Boo Boo Basics (plus giveaway!)

posted on: October 27, 2016

cafe

We’ve all been there- you trip on a crack in the sidewalk or over a toy, or maybe you’re simply clumsy then BAM! Next thing you know you’re on your hands and knees fully loaded with new scrapes, bumps and bruises. What’s your next plan of attack? Hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment or water? Do you cover the scrape or let it dry out? Will you need stitches? In this post I’m going to give you the boo-boo basics and have you fixed up in no time.

Wounds generally fall into two basic categories:

  1. Seek medical attention
  2. Take care of it yourself at home

When to head to the ER

Yikes, You’ve got a cut and it looks pretty nasty. How do you know if you can just put a bandaid on it or if you need to head to the ER for stitches? Here are some basics to follow:

Might be time for a trip to the ER:

  • If you have anything stuck in the wound you can’t remove
  • If you can’t stop the bleeding
  • If you have a puncture wound- i.e. stepped on a nail
  • If you were bit by an animal or a human
  • if the cut is greater than 1/4″. If  you can see fatty tissue or bone you definitely need to go to the ER.
  • If the wound is wide enough for you to push together to close to cover underlying tissue.

At home boo-boo basics

So your wound doesn’t meet any of the criteria above? Good! A simple scrape or minor cut (like a paper cut) are wounds that only affect the 2 most superficial layers of skin- the epidermis and the dermis. While these have a very low risk of becoming infected, it is still important that you practice proper wound care to ensure things heal properly. Typically simple antibacterial soap and water is sufficient to clean the area. After you have cleaned the area, apply a thin layer of  anti-bacterial ointment, like vaseline or Aquaphor to the area. The skin will heal better if you keep the area lubricated and covered. It may seem like it takes longer for the scrape or cut to heal, but the ultimate scar will look better if you don’t allow a thick scab to form. On the flip side don’t keep the area too gooey. Make sure you are changing any bandages that have become wet and you only need a very thin layer of the ointment. Most basic wounds heal within 1-2 weeks. If your wound is taking longer to heal or becomes more painful you should seek medical attention for an evaluation.

If you’re treating a kiddo, you know how scary getting a boo-boo can be for them. Having 3 kids of my own and seeing pediatric patients who require painful procedures I am not above a little bribery to make them feel better during their time of discomfort. Stickers and ice packs go a long way. I love these kits from Me4kidz. My mother-in-law picked up the big doctor Medibag  for my kids last year. While my kids love playing doctor with the bag it’s also a fully first aid kit with every boo-boo dressing you could need including the ever important stickers. In addition to the big kit Me4kidz makes these little medibuddies that are perfect to throw in your diaper bag or purse.

I’m hosting a giveaway for all the goodies seen in the picture below. You can enter the giveaway in one of two simple ways.

  1. Comment on this post saying what goodie you’d be most excited to receive
  2. Tag a friend on my instagram @thewhitecoattreatment who would love some me4kidz goodies too.

I’ll announce the winner on Oct 31st! Good luck!

unspecifiedGiveaway winner wins everything above. Medibag first aid kit, medipro first aid kit pod, medibuddy first aid kit and two cool it buddy ice packs.

Boo Boo Basics White CoatTravel kit perfect for your car, purse or diaper bag. 
unspecified-2Fun stickers for your brave little patient!



Beach Camping Trip in San Clemente

posted on: July 26, 2016

If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram, you may have seen a glimpse of my family camping trip to The Holidays in San Clemente a couple weeks back! Last year I spotted these super-cute, retro trailers on Instagram and was determined to book all 4 of them for a fun getaway. These babies are so popular that we had to book them exactly six months prior to our trip at the precise time they opened up for reservations to ensure we could snag them all. 
 
The Holidays camping community was everything it advertised and so much more! Andy greeted us upon our arrival, toured us around, and even helped us unload our cars. In addition to being totally adorable, the trailers were stocked with all the essentials and the community had everything from outdoor games to s’more sticks, which all got a lot of use! Did I mention the killer location?  The community is on a bluff over San Clemente State Beach, with a convenient little trail which leads straight to the beautiful beach – which served as my only workouts for the weekend. 
 
