Login

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

October 02, 2023, 07:03:09 am

Author Topic: Just a guy in med school  (Read 15107 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

justaloser

  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
  • Respect: +116
Just a guy in med school
« on: July 15, 2020, 10:56:12 pm »
+25
So after having a geeze and coming across a mate's journal on here I decided to start my own uni journal!
I'm usually terrible at having any sort of consistency in scheduling my writing, so I'm going to try and write a reflection of my week every Sunday, 4pm. I typically journal for myself but perhaps detailing my journey through uni will be useful for both aspiring medical students and actual medical students.

What course?
Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine (Bonded) @ Monash Uni

What scores did you get to get an interview??
I don't like talking about my scores but because I've been getting a lot of questions about what score is enough to get
99.00 ATAR + 2780 UCAT (88th percentile).
Keep in mind, I'm doing Bonded. Although this is easier to get into than the regular/ERC (IIRC) Bonded med may not be right for you as there are legal obligations after graduation.

When did you decide you wanted to do medicine?
Only by the start of Year 12. I was never really hot about medicine. Although the idea of learning things and treating people always sounded great I discounted it because I thought my results would never be good enough. Only after getting a good study score for my 3&4 in Year 11 did I realise I potentially had what it took to get in and started looking into the details from there.

Why med?
It's hard to put it into words, I just felt like it called to me (sorry for those expecting some sort of interesting backstory!)
- I like talking to people
- Learning things is extremely gratifying
- The ability to learn a lot and be able to apply that to help people sounds appealing

What are your hobbies?
- Playing the violin, started really young (Asian life) but only really appreciated it in the past few months
- I really like listening to music
- I like writing, mostly short stories but I dabble in poetry sometimes
- Video games
- A good late-night kebab with friends

What are your goals for 2020?
- Not get COVID
- Submit at least one piece for the faculty magazine (I'm madly self-conscious about my own writing)
- Maintain a 70% average (as of July '20 I'm alright)
- Hopefully have a physical get-together and meet my med friends in real life*
- Finish A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (I read half during the holidays and the entire background of it flew over my head lol)
- Go for a kebab run with my high school friends like we did in Year 10+11*
*That is, if the COVID-19 situation ever improves...

Hopefully I'll manage to stay afloat in the deep end of the pool that is medical school. If not, at least I'll have this, ay?
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 08:06:06 pm by justaloser »
2020-24: Monash Uni MBBS (Bonded)

I don't really go on here anymore. Feel free to DM though

I have no idea about the UCAT percentile required to get an interview/accepted into medicine. Mine was the first year that they used the UCAT. Just try and maximise your ATAR and take care of yourself.

My Med School journal

whys

  • VIC MVP - 2020
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 724
  • Respect: +916
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 09:15:20 am »
+11
Itís really great to see a med journal pop up, especially because thatís my dream course haha. I canít wait to read your journal! Hopefully the situation with COVID improves soon - then you can have your kebab runs and meet up with friends and the world can start healing again. I was also wondering, how do you currently find med? Is it time-consuming and difficult to study for, or is it not too bad?

All the best for the rest of the year. :)
psych [50] bio [50]
2021-2025: BMedSci/MD @ Monash

K888

  • VIC MVP - 2017
  • National Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3705
  • Respect: +2877
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 10:13:39 am »
+7
Welcome to AN! Super excited to hear your updates :)
How has online learning been for you this year? Uni is such a huge change from high school so I imagine having it all be online would be an even bigger transition to deal with - have you found this to be the case?

Lear

  • MOTM: JUL 18
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
  • Respect: +328
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2020, 11:34:20 am »
+6
Great to see a Monash med journal on here.

Two questions

1. How has the difficulty of medicine compared to that of what you heard before you began?

2. I remember year 1 was full of social events and opportunities to make friends. How has the lack of this helped you? Have you simply formed a group with those you do your zoom sessions with?
2018: ATAR: 99.35
Subjects
English: 44
Methods: 43
Further Maths: 50
Chemistry: 46
Legal: 40
2019: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine @ Monash

justaloser

  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
  • Respect: +116
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2020, 01:27:47 pm »
+12
Welcome to AN! Super excited to hear your updates :)
How has online learning been for you this year? Uni is such a huge change from high school so I imagine having it all be online would be an even bigger transition to deal with - have you found this to be the case?

