What has been happening in your life since you last wrote? How's medical school and the complicated love life? Did you ever manage to resolve the mistakes you made in the past? What happened to Nurse England, and Dr Belfast?
Everything is good!
Focusing on medical school for a while, just arrived back, will be providing a report for all of you soon :)
In the UK we do a test called OSCEs, they’re clinical exams designed to test our ability to talk and work with patients. Today was my first one.
We had stations which tested actual clinical skills, communication skills and anatomy.
I had always hoped I would excel in this area, I am confident, and love talking and working with patience.
Ah, sweet complacency! It went well, i must admit. It went better than some peoples but it wasn’t at the level I want my clinical skills to be. I want to be perfectly calm and confident - the truth was my nerves showed in some stations, making me forget simple things.
I’m hoping each time I do these exams I get better, and show them how I am in the hospitals.
So I just got the results for this unit - I got 66%. I’m pretty happy with that, it’s just above average and I think it reflects the amount of work I put into it.
I was talking to some third and fourth years that told me I should do just the right amount of work in 1st and 2nd years and not go too far or else i’ll burn myself out for clinical years. I think i’ll try stick to that and go crazy in my last 3 years.
Hope it works out -but I’m happy with how it’s going so far!
Revision starts for the end of semester exams NOW!!
I spent over 20 minutes talking with an Urgent Care patient today.
This isn’t exactly strange, since sometimes patients (and their medical conditions) are complicated, requiring more than the unofficially-alloted “goal” of 4-8 minutes per patient visit. But this patient’s visit wasn’t complicated; she just needed something for a rash.
I just… couldn’t pull myself away from her. From everything she is.
I met a wonderful patient the other day, she was here for her ECG results from an arrhythmia. She was 80 years-ish. She was a smiley, chatty wonderful patient who had a number of problems in her life, losing her husband early to a heart attack, nearly losing her son to the same thing and worrying about her daughter with epilepsy. Yet throughout it all she seemed so independent and confident that you wouldn’t help but aspire to be like her.
Throughout our time at the medical school we’re encouraged to foster and interest in a particular area of medicine. We’re currently doing a report which is the first step in this process. I chose the title “Viral Pandemics: Why do they happen and can they be prevented?”.
It’s so interesting! I feel like i’m essentially learning about the Zombie apocalypse! I learn about transmission from animals to humans, how it spreads the ethics of closing border etc.
I think infectious diseases is an area i’m becoming more and more interested in, it’s very clear cut - you stop the bad bugs. There’s none of this “oh this disease is self imposed because they smoke”, the person is infected, remove the infection etc. I’m going to try and score highly in this, it’s just such a good topic!
Last Thursday (as I’m sure you well know!) was Valentines. Well not for me - it was results day. So after a few hours of delayed deadlines (damned Medical school!) we got out results. Boom, two satisfactory marks, I pass, all is well. I ring Dr. Belfast, no answer, try again a little later, still no response, eventually I get through, and well the new isn’t good, she’s failed.
I can tell she’s upset, so I think to myself, I could brighten this up by going out with her tonight, by just being with her and showing her support. So I head down, we have a few drinks. I’m getting with her friend (classy, I know!) and I see Dr. B dancing with some guy, and well then she kisses him.
My stupid feelings for her decide to rear their heads up again and I decide I do not agree with this. Let’s not forget that the only reason she didn’t get with me in the first place was because she had a boyfriend - and here she is getting with someone when she has a boyfriend. I know I’m not that bothered, but for some reason it urks me. So I tell her how disappointed I am etc, and she understands.
But there’s a reason I’m like this, why I’m suddenly getting on my moral high horse, it’s not because I think she’s betraying her boyfriend etc - it’s because I wished it was me. I felt it should have been me. This isn’t a healthy thing to keep inside of you, this desire for your best friend. So I decided to tell her. We get back to her accommodation and I tell her everything.
I tell her that I still have feelings for her now, I don’t want them but I do. I just want to be her best friend, yet I can’t help how I feel. I also tell her how jealous I am. I just needed to say it.
