Post CRE Update and MPASA

Class of 2016….Shivering in the Cold Edition

Five months ago, I received my offer of admission into the PA program (“I MADE IT!”). I am so blessed and grateful for what I have experienced so far in the program. I am even more grateful for the help I have been given for this blog to allow me to share my PA journey with readers who are interested in the profession/program!

Continue to read as I talk about:

  • My OR Orientation at Juravinski
  • What I need to improve on in Tutorial
  • My first CRE
  • My position in MPASA
  • + a small thank you plug-in 🙂

Operating Room Orientation at Juravinski


I want to thank the registered nurse at Juravinski Hospital for leading the Operating Room (OR) Orientation! It was my first time in scrubs so I had to take a memorable picture for my parents. It was really cool going into a (clean) operating room…it’s was literally cool in there (brrrr so cold). We got to see an operating room that was not cleaned yet as well, which was a bit scary — there wasn’t blood all over the floor but you could tell the equipment had been used and the room was quiet so it had an eery feeling to it. It reminded me of Frankenstein for some reason. Lastly, we also got to peek into a room where an operation was about to begin. They were just putting the patient to sleep.

We get our scrubs from a ScrubEx machine. You tap your hospital ID badge and it dispenses a scrub that is your size. Before going into the OR, you must wear a bonnet and shoe coverings (unless you have clean indoor shoes). At the end of the day, you just dispose the scrub into the ScrubEx machine. Easy to use 🙂

Finding Confidence and Asking Questions in Tutorial

IMG_20141030_142819As I have mentioned before in “What I am Learning in the Physician Assistant Education Program“, I love Problem-Based Learning (PBL). My group and I are not being fed information to memorize; instead, we use clinical reasoning to understand the pathophysiology of diseases and come up with differentials. This skill is what matters most in a clinical setting, where we are presented with different signs and symptoms and need to figure out why our patient is ill.

One thing I find challenging about the PBL now that I am two months into the program, is finding the confidence to speak up in front of my group. I am scared of saying the wrong thing and keep doubting my understanding of the information. But this is the WRONG MENTALITY! I am thankful for my tutor and group for pointing this out to me. I need to be confident and share what I have read to make sure I understand the information. My group will benefit from the information I share and I will benefit from knowing if I understood what I have read. My tutor told me that questions drive the tutorial session and encouraged me to bring up questions on concepts I do not understand. So yea, that’s something I need to work on!

The Clinical Reasoning Exam

The first year of the McMaster Physician Assistant program is split up into three terms (Medical Foundations 1, 2 and 3 for Fall, Winter and Spring term). Currently, the program has two Clinical Reasoning Exams (CRE) per term. The CRE is a written exam focused on seeing how students approach each clinical scenario. Everything covered is what we learned in tutorials.

My class was really worried about the test, mainly because it feels like undergrad all over again! In undergrad, we are all trying to put down the CORRECT answer so that we do not FAIL the test. We forget that we are in a Professional Program. It is OKAY to make mistakes. As my friend in medical school said” You’re expected to make mistakes [on the CRE] and it’s best to make them now”, so that we do not make those mistakes outside of school.

That being said, I just finished the first CRE and now have time to post!

McMaster Physician Assistant Student Association (MPASA)

I have the honour of representing my class as the Social Medical Representative for MPASA – a PA student organization. Like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get a glimpse of our journey and receive information about our program and profession! Click the pictures to be redirected!

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A quick thank you to the following amazing people:

Anne – Anne’s blog “Blog of a Canadian PA” provides valuable information for many prospective PA students. She is also a strong advocate for PAs getting on social media. When I was accepted into the PA program, I decided to join in and thus, created this blog. I want to thank Anne for supporting my amateur blog on her social media platforms :)!

Sahand – For being an amazing student advisor, from the very beginning of my PA journey! He makes time to answer my questions about the PA program and profession. I’d like to do the same for any prospective PA students out there! REACH ME!

Ben – For proofreading my posts before I publish them! He gives me the perspective of a reader who is not in the field of medicine. This helps me make sure my posts are easy for the public to read.

YOU! MY READERS! – I made this blog partly for myself to document my journey but mostly for you to know more about the PA profession and program. If you ever have any questions or want me to write a post on a certain topic, please let me know! I would be happy to write one 🙂


One thought on “Post CRE Update and MPASA

  1. Anne says:

    Sounds like a lot has happened within the first 2 months of starting the program! TY for the shoutout 🙂 I’m always pointing pre-PA students to your blog so that they have a better idea of what the PA program entails (you really document it so well across your different social media platforms!).

    Sahand is one of my favourite PA grads, you really lucked out at getting him as a PA student supervisor, it was nice to touch base with him during the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants Annual Conference in Halifax this year.

    I hear you on being painfully shy/quiet/second guessing during tutorial. It’s a good thing in that it forces you to try to know your material very well before you sit down and discuss it with the group. GL with your studies and keep up the great work! – Anne

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