Online's been alright, not a fan of it and especially not a fan of Zoom tutorials. There's been some technical issues where our physiology lecture got cancelled (still no replacement) and we've had some really confusing biochem tutes that were rushed/not very clear/contradictory to lectures. I also find it's easier to be distracted when the bulk of content is online which is why sometimes I've had to take social media fasts to concentrate. Finally, it's been slightly confusing as to how to study; I only realised that the lecture notes were just a starting point and that you had to read your textbooks AFTER semester one ended.

Great to see a Monash med journal on here.

Two questions

1. How has the difficulty of medicine compared to that of what you heard before you began?

2. I remember year 1 was full of social events and opportunities to make friends. How has the lack of this helped you? Have you simply formed a group with those you do your zoom sessions with?

1. So far I'm finding it not too difficult, maybe slightly harder than VCE. It definitely matches my expectations of a high volume of content though, which isn't too hard to manage as long as you study consistently (I find scheduling study times with friends keeps yourself accountable). This is only Year 1 though, I'm sure it'll get much more difficult down the line.

2. Thankfully I've made some friends despite the relative lack of social events. There's been some social Zooms organised by social rep which are definitely better than nothing (have one tomorrow) and some online trivia nights. We've also been put into groups for tutes (so each group is together for all tutes) which is nice and better than not knowing anyone, but they're too large to get close to anyone without having to do some other activities (like trivia).
2020-24: Monash Uni MBBS (Bonded)

I don't really go on here anymore. Feel free to DM though

I have no idea about the UCAT percentile required to get an interview/accepted into medicine. Mine was the first year that they used the UCAT. Just try and maximise your ATAR and take care of yourself.

My Med School journal

chemistrykind

  • Trailblazer
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • lets go lets go lets g
  • Respect: +10
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2020, 03:52:54 pm »
0
ur talented man ur going to do great :))
2018, VCE: Literature
2019, VCE: Methods // Specialist // Chemistry // Physics // Economics
2020, Undergrad: Bcomm @ Unimelb (Actuarial Studies)

K888

  • VIC MVP - 2017
  • National Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3705
  • Respect: +2877
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2020, 04:17:21 pm »
+5
Online's been alright, not a fan of it and especially not a fan of Zoom tutorials. There's been some technical issues where our physiology lecture got cancelled (still no replacement) and we've had some really confusing biochem tutes that were rushed/not very clear/contradictory to lectures. I also find it's easier to be distracted when the bulk of content is online which is why sometimes I've had to take social media fasts to concentrate. Finally, it's been slightly confusing as to how to study; I only realised that the lecture notes were just a starting point and that you had to read your textbooks AFTER semester one ended.
Oh yeah it's so hard to know how much study to do! I'm in my fourth year and still don't know exactly how much to do lol, so don't feel too bad for not having perfected studying just yet!

It is really difficult to have motivation to do online learning. I don't have lots of actual uni work to do this year but I have a whole bunch of stuff to do before a zoom day tomorrow where we actually do stuff and I've just been putting it off all week. I often wonder if it'd just be a constant battle with doing a whole semester or whether you'd get into a routine - I imagine it's a bit of both?

justaloser

  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
  • Respect: +116
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2020, 05:09:26 pm »
+21
This week went pretty well! It's amazing how fast time has passed by in the holidays; only 3 more weeks left (which sounds like plenty but time is a blur nowadays)

Studying-wise I finished biochemistry and moved on to studying physiology - probably my weakest subject but the most important from what I've heard. I'm super happy with the progress I made last week and fairly happy with the progress I made studying physiology -- particularly body fluids, osmosis + osmolarity, fluid compartments of body etc.. I've found that, compared to the last time I studied body fluids, this time was far more effective because a) I used questions + flashcards to check my understanding and b) I used a textbook (Guyton + Hall) in addition to my lecturer's notes. Only weak area I have left with this topic is the calculations - my math is terrible - so I'll have to have a dig around the textbook tonight for some calculations to do. I understand the method for calculating changes to body fluid volumes and concentrations when solutions are added (like saline solutions), I just need to apply it consistently to drill it into my head. Tonight I'll also try and read up on some clinical aspects of changes in body fluids/concentrations in my textbook, but I've promised to play video games with my mates so I'll see what I can fit in.

