Didactic Year


Howard University PA students learn the ropes during their didactic year. (October 2012)

Didactic year is the year of studying, test taking, physical examinations with many hours spent in the classroom and library. It can also be a great opportunity to get involved in the PA profession for the first time.  Here are some tips on surviving the didactic year:

Physical Assessment

  1. Year one
  2. Year two

Lisa Razzino, PA-S practices starting an IV on classmate Greg Goodwin, PA-S. Northeastern PA Program. (May 2011)

Clinical Medicine

LSU PA student learning to combine imaging and patient history to come up with the correct diagnosis.

Anatomy & Physiology

Lab Diagnostics and Radiology

How to read different radiographic studies; quizzes you on the “most common” diagnosis flashcard-style and on “good calls and pitfalls”.

Check out the Radiology Quiz of the Week – a free, weekly quiz offered by Dr. Donald Renfrew, radiologist and author of Symptom Based Radiology.

Ultrasound tutorials:

Ken Fererra does a practice exam on classmate Jake Gott during class at the Nursing building at Riverpoint Campus in Spokane, Wash. October 15, 2012. (Photo by Rajah Bose)

Understanding Healthcare

Health Care Handbook (This is a book written by medical students)

The Health Care Handbook is your one-stop guide to the people, organizations and industries that make up the U.S. health care system and the major issues the system faces today. It’s rigorously researched and unbiased yet written in a conversational and humorous tone illuminating the convoluted health care system and its many components. The Handbook covers:

•       Inpatient and outpatient health care and delivery systems
•       The different types of health insurance and how they’re structured
•       Health policy and government health care programs
•       Concise summaries of 32 different health professions
•       A clear summary of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court decision and other reform options.
•       Economic concepts and the factors that make health care so expensive
•       The pharmaceutical, medical device and medical research industries

Understanding Health Policy: Clinical Approach (Excellent overview!) – this is a FREE pdf

Study Tips

Whether you are a new student studying for your first big test in PA school or an established student who may need to improve your routine study habits – SUCCESSFUL STUDY TIPS are your best friend.  This information attempts to offer new, innovative and helpful tips from students who have survived and thrived during the didactic year.

If you are accepted to a PA program, you have probably been a successful student through your academic career thus far.  However, PA school is a different kind of ball-game.  Whether you need a little boost or a big improvement, Here are some study techniques to help your success and your sanity.