We spent hours at the beach and in the sun around camp each day, so being the skin-obsessed Derm PA and Mom that I am, I was so thankful to have SwimZip swimsuits for the kids for the extra sun protection they really needed. Their tops are comfortable and easy to zip on and off, which makes my life so much easier since I don’t have to squeeze my squirmy kids into something uncomfortable after already lathering with sunscreen for minutes. 
 
I was also introduced to the brand Of One Sea that has the cutest kids stuff perfect for our beach weekend and they were kind enough to send over some awesome matching boardies and tees for my boys, and the sweetest kimono ever that Elle wore all weekend! No joke, I was stopped about 5 times from people asking where she got it. Drew also loved his Of One Sea poncho, which he wore while cruising the beach and campsite once he was over the sun. The kids loved them and so did I, so it was a win!
 
I will cherish those beach days forever… watching Dane playing in the sand (and sometimes eating it too) and seeing my older ones, Elle and Drew, run up and down in the surf for hours and building sand castles together are memories that I love to make with my family. By the end of the day, we were all ready for some good grub, a warm campfire, and of course, s’mores! While the guys enjoyed some cold Pizza Port Brewing Company beers from a local San Clemente brewery, the ladies in my family cooked up some cast-iron dishes to go along with them. It was fun to check-out a company local to where were staying and try something new.
 
I should mention that I don’t believe in camping without s’mores, and I don’t think anyone else should either. Our s’more game was really stepped up this trip thanks to Nineteen27 S’mores. They sent over some of their convenient s’mores kits in a couple different flavors and everyone in my family is now obsessed! I think the Raspberry was my favorite… I was skeptical at first since the tried-and-true s’more is so darn good, but the fluffy raspberry marshmallow between the homemade grahams mixed with the milk chocolate was a game changer! I need to have these stocked from now on!
 
Being a working mom with a busy schedule, I value the time I am able to spend with my family and hope my kids will have fond memories of trips like this, just like I do. I grew up taking trips with my parents, siblings, and cousins, just like this one, as a kid and we still tell stories of those fun times 20+ years later. In sum, this trip was trip was more than I could have asked for and knowing that my family enjoyed it just as much, if not more than I did, was the icing on the cake. 
The Holidays CA San ClementeThe Holidays CA Of One SeaThe White Coat Treatment The white coat treatment white coat treatment (132 of 193)The Holidays CA San Clementewhite coat treatment (144 of 193)Of One SeaOf One Sea PonchoOf one Sea matchingWhiteCoatTreatmentEdited1(3of117)Swim ZipSwim ZipSwim ZipSwim ZipSwim Zip
Swim ZipThe Holidays CA San Clementethe holidays caOf One Sea PonchoMidtown eventsPizza Port BreweryMidtown Design and EventsThe Holidays CA San Clemente1927 Smores1927 SmoresHappy Camper Onesie1927 SmoresBeach Camping Trip The Holidays CA

But I’m too old for zits! Adult Acne Solutions

posted on: June 6, 2016

Acne can be extremely frustrating, especially for adults. A few pimples when you’re a teenager, ok- most of us can accept that as normal. When you’re dealing with a Mt. Vesuvius-sized cystic pimple on your chin plus wrinkles, it just doesn’t seem fair.

Many adults who get acne never suffered with acne as a teenager. Some adults have been suffering with acne for decades. So why do adults get acne?

Reasons for adult acne

First off, women tend to get adult acne more often than men, so unfair. If you’re suffering from acne as an adult it is likely due to one of the following:

Crazy Hormones: Hormonal imbalance can lead to breakouts. Women tend to experience fluctuations around their period, during pregnancy, menopause or starting/stopping birth control pills.

Stress: When you’re stressed, your body produces more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate more oil and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne.

Family History: Yep, thank your mama for this one. Research suggests that some people have a genetic predisposition for acne.

Skin Care Products: Your thick anti-aging night cream could be making your acne worse. Make sure you are using moisturizers, cleansers and sunscreens that are “non-comedogenic”, aka won’t clog pores.

Medication Side Effect: Acne is a side effect of some medications. If you suspect that a medication is making your acne worse talk to the doctor who prescribed it for you. They may be able to change the medication you are on.

How to treat adult acne

Cleansers: Make sure you cleanse your skin every day. Don’t let dirt, grime, make-up and pollution build up and clog your pores.

