Tuesday, 19 May 2015

I've moved!!

Hey guys, I've moved my blog to lifeofagemstudent@wordpress.com ! Go read about my days there :) xx

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Final Stretch

I can't really believe I'm typing this but I'm on my last module of year 1! How crazy is that?! It seems like just yesterday that I was the one attending the offers open day and nervously meeting new people yet now I'm the one giving advice! 

Our last module is endocrine and is the shortest module of the year. Don't let this fool you though, there is tons of information packed in on top of revision for exams (which are in five weeks eek!) 

I've been trying to figure out the best method to revise and just bought some coloured pens which (as silly as it sounds) have really revived my revision! My boring old notes now look beautiful and colourful...which hopefully means I'll remember them! I'm trying to make little summary pages for each main disease or pathology ready for the MEQs (modified essay questions) and am really focussing on pharmacology which seems to be my weak point. If anyone has any useful revision tips let me know! 

Hope everyone's exam/GAMSAT/ukcat prep is going well :) I'll leave you with something I'm trying to work on myself - No matter how stressed you are, just take a minute to think and remind yourself of all the things you have achieved so far! You can do this! 

Work Experience

I've had a lot of questions about work experience needed for medicine so thought I'd do a quick post about it.

Most med school open days will give you some indication of how highly they view work experience/volunteering in their application process but sometimes it can be difficult to tell how much you really need.

First of all, I would say that quality over quantity definitely applies here! No matter how much experience you get, if you have nothing to say about it at interview it is useless. 

When I first started voluteering (I probably fall into the too much volunteering category), I had something on every day of the week - scouts, buddy reading, care home help, stroke club etc - and used to attend and participate enthusiastically BUT I never really thought about what I was doing or what I was learning! BIG MISTAKE! It was only once I started reading interview prep books (which I highly recommend) that I realised I needed to be able to apply my volunteering and work experience to my answers.
A good tip I got from someone is to keep a mini diary - each time you go to your volunteering or work expereince sit for a few minutes afterwards and think about what you did. Jot down anything important. If you had a leadership role that day, write about it! If you had to deal with a difficult situation, write about that! Anything that you can talk about in interview, make a note of it! It will save you a lot of time and effort later on :) 

In terms of how much to do and what stuff to do- it really is a personal choice! 
Personally I think its great if you have something continuous for a longer period of time to show dedication. So for example I helped at a care home only around twice a month but did it for four years. Anything longer than a few months helps to show that you arent just doing it to look good on your application, but because you genuinely want to be involved! 
A variety of experience will be beneficial for future experiences with patients, but if all of your experience focuses on one thing (such a children) then this is also fine. Especially if you want to go into paeds! :) 

At the end if the day, you're going to learn a lot more from something you enjoy and are passionate about than something you view as a chore or a means to an end! Make the most of it and learn as much as you can about yourself and others from it.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Post Easter Update


Im so sorry I havent posted since January! So much has been happening!
So in my last post I said I was about to have my first OSCE which I did really well in just forgetting a few things in my history taking. Since then we have had another OSCE for Limbs and Back which I got 97% for! So happy with my progress in these exams and feels that it shows that I can do this and have all the 'people' skills I need! :)

My new PBL group at first was quite daunting but now that I'm used to the 'big characters' its actually really enjoyable. That said, I find people don't put as much effort into their presentations which means more work for me to do! Although it isnt an ideal situation, I suppose I have to learn everything for myself in the end anyway!

Limbs and back has been my absolute favourite module as it was basically all anatomy based- which having done so much including dissection in my undergrad really is my strength! Most people on the course and especially in my PBL group really struggled and hated it, so I did my best to help people out and share any tips or nmeumonics I had! I am now known as the anatomy queen in my PBL group which is actually quite lovely as I'm not the most confident or forthcoming person so its a real compliment! :)

We are now onto Alimentary module, our penultimate module of this year (how scary is that?!)! We already have tons of work to do along with a reflective essay about the whole year so I'm currently trying to write that ... Which if I'm honest is just horrendously boring.

Since I last posted I've also been made President of Climbing at UNaD! How exciting!! I cant wait to get involved in freshers fair and recruit loads of new people! Its also fun to tell people as noone expects me to be able to climb (Go me!).

I recently did an open day for the university and had so many questions about the workload and how to survive GAMSAT so I'll so a post on that soon!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

First OSCE

Hey guys, I've been so super busy oh my gosh!

So Christmas was lovely but I spent the majority of it either working as a HCA or doing uni work!We have officially finished our third module now and are changing PBL groups next week! :O

I have another set of formative exams, including my first OSCE (practical clinical skills exam) which will involve five minutes of respiratory examination, five minutes of cardio examination and a ten minute history taking session. After a lot of practice with my friends and family, I'm feeling pretty confident for this so fingers crossed!

In terms of my new PBL group, I'm going to be so sad to leave my current group who have been AMAZING...but it will be good to see how other people manage PBL and integrate with some different people. Having found out who our group members will be I've realised that I'm going to have to get over my shyness and lack of self confidence otherwise I will never be taken seriously!
It occurred to me last week that I add 'maybe' to the end of all my statements in PBL- something I really need to stop!! All this does is make others doubt me and leads to a lack of respect for my opinions and answers... not good in medicine!

I hope you guys have all heard good news from med schools if you've applied and good luck for any interviews!!