Unfortunately I didn't study as much as last week where I hit about 2 hours a day. I took 2 break days this week (well, 3 if you count Sunday so far but I've got a study session planned tonight) when I usually take 1. There's probably a variety of factors at play here: turns out a few of my cohort friends have been taking breaks which lead me to reconsider whether I should be studying or not, plus my sleep schedule. I've also been going through a bit of a bad spell mentally so that's been mucking my sleeping time up, plus I try not to study when I feel bad because I usually get highly distracted by my thoughts -- I need some sort of structured way to overcome that. Perhaps some sort of regular meditation schedule before studying and before bed?

On the plus side, I did manage to do a few non-academic things this week. I did a fair amount of violin practice on Wednesday (probably the most I've done in a single sitting in 5 years lol) which turned out pretty productive in that I corrected a few errors with timing and pitch (recording your own playing to play back is super helpful). Also wrote a few poems at the cost of messing up my sleep schedule even further. Furthermore, I entered the University Cancer Case Competition with a friend and her friends -- looking very forward to what I can learn and the friends I can make. The Competition's about finding a solution/proposing a model to deal with a cancer-related issue, which this year is cancer survivorship; this definitely will be relevant for future medical practice. My only reservation is that the organisers encourage interdisciplinary teams and we're all health sciences students, oops.

My sleep schedule's also been pretty messed up so far this week. It's the fallout from a few weeks ago where I'd have these midnight studying sessions (which are a bit of an idiosyncrasy for me because every few weeks I get into the habit, achieve a lot, then stop and readjust me sleep). Readjusting it next week is a priority because I don't want to be waking up at noon during semester..

Next week, I hope to get through some more Physiology done (particularly action potentials, which is the way nerves transmit messages) and revise what I've done this week. I'm tossing up between revising my ICL or HKS material (former is like case studies of certain diseases/conditions, latter is a first-sem subject about how health interconnects with society eg. pharmaceutical industry, refugee health). I'll get this done by planning my week (which I didn't do for this week) and particularly give myself more time blocks to study a particular topic -- I found when studying biochem from the textbook that I underestimate how much time it takes to study a particular topic (I often gave myself a 25 minute block to go through one topic - big mistake).

And that should be it for this week. Not too much has happened -- it's holidays with enforced social distancing after all -- and I'll maybe try and update this thread with little tidbits if anything interesting happens (probably not).

Thanks for reading. Stay safe, take care everyone.
2020-24: Monash Uni MBBS (Bonded)

I don't really go on here anymore. Feel free to DM though

I have no idea about the UCAT percentile required to get an interview/accepted into medicine. Mine was the first year that they used the UCAT. Just try and maximise your ATAR and take care of yourself.

My Med School journal

justaloser

  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
  • Respect: +116
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2020, 06:09:32 pm »
+15
Great week this week. Got back into the studying momentum (no break days!) and more importantly I'm closer to reaching my goal of making good use of my time.

Finally received the results for a group assignment about Australia's response to COVID-19: an 82.5%! I'd usually say that this doesn't count because it's a group project but I think I contributed my fair share by organising meetings and developing a timeline for our project so I'm pretty proud.

Studying-wise this week was mostly Physiology -- firstly, finishing up what I started last week regarding body fluids. Managed to do some fun reading on hypernatraemia, hyponatraemia and oedema which just apply the body fluid concepts into clinical scenarios -- I find it a lot easier to understand physiology when there are examples of how the mechanics work. Funnily enough a non-med friend recommended me a video that coincidentally applied these concepts to a real-life scenario.

Moving on from that, the other half of the week I spent going through action potentials + synaptic transmission - basically the mechanisms through which messages are transmitted through nerve cells. Having a look-see at next semester's content reveals we'll be going through anatomy of the upper limbs + nerves in week 1, which I'm sure will be rewarding given I'm halfway through grinding through my neurology/physiology stuff right now. Apart from that, I started going back through content for ICL and just creating Word documents profiling the relevant conditions + making flashcards. I always find case studies/clinical stuff interesting. From now on, I'm going to try and study 2 subjects every day, with one block for each. Next week, I'll be doing HKS throughout, Physiology in the first half and ICL in the second. I just want to keep my momentum going.

Side note: I've been doing a lot of textbook/document reading this week and I've tried some ways of note-taking. I've tried using a Cornell note-like structure twice in conjunction with creating Anki flashcards and it seems to work. Setting objectives for which pages I want to read in advanced has helped but I need to do it consistently.