She told me that it wasn’t how she felt, that she simply didn’t view me in that way anymore. I felt, really empty? Like all the stupid little ideas I’d had about my perfect [Scrubs] ending, somehow her realising I was the one for her, that wasn’t going to happen anymore, it was all a stupid little fantasy.
Once I’d got my thoughts together, I thought about all the positives of this. I could finally stop thinking ten years down the line when she would suddenly find feelings for me. I could focus on what I want, and I can finally try to put those feelings behind me, and become the friend I want to be with her.
I didn’t want to hear it - it’s the opposite of what I wanted, but it’s what i expected to hear. Sometimes hearing it from the person that completely encapsulates you, who makes your day, who holds all those feelings makes it so much easier to let go.
I think it’s about time to do that end of the year summary? But how do you summarise a year like 2012? How do you summarise the biggest year of your life? Well, I’m going to give it a shot!
This year has been the greatest year of my entire life. Everything I could have possibly hoped for happened this year, 2010 and 2011 were at times very difficult for me, I was mid A-levels, often not scoring high enough to get into medical school. This was devastating for me - I had no idea what to do with my life if I didn’t get into Medical school. So that brings two of the greatest dates of the year 8th March and 18th August;
These dates were both results days, and they were the days that booked my place in medical school. To open those brown envelopes and see that I had A’s, and that I had got into medical school, it made the difficulties of the last two years make sense, and I was proud of myself for everything I had achieved. I’d made it, and that was just everything for me.
So on came university, I moved in on the 14th September and met my flat, I’ve never met a cooler bunch of people, who are friendly, supportive and prepared to forgive my mistakes! I’m really thankful I met everyone of them, they’re just so much fun to live with. On the 21st September my medical course started, and I met my PBL group - in particular I met Dr. Belfast. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about chances and luck, how is it that I’ve been put into a PBL group and anatomy group with someone who I’ve never appreciated being with as much? I have been incredibly lucky to have met someone who I got on with so well from the start, and continue to have fun with now. Thank you fate, for that card.
The following 3 months have been the greatest of my life, I’ve learnt so much, I’ve laughed so much, I’ve drunk so much!
So here’s to 2013, your going to have a very tough time beating 2012 friendo, because I will never forget 2012, for it’s highs and lows, it’s pain and it’s love.
My resolution: Stop living in the future, now is the moment - stop looking so far into the future and planning your life out and missing what’s happening right now. Now is the time.
As Dr John Michael Dorian said: “I usually don’t like thinking about the future. I mean let’s face it, you can’t predict what’s going to happen.But sometimes, the thing you didn’t expect is what you really wanted after all. Maybe the best thing to do is stop trying to figure out where you’re going and just enjoy where you’re at.”
Have a happy new year, and an amazing 2013 - Lots of love, Dr. Britain.
‘Tis the season - is it not? The season where we enjoy each day with our family, the Christmas festivities, the boozy NYE night?
Incorrect, this year I’m really going for it with revision - most of my days are spent revising the PBL cases of the last semester, interspersed with anatomy and occasionally evidence based medicine,
I think the best part of this revision is that for once I’m enjoying going over the material - prior to this I was doing three courses required for medicine where there where some topic I didn’t enjoy - I mean plant biology?!!?? DO NOT WANT.
So going through actual medical revision? It’s just amazing, i’m enjoying revision, and it’s great fun!
So while your enjoying the festivities, spare a thought for me - I’ll most likely be revising the bony landmarks of the scapulla!
What do you find the most interesting about being out in real life practise as a medical student?
Meeting the patients, for the first 2 years my aim is to just get comfortable around patients, before learning the skills of taking histories etc, just meeting people who are sick - yet still want to talk to us, and the conversations we have are very rewarding. So talking to patients. All the way.
It’s important to remember that this blog is primarily medical, but it’s also my journey through medicine. So not only do I post about the amazing medical things I get to do, see and learn - but also what it’s like to be the person going through it all - not just medicine, but my life.
With that, it’s time to summarise my first few months at medical school, and at this university. One thing that has struck me the most is complacency, the only way I can describe it is I’m here now, and subconsciously I must think that’s enough. I do work - don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I skip work out, but I’m not going above and beyond, and that disappoints me.
