In the recent months since taking my boards I have been asked on a number of occasions what materials I used to prep for my PANCE.  This review has literally been in the works for MONTHS and I am excited to bring it to you today.  While I am getting a post together on all the resources I used for my boards I wanted to focus today on one in particular – the CME4LIFE PANCE/PANRE Board Review.




I was first introduced to the CME4LIFE Board Review through their amazing FB page.  They would post weekly questions and the school who had the most correct answers won and received a free copy of one of the DVDs.  My school won the hematology DVD and one viewing and I was hooked.  Back as I was preparing for my PANCE, John Bielinski and his team was kind enough to send me the entire set in exchange for a review.  Needless to say I was thrilled to do so.



CME4LIFE is owned by John Bielinski, PA-C.  John is a practicing physician assistant in New York and specializes in emergency medicine and family medicine.  He created the company after years of frustration when attending CME conferences. John is passionate about helping others learn and retain challenging information.



CME4Life offers a variety of products on their website but the one I was most interested in was the PANCE/PANRE review course.  The DVD set I received contains 17 CDs jam packed with information

  • Pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal/Nutritional
  • Hematologic
  • Neurology
  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonary
  • EENT(Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat)
  • Endocrine
  • Genitourinary / Reproductive
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatologic
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Psychiatry/Behavioral
  • Radiology
  • EKG Interpretation
  • Bugs and Drugs


What I Liked

  1. John makes the material easy to understand.  He breaks it down into simple terms and employs memory tricks to help you retain the information.
  2. There’s no wasted time.  If you have sat through other board reviews you know that sometimes a lot of valuable time is wasted on low-yield information.  Not the case with CME4LIFE.  All the information presented is relevant and high-yield.
  3. It’s entertaining.  I can honestly say I was not board at all.
  4. I used the information presented and applied it to my PANCE successfully.  There were a number of times on my boards that I utilized the memory tricks that John taught to answer the question correctly.
  5. Classmates of mine that struggled with retention said that the DVD they received was the first time a topic made sense to the point that they could remember it.


How I Used the DVDs

Now I will say that even though the CME4LIFE DVDs are fabulous they are not intended to be your ONLY source of information.  I used the DVDs as a supplement to the reading I did on the side.  I made sure to read about the topics covered on the PANCE/PANRE blueprint put out by NCCPA.  Then, when I finished an organ system, I would watch the CME4LIFE DVD.  I often picked up tricks to help remember things I had already read about and many times caught things I had missed in my reading.


Overall I really like the CME4LIFE PANCE/PANRE DVDs.  Now as a practicing physician assistant I am eyeing their options for CME including their self-assessment and performance improvement options.


I’d love to answer any specific questions you have!  Leave them in the comments below.  Thank you CME4LIFE for letting me review your awesome product!


Like what you see? Make sure to follow with Bloglovin’! I would love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter! Need a daily dose of Emmalyne and Bryn? Find us on Instagram!

I received this product to review free of charge. No other compensation was received.

PA School Graduation

The other weekend I celebrated one of the biggest achievements and moments of my life … my graduation from Physician Assistant school.  While we technically finished our program back in March and I have been actively working for a month and a half it was still a HUGE thing for me.  My university only does graduation ceremonies once a year so Chris and I flew back to Savannah for it over my birthday weekend.




The girls stayed in Missouri with my amazing mother-in-law so we enjoyed an amazing kid free weekend.  My mom, step-dad, and dad met us in Savannah to join in on the fun.  I can’t quite describe how I felt that whole weekend.  While it had started to set in that PA school is over and my life and career as a Physician Assistant had begun I feel like it was “official” once I was hooded.  I am now a Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies along with my PA-C.  And it feels amazing.

PA Madeline


At hooding I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was chosen to be in inducted into Pi Alpha … the honor society for PAs.  I also graduated with high honors which was super exciting!  Our hooding ceremony was pretty emotional for everyone.  The president of our university spoke and said how he always thought it was amazing that our hooding was the smallest of the graduate programs but took the longest because everyone had to hug everyone on stage.  And it’s true.  I have been so blessed to be part of this PA program with my particular classmates and our truly outstanding faculty.  God truly knew what He was doing when He brought us all together because I can’t imagine having been on this journey with anyone else.


SUPA Grads


I was particularly excited for this weekend because I was also reunited with my very best friend Jessica.  You might recognize her from periodic appearances on the blog but this woman is truly one of a kind.  She is more family now than friend and I know that we will be wrinkly old women one day and still as close as ever.  We are still adjusting to living in different states though and I have to admit it blows.


Best Friends


Having all my parents there (minus my step-mom who couldn’t make it) was so special too.  I got my love of medicine from my dad going on rounds with him in the hospital as a child.  I got my tenacity from my mom because she showed me that you can do anything you set your mind to even when you have children.  My step-dad always had an encouraging word for me when I needed it.

