you are expected to know. It’s not always that it’s super difficult information to comprehend, it’s just that there is SO much more than undergrad. It can definitely be overwhelming, especially if you don’t stay on top of if.
What advice would you give to other PA students?:
School wise- I would say the most important thing to learn early on is to not compare yourself to your classmates. How they study, how much they study, when they study, etc. Do NOT compare yourself! What works for them may not work for you, what takes them 5 hours, may only take you 3 hours. Whatever works for you focus on that, and focus on doing it well.
Outside life wise- Definitely still have a life and don’t think you need to study 24/7. Your life is not over when you start PA school. You need to make time to take breaks doing things you enjoy- whether it’s watching Netflix, working out, or cooking, do whatever you need for a mental health break. That’s just as important as cramming an extra half hour of studying in.
Where can we find you? - Instagram - @kellieg.denhartog