In fact a key part of this semester is how disappointed with myself I am, I thought I was a loving, caring guy - and for the most part I seem to be, I’m a person that others turn to in times of need, my simulated patients and patients alike all rate me highly, but I don’t have a grip on my own life. Last night I ruined my relationship with the linguist. I did it in a most awful way - no I didn’t cheat - but I said some stupid things while drunk and now not only have I lost that relationship, I’ve also lost the respect of my friends. Everyone loves me when I’m sober, no one likes me when I’m drunk, sometimes I just can’t tell why people want to be around me.
I’ve made some amazing friends; Dr Belfast, The Cool Physicist and the Biochemist, and I couldn’t be happier. This is the best time of my life, but I need to control myself.
This Christmas I’m going to revise the hardest I ever have - not because I need to, I want to -I want to be the top of the class. I’ve gone through so much, and worked so hard to get here, I’m not about to lose that drive.
Anatomy to hospital, HIV to pregnancy - this last few months have been amazing, and I can’t wait to get back here and work towards my life goal.
"Cool! Sounds really interesting :) What do you have to do for the project?"
I think the idea of the project is to introduce us to scientific writings, so we need to write a lay abstract, a scientific abstract, a full report addressing the title of the essay and reference properly with diagrams throughout - i’m pretty excited for it!
"dr-britain, if you’re real life is anything like you’re online life you seem to be quite the girl magnet :) hah. I’m not jealous…."
I’m trying to be as honest as possible :) anonymity helps a lot with that - I wouldn’t describe myself as a girl magnet, I just have many feels that must be shared with the female population :D
As part of my course we have to do a really large project on a topic of our interest. We’re given about 800 titles and we have to choose 8, and then we are assigned one of them. I went through the list choosing topics that seemed interesting, and I ended up with this list:
Why do we get autoimmune diseases?
Viral pandemics: why do they happen and can they be prevented?
Hospital superbugs: why are they such a problem and what can be done?
Pneumothorax: who gets it and why?
Emerging Infectious Diseases
The role of the innate immune system in age-related macular degeneration.
Malaria in the 21st century
Tuberculosis: Disease, treatment and prevention
It seems to me I’ve unintentionally picked a list composed mainly of questions relating to immunology and infectious diseases. This got me to thinking, what were my favourite parts of the semester? You guessed it! Infectious diseases and immunology, the subtle interplay between components, and the clear cut nature of this area of medicine (pathogens are bad, they hurt the body, kill them!) really interests me.
I’m looking forward to a project on any of these, but maybe this shows i’m heading for a career in infectious diseases?
I think this might be my new favorite blog. Tell me something: I've heard you can apply and possibly get into med school with a BSN. That it acts as a substitute for premed. Do you know if this is correct? I've wanted to take that path and become a doctor for, I don't go how long. I'm a CNA, currently enrolled in nursing school to get my RN. So I'm hoping that this is the case.
I’m really glad you like the blog!
I’m really sorry but I don’t know the answer to this one, i’m a medical student in the UK so I didn’t have to take a pre-med course or anything like that - I would say email the medical schools themselves and see what they say :)
Today was my second clinical experience, and I headed to what will be my base hospital after year 2. I was really impressed by it and i’m really happy i’m going there - the education centre in particular is pretty spectacular.
So we sit down, have yet another session on how to talk to patients:
On a side note i’m getting sick of these, yes I understand the need to get consent, to explain about confidentiality etc but it really seems to take the personality out of medicine - instead of being “Hi, I’m Britain I’m on of the medical students, is it okay if I have a chat with you?” it becomes “Hi, I’m Forename Surname a first year medical student from the University of Secret is it okay if I talk to you about your treatment here - anything you say to me remains confidential between me and your medical team” - it’s too structured, and then we’re told how to summarise and talk and it all seems so fake - I’m not going to lie I just talk to them as I always would.
