Should you join clubs and societies at medical school?

A big welcome to our guest blogger Eleanor Trezise.

Eleanor is a Graduate Entry Medicine student at St Georges Hospital in London.

Eleanor scored in the top 12% in GAMSAT, and this inspired her to launch her own website with the intention of advertising tutoring services and supporting other GAMSAT takers (link at end of blog).  As the site evolved, it has become an important and useful platform for sharing advice and providing resources for everything from completing applications and interview help to study tips and making the most of your time at medical school.  

Some believe the smartest thing to do at medical school is to put your head down and do nothing but study 24/7 in the hope of consistently hitting that top decile. But for many people, it’s not. Hear me out…

The experiences, connections and other benefits you can get from extracurriculars could be invaluable in your future – as well as in the present.

In this blog...

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Need to Learn Anatomy Fast? 5 Tips to Pass Your Anatomy Exam

Are you worried that you've left things too late?

In an ideal world you would have prepared well in advance for your anatomy exam