Managed to hit an average of 2.5 hours' study a day. I think I've found my structure for the next week or so: a block of study in the afternoon, dinner then one in the night. If I can reorient my sleep schedule, maybe I can fit in a block before lunch, which leads me to my two key lessons this week:
1. There's always enough time for everything. I counteract procrastination by saying "There's X hours till sleep, and a studying block is just 1.5 of those". I think this will be my secret weapon in counteracting procrastination.
2. Procrastination is my enemy (it always has been, but only now did I notice the exact time I spend). I usually lose 1-2 hours to mindlessly browsing the internet, which are 1-2 hours of study, violin, gaming, writing, working out etc..
I'm also not going to take break days anymore. I feel like there's plenty of time in a day to study, take time off and talk to mates.

Outside of uni work there's not much to say. I picked up Final Fantasy 7 to play through for the next few weeks (been meaning to play through it). Funnily enough, playing video games to enjoy the games themselves and not socialise with friends is actually what helped me realise there's always time for everything. Managed to have a nice session of violin practice where I managed to actually confidently play the first page of my piece. The Cancer Case Competition also opened up -- our task is to create a model that helps cancer survivors navigate the transition period between active treatment (eg. chemo, surgery) and returning to normal life whilst having follow-up appointments. It's going to be hard coming up with a model but personally I'm not fussed about winning or our response, rather I'm focused on what I can learn and how our team manages our work.

My sleep schedule's slightly less messed up so far this week. Now it's because I've been having late-night-ish sessions of playing through Final Fantasy, which is definitely my fault (usually tend to leave games till after I've done studying). That being said I've been waking up earlier. I notice I usually procrastinate sleeping due to social media, so I'll try and charge my phone outside every night so I don't bring it into bed and ruin my eyes.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 06:16:42 pm by justaloser »
2020-24: Monash Uni MBBS (Bonded)

I don't really go on here anymore. Feel free to DM though

I have no idea about the UCAT percentile required to get an interview/accepted into medicine. Mine was the first year that they used the UCAT. Just try and maximise your ATAR and take care of yourself.

My Med School journal

K888

  • VIC MVP - 2017
  • National Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3705
  • Respect: +2877
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2020, 04:58:55 pm »
+7
Congrats on the awesome mark!! Doesn't matter whether it's group work or individual work - that's a great effort.

Your comment about being able to apply stuff to examples, etc. made me think of a podcast I'm subscribed to - medconversations. It was made by a bunch of Australian doctors to help med students learn about conditions, pathophys, signs and symptoms, treatment, etc. and I've found it to be really good. Some of it goes over my physio head but I reckon it'd be perfect for you!

Enjoy learning the mess that is the brachial plexus in anatomy ;)

Lear

  • MOTM: JUL 18
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
  • Respect: +328
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2020, 05:08:27 pm »
+5
Enjoy learning the mess that is the brachial plexus in anatomy ;)

I was having a great day until I read this and was reminded I still don't know it. Thanks.....
2018: ATAR: 99.35
Subjects
English: 44
Methods: 43
Further Maths: 50
Chemistry: 46
Legal: 40
2019: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine @ Monash

K888

  • VIC MVP - 2017
  • National Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3705
  • Respect: +2877
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2020, 05:41:51 pm »
+4
I was having a great day until I read this and was reminded I still don't know it. Thanks.....
I graduate at the end of the year and still feel like I don't know it properly 😂

justaloser

  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
  • Respect: +116
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 04:51:46 pm »
+3
Congrats on the awesome mark!! Doesn't matter whether it's group work or individual work - that's a great effort.

Your comment about being able to apply stuff to examples, etc. made me think of a podcast I'm subscribed to - medconversations. It was made by a bunch of Australian doctors to help med students learn about conditions, pathophys, signs and symptoms, treatment, etc. and I've found it to be really good. Some of it goes over my physio head but I reckon it'd be perfect for you!

Enjoy learning the mess that is the brachial plexus in anatomy ;)

Thank you! I did check out an episode of medconversations and found it was quite interesting! I'll keep it in mind for later years once we get to properly learning conditions in detail.

Funnily enough, for our online anatomy practicals my group has to give a presentation on the brachial plexus. From what I saw on Google images it looks ... confronting.
2020-24: Monash Uni MBBS (Bonded)

I don't really go on here anymore. Feel free to DM though

I have no idea about the UCAT percentile required to get an interview/accepted into medicine. Mine was the first year that they used the UCAT. Just try and maximise your ATAR and take care of yourself.

