You Will Not Believe What it Takes to Become a Physician Assistant

Sometimes our school lives or our jobs can seem overwhelming. And yeah, sometimes they are a bit overwhelming. But this graph is nuts. Like really nuts. At my core I’m a biologist by training and an ethologist by heart (ethology- the study of animal behavior). My experiences in that field left me awe struck by the amazing complexity of organic systems- but I still continue to be surprised by the capabilities of the human mind. This graph is one of those surprises.

My original training and undergraduate degree is in molecular biology, but I used this basis to my advantage during graduate school as I majored in biomedical informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, school of medicine. My project: understand the complexities of the human mind and genome using the complexity of current day machines and algorithms.


Physician Assistant Neural Network


I could bore for days, but let’s get to the point. Today I got bored and wrote this sweet algorithm to dissect the word associations in our PANCE Study Guide. The result? A complex and interactive graph called a hierarchical edge bundle that is representative of the required neural network that a physician assistant must form during his time in PA school.


Here are two preview images of the graph and a link to the interactive version. Those light grey lines at the edge of the graph are concepts found in our Review Guide and each blue line represents a relationship between two concepts. Click the link or either of the images to open a new browser window with the interactive graph with zoom and panning capabilities. In the interactive version, you can zoom with the scroll wheel of your mouse and pan by clicking the graph and dragging it. You can also hover over any concept to interactively highlight its links. Enjoy!

Oh and by the way, you might want to find a desktop browser to open this link because I’m not sure if a mobile browser can handle the size of the graph. If your computer can’t handle the interactive version, try the following LINK.


Click the graph to open the interactive and zoomable version




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