You probably excelled in undergrad, right? I mean, you had to, since your in PA school. Most programs have anywhere from a 3%-10% admissions rate. My program, for example, had a 3% admission rate. This means that EVERYONE who was accepted excelled in their undergrad. The harsh reality is that you probably stood out while you were completing your biology major, but you are essentially at the same level as everyone else in your PA program. This is a major shock to a lot of people. Don’t let ego get in the way…
1. You WILL fail an exam. More than likely, you will fail your first exam, I know I did. You see, I didn’t have to study all that hard during undergrad to get good grades. I did well, and thought that would translate over to PA school. Well, let me tell you medicine is a different beast all together. I failed, and didn’t know what to do with myself. It’s crucial that you do not let your ego rear its ugly face at this time. Instead of being ashamed or having this sense of pride, talk to your classmates about it. Seek out those who did well in the exam, and how they prepared for it.
2. There IS someone smarter than you in your program. You might have been the smartest person in your previous program, but guess what? Everyone more than likely was a top student in their previous program as well. You are probably a competitive person if you were able to hack it into PA school. Heres some advice: Don’t compare yourself. Instead avoiding those who are smarter, hook up with the smartest person in class, and learn from them. This is crucial to your success. The reality is, when you graduate, there will always be someone smarter than you wherever you go, and thats good thing! Look, in order to become better, you need to surround yourself with those who are better than you. You cant continue to grow if you are always the smartest person in the room.
3. You need to ENJOY your time in school. If you are constantly worried about how x,y, and z person got an A on the last exam, but you got a B, then you can’t enjoy your time. You will constantly be ashamed to talk about your grades. This will affect your interaction with others, and make for a miserable time in school. In all honesty, grades don’t matter (click here for my thoughts on grades). If you are constantly worried about being inferior to others, then you will eventually start to act inferior, and you will make that a reality. Your perception is your reality, so make sure to kick these negative thoughts in the ass every time they want to make you think otherwise!
Starting PA school can be a shock to many. What we were once used to, is no longer true. What once came easy, will now require work. Continue to work hard and continue to improve, and you will be successful, I promise. But, I also promise, that if you let your ego get in the way, you will fail. This is definitely not an easy thing for most, but is essential to your growth. Have you had ego get in the way? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share a comment with me below on how ego showed its ugly face to you!