Some of my posts on PA school vs medical school

*Note that all these are from my personal experiences and may differ for other people. These posts ultimately reflect why PA is a better choice for me. They are both extremely wonderful professions.  


Perhaps the most enjoyable vaccination video I’ve ever seen. Have you seen a health care provider ever do this? I should add it to my repertoire. 

Quote from William C. Roberts, an American physician who specialises in cardiac pathology.


Physicians with Head Mirrors

Ever wonder where the stereotypical headband mirror thing that you see on old illustrations of doctors came from?

It’s actually a reflector. Before we had battery-powered and flexible electrical lights, gas and oil-powered flames were the best we could do, but you don’t want to put that too close to the patient.

The concave reflective surface of the mirror focuses the diffuse light to a point inside the patient, which the physician can see through the hole in the center of the device.

Today, these reflectors are not frequently used in developed nations, as their primary purpose (otolaryngology - that is, ear, nose, and throat doctors) now has instruments which can illuminate the cavities being examined without an external source of light. However, they’re still very useful in countries with intermittent or unreliable power sources, and are often kept on hand in surgical suites and hospitals in those countries, in case of power outage during a procedure.

Diseases of the Nose and Accessory Cavities. W. Spencer Watson, 1890.

Profile: Dr. Josef Mengele

One of Adolf Hitler’s most insidious goals was his Final Solution: genocide, the killing of all jews in Europe and inevitably throughout the world. Genocide involves people killing large numbers of victims while at the same time remaining emotionally detached from the operation. Special techniques were routinely used to neutralise any guilt associated with the wholesale slaughter of humans. Large rations of alcohol were distributed regularly to many executioners; they were also provided with better food and housing than their peers. To professionalise this killing, special terminology, such as human material and subjects were used to identify intended victims.

Physicians usually supervised the incoming trains at the death camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka. Their job was to identify which prisoners would or would not be immediately sent to the gas chambers. For some of the doctors this was a very stressful task that evoked severe anxiety. This was not true of Dr. Josef Mengele; he regularly volunteered for selection duty. At 32 Dr. Mengele was an aspiring geneticist who held a passion for fame and notoriety. Disturbed by the lack of warmth between him and his parents, Mengele was determined to raise himself up in their eyes through a successful career in medicine, He easily accepted the Nazi philosophy that it was possible through selection, refinement, and genetic engineering to create the ultimate ‘pure’ race. At the camps he had an endless supply of human material on which to experiment. Those who were not deemed fit for experimentation were usually gassed and cremated shortly after their arrival at the camps, except those prisoners who were forced into labor.

Mengele set himself apart from from the other physicians and soon became known as the most feared man in Auschwitz. His 'experiments’ turned out to be ruthless, diabolical acts of torture that nearly always ended in death. Unlike many who simply followed his orders, Mengele understood his work with a passion. Witnesses reported having seen his laboratory lined with pairs of eyes from his experiments on dozens of victims. His obsession was to conduct comparative research on children, especially twins. he was constantly in search of identical twins. He often performed surgery on the children without anaesthetics. In one case he took two children, one of them a hunchback, and surgically sewed them together.

In one instance he had a hunchback father and his 15 year old son, who had a deformed foot, executed. He then had all the felsh boiled off their frames and bleached their skeletons before displaying the victims’ bones for his colleagues to see. He also ordered several adults female prisoners to be shot and their breasts and muscles from their thighs extracted to be used as 'cultivating material’ for future experiments. Mengele was reported to have jumped on pregnant woman’s stomachs until the foetuses were expelled and even dissected a 1 year old child while it was still alive. 

Ola Orekunrin


Born and raised in England and of Nigerian parentage, Ola Orekunrin made history when at the age of 21 she became a medical doctor thus becoming one of the youngest medical doctors in England. She started her medical degree at the University of York and passed with flying colours.

She was raised by foster white parents and went to a primary school run by Catholic nuns and her family often struggled to make ends meet. According to her, her foster mother, Dorren was a tremendous influence in shaping her life.

Now at age 26, Orekunrin is founder of The Flying Doctors, the first air ambulance service in West Africa. She was prompted to start the new venture after her younger sister died of anaemia. Her sister was always in and out of hospitals and eventually died for lack of the availability of an air ambulance. But starting this venture was not easy.

She gave up a high flying job in England and her dreams of becoming the president of the British Medical Association and minister for the conservative party and moved to Nigeria.

According to her, “I was rejected more times than I can remember.”
“Sometimes I would spend hours waiting in an office only to be told to come back the next day and then be turned down.” she said.

“One time, on my way to Ondo State, I was robbed of all I had and was told by my companion, who was travelling with me, not to speak or else my accent would give me away and be the basis for my kidnap. Even in the face of difficultly, I was able to get some funding in addition to what I had saved up.

