PA School: My Elective Rotation


In our program, we get one elective rotation.  Honestly, choosing what I wanted to do for an elective was really hard.  I was so worried I would pick the wrong thing.  I considered cardiology, since that is the largest portion of questions on our boards, but in the end I told my coordinator that I wanted to do a split rotation (half in one specialty and half in another) and for her to pick the specialties with the best preceptors.  I was interested in dermatology, ENT, infectious disease, cardiology, neurology, and probably anything else they would let me do.

I ended up with 2 weeks in ENT (ear nose and throat) and 3 weeks in dermatology, and I loved them both.


The most common things I saw on ENT were chronic otitis media needing evaluation for tubes, chronic sinusitis, and sleep apnea/snoring/chronic pharyngitis needing an evaluation for a tonsillectomy.  I also saw many other diseases and infections.  I felt like I became much more proficient in evaluating ears with the otoscope and better at reading head CTs.  It was fun seeing the different things kids stuck up their nose and in their ears.


The most common diagnosis I saw in this rotation were seborrheic keratosis, actinic keratosis, warts, suspicious lesions (like melanoma), eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and acne.  We saw those every single day, and then we saw a variety of other conditions and rashes.  I was also able to practice many of my procedural skills, like suturing and biopsy.  I enjoyed the rotation a lot and I feel much more comfortable doing a full skin exam now.


My rotations turned out to be really great and I am glad which two finally got chosen.  Looking back I realize any specialty or  primary care office would have been fine.  If I didn’t have to pay tuition and had more time, I would love to rotate through even more offices and specialties.  Medicine is so fun!


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