Journey to DMS

Journey to DMS | Chapter 2

We are halfway into our first week as Doctor of Medical Science students at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU)!

Admittedly, I am still feeling a bit intimidated as it’s been almost 10 years since I graduated from PA School. I thought I was ready to jump back into nightly homework but these first few days have been jarring. 

Besides being a little unsure of what is required and on what sort of schedule I need to operate, the amount of reading feels a bit overwhelming. Our first 5-week unit is in cardiology. 

Reading, quizzes, and case studies

This week, we have about 30 pages of reading from the American College of Physicians’ Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP), 15 pages from Lachman’s Case Studies in Anatomy, 2 journal articles on PSCK9 inhibitors, and another 4-5 pages from Moore’s Clinically Oriented Anatomy. There are also 3 pre-recorded lectures covering cardiac anatomy and imaging. 

MKSAP has review questions embedded throughout the reading with additional explanations and we are also to complete 75 board-style review questions from the New England Journal of Medicine Knowledge+ program. 

We have a case study that we are to discuss in small groups with input from a cardiologist. All five small groups will convene on Sunday afternoons to discuss the cases with the cardiologist. Each group will present their case via a “clinician in charge”.


This is definitely a shift for me. As an undergrad, I never read much. Skimming was sufficient (in addition to taking good lecture notes). Even in PA school, there was so much to read and digest that you simply had to move through everything quickly and do the best you could. 

Now as an experienced clinician and a Doctor of Medical Science student, I want to soak up every detail that I can. 

My Study Schedule

So far my plan is to study and read for 2 hours every weeknight after I put my kids to bed. Thankfully, I have a few hours on Friday morning to catch up on charting at the clinic where I can also squeeze and some school work. I plan to spend several hours on Saturday morning as well. Ideally, I would not work or study on Sunday but this program requires an ongoing commitment to Sunday afternoon group discussions. 

I feel a little bit better after getting my first post up on the discussion board and I hope to feel even more certain after the completion of this first week. 

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