Friday, 8 February 2013

Exam results

So we got the exam results back, and………….. I passed!

It’s not a big celebration though as I only just passed, but considering I knew I hadn’t done enough/the right type of work I’m pleased. On my first exam I only passed ¼ questions, but that was the exam where I had a bad migraine the day before and got myself pretty worked up and panicky for it, whereas I was a lot more calm for the second exam, and for that exam I passed 4/4 questions. I have used this as an impetus to change and so far this term I’ve been staying a few hours after uni each day and at weekends, writing up my lecture notes and doing extra reading each week. I feel a lot better about my revision and my grasp on the teaching topics than I did last term.

The one exception to this is my musculoskeletal module.  For all my other modules I’ve been typing up revision notes for each lecture, but I’ve found that this hasn’t worked for musculoskeletal as these lectures are mostly just pictures. I also find musculoskeletal very hard as I did absolutely no anatomy in my previous degree and I find it really difficult to remember the plethora of names of things in the body that we have to learn. Before I started med school I honestly thought that there were only a few key muscles in your limbs, I didn’t have a clue about all the little things in there as well! I think I’m going to have to buy some anatomy flash cards (such as these), but other than that I don’t really know how best to revise this subject. If anyone would like to share how they revise anatomy/musculoskeletal or give me any tips I’d be very grateful!

Other than getting my exam results, nothing too exciting has happened recently. At hospital this week we saw a man with an inguinal hernia which was interesting to examine. I also met up with my special study supervisor and we decided on my study topic: elective caesarean sections. I’m really excited about this as it should be really interesting and will help consolidate some of the topics we’re studying at the moment. I’ll be going in to observe the caesareans which I’m really looking forwards to, but I’m also slightly nervous as I’ve never seen an operation before and I’m hoping I don’t do something embarrassing like get in the way or faint! It was also really embarrassing in the meeting, as we were discussing different topic areas and then once we’d decided on caesareans I had to fill out a form for my supervisor to sign documenting this. The only thing was, in that moment I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to spell “caesarean”, so I just wrote an approximation of it in scrawled handwriting and hoped that my supervisor wouldn’t notice! He didn’t say anything, but maybe he was just being polite. So embarrassing!

I had a really horrible locum Pharmacist shift last weekend. It was really busy (which wasn’t the problem although I didn’t get a chance to have a drink all day, let alone stop for lunch), but pretty much every other patient who came in had a problem or a complaint (about things from earlier in the week which I didn’t have anything to do with but I was still the one to get shouted at). There were also loads of people coming in claiming that we should have their repeat prescriptions made up, and that they didn’t have any medication left, but when I looked the prescriptions had only come back from the doctors late the night before, so shouldn’t have to be ready until the Monday, or just weren’t back from the doctors at all. This meant either hurriedly making up their prescription and keeping them waiting, or else having to do emergency supplies. This caused the patients to be grumpy and more often or not this was taken out on me. It was just annoying because all of the problems and complaints came from the regular staff not doing their jobs properly and poor store procedures, but it was me who ended up looking bad and incompetent. Grrrrr. I’m going home again for another locum shift tomorrow. Hopefully this one will be a little better.


  1. Congratulations on your exam result, it sounds like you had a really busy week! Medical spellings get me confused too... Great blog by the way and looking forward to reading upcoming posts :)

  2. Congrats on the results!

    I agree with you - learning musculoskeletal anatomy isn't fun at all. But that said, I'm relatively certain that no one expects you to be able to label that diagram from memory, I'm pretty sure most qualified doctors couldn't do that!

  3. Aw thanks wonderingmentsofahopefulmedic :) I enjoy reading your blog too!

    Take up thy stethoscope and walk: Have you had your results back yet? What you said is true about not needing to be able to label absolutely everything, but my problem is that I don't know which bits are the essential bits to learn!

  4. Your blog is really interesting. And congrats on your exam results.

    Anywho, I'm an anatomist. And I know, all my dental, medical and vet student friends call me crazy for it. The level of detail we go into (second semester, first year) with dissections every week on a cadaver, is already beyond third year medical students. So my advice - if you like the flashcard model - is to use something like study blue and drop some google images into it. It's really cool in that it will keep track of the ones you are getting wrong and ask you them- but in a shuffled order.

    I'd also recommend McMinns Clinical Atlas of Anatomy - that's usually a lifesaver for the broad strokes of what I need to know. Surprisingly, there are also loads of really, really good dissection and animation videos on YouTube of every inch and facet of human anatomy. If there's something you're struggling to visualise absolutely throw it's name into YouTube!!!

    And one final thing, there's some brilliant 3D models that I use quite often. My favourite is the free one here: and also the suite of anatomy apps for iPad by - especially cool is their new essential anatomy app which is great for musculoskeletal systems, vascularisation and innervation.

    Anway, enough waffle from me. Good luck in semester 2!

  5. Wow vulcanus2, I can't imagine doing an Anatomy degree, the amount of things you have to learn must be enormous! Thanks for your tips, I really appreciate it :). I'll definitely try out everything you've recommended as I most definitely need any help I can get!