Anyway - sorry for the rant - after our little session we move on to the wards, we’re on a respiratory ward and I’m introduced to the patient I’m going to talk to. He is about 50/60 and has been pretty ill - he’s looking a little thin. This guy however, is the best patient a medical student could ever ask for, he is open, he’s honest, he’ll answer any of my stuttering questions, he tells me how to be a good doctor, how to follow up information, how to be friendly, how to never hide anything from the patient. This man just gave me a crash course on how to be a doctor from the patient’s prospective.
Thanks a lot, meeting you was an absolute pleasure, your a great guy and I wish you the best of luck in your recovery.
There are certain things that I think will stay with me for the rest of my life, today was one of those events. As with every Friday it was time for anatomy, and after the rush to get through my booklet to at least sound like I knew what I was talking about me and Dr.Belfast headed to the DR (Dissecting room) for our first ever actual dissection - we had previously only been looking at prosections.
We were the first ones to arrive, and the previous anatomy group had just left, we lab coated up and thought we’d head to the resource room - on the other side of the DR to the cloakroom, the familiar smell of formaldehyde hit us (I associate it with a Friday now - don’t know if that’s a good thing!?) and we stepped through the door, the technicians were there and BOOM, there were the cadavers, on the slabs.
FUCK, wow. There’s like 8 bodies, just sat there, women, men, all of them so willing to give up everything about themselves to us naive medical students. They were lying, mouths slightly ajar, held off the table by a stand, so dead, yet so real. They looked human, unlike prosections - some of them were large, some of them small, me and Dr.Belfast walked through to the resource room, I think we tried to pretend we were going in there to brush up on the scapulla, really we were trying to get out of that room.
I’m glad she was there, I was pretty shook up - something about seeing the whole body, as opposed to just parts made it seem so real. These were people who had families, lived, laughed, fell ill and passed - and now I was going to cut into them.
We regained our composure and then headed back into the DR where our anatomy group and demonstrator were waiting. We were introduced to our cadaver. I like our cadaver (I hope that doesn’t sound weird) he is a 77 year old male who died of metastatic gastric carcinoma (a cancer of the stomach that spread), he’s thin, probably because of his illness, but seems - I can’t really put it in words - like , he’s dead, yet he’s alive, I don’t really know, I can’t see him as just a tool - he is a he not an it.
Anyway, we started stripping away the skin of the arm to look at the muscles underneath, and the angle I was standing at watching our demonstrator made it look like he was in pain, it was just surreal. Then it came to my turn, after Dr. Belfast had her turn. I cut my square being careful to not go too deep and damage the muscle and started stripping it back, cutting away the connective tissue as I did so, my anatomy demonstrator said: “Bit of a natural!” - my ego couldn’t really take it.
Some of the group were apprehensive to pull on the skin hard - which would have made it easier for them and then the demonstrator said exactly what I needed to hear:
You might have read this article before, but I just came across it yesterday and thought it was interesting. A six-year-old went in to an emergency children’s hospital to get her head stitched up after running into a door, and the doctor managed the suturing without her even noticing, thanks to the way he structured his visit with her and how he approached the treatment.
Anyone who works with children in pain should read this article and watch the fantastic videos.
I’ve always gone “out of the way” to try to make kids comfortable around/during scary and painful procedures in my Urgent Care — but this doctor takes it to a whole new skill level! I can’t wait to try some of these concepts on my next pediatric laceration!
“For the record, he was the best that ever came through this dump. John Dorian was the first and only doctor I ever met who cared as much as I do. And you can forget about him being just an exceptional physician. The fact of the matter is, he’s a damn exceptional person. That’s why people gravitated to him. That’s why I did. He was my friend.”—Dr. Cox (via alacart)
Why can’t I handle my feelings of insecurity? I don’t particularly feel insecure about myself, I’m generally happy with how I am. But I worry A LOT about what others think and I can’t get a grip on it, I don’t know what caused it but it’s really annoying.
Take any normal everyday example of me and a girl I like, if they ignore my text message suddenly it’s like I’m in a whirlpool of worry, I don’t want to appear too needy by like texting them loads but if they don’t reply I will worry.
Yeah this will probably effect my medical career at some stage too, where I dare not do a procedure in case I mess it up in front of a superior, but it hurts me more. I should be doing PBL work right now but instead my head is all messed up and it’s sucks, and if I don’t do PBL I mess up my career anyway so that’s a WIN.