Over the counter treatments: Using a face wash or applying an anti-acne gel can help kill bacteria and reduce oil, both of which are contributors to acne. Look for products at the drugstore with the following ingredients: Benzoyl Peroxide, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Salicylic Acid and Retinols. If you don’t see an improvement with your acne after 4-8 weeks, it is suggested to see a Dermatology professional to determine the most appropriate treatment.

Prescribed treatments:

Topical Treatments: There are probably 30+ different prescription topical treatments to choose from. We consider factors like your skin type, age and severity of acne when choosing the right cream for you.

Oral Medications: If you suffer from swollen, painful, cystic acne, a pill may be prescribed to help treat your acne from the inside out. Depending on my patients needs, I prescribe antibiotics, birth control (helpful for women with balancing hormones), or Isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane).

Pre-Physician Assistant Internship Program

posted on: January 12, 2016

Pre-PA Internship Program Physician Assistant

UPDATE 8/1/16: THIS PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED. WE HAD A GREAT GROUP OF STUDENTS, UNFORTUNATELY DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES AT THE OFFICE WE ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO OFFER THIS PROGRAM.

I am so excited to share this with all of my Pre-PA folks. I have been working hard to develop a Pre-PA internship program for those who are on the path to become a Physician Assistant. As a PA I know one of the most difficult things to obtain while prepping for PA programs are shadow opportunities or hours working directly with a Physician Assistant. I receive many inquiries from pre-pa students looking to shadow me at my office. Unfortunately, I am not able to accommodate most of those requests due to my schedule and the nature of my job. While I was not able to provide sporadic shadowing opportunities for students I still longed to somehow help pre-pa students because I know how difficult the journey can be to become a PA. I began to think if there was some way I could share my knowledge and experiences with those seeking guidance. After much work this Pre-PA Internship Program was born. This internship program allows pre-pa students to work side-by-side with myself, other PAs and Physicians to experience health care and see what we do day to day. We are currently interviewing candidates for our inaugural class. Read more about this program below and if you would like more information about applying please contact erin@skinps.com for more information.

Pre-PA Internship Program

The Physician Assistant Internship Program is available for college students who demonstrate a strong and sincere interest in becoming physician assistants. This program provides volunteers the opportunity to experience health care from a clinical perspective through patient contact and volunteer experience. Volunteers are trained to assist physician assistants or physicians, who, in turn, are able to share their personal experiences with their volunteers.

What does a volunteer do?

Time spent in the program proves invaluable because it provides each volunteer with an “in-the trenches” experience in a real medical setting. Volunteers are respected as professional members of a patient care team. As a result, they gain an insiders’ understanding of the operations of a medical office- an experience which helps them determine their specific course for future studies. Students support physician assistants or physicians by performing such tasks as checking in patients, assisting in procedures, acting as scribe for PA and additional duties as requested.

What is the time commitment? 

To participate in the Physician Assistant Internship Program, students must have graduated high school. Volunteers must fill out application and proof of a permanent residence. A minimum of a 6 month commitment, volunteering four hours a week. Shifts are M-F  8am-12pm or 1pm-5pm depending on availability. You are required to work one shift per week and are welcome to work more. If you miss your assigned shift you must make it up. In order to complete the program in good standings you must complete 100 volunteer hours with in the 6 month program.

Who can volunteer?

Anyone age 18 and older, currently attending college or who already has a degree is eligible for the Pre-PA Internship program.

Where is this program located?

Skin Physicians and Surgeons. 859 East Foothill Blvd. Upland, CA 91786. (909) 981-8929

 

SPF in a pill?!

posted on: August 11, 2015

SPF in a Pill?! Best supplements for your skin: Heliocare. The White Coat Treatment

Earlier this month, I went to Las Vegas to attend the SDPA Annual Dermatology Conference. During one of the break-out sessions, I was introduced to HELIOCARE®’, a daily dietary supplement that contains extract from “Polypodium leucotomos (PLE), a fern native to Central and South America that has been used for centuries as a remedy for skin related conditions.” PLE is a plant filled with anti-oxidants that created its own form of sun protection, once it adapted from a water plant to a land plant.

“HELIOCARE®’s active extract contains antioxidants, which aid in eliminating free radicals produced by sun exposure.”

What does anti-oxidants have to do with Sun damage? Rays from the sun can cause the release of free radicals, and that PLE extract in the pill has anti-oxidants which combat those free radicals, halting any possibility of causing damage.

