study

Medical school 2nd year

I’m halfway through my second year of medicine! My exams are done and I’m going to take a short break before getting into the new semester. I have one week before the second semester starts and though I really hoped that I’d have a week off to do fun things and sleep out my week will consist of finishing a paper. I wanted to talk about this first semester of my second year since it was completely different from first year.

-I learned that first year is a breeze compared to second year. It’s easy to say that now that the two biggest blocks of my entire year are over. To all you first-year students out there, these courses only get bigger every single time.
-Never give up. By now medical school consists of really pushing mental boundaries. Though most people give up, those who persist and don’t give up are the ones that will make anything happen.
-The best tip I’ve ever had was to read all of my courses completely through before exams start. This helped me to at least grasp what I was studying and I had a better total-image of my courses.
-Working consistently throughout the year is really important. If you don’t do this by second year, you’re going to get into trouble. I worked consistently throughout the year and still struggled extremely hard during this exam period.
-Workout, you’ll feel more energized and more focussed.
-Treat yourself to a pampering day. I did this once in the two exam-months we had. It can be quite time consuming, but makes you calmer at the same time. So if you can, pamper yourself.

To all students out there I would also like to say the following: it’s often the things that you struggle with the most that end up being the most rewarding. Try as hard as possible and don’t give up! Hard work always pays off.

Lots of love
A doctor in spe

Medical article databases

One of the most important fields in medicine is research. This should come as no surprise as there’s still so much to learn about the human body and disorders related to it. As a medical student it’s extremely important to stay up to date and read in on these subjects and to learn more about the (r)evolutions in our health system.
There are a lot of databases where you’ll be able to find articles on medical research and today I’ll be talking about the best general databases.

1. Google Scholar

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Google scholar is most definitely the best way to find the most scientific articles on any subject. You’ll be able to view the number of citations (a value to determine the impact) as well as the journal where the article was published and the publication year.
There is one thing I dislike about using google scholar. The filter system is quite impractical. Nevertheless you’ll be able to find a lot of articles extending over many different scientific topics. Google scholar will also show the number of citations, journal where the article was published and the publication year.

2. PubMed

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PubMed has a lot of different features and therefore learning how to work with the system is a challenge on itself. You’ll have to navigate your way around MeSH-terms and the search builder, subject topics etc, however when you finally know how to work with it, it’s actually a pretty nice database to work with.
You will definitely not find as many articles as you would in Google Scholar, however there is a good amount of articles that are closely related to your topic of choice. The filters are easy to use and will help you to narrow your topic down more clearly.

3. Embase
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One of the more esthetically pleasing databases is Embase (yes, I really like Embase). It’s easy to use and works similar to PubMed but you search via Emtree terms instead of MeSH terms. You can view your previous search inquiries and the amount of articles related to it.

4. Extra
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I also wanted to talk about Web of science where you’ll be able to find the impact factor, the number of citations. This is an easy way to have an overview on the importance of your article as well as the journal it was published in.

P.S. I prefer to use general databases as they offer a great variation of articles but if you only want to read the most important articles on certain subjects you might want to take a look at different options such as Medline, TRIP, Cochrane etc.

I hope you enjoyed this article! Let me know what sources you turn to to find scientific articles.

Lots of love
-M. Doctor in spe

 

Changing my study method

The new school year has begun for some of you and I wanted to update you on my new study method since it might help you! I’ve switched it up quite a lot and I’ve finally found a good way to make sure that I know my courses better. Since courses in med school are quite voluminous having a good study technique really makes a difference. I make sure that during class I write down what’s important. I follow the slides that are projected on a big screen and make sure that I listen to what the professor says. That way I can understand the most important concepts in our books.

The studying process is something that’s often pushed back to the weekend. Before studying I read my notes and then start. Everything in these courses is valuable information and needs to be known. There is no such thing as more important/less important (unfortunately 😦 )! Instead of just using one study method I now use a combination of different techniques. This helps me to make a difference in concepts I fully and concepts that need more time.

