Tiger Blood

Adalie-bannerThis week I will be sitting down with a group of applicants who are interviewing for positions in next year’s PA cohort. As the sage old PA student, I thought I would gather together my new-found wisdom to share with these potential students:

  • The first introductions with your new classmates can be intimidating. Getting into a competitive school like OHSU means that everyone is stupidly brilliant with seriously impressive work and volunteer backgrounds. Recognize that your feelings of imposter syndrome are normal, and will fade with each exam you crush.
    • If you still need a boost of confidence repeat to yourself this Charlie Sheen quote: “I have a different constitution. I have a different brain. I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.”
  • Don’t Lone Wolf your studies. Find like-minded students and study with them. It was wonderful to realize that OHSU doesn’t just preach a collaborative culture, but aims to actively create one. While I had never previously been a fan of collective studying, I now seek out small groups to work with, and am more successful because of it.
    • IE: Very bright people surround you. Dig into their minds for the knowledge you are lacking.
      • By this I do not mean to use your classmates’ brains as a zombie would. There is definitely a policy against that in the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Being a PA student can make you feel like your body is just a convenient way to transport your brain to and from class, but try and exercise daily. Then you can impress people with your razor sharp mind and your killer bod. Truly a win-win situation.
    • Also, this is the only time in the day to re-watch True Detective and not feel guilty.
      • Side note: Should one ever feel guilty about watching those modern day prophets Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson? No sir.
  • Hang out with your classmates after class and especially at the end of the week. Drinking beer and laughing is the best way to dull the sharp anxiety remaining after an exam.
    • Bonus: Your spouse will also appreciate this decompression time. No one wants a stressed-out partner bursting through the door muttering on the differences between loop diuretics and thiazides.
  • PA school is like standing under a waterfall. Sometimes you are nearly drowning and can hardly breathe with the huge quantity of work being dumped on you. Periodically take a step out of the torrent to relax. Straighten your spine, steel your eyes, and step back in with purpose. Remember that while this is a challenging process, it is also really, really fun.
    • That was a simile. No one is going to make you go stand under Multnomah Falls as some sort of initiation rite. Let’s not be ridiculous.

Good luck, candidates. I can’t wait to speak with you.

4 responses to “Tiger Blood

  1. Adalie,
    Great to see your thoughts in print.I appreciate your sense of humor and positive attitude. It will get you and your classmates far!

  2. Hi!
    Thanks for the advice!
    Will you be sitting down with more applicants this Friday the 23rd?? I would love to pick your brain in person! Let me know and if not maybe I can pick your brain via good ol’ email. Can’t wait to be where you are, on the other side of the interviews 😉

  3. Hi Adalie!

    I’m super stoked about my interview next week and cannot wait until I can be where you are.

    I know each student is different, but how much “free time” does the typical PA student have to “drink beer and laugh” with classmates or engage in other activities. I’m an avid runner and cyclist and part of what attracts me to attending school at OHSU is the countless scenic trails etc.

  4. Nicely said. I paused while reading your post as I recalled experiencing similar lessons learned as a member of Class One! This new found wisdom will serve you well in your PA future–recall these times frequently and use the lessons learned often.

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