Note: this is not a sunscreen, but rather something that should be taken in addition to applying a daily sunscreen.  Why not throw another pill in your morning vitamin routine?

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 4.39.08 PM

Note: I have not personally tried this product yet as I am currently pregnant and this supplement has not been tested on pregnant women. I can tell you I brought a bottle to Cabo for a bachlorette party I attended and burning of the group was kept to a minimum!

Buff & Shine: A one-two punch!

posted on: July 22, 2015

BUFF AND SHINE

The Buff and Shine Treatment, a term coined by us here at Skin Physicians and Surgeons, is ideal for the individual that struggles with acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, brown spots or skin laxity (saggy or loose skin). This procedure combines skin blading to remove unwanted peach fuzz on the face along with a fractionated mixto laser resurfacing treatment. Due to this new technology, in as little as one treatment, the Buff and Shine Treatment can give you healthy, younger, more vibrant looking skin.

First we “buff” the skin by preforming skin blading. This part of the procedure utilizes a sharp blade to shave off peach fuzz and dead skin cells covering the surface of the face. After that a numbing cream is applied to the face for about 20 minutes. After the face is numbed we preform a treatment with the a fractionated CO2 laser. This procedure is fractional meaning that it is only exposing a part of the skin at a time to the laser. This means less downtime and less risk of scaring. The procedure is very tolerable.

The Mixto laser works by using tiny beams of light penetrating into the top layers of the skin. When the procedure is finished you will see these tiny little dots on the skin. Those little dots will flake off and reveal rejuvenated skin. The flaking process takes about 3-5 days. During that time you can continue your normal skin care routine and wear make-up. There is essentially zero downtime to this procedure. To see the best results, a series of treatments are needed.

Buff and Shine is a suitable treatment for almost anyone: the combination of removing the dead skin layer then using a laser to rejuvenate can help achieve beautifully textured and evened-out skin! Add it to your skin care repetoire.

 

More Than Just a Zit! The Ultimate Guide to Dr. Pimple Popper

posted on: July 14, 2015

Thanks to the coverage of Dr. Pimple Popper by way of Buzzfeed, UK Mirror, and more, we have now reached 205k followers on Instagram! Who would’ve thought that there were so many popaholics in the world? The idea for the Dr. Pimple Popper instagram was brainstormed when Dr. Sandra Lee and I were talking about how her most popular posts were on cysts and extractions. An instagram fully dedicated to these procedures seemed like the most logical step, hence Dr. Pimple Popper was born. There is more to this instagram account then just “popping pimples”. I thought it was time for a comprehensive guide to everything we’re “popping”. After reading this article you can consider yourself an Dr. Pimple Popper expert!

Check out Dr. Lee’s full videos on YouTube.

The Dr. Pimple Popper Instagram shows many different types of extractions using different tools and an array of “pimples”-all of which have specific terms. Below are definitions of the different terms of what we remove or “pop”.

 

Comedone: Open Comedone are also known as “Blackheads” (comedo is singular). Comedones are formed when cells lining the sebaceous duct build up and there is increased sebum production. In simplest terms it is a plug in your pore; made up of dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria.

Blackhead/Comedone Extraction

Dilated Pore of Winer:  Named after the Doctor who first desribed it, a dilated pore of Winer is a hair structure anomaly that appears as an enlarged solitary comedo. In layman’s terms-a big and usually old blackhead that hardened, one that has been building for years! Sometimes a stitch or 2 is required because the gaping pore needs help closing.

Dilated Pore of Winer

Lipoma: Lipomas are the most common soft-tissue tumor. These slow-growing, benign (harmless) fatty tumors form soft, lobulated masses enclosed by a thin, fibrous capsule. In non-med terms, Lipomas are typically a soft and rubbery glob of fat that does not cause pain. They usually remain the same size over time.Surgically Extracting Bumps on the Arms, Called Multiple Lipomatosis

Epidermoid Cyst: Epidermoid cysts are the most commonly found cysts and they contain a soft “cheesy” material made of keratin, a protein component of skin, hair, and nails. The surface of your skin (epidermis) is made up of a thin, protective layer of cells that your body continuously sheds. Most epidermoid cysts form when these cells move deeper into your skin and multiply rather than slough off. Think of it like a “snowball effect” of collecting more and more dead skin along the way.  A cyst appears as a domed-shaped, skin-colored growth that usually moves when touched and pressed upon. It may have a small opening in the center called a punctate.

