studying

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

Happy new year!

I wanted to wish all of you a very happy new year and take time to thank each and every single one of you, my readers, for becoming a part of this journey. As for the journey itself 2017 has been more than I could ever dream of! As you might remember I did a one year anniversary blogpost where I talked about the amazing opportunities I got this year and today I wanted to highlight some of the best blogposts published in 2017.

The best blogposts of 2017

  1. Medical tag
    One of my biggest accomplishments this year was creating the medical tag which has been done by many medical and premedical students all over the world. You can find videos about the medical tag on youtube, wordpress and bloggr. I’m just mindblown!
  2. World mental health day
    This year I also wrote about mental health which is an issue a lot of people face with but never really follow up on. I urge you to take mental health issues seriously and go see a professional! You should never be alone when facing issues with your mental health!
  3. Medical compendium
    You might have seen this on my instagram page but these amazing books were published not long ago. They contain the essence of medicine. Currently they’re only available in Dutch but they might be available in other languages in the future.
  4. Book review: the subtle art of not giving a fuck
    Some people might remember this as I’ve recommended this book to everyone I know! It’s about living your life and not caring about other peoples opinions. A must read!
  5. Cold shower challenge
    Quite surprised that you guys liked this post so much! The cold shower challenge was fun to. It has many health benefits such as better focus, better metabolism, better immune system. This would be a great new years resolution!

This includes 2017! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I wish you and your families an amazing and extraordinary 2018 filled with happiness and courage. Remember that you have the power to make anything you want happen if you put your mind to it!

Happy new year to you all and lots of love!
–  A doctor in spe!

Prepping and how I study

I’ve already talked about my improved study techniques but today I’m going to talk about the three things that made the biggest difference in my results!

1 Preparing notes ahead

When i go to lectures I make sure that I’ve done everything ahead of time. If i don’t i’m just waisting my time and the professors time. Preparation is key. I like to make notes ahead of time and take those to class. Some people prefer reading through their notes, I do this when I don’t have enough time to type out my notes but this works great as well.

Along with this I reread all of these notes while going home. I take public transport so I often wait for my bus or metro. Those 5 minutes make a difference. It’s small but all small bits help! The time I need to get home varies but I spend an average of 1hour to 1hour30 to get home. Instead of waisting i try to benefit from that.

2 Visuals (other sources)

For medicine looking out for other sources is a good way to look at your courses differently. Especially if you don’t know the difference between things that are more important and things that are not. I watch a ton of videos and if there are things in my course that other videos emphasize on it means that it’s probably quite important. I personally loved ‘Shomu’s biology’ on youtube because he’s able to explain quite difficult concepts in an easy way.

3 Reading

Not only reading through your own course or textbooks but using other medical books is a great way to retain difficult topics. Different books often explain concepts differently and that is something that may or may not work for you.

I hope you enjoyed these tips. Let me know what your tips are in the comment section down below.

Lots of love
-A 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

Preparing for retake exams

As you all know I’ll be on vacation but for students who need to retake exams I wanted to write this blogpost. Retake exams are not fun and you often have less time for retake exams, than for exams you take during the year. It’s important in medical school to pass retake exams or you won’t be able to follow all courses from the following year.

1. Look at what went wrong first
Since you have retake exams it means that something went wrong the first time. Therefore it’s important to take a look at your exams and see what went wrong. There are feedback moments, there are professors who will help and guide you through the process. They will be able to tell you what went wrong and thus what you can do better next time.

2. Make a good schedule
I made a timetable for my vacation. I have already spend a good amount of time relaxing. It’s important to make a timetable that you will follow. You need to divide your time well and make sure that you keep to your schedule. You don’t want to retake these exams again next year.
When I had retakes I would study for three days and take one day off. That’s how I stayed positive and kept on studying during my vacation.

3. How to use your notes
Before studying make sure to have all of your notes present. Do not rewrite them because that is just a way to procrastinate the actual study process.
If there are mistakes on your notes write those in red so you don’t make them again.
If you don’t have notes, ask your classmates for help! I miserably failed the easiest class last year and I was lucky enough to borrow someone else’s notes.

4. Too many retake exams
Students with 7-8 retake exams often end up taking all of their exams. In the end they fail with 45/100 which is really sad in my opinion. If you know you won’t be able to pass all of your exams, or you have too many try to prioritize your classes!

5. Don’t get demotivated
It’s important to keep your goals in front of you because they will motivate you for me a simple inspiration board works. When I’m really not feeling it I’ll take a day off (this is usually planned in my schedule). Taking a day off will help you get motivated back again.

Last but not least I hope that you do well on your retake exams! If you have some tips for retake exams leave them in comment section down below because they can help other students ;). If you liked this article press the like button down below.

Lots of love
– A doctor in spe

Stressing out!

Medical school is hard work. It takes up your time. It can happen that you get stressed out, worry, and might even get nightmares about failing. That’s how my exams feel to me. The funny part of it is that all of these feelings are unnecessary. Since I have quite a lot of experience with stress and anxiety I wanted to give you my best tips.

