Student Insights: How a Study Group Helped Amy Thrive

Amy Barry is a top Touro University California student in the Joint MSPAS/MPH program.

I attribute my success in Touro’s Physician Assistant program to the people I have surrounded myself with and the study group we have formed. I was a “solo studier” in undergrad, knowing the things I knew, but never challenging myself on the things I did not know. Entering grad school I did not anticipate forming a study group.

However, doing so has been a great help: I was challenged by my study partners to 1) stand up for what I knew; 2) teach other people what I knew; 3) learn from other people; 4) be introduced to concepts in a way my brain did not understand them; and, 5) forced to work harder than I wanted to sometimes to keep up the team morale—often when we all wanted to quit!


TUC students collaborating. Teaching and quizzing peers are both powerful active learning techniques which improve retention.

These things, among others, helped me stay focused and grounded. I am so thankful for my friends I found in PA school to hold me up when I wanted to quit. It also has helped to have such a supportive partner in life with an equally demanding job. We see eye-to-eye on ambition and success and I could not have done it without him supporting me at home. I hope this helps motivate others.

My biggest advice to those either entering or struggling through PA school is to find people they work well with and hold onto them, cherish them, and support them as they have supported you. It may not always seem like the most productive study session at the time, but usually you accomplished more than you would have on your own. Even if you have been a “solo studier” in the past, be open to a group study opportunity, because as PAs we will embrace that collaborative concept in the work force, as well.

Good luck!

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