Removal of a large epidermoid cyst, upper back

Pilar Cyst (Cyst on Head): Pretty common fluid filled growth that forms in hair follicles, most often found on the scalp. They are smooth and filled with keratin (that soft “cheesy” material I referred to in the Epidermoid cyst). In the animation below, the cyst is removed while the keratin stays intact in the sac, popping out like a garbanzo bean. Excellent removal!

Pilar Cyst Removal

Milia: Milia are very common, benign, keratin-filled cysts. Milia occur when dead skin becomes trapped in small pockets at the surface of the skin, forming a tiny little cyst.  An individual milium (the singular of milia) is formed at the base of a hair follicle or sweat gland. Milia appear as 1–2 mm white-to-yellow, dome-shaped bumps that are not painful or itchy. Many patients try to remove these themselves, thinking they are whiteheads, but they are difficult to remove without the help of a trained professional.

Milia Removal

TOOLS OF THE TRADE & PROCEDURES

“Punch” aka Biopsy Punch: This disposable biopsy instrument handles like a pen, with a grip at the top that allows you to twist, apply pressure, and drive the stainless steel blade into the skin with ease. It creates a very clean, perfectly round incision which leaves minimal scaring. This is best practice when excising a small cyst.

Punch biopsy on neck cyst

Comedone Extractor: The wire loop of this tool when pressed on the skin, creates a pressure which forces the blackhead (trapped sebum) up to the surface which then can be easily removed. Official Dr. Pimple Popper comedone extractors are coming soon!

Solar Comedones Extracted, aka Favre Racouchot

Forceps: Small forceps, which look like tweezers, are used to grasp fine objects. In the animation below, forceps are used to pull out the growth.

A Dilated Pore of Winer. For medical education- NSFE.

Excision: Simply put, to remove completely.  In the animation below, a pilomatricoma (benign tumor) is removed from behind the knee with dissecting scissors and a tug!.

Excision of a pilomatricoma behind the knee

I&D (Incision & Drainage): Slice and squeeze! Below is an animation of a cyst I drained

Incision & Drainage of cyst

Thank you for following! If any of our posts help answer your questions or demystify dermatology, then I am a happy Physician Assistant.

The Ultimate Guide To Sunscreens: Physical vs Chemical

posted on: July 1, 2015

Chemical SUNSCREEN VS Physical SUNBLOCK

 

 

Sunscreen and Sunblock are descriptions used interchangeably but it is important to know that technically they are different products-it is a matter of chemical protection versus physical protection.

Here are some abbreviations you may not know the meaning of:

UV=Ultraviolet referring to radiation.

UVA Rays=Long wavelengths which penetrates skin deeper, the culprits in premature aging, wrinkles and sunspots. Present whether it is sunny or not. Weaker than UVB rays, they can still contribute to skin cancer.

UVB Rays=Slightly more energy than UVA rays, exposure can cause skin to burn and  lead to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

Here is a quick comparison of Chemical Sunscreens VS. Physical Sunscreens

Physical:

-Noticeable on skin, most sunblock leaves a thin white-ish layer on skin

-Contains ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide which physically block the sun, reflects the rays off skin, almost like a mirror.

-Effective immediately after application because it remains on the skin surface-doesn’t need to be soaked into the skin

Deflects UVA and UVB rays, reduces the radiation that hits the skin

A few Physical Sunscreen I recommend:

1. Blue Lizard Sunscreen– This is the best sunblock that is difficult to find. It is an Australian based company and can be purchased online. You can even buy this stuff by the gallon! The bottle also turns blue when exposed to UV rays. No need to question if you’re getting  UV exposure on that cloudy day, just look to the bottle for the answer.

2. The Honest Company Sunblock Stick– Putting sun protection on your kids faces is the worst (even for this Derm momma). Most kids hate putting lotion on their face and with one quick move they always end up getting it in their eye. This stick makes physical application of the sunscreen a breeze with no mess.

3. Colorscience Sunblock Powder– I’ve talked about this product many times before. While it wouldn’t be my whole body go-to if at the beach it’s great to apply over make-up or even put on the part on your scalp, an area that is often overlooked when it comes to sunscreen application and easily burned.