My Med School journal

justaloser

  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
  • Respect: +116
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2020, 10:02:23 pm »
+9
Short post this week, firstly due to the week being uneventful, secondly because I want to try a more laconic writing style. Holidays are over -- it's both a bit sad and exciting.

Mainly covered physiology, particularly immunology, particularly innate immunity (how the body fights/prevents infection in the initial stages). A standout tidbit of knowledge was Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha -- a protein that allows white blood cells to travel to a local infection site and clot small blood vessels to prevent spread of pathogens to the rest of the body. However if a bacterial infection is body-wide, the same response happens but it causes cause shock, organ failure and death. Bit of a double-edged sword there and pretty interesting.

Also experimenting with a new form of notetaking -- I try to divide sections of a page into "Process" and "Components", eg. proteins, cells. It helps show which processes lead into which and gets a nice "big picture" thing, plus the Components section shows which specific things I should make flashcards for/remember. For the UCCC I experimented with notetaking that had sections for key statistics, key ideas/findings and implications for our model, which worked a treat.

Apart from that I did study HKS -- reviewed Indigenous healthcare. However I didn't get as much done with HKS as I would've liked to, mainly because I saw a lot of content in the immunology textbook. However I did do a few practice exam questions for HKS that were mostly simple apart from technicalities eg. what requirements one has to meet to acquire refugee status in the US.

I found I was procrastinating slightly less -- before starting studying for the day I was consciously procrastinating, and it felt terrible. However once I got started, starting up the second block was very easy. What galvanised me halfway was logging onto a voice call and having a friend call me a machine with studying ... I felt both encouraged and like a fraud because I don't work as much as people think I do. No biggie though, I've lived with impostor syndrome all my life and I can see beyond those feelings.

On the days that I didn't do work -- Saturday and Sunday -- I either spent playing video games or spending time with family. Usually I'd feel intensely guilty about being unproductive but I decided that since sem 2 will be very busy, it's alright to give up just two days, right. Something inside me says this is a mistake though, but we'll see.

Spent Friday not studying uni content, but rather reading research papers for the University Cancer Comp. I was assigned to read about the psychosocial issues cancer survivors face by the group -- particularly the fear of recurrence, the lack of formal care/referrals and the generally concerning rates of distress/depression/anxiety. Depressing but great stuff. Had a 2 hour meeting for the Comp., too, which was great but also quite tiring as now we have to somehow quantify (cost) the model we've come up with. Respect to those working from home.

My sleep schedule's getting back on track -- usually sleeping around 12:30-ish and waking up around 10.

Coming up next week is anatomy of the upper limb. I noticed sem 2's content is a lot more anatomy/physiology-focused than sem 1. I'm doing some pre-reading immediately after posting this -- particularly on the anatomical metalanguage/terms -- and maybe watching a lecture. Although it looks challenging, I feel like I can handle it. After all, first sem's content seemed confronting to fresh-out-of-highschool me, and now I'm very comfortable with it.

In the broader term, I'm going to try and aim for a 80% average with my assignments/exams/quizzes in sem 2. I think I'm a bit better at learning content than I thought so no harm raising expectations, right? Things are looking up, my mental health is slowly recovering (it will inevitably crash in sem 2). Let's see where I'll be 1 week into sem 2.
2020-24: Monash Uni MBBS (Bonded)

I don't really go on here anymore. Feel free to DM though

I have no idea about the UCAT percentile required to get an interview/accepted into medicine. Mine was the first year that they used the UCAT. Just try and maximise your ATAR and take care of yourself.

My Med School journal

K888

  • VIC MVP - 2017
  • National Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3705
  • Respect: +2877
Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2020, 10:17:03 pm »
+4
Thank you! I did check out an episode of medconversations and found it was quite interesting! I'll keep it in mind for later years once we get to properly learning conditions in detail.

Funnily enough, for our online anatomy practicals my group has to give a presentation on the brachial plexus. From what I saw on Google images it looks ... confronting.
TeachMeAnatomy have a good summary - https://teachmeanatomy.info/upper-limb/nerves/brachial-plexus/

And there's some awesome youtube videos - I recommend going through a couple. The videos are great for teaching you to get familiar with its structure and how to draw it. I think there's also some fun mnemonics (not as good as the mnemonics for the cranial nerves, though).