1. Don’t worry
Instead of worrying you should relax and keep working on. Worrying will lead to doubt and doubt is the last thing you’ll need. Constant worrying will absorb time and energy and you’ll need these to study and make your exams. All you can do is your best and see how things work out!

2. Work out
I like to workout in the morning. There are a few benefits to this. The first is that going for a run in the morning gives you more energy! You’ll have more energy, feel better and have enough time to study. The second thing is that you’ll probably be more tired in the evening and fall asleep quicker.
Running outside also gives some time to completely de-stress. You’ll be able to shake off some of your feelings and move on.

3. Food is important
Some people don’t eat while studying, others like to stuff themselves. Either way it’s important to have the right nutrients. Go for dried fruits and nuts as snacks, a decent meal and drink some green tea or some coffee during your breaks. Don’t forget to drink enough water!
For me sugar makes me feel more anxious and more on edge. I definitely advise avoiding sugar. If you do want to eat chocolate go for pure chocolate with at least 70% chocolate in it.

4. Talk about it
If you’re genuinely stressed out talk about it with your parents or friends. A listening ear can help more than you think. If you don’t want to talk to your parents or friends about your feelings I advise going to a psychologist. You can trust them 100% and they will be able to provide the help you need. Universities usually provide student psychologists for free so check out your university site for more information.

I hope these tips help you tackle the exam stress. I wish you all good luck with your exams and I’m rooting for each and every single one of you ❤

Lots of love
– A doctor in spe

 

Motivational video

There was a video I really wanted to share with you. As you might know I find Will Smith one of the most motivational people on the world. I’ve found a compilation of some of his quotes on talent, skill and the influence of dedication and I wanted to share it with you!
 

Hoping this will motivate you as much as it motivates me! Lots of love ❤
-A doctor in spe

Tips for prosection courses!

Prosections are a part of anatomy. You’ll see parts of the human body and you will most likely have to know where the muscles, nerves, veins and arteries are. I spend a lot of time preparing for my prosection course so I have quite a few tips!

1.Look up videos
The best way to have a clue of the material you’ll be studying is to look online for some videos in which they go over every part of the body and talk about what’s important. On youtube you’ll find sapiens medicus, on the internet I found this site. These videos will help you know where to look for certain structures.

2. Anatomy book
Your anatomy book is going to be your best friend during all of med school and it’s filled with pictures of the human body with and without muscles, nerves, arteries and veins. I use Sobotta anatomy which has an online site on which you’ll be able to find anatomical pictures. These are more structured and therefore easier to visualize.

3.Work together
It’s perfectly normal to search for certain structures. Talk to your peers and ask them if they know something you don’t. This is what helped me so much. Everyone I knew seemed to remember a certain part of the human body best. I always asked my friends to help me with structure I didn’t know.

4. Take your time
I ended up going to two groups of prosections to have enough time to revise everything and to make sure that these prosections where actually useful. You’re going to have to retain all of this information and it helps if you do it well. In my university every group got 1:30 hours to look at the cadavers. For me this was not enough so I ended up staying over groups to make sure that I was able to visualize and point out every structure.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! Let me know what you thought of your first prosections in the comments down below 🙂

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

STUDY TIPS THAT WORK

Study methods and techniques have always been a big struggle. My exams have proved exactly that in the past and it was time to change them. I started taking all the tips I could get and I’ve made a list with the best tips.

  1. Prepare your classes

It’s terrible to prepare every single class you have, but it’s very effective and you’ll have more use out of your classes. You don’t need to do much, just try to read trough your courses when you have some time left.
When you have a lecture, make sure to pay attention! Mark important words and sentences. During classes you can see which parts are more important and you’ll learn to focus on those.

2. Repeat

Repeat your classes the same evening. I know that it will take a lot of energy and work but you’ll definitely benefit from this. You can just read trough the courses.
This is important because in medical school you’ll get very big textbooks and courses and if you don’t keep up you’ll eventually lose track.
Repeating is the most important step when you’re studying and will help to get all that information in your long-term memory.

3. Get help

If you feel like none of these work for you I’d suggest getting some help. Every university has a study counselor. You can always count on them for advise and help. My university has a few counselors for the most difficult courses and a separate person who can help you with study advise. You can always make an appointment and they will help you to the fullest of their abilities. There is a reason why study counselors exist. Not everyone has these issues but there are a lot of people who do.

I would like to emphasize that I 100% believe that everyone can do everything they set their mind to if you just put enough time and effort in it.
For me studying was always the most difficult part. I was never good at it, at least that’s what I thought. The problem I had was that I had enough time to study, I just never wanted to make time for it. The constant procrastinating made my study techniques fail miserably when I had to learn more. Now I’m just working as hard as everybody else and I hope that it’ll pay off.

I hope you found this blogpost somewhat informative and that you’ll learn something from it. Let me know what your best study tip is in the comment section down below.

Lots of love ♥
– A 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