Science of Uncertainty and Art of Probability: The reality of studying three years of medicine in nine months

Science of Uncertainty and Art of Probability: The reality of studying three years of medicine in nine months
2019-05-24

The challenge is evident, 3 years of medicine in the fastest 9 months of your life.  Tighten your seat belt and prepare for an accelerated tour of the human body!  It goes without saying that studying to be a Physician Associate is a daunting challenge and not for the faint hearted: however for those with a sense of adventure and a thirst for knowledge – it is the most incredible and humbling experience.

Immediately you are immersed in a world of pathology, remedy, intervention and investigation – overwhelming right? It is. At least at first, but trust me when I say that it gets easier.  The ancient art of medicine has been taught to the great and good of the profession here in Aberdeen since 1695 and although much has evolved; the gravity of the human journey and sense of encouraging terror that human suffering demands of you continues to precipitate excellence.  This is all very well and good for those with the luxury of time I hear you say - part of the exciting challenge and ‘right of passage’ to becoming a PA is the ability to effectively manage the trials that are thrown at you.

Once you get past the initial stage of panic, you find yourself supported by an exceptionally proficient team of staff and fellow colleagues who – importantly – understand what it is you are going through and support you along the way.  You remember I told you it would get easier? Well it does; the more you learn the more you understand (wow, thanks Liam, how insightful…).  By that I mean that as you progress on your journey to becoming a PA you learn valuable skills and knowledge that you can bring to all aspects of your career, affording you the means to deliver exceptionally high quality medical care to your patients.

Harder or easier than I first thought? A difficult question to answer.  The PA course is a challenge but in return it gives you a stellar sense of satisfaction, self-worth and an exceptionally enjoyable learning experience mediated by some of the most incredible people you will ever meet.

William Osler, a highly esteemed Canadian physician, once concluded that the study of medicine is to study ‘a science of uncertainty and an art of probability’ and the PA course here in Aberdeen certainly empowers you to firmly grasp uncertainty whilst cautiously exploiting probability: carefully sculpting students in to highly competent medical professionals.

Liam Allan

Published by The School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen

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