SAV Family

SAV Family 2


Most importantly I am glad that Chris was by my side for the whole thing.  It was as much as a celebration for him as it was for me.  I absolutely couldn’t have done it without his unwavering support, love, and encouragement.  It took a village but luckily I have the best village around.

Chris and Madeline


So there you have it!  Hooding is over and I can add some additional letters to my name … MSPA, PA-C.

Like what you see? Make sure to follow with Bloglovin’! I would love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter! Need a daily dose of Emmalyne and Bryn? Find us on Instagram!

A Day in the Life as a Family Medicine PA

Happy Wednesday folks!  One of the best things about a long weekend is that the next week is short.  Super pumped that we are already halfway to Friday.  It’s been awhile since I shared a What I Ate Wednesday post with y’all and I figured it was also a great opportunity to give you a glimpse into what a day in my life is like.  I have shared a few of these in the past that you can check out at the end of the post to see how things have changed over the years.  I am officially into my 2nd week on my own practicing in Family Medicine and it’s been amazing so far!  Let’s get to it.


5:45AM  Alarm goes off.  I get to “sleep in” because I have a dentist appointment first thing in the morning.  It makes me laugh that this is sleeping in these days.  I feel a tiny person in bed next to me and see that Emmie came in at some point in the night.   She wakes up and I get her situated to watch a show while I make breakfast.  Breakfast tends to be my biggest meal of the day because I can’t guarantee a snack break before lunch.  My breakfast is an egg, egg whites, nitrite free bacon, 2 slices of raisin toast, and some blueberries.  A ton of coffee on the side.

WIAW - Breakfast

7:15AM  We are loaded into the car and are off.  I drop the girls off at school before heading to my dentist’s office.  I had a filling placed in March and have had some intermittent tooth sensitivity for the last week.  After Googling “root canals” (I know …. bad healthcare provider) I decided I should probably get it looked at.  Fortunately I don’t need one and instead he thinks it’s my sinuses cause pressure and tooth pain.  Go figure.


9:00AM  Arrive at work.  My work is letting me ease into my life as a provider and I only have 12 scheduled for today.  I spent some time last night looking up my patients so I already know what’s up.  Do a variety of annual wellness exams, sick visits, and follow-ups.  It’s a day where I am able to get snack in too which makes it a success!

WIAW - Snack


12:00PM  Wrap up my morning patients and finish charting.  Seriously – the electronic medical records take so. much. time.  I am still navigating our EMR so I am a tad slower.  Close out all my charts (#winning) and hit the break room for some lunch.  I planned ahead and had grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.

WIAW - Lunch


1:00PM  Back at it!  My afternoon is a lot heavier than the morning due to my missing my first hour of clinic.  More sick visits than chronic care this afternoon which keeps me busy.  I am still figuring out how to get my time with patients down and still get my charting done.  I get super busy in the afternoon and don’t have a chance to sit down.


5:15PM  Somehow I finish my charting only 15 minutes after the office closes.  I have a 30 minute drive home so I snack on a bag of Annie’s organic popcorn and call my sister for her birthday.  We chat for a bit and get caught up on each other’s lives.  I am very fortunate that even though my sister is 17 years older than I am that we are as close as we are.  I also chat with a good friend from PA school and get caught up with him.


5:45PM  Roll into the house and find the family in the basement watching “dragons”.  Spend some time with them and check on our container garden (more on that soon!) before heading back upstairs to finish dinner.  I had Skinnytaste’s Bolognese in the crockpot all day so all I have to do is make some noodles.  And yes – this is where my photos ended for the day.


7:00PM  Bathtime for the munchkins!  Chris and I switch off who puts who down each night and I have Bryn.  One of my favorite parts of the day is saying our nightly prayers with her.  Somehow I am always after “God bless book” and “God bless light” … THEN it’s “God bless mommy”.  She cracks me up.


7:30PM  Bryn is in bed and Chris and Emmie are reading so I clean up the kitchen and take a quick shower before sitting down to write this post.  Feeling pretty lame because I am already dreaming about getting into my bed.  Spend some time jotting down the things I need to do tomorrow and check on my patient list for the morning.  I feel pretty grateful that I can access our EMR from home so I can wrap some stuff up here and not stay at work late.


There you have it!  A pretty basic day in my life now.  Everyday is a little bit different in how it plays out but it’s fairly similar.  Normally I try to sneak a workout in at night but coming off the holiday weekend and 3 days of intense workouts I needed a day off.  Just means I have to break a sweat today.  Hope your Wednesday is off to a great start!


Previous “A Day in the Life” Posts:

A Day in the Life of a Student Mom

A Day in the Life: Surgery Rotation

A Day in the Life: Internal Medicine

A Day in the Life: 21 Months

A Day in the Life With a Newborn


Like what you see? Make sure to follow with Bloglovin’! I would love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter! Need a daily dose of Emmalyne and Bryn? Find us on Instagram!