“The first time an air ambulance service was suggested for Nigeria was in 1960 and nothing was done about that idea. Having studied the models in Kenya, Libya, Uganda and India, coupled with my growing passion to help improve the health care system in Nigeria, which I believe is poor, I became even more determined to bring a similar service to Nigeria,” she said in a recent interview.

“We are completely physician-led and adhere to the highest standards of medical practice supported by the East Anglian Air Ambulance in the United Kingdom. Our mission is simple— to provide the best possible standard of health care to all.”

When asked if poor Nigerians would be able to benefit from her service, she said: “What I do hope is that more states will take up cover as well as making it increasingly available to the common man. I know that as Nigeria starts to take health care reform more seriously, this will begin to happen.”

HERStory Matters: Pioneering physician Dr. Muriel Petioni was born on January 1, 1914.

Muriel Petioni, M.D., was dubbed the “matron of Harlem health.” Petioni’s response? “Yup…They call me a legend.” She was an energetic, mischievous pioneer and a self-proclaimed “meddler.” In 2002, at age 88, she was still spending almost every day at Harlem Hospital Center, advocating for unhappy patients, and even watching for maintenance problems.

Muriel Petioni was born in Trinidad in 1914, to Rose Alling and Charles Augustin Petioni. Her father became a prominent Harlem physician and was a co-founder of the Carver Federal Savings Bank. She graduated from Howard University Medical School in 1937 and in 1942 she married Mallalieu S. Woolfolk, a Tuskegee Airman and lawyer. When their son was born in 1947, she took a few years off from medicine. She returned to establish her practice in her father’s Harlem medical office in 1950. For the next forty years, she saw to the health needs of poor and underserved patients in the Harlem community. She was also school physician in Central Harlem for the City’s Department of Health from 1950 to 1980 and supervising physician for Central and East Harlem from 1980 to 1984.

Dr. Petioni was known for her vigorous commitment to women’s issues, community medicine, social justice, and health care for the underserved. Women’s advancement in medicine has always been important to her, and in 1974, she founded the Susan Smith McKinney Steward Medical Society for Women, a professional association for African American women physicians in the Greater New York area.

In her work with the Coalition of 100 Black Women, Muriel Petioni developed a mentorship program that guided young African American women into careers in science and medicine. In 1976, she founded and was the first chair of the Medical Women of the National Medical Association (was later the Council of Women’s Concerns of the National Medical Association).

Among her many honors and awards are the Howard University College of Medicine Outstanding Alumni Award, given in 1992, and the New York Urban League’s highest tribute, the 1999 Frederick Douglass Award, bestowed by Douglass’s great-great-granddaughter. In 2002, she shared with her son, New York businessman Charles M. Woolfolk, the City College of New York’s Generations Public Service Recognition Award. Dr. Petioni died December 6, 2011.

To learn more about Dr. Petioni, visit…/…/biography_252.html and

Photo: Dr. Muriel Petioni at her home in Harlem in 2001. Credit Librado Romero/The New York Times

Interview with Urgent Care Physician, Dr. Cranquis

Dr. Cranquis is an urgent care physician and author of the blog, Dr. Cranquis’ Mumbled Gripes. He writes pseudonymous, hilarious vignettes about his career and journey to medicine. But most importantly, the blog is full of helpful tips for medical school admissions, surviving medical school, and residency. This interview only skims the surface of the mysterious life of Dr. Cranquis, read more on Future M.D.


Antibiotic resistance | Please take time to read: 

Q: ano nga bang mangyayari kung itinigil mong inumin ang antibiotics o hindi kinumpleto ang gamutan ng antibiotics?

    • halimbawa, sinabi sa reseta ng doktor na 7 days (1 week) inumin ang antibiotics. pero sa 4th day pa lang ng pag inom mo, bumuti na ang pakiramdam mo. WAG NA WAG mong ititigil ang pag inom kahit feeling mo okay ka na. BAKIT?
    • kung hindi mo tinapos ang 7 days, maaring hindi pa napapatay yung BACTERIA na nag ccause ng infection. kaya maaring bumalik siya at magdulot pa ulit ng sakit sayo. 

    • Maari ding maging resistant na ang BACTERIA sa antibiotic. ibig sabihin nito ay hindi na eepekto yung gamot sa bacteria. Kaya kung di tama ang paggamit mo, pati ibang TAO madadamay sa pagiging drug resistant nito. 

Q: Bakit nga ba kailangang iwasan ang pag hiram o gumamit ng reseta ng ba?

    • Halimbawa, ang nasa reseta ng ng kaibigan mo ay isang “penicillin”. at hiniram mo rin ang gamot niya o reseta. Hindi natin alam baka allergic ka pala sa gamot na yun. delikado ang anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). dahil kung di naagapan/nagamot, ay talagang NAKAMAMATAY. kaya as much as possible, wag na wag makikipag share ng mga gamot / prescription. 