Today was my first day in a hospital meeting real live, ill patients. I met my first ever patient, obviously for the purposes of confidentiality and such I won’t be telling anyone where they are staying or who they are, but they were a very interesting patient.
The idea of our first day is to give us an easy patient, unfortunately our patient was not easy, they were very confused and believed they were in a school, the name of their spouse changed multiple times, and in general we found conversation difficult to continue.
They were lovely though, a nice person who was happy to be talking to us and for someone to give them time to talk.
And this is why I felt so bad, I found it so difficult to hold conversation- they were simply so confused, there were no leads to pick up on and continue on, and I didn’t want to start a conversation that they would find uncomfortable, such as why they believed she weren’t in the hospital.
It was an interesting and probably very useful experience.
Today I chaired my very first PBL session (okay - definition PBL or “Problem based learning” is the way my medical school works, we are given a case for the week, select cues from that case and learn from them over the following week). I was in charge - I was the “baws”. It went really well, the role of a chair is to “facilitate” the learning rather than to talk the most, which means I spent a lot of the time leaning back and letting debate continue, before stepping in and moving it on. We got the learning agenda (the stuff we have to learn over the week) done before time (which was a first) and we even had a few minutes to spare.
The high point was that afterwards everyone said I did it well, including Dr.Belfast… My “feels” were soaring at that point. I know one of the things that medical schools look for is leadership quality, and I thought I kind of cheated on that point - ergo I didn’t really think I was that good of a leader, I tended to think I was kind of better as a second-in-command role but today proved that a) I wasn’t cheating - I may actually be a good leader and b) my PBL group like and respect me, and seeing as there guys might be with me for the rest of my medical career is a very, very nice feeling.
Medical school is so much fun, i’ve met some amazing people, i’m learning amazing things and i’m doing something I particularly love - Anatomy. Essentially once a week i learn a ridiculous amount of knowledge about something, be it the brain and nervous system, or muscular tissue, by the end of a hour session I am bursting at the seams with knowledge.
But it can get weird, each anatomy session is couple with dissection, the dissection of cadavers - human bodies donated to medical science. The only dead person I’ve ever seen looked peaceful and perfect, these bodies on the other hand do not. For the purposes of our education they are preserved and they look dried. I cannot thank them enough for what they’ve done for us, but they just constantly remind you that they where once human, whether its a partially open eye, or a little goatee, or even their fingernails. These people were once human, and now i’m looking at one part of them, be it half their head, with their brain on show, or their reproductive system.
How much respect can I give these people? Do i have to respect an arm? It’s weird, if I could meet them I’d just say how thankful I was to them, and it’s so nice to see how the anatomy is actually arranged in real life, as opposed to in a book. But my god it’s weird.
I’m entering my second proper week of medical school. Wow! I’m so useless! I’m about to start my first semester which is all about the life cycle; aging, pregnancy etc. Why haven’t I learnt CPR? I thought that would be like my first lecture, and that I’d be able to save lives now… Maybe I’ll have to wait a few years :P. Everything seems amazing so far, I’ve met so many great people, and my flat mates are all super friendly and super supportive, so I’m very lucky. My PBL group is pretty sweet too, there is a girl called (new pseudonym alert) Dr Belfast who seems pretty nice… Hurm! Its all moving so fast… I’ve been here two weeks already ( the drunken revelry of freshers seems a distant memory). I’m excited and nervous!
One of the down sides to being in medical school is that I am several hours away from the people I care about the most. Someone I love very much had a rough day and I really wish I could just give her a hug. The second best thing I could do was offer some words of support.
There will be days in your life when things go wrong. Each of these days is a gift. It is an opportunity to test your limits and grow to be stronger in character and resolve. Like an athlete that pushes through exhaustion, you too must push through pain. Only then will you go beyond the limitations you have set for yourself.
By this time next week, i’ll probably be highly inebriated at Uni. I don’t know how i feel at the moment really, a week seems like such a long time when it really isn’t. I keep putting it to the back of my mind but i think i have to realise that i’m going away! I’ve never even moved before and i’m going to disappear in less than a week. I hope that some relationships that are barely beginning don’t come crashing down, i hope that friendships that have come to mean so much remain, its a scary, scary time.