First method: there are parts of my books that I read multiple times and make sure that I understand what I’m reading. This doesn’t take a lot of time and I do this multiple times per day or even per week to make sure that I still know what the course is all about.

The second method that I like, is making question sheets on a part of my course. I make these sheets for parts of my course that I have trouble memorizing and I’ve noticed that this technique forces me to really actively read and my notes. I only do this for several parts of my courses because writing questions down takes up time.

Last but not least the third technique I use is making resumes of my printed notes. I personally don’t advise going for this technique in med school. I feel like while making these I’m not actively thinking about the subject I’m studying. Making resumes doesn’t only take a lot of time it makes you have less time to revise and consolidate the information – this technique didn’t work as well for me as the other two techniques but I do like to make these before going into my classes.

The key to these techniques is not about the time you put in making them. It’s about actively making them and thinking about everything that’s important. Active studying is more efficient and will help you memorize everything faster.

I hope you enjoyed this article! Let me know what study technique you prefer in the comment section down below!

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Daily life of a medical student

Today I wanted to show you how a day in my life goes. I’m a regular student, I live at home with my parents. I’m not motivating at all. However some students are just regular students.

6:00-6:15 My mom is going to work so she wakes me up fairly early. I like to lay in my bed a little longer. I would like to tell you that I workout or that I do something productive but I honestly don’t.

7:45: I go to my classes. I drive to my class every morning which in a way is the worst thing I probably do. I know that I should either carpool or take the bus but I always make up lame excuses.

8:00-13:00 I have very long classes and they start and end quite late. I fortunately have some breaks during classes. I usually try to pay attention and write down something. Sometimes I’ll go to the library but most of the time I just go home. I prefer studying in a quiet library which is very difficult to find!

13:30-16:00 As soon as I come home I watch television and drink a glass of coffee. I love my coffee and drink up to four(!) glasses of coffee per day. I also like watching television series. My current favorite is ‘the middle’. It’s one of the few shows left that is actually pretty accurate and realistic.

16-18:00 I try to get some studying done. We started studying our muscles so I’ve been doing that for the longest time. It’s one of those things I really need to repeat this section of my courses more often.

20:00-23:30 I end up watching more television. I love documentaries and there are always a few of them on the television. I watched one about the hunt for lions. It was quite disturbing and made me feel so terrible. Basically some people in Africa capture lions and inbreed them making more lions who have a lot of genetic flaws f.e. issues with their paws. Rich people are then able to bid on these lions so that they can ‘hunt’ them down in a closed section. At the end of the documentary I was obviously quite upset.

That was my day the end of it was quite upsetting and I’m still not over it :/ I hope you still enjoyed the rest of my busy day and I will see you in a next post!

Lots of love!
-Doctor in spe

Favorite Youtubers part II

Before even getting into med school all I would do was look at videos that were related to medicine. Over the last years I’ve started following quite a lot of Youtubers so today I wanted to share these with you! As you might know there are a lot of Youtubers so I made this a two part blogpost. You can find part one via this link.

  1. IYANULIVE

I’ve seen so many medical videos and they were all calm and relaxing but I find that this guy actually has some funny videos. Again all of these videos are calm and relaxing but fun to watch. My favorite video was ‘the 7 people you meet in med school‘ I thought it was pretty funny and completely true.

2. Jenny Le

Another really inspiring medical student. Jenny is a osteopathic medicine student and she has a lot of youtube videos. My favorite videos are the ones in which she actually goes on rotation and talks about the entire experience. I specifically like these because she actually talks about what she’s learned. For example her ophthalmology rotation.

3 Just Osaro

My favorite videos are Osaro’s vlogs. This is how most med students spend their life. There is a lot of studying and yes a lot of happy and fun moments too. My favorite video is one she actually did pretty recently and in which she talked with Dr. Vaughan about the future of health care under Trump.

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost! Let me know in the comment section who your favorite (medical) Youtubers are. Give these people a follow on youtube because they definitely deserve it!

Lots of love
a doctor in spe