Archive for February, 2012

February 2012

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

First Month of PA School
Dear Friends,
I am so blessed to be in PA program and I tell try to remind myself every day that this is a door that God has opened. That mindset has helped me as I deal with the sheer volume of material that we are studying.

I told someone recently that if I could only sleep for two hours a day and was able to spend the other 22 hours in class and study I might be able to get through the material each day. Well, yesterday we had our first big exam in Gross Anatomy class. I don’t have my grade yet, but it was not pretty. We were all fairly stunned with how difficult it was. It is so much more than just memorizing facts; it requires synthesizing and critically analyzing how things work together.

Our anatomy professor told us the first day of class our full-time job would be to pass the course. Of course, his class is just one of four classes we are taking. So, I would like to ask you to pray for me. I am the oldest student in the program by a good 10 years. I have always been a good student who normally received good grades. But, I have never faced a mental challenge like this one. The issue here is not a grade, rather, that I am able to master the material so that I can be an effective instrument for God’s service.

More on the program

For those of you interested in what we are studying this semester, here is a little more information.
1) Gross Anatomy. We spend 4 hours per week in lecture and 4 hours per week in the anatomy lab. We are expected to spend an additional 8 hours minimum in the lab in small groups. We have 15 cadavers that we are dissecting and on the exams we are tested on all 15 bodies. The material we are covering is incredibly detailed. The first exam covered the nervous system, structures of the neck, back and upper limbs. Every spare moment each day is required for personal study.
2) Physiology. A different professor lectures for 4 hours per week on physiology (i.e. the study of the function of the human body starting with the molecular level and on up to organ systems). I have to study extra hard in this class because of my background. Some of my fellow PA students recently graduated with a bachelor in biology or something similar, so they are already very familiar with the material.
3) Introduction to the PA Profession. This course is not demanding like the first two, but it does require some reading time each day. We are studying the Physician Assistant as a profession, PA regulations and laws, demographics of the PA profession, medical ethics, pro-fessionalism, & end-of-life care.
4) Overview of the Health-Care Delivery System. Again, daily reading and projects. The US healthcare system is complex with so many different forces that are influencing who does and does not receive the care they need. As we all know, our country is in the process of trying to reform the system and there are still many unanswered questions.
One thing remains clear to me, however. Jesus came to heal the sick as well as preach the gospel. Healthcare and ministry can be a beautiful partnership as we treat the person the whole person (body, mind, and spirit).

White Coat Ceremony - January 27 2012 

White Coat Ceremony
On Friday, January 27th, our class of PA students received their student white coats. We will soon be going to the Kentucky Clinic and UK Hospital and interacting with patients. This was a special day with a very nice ceremony for our group of PA students and their families.
White Coat Ceremony - January 27 2012

Prayer Pointers
♦ Please pray for God’s grace and help with my studies that I might prepare myself in the best way possible to serve Him as a PA.
♦ Also, praise God with me for my supportive wife and kids who have encouraged me every step of the way.
♦ Please pray for Jim and his work at Mercy Medical. The clinic is moving full-steam ahead with his leadership. I look forward to being back in the clinic as a volunteer as soon as possible.
♦ Praise God with us for His provision for our family during this time.
Financial Update
We are so grateful for the generous help of so many. We received several generous checks in January on top of our normal monthly support that will help us as our income is outpaced by our expenses as the year goes on. Thank you for your support, prayers and friendship. In Christian love,
Chris & family