This YouTube clip below shows with a UV camera how Sunblock acts as a physical barrier on the skin, you can see clearly once the subjects smear Sunblock on their face!

sunblock

Chemical Sunscreens:

-Usually appears clear on skin

-Contains special ingredients that act as chemical filters and reduce ultraviolet radiation penetration to the skin

-Must be applied at least 30 min. before sun exposure to soak into skin

Absorbs UVB rays

-Any sunscreen with less than 15 SPF is a waste of time and money

1. Aveeno Protect and Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen– One of the biggest complaints I hear about physical sunblock is that “it’s too thick”. This product absorbs quickly and moisturizes the skin, plus it is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation

2. Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Lotion– This product also absorbs easily into the skin and has that classic beachy scent. Is it weird that I keep a bottle of this stashed in my desk, and take a whiff when I need a mental break? “Sun Bum, take me awayyyyyyyyy!”

3. Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen– Non-comedogenic formulation designed for everyday use over the whole body. This is a great choice is you are particularly sensitive to paraben, synthetic fragrance or oxybenzones.

Please note:

  • “Waterproof” is better than “water-resistant”, but it doesn’t mean that lotion can be applied once and you’re covered for the rest of the day. “Waterproof” can maintain an SPF level 80 min. after swimming or sweating, whereas “water-resistant” maintains SPF only 40 min. after being in water.
  • Oils, even if they have SPF, aren’t really a protective form of sun protection. The oil intensifies the rays, as if you are basting your body. Unless you want roasted turkey skin, don’t use tanning oils.
  • According to the Melanoma Foundation, Even on a cloudy day 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds. Especially important to wear sunblock even on an overcast day.

I personally hate spray-on sunscreens. Yes, they are convenient as can be, but almost no one applies them correctly. To get the level of SPF protection suggested on the can you must apply the sunscreen to dry skin with no wind present and you must apply a LIBERAL amount of the spray to the skin (the skin should look wet) and then you need to rub in the spray into the skin. You then must wait for everything to dry and absorb into the skin before it starts working. Do you know anyone who does all of these steps? I have some patients refuse to wear anything but sprays (cough…cough…my husband) so I tell them it’s better than nothing, but in general I highly advise against them. Also, you want to avoid inhaling spray sunscreens as there is still investigation occurring on any potential risk in the lungs.

Bottom Line: These days, sunscreen and sunblock are so interchangeable, they are not scientific terms to describe sun protection. In my field we compare the two as “chemical vs. physical”. Many lotions are a combination of both so it is best to look at the labels; mineral ingredients like Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide-those inorganic ingredients physically block the sun.

Regardless of whether you use sunblock or sunscreen, they both have the ability to protect you from damaging ultraviolet rays and should be a part of your daily routine.

 

How to Pass the PANRE Exam

posted on: June 19, 2015

How to Pass the PANRE Exam Physician Assistant

If you’re not a Physician Assistant you probably want to tune out right now.

If you are, these 5 dreaded letters tend to haunt your existence around the 5 or 6 year mark after graduation (or 9/10 years if you’re on the new recertification cycle) . The Physician Assistant Recertification Exam (PANRE) is a recertification exam that all PA must take in order to maintain their certified status. No matter how you slice it-taking a large standardized test sucks. I find it especially daunting if you work in a speciality. The PANRE covers all aspects of medicine, not just the one you work in. For me, a whopping 5% of the exam was in Dermatology (woo hoo!) Even if you work in Family Medicine, there is going to be a significant amount of studying involved.

During PA School, your only job was to study. Once your career kicks off,  you must find some significant time to study while working a full time job, adult responsibilities, having a family, etc… It’s not impossible, but in my experience I realized I had to shift some things around to devote time to my studies. I started studying 3 months prior to my exam date and studying about 1 hour a day for the first 2 months. Then, I increased the time spent daily as the exam drew closer. Two weeks prior to the exam I studied 2-3 hours a day with a few 5 hour stretches on the weekends.

Here are a few tips may help you pass:

1. Study when you can-  For me, long gone are the 8 hour marathon study sessions in Starbucks. I found studying in 10-15 minute increments can be very effective too. Down time between patients? Do a few practice questions. Kids playing bath? Park it on the floor and watch an 10 minute review video on your iPad. Don’t make lack of time an excuse to study. Everyone has a limited amount of time, it is a matter of how you prioritize it (Instagram can wait)

2. Pick a date and pay for your exam- Having the pressure of an exam date will light a fire under you to get you motivated. It’s easy to keep putting things off when there is a 2 year window to take the test. Just get it over with, you will be glad you did.