But ignoring all that, i’m going to be starting as a medical student! A medical student - which will require constant effort. I hope I can keep it up for the sake of everyone who has invested in me.
What were your A levels score? and what subjects did you take? I hope you don't mind me asking,I also did my A levels this year. Congrats for being accepted that's a great step forward. Good luck with the first year.
Ok I took Chemistry, Biology and Religious Studies at A-level and got AAA (I also did an extended project which is equivalent to an AS level and got an A*, General Studies A2 which i got an A* and AS English Lit, in which i got a B). Not a problem at all - please ask away! Thank you.
What would happen if you knew that you have generally worked your arse off yet your A2 summer exams don't come out what you worked for? Your dreams shattered?
If you genuinely worked your ass off, be proud of your results, they reflect the effort you put in, and if that is actually most definitely your all, then there’s nothing more you can do. It may not be time to abandon, but merely to re-assess it. For example, say I had got ABB this year, i would have applied for biomedical science and applied post-grad for medicine.
If your in this situation I suggest you look for alternate routes into your dream course, maybe look for ways you can join either during or after a degree. Go for it, just be realistic.
If your not back at school, you’ll be going back to school. If your in year 12, welcome to sixth form, the next two years will probably drain you if you put in the effort, or they will leave you unfulfilled and in a place you don’t want to be in if you don’t focus.
If your going for high flying courses, or are generally aspiring for something, now is the time to really put the effort in, if you do you will be left with a sense of achievement and will be able to look back and be all like: “BOO-YEAH!”.
Be realistic: Sometimes it sucks, but you have to take stock of things, if your not scoring A’s and you really are working your nuts off then don’t apply for courses that require A’s. One important caveat: If your riding on the coat tails of your GCSE or AS success you’ll get disappointed you got to up the ante and put the maximum level of effort in. So if you get like BCC in January (a la me) and know you didn’t work your backside off then go back and do it properly. Once you’ve discovered your limits, then its time to think of something worth doing that will satisfy you.
Go over your notes: I can’t emphasise this enough, if you expect to just learn something first time off, your going to sit down and revise for your exams and hit a wall of purest “WHAT IS THIS BS?1?!?!” and that isn’t fun. Ok, don’t expect to go into you revision knowing your colour chemistry off by heart. But at least no the basics. What I did is copy up all my notes at the end of each sub topic (AAAAAH THERE IS A JACK OFF SPIDER IN MY ROOM!!!!) so you at least know it.
Find a revision method that doesn’t leave you dying: Okay, make sure you find a revision method that actually works for you, I used to make massive spider diagrams, other people like to make flash cards, what ever. Just don’t read the module book, all the peeps who say this “works for me”, i bet you a fiver you just blankly glance at each page and that isn’t revision. (Hell if it genuinely does work for you, and I see some proof, i’ll wang that £5 your way)
Take some time to yourself: I used to work every night till about 8/8.30 and I took Friday evening and Saturday off. If you don’t take a bit of personal time off each night, you will get burn out. Let me tell you, it fridging sucks!
Just, good luck everyone, this next year/ two years will make or break you. Aspire, and work!
If there’s anything that signified what I am now, its the little package that arrived today. Inside was a Littmann Classic II S.E stethoscope, in hunter green with my name engraved on the bell. Whenever you see a doctor what are they wearing, or carrying or not far away from? What do you always associate a doctor with? A stethoscope!
And now I have mine, its weird, I got one before, from a medical convention, but it felt a bit like a cheat, because it wasn’t mine, and this one well and truly is!
It’s all becoming so real!
My next purchase is going to be a lab coat, for anatomy and dissection. This is all getting way, way too cool!
Ok so it’s like what, 3 weeks until i begin medical school? I have never, ever moved in my life. I am not an independent individual, and now i’m going to have to look after myself completely in an instant.
That’s a scary thought! And now I’ve made it to uni there is all this expectation on me, I have to be the best of the best and i’m just feeling plain nervous.