The Best “C” I’ve Ever Earned

Oh hello there my friends!  I am SO excited to be writing on here today!  First, I have missed you.  This last month or so has been CRAZY in so many different ways.  I graduated PA school, took my boards, moved to Missouri, and am now on vacation in Phoenix.  All in a span of about 4 weeks.  Basically I have a huge amount of things to update you on.  Starting with the most important update of all … I PASSED MY BOARDS!  I am now a PA-C  and a REAL Physician Assistant.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 1.15.26 PM


I took my PANCE on April 4th and got my results April 14th.  I plan on writing an entire post (or two) about my PANCE experience and how I prepared since I know many of you are in PA school or hope to be in the near future.  Let’s just say it was a doozy.  The 10 day wait for results though was miserable.  When I finally did get the email that my results were ready I suddenly was super nervous.  My heart was beating out of my chest as I logged into my NCCPA account.  BUT I PASSED!


I am so so so happy and grateful that it is behind me.  I actually also received my Missouri state license that same day so I am all set to start work in just over 2 weeks.  NUTS RIGHT?!  I have been sitting on cloud nine since.


That’s all I have for you today but I figured it was the most important life update of all.  I will be back with some Arizona fun tomorrow!

A Short White Coat

Today is the last day that I don the short white coat of a Physician Assistant student in the clinical setting. The next time I set food to work in a clinic will be as an actual, practicing PA. I am still waiting for this information to sink in.


I received my short white coat at the beginning of my PA school journey, before I started doing my once-per-quarter shift in an endocrine clinic during our white coat ceremony. The short white coat is a symbol of a medical professional in training. Medical students have worn the short coat for ages and the Physician Assistant profession adopted the same tradition due to the fact that our training mirrors that of doctors in the medical model. I was honored to receive my own short coat from my dad. Having my father, and Internal Medicine physician coat me was one of the highlights of my educational career. I think coating me was a personal highlight for him too.


Getting My White Coat


When I started PA school 26 months ago I felt like I was climbing an endless mountain. During the 15-month long didactic portion of PA school there was a constant feeling of drowning and gasping for air. The fact that Chris and I went through that with a newborn baby still kind of blows my mind. In those 15 months my classmates and I took 87 exams and too many quizzes to count as well as multiple hands-on practicums. We bonded over coffee and sleep deprivation and did our best to absorb and synthesis a tremendous amount of information. We got through it but then the unknown of the clinical year was upon us.

What's in my white coat


When I began my clinical rotations last April doing inpatient Internal Medicine at a teaching hospital it was trial by fire. From the first hour of my first shift the gears had shifted and I realized that I was part of the actual medical decision making for these patients. I was also acutely reminded how much I had yet to learn. And so I read … and read some more. And asked questions. And observed my preceptors. I continued to do this through rotations in OB/GYN, Emergency Medicine, Behavioral Health, General Surgery, Primary Care, Pediatrics and my elective. My short white coat began to be stuffed to the brim with books, pens, notebooks, information cards, random pieces of paper, extra gloves, and too many other things to count.




Along the way I began to get my bearings as a healthcare provider. I gained confidence in my clinical knowledge and my procedural skill. I developed a love and interest for areas of medicine while accepting that some were just not for me. I gained new friends and mentors and hours of invaluable experience.


As I head to the clinic for the last day of my clinical rotations I am humbled. My white coat is now stained in pen marks, coffee drips, sweat, and goodness knows what else but it has withstood through the most amazing 12 months of my professional life.  The sleeves now remain rolled up and there might be an unraveling seam or two but it has done its job and served me well.  It’s amazing how far someone can come in 12 short months.


Sitting here I realize I certainly didn’t get to this point on my own. I have the most amazing husband who allows me to dream big and supports me and loves me along the way. Chris has been the “go-to” in the parenting department and our little girls couldn’t have a better daddy. I have had both of our mothers dedicate literally months of their lives cumulatively to help us out. They always made themselves available for trips to Georgia when Chris was gone for work or I had a particularly rough load. They loved my children, made us dinner, and provided a shoulder to lean on when I felt like I couldn’t keep going. I have also had the support of the most amazing 68 people in my classmates. I am truly not entirely sure what I am going to do without seeing them regularly. We have become a family along this journey and I look forward to seeing all of them blossom into the amazing healthcare providers I know they will be.


White Coat


I know I still have a bit of a mountain to climb before this journey is officially over. I still have two weeks left of supplemental material at home followed by two weeks of board prep, final testing, and other stuff on campus. Not to mention the biggest test of my life in April for me to become board certified.  Even though I still have some things to tackle I am still relishing this moment today. It’s been a hard and challenging road. A road with obstacles, some that I expected and some that I did not, but one I learned to navigate as best I could.  It’s a true privilege to be able to practice medicine, one that I hope to never take lightly.


Thank you for joining me these last two years as I worked hard to achieve this dream. Your constant support has been amazing and I am truly grateful.