3. Focus on the “big sections”- The PANRE is weighted by organ system just like the PANCE. Spend more time studying the organ systems that will be more represented on the exam like Cardio, GI, Pulmonary and Ortho. I honestly spend zero time on Dermatology and still got 100% on my Derm questions so I’ll take my 5% Derm of the exam as a gift.

4. Make sure you study all topics from the NCCPA Blueprint. They really will pull from all of these topics. There are A LOT of topics too .

5. Purchase a study guide. This pays for itself 10fold. I don’t know about you, but my notes from school are long gone. I needed something that was easy and convenient. A study guide allowed me to watch review videos on my lunch break and practice questions between patients. There are many programs/services that lay out all of the information you need according to the NCCPA blue print. A few of them I’ve personally heard good things about:

HIPPO Education PANCE/PANRE Review– This is the one I used. The videos are entertaining, concise and to the point. Lots of great practice questions and 50 Category 1 CME credits. $495

PA Board Review with Joe Gilboy– I had several friends attend this in-person 3-day course in Irvine, CA and really enjoyed it. $295

Med-Challenger PANCE/PANRE Board Review: $325

Please feel free to share in the comment section any tips you may have as well…good news is I passed my re-certification a few weeks ago! It can be done even with a full-time career, husband, kids, and while enduring 1st trimester morning sickness!

Cute Cover-Ups

posted on: June 2, 2015

I can’t believe it is already June! Whether it’s a trip to the beach or hanging around the backyard a cute cover-up is a must. Even if you re-apply sunscreens frequently they only provide so much protection. Throwing on a cute cover up is an easy way to get that extra sun protection your skin needs.

Here are my picks for cover-ups that in addition to Sunscreen, can help block UV rays.

Cute Sun Safe Cover-ups

1. California Dreamin’ Poncho by SPF Addict

I love the versatility of this poncho-it can be worn over your swimsuit, but I would also throw it on after yoga/barre class. Looks soft! has UPF 50+

2. Sungoddess Long Sleeve Rashguard by Swim Zip

My daughter has an adorable swim zip suit already, so it’s time I get one! I like the sporty look to this rash guard, and it has thumb holes which will ensure that the top on my hands and wrists are protected with the 50+ UPF fabric.

3. Tie Die Sleeveless Rash Guard by J.Crew

Beyond the awesome tie-dye print, I chose this as one of my picks because the cut of this top is great for women who want extra coverage for the décolletage (or help keeping your chi-chi’s strapped in) I would wear this on my morning walk too! Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protectant.

4. ZnO Poolside Cover-Up Hoodie by Coolibar

This cover-up comes in 7 colors! The pockets could easily fit my cell phone and the hood is cute. This cover-up also has 50+ UPF in the bamboo/spandex blend

5. Bella Top by Sundriven

What caught my eye about this top is the surprise twist on the back! The right amount of flirt. Then I read that Sundriven is a brand endorsed by The Skin Cancer Foundation, and is handmade with UV protection fabric in Los Angeles! Local!

6. Gold Rio Flowing Cover Top  by Cabana Life

Loose and breezy, embellished with gold trim, I love this tunic. I would even throw some wedges on with this for dinner al fresco

7. NYC Bond Girl by Glamourpuss

Another sporty choice in Lycra, the colors are so bright, why holdback the boldness-it is summertime! I like how you can cinch the length-wearing it as a top, or loosening the strings as a dress. Versatile!

8. Razorback long dress by Cover

Crew neck cut and razorback showcases the shoulders and also covers the décolletage. Love the wavy print and length. Certified UPF 50+

9. Hooded Cover-Up by MOTT

Super cute striped cover up that you can transition to dinner or drinks. Or throw over jeans, leggings too…

10. Joan Ribbed Cardigan by MOTT

This can be worn multiple ways-the length of the cardigan allows it to be tied in front, or wrapped and tied behind you, or left open…what makes this different than any other cardigan is the UPF 50+ protection AND the thumb holes, so the tops of your hands are covered (where most people forget to realize can get wrinkled/sunspotty)