What if they make us do a maths exam? I’ll be screwed and I’ll be so scared.
Congrats! You made it! Now you’re on your way. Hold on to that excitement as long as you can. You’re going to need it! Because…
Burnout is going to GET YOU! You may be excited now, but there will be a time when you lose interest. Maybe it’s because the drudgery of the study/exam cycle starts to take it’s toll. You’ve been doing this school thing for about 20 years already after all. Maybe it’s because there are other more pressing things in life: personal relationships, searching for personal meaning and fulfillment, or just college football season. Regardless, burnout will come.
Study fatigue will too! And almost on a daily basis. Especially during test weeks. This is different from burnout. Burnout implies a lack of interest. Study fatigue is a simple inability to continue studying, but not because you lack motivation or interest. The mind is only able to handle so much studying in a day or week. This is why cramming doesn’t work. This is why you should do your best to stay on schedule or even get ahead. Study fatigue is why I’m writing this post!
So here’s some advice for a good year:
This is your life. You can let med school own you, or you can define your own life. Set study limits. Keep relationships and hobbies that are important to you. There’s a lot of time in med school; there’s a lot of time in LIFE. Use it wisely.
Studying is overrated. Never study on a Friday night. Or a Saturday night. In fact, take most of your weekends off. Still, study a LOT. Medicine is your full-time job. Study on your own, and with friends. Then obey your limits.
Be healthy! Exercise, play sports, and sleep a lot. Don’t study if you need to sleep. I slept more this year than ever in my life. Don’t neglect your mental health either. Make sure you have friends you connect with and get the emotional reprieves that you need.
Get involved with some volunteer clinics that remind you of what you will actually be doing once Step 1 is over. This helps a lot with that burnout. I will not be a full-time student for the rest of my life; I’m going to be a full-time doctor. A people-person.
Don’t join clubs or do research for your resume. If you want to do it, then go for it. But don’t do anything you don’t want to do. You’ll regret it later.
Enjoy yourself outside of medicine. Volunteer, join some clubs, start a new hobby. Maybe you can even forget you’re in med school for a moment or two!
Maintain perspective. You’ve made it into med school; the school is invested in your success. Everyone is trying to slowly mold and train you into the expert physician you want to be. Today’s test hardly matters in the long run. A momentary failure will not deter you from that ultimate goal. Stay calm and study on.
Best of luck to all my MS1 friends, now and in the future.
Wise words, thank you very much.
This makes me feel better about taking this evening off to go to a concert with a friend from art school and a new friend from med school. When worlds collide!
Another excellent collection of MS1 (First Year Med Student) survival tips!
After the initial high of receiving my results, I’m kind of coming down, I’ve started buying all the stuff i think I’ll need, started getting my accommodation sorted. Just all that very basic stuff that needs doing. Nonetheless, even through all this mediocrity I cannot physically wait for it to start!
AHAHA! You no longer follow the humble ramblings of a meer “medical applicant” OH NO! You now follow a full on medical student. Yes, you heard me right, on Thursday the 16th of August I was confirmed at my medical school, I’m in - I’ve made it!
I will be starting mid-september, and therefore Dr. Britain is actually on his way to becoming a doctor!
After all the trials and tribulations, failures and successes, countless hours of study, i’ve done it. I can’t believe it, I’m ecstatic, i cannot wait to start.
With all the exams out of the way I thought I would watch through Scrubs again, I’m about halfway through series 3 now and it’s just reminding me A) What a great programme it is B) I am JD and C) how much I want to study medicine. I reccommend it to everyone, seriously people watch this thing!
I’m revising for possibly some of the most important exams ever, yet I’ve also just started seeing someone. How do I balance these two things? I’m working a lot harder one day so I can see her for an afternoon or something, and it seems to be working, I don’t feel guilty that I haven’t done enough revision, and I feel comfortable with the amount of time I enjoy with her. Buuuuuuuuut what’s going to happen if I get into Med school? Am I going to be able to keep whatever this is going? That is going to be taxing, seeing as the work load will be treble what it is now… I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Also i’m thinking of doing more doodles. Look out for those soon!