    • hindi pare-pareho ang bawat pasyente. maaring hindi pwede sayo ang gamot ng kaibigan mo dahil may sakit ka na lalala kapag ininom mo iyon. (pwedeng ma exacerbate) 

  • hihintayin pa ba natin yung time na wala ng antibiotics ang tatalab sa mga infections?

  • hahayaan na lang ba natin na mamatay ang isang tao sa komplikasyon ng impeksyon dahil wala ng antibiotics ang makaka patay nito? tandaan, kahit sino pwedeng makakuha ng impeksyon. kahit ikaw.

  • Ito ang mga rason kung bakit kailangan tama ang paggamit ng antibiotics. 

  • ito din ang rason kung bakit kailangan ng reseta mula sa DOKTOR ang mga ganitong gamot. dahil hindi kung sino sino lang ang dapat uminom nito.

to my fellow filipinos, please spread this, reblog and be aware. this is serious at kailangan talaga ng atensyon natin. Kahit anong instruction at notice ng DOH walang nakikinig dahil walang may pakeelam hangga’t di pa nararanasan. kaya simulan natin dito. simulan natin ngayon. Please reblog and you can give us some feed back/ comments / questions. 

Franchesca Grepo (theilustrado)
21, Registered Pharmacist

Goddess of the Day: February 20

Eir – Norse Goddess of Healing.  She is a master physician, wielding power in the healing of the mind, body, and spirit; shamanic and energetic healings fall within her realm. Eir knows the secret powers of herbs, and bestows healing and wisdom to the women who seek Her out. She is one of Frigg’s twelve handmaidens, and is also counted among the Valkyries, using her talents to resurrect the dead.  A patroness of those in health-related fields, Eir only teaches women the secrets of the healing arts.

(text from Brandi Auset, The Goddess Guide. Art by Clyde Caldwell)

We Remember You

We remember, the day you came to us as a brand new 4th year medical student. You were dressed in a neatly pressed short white lab coat, you held your little notebook, ACLS cheat card, brand new cardiology littmann - and you looked scared. We understood the feeling, we remember being a student, we were there once too.

We remember you on daily rounds, always in the back, quiet, almost frightened to speak up lest you say the wrong thing and suffer the wrath of your attending. We remember you, because your intelligence and basics of patient care far superseded anyone trying to pimp you - but most of all we respected you for being the wiser person and not arguing in front of the patients.

We remember seeing you do your first compressions, the fear that was in your eyes as you pushed the IV medications, we remember your resident yelling at you, your hands shook a little, we knew you were frightened, but you kept going and you helped save that patient.

We remember when you graduated, and came to us as an intern, we remember your humility - that despite having the title MD after your name, you still deferred to the nurses’ experience with accuracy in orders, about policies, and you still deferred to our our clinical judgment when you were uncertain. We remember you took us seriously when we told you we had a bad feeling about a patient.

We remember you, when you worked 24 hour shifts that turned into 30 hours. We remember you being intensely tired, overwhelmed, but you still answered all our pages, without complaining you needed rest - even though we knew you must have been beyond annoyed & exhausted.

We remember your first serious clinical error, we remember the first patient of yours who died, we remember you holding back the tears as you spoke to the agonized family, we remember you owned your error to the attending, rather than hide, blame a nurse or medical student. We stood by you.

We remember you as you progressed through your years as a resident, we remember your patience and kindness to your medical students, as well as your interns - and we remember the way you respected everyone from the housekeeper to the nurses.

We remember your compassion, we remember that even though you were intensely busy with consults and heavy patient loads, you still listened to your patients without one foot out the door. We knew you had the fellow, and your attending breathing down your neck to speed it up, but you still answered the patient’s repetitive questions as best you could even though we knew internally you just wanted five minutes of uninterrupted peace.

We remember the first time you ran a code as a Chief Medical Resident, we remember it was a disaster of chaos, but you learned from it. We stood by you, as we’ve all been there, and probably will again. We remember the next code you ran, a well run code, collaborative teamwork with respiratory therapists, nurses and doctors. We remember the patient survived not only because of what we did as nurses, but because of your leadership and quality of care that day.

We remember the day you left us to do a fellowship in Critical Care in another state. We mourned the absence of one of our favorite doctors, but we took peace in the idea that your memory lived on in those who learned from you, and those who will learn from you in your new role.

We remember you, every time a doctor leaves a patient room to ask a nurse to go and get them some water, or to apply a nasal cannula or leaves a patient uncomfortable, or with the bed in the highest unsafe position. Just like the rest of us, you weren’t perfect, but you learned from your mistakes and you never held yourself above doing basic care for patients. And you never refused to help boost a patient up in bed.

We remember the day you returned to us, as an attending physician. We remember the day you did your first rounds, as the primary care provider and we couldn’t have been more proud of one of our own. We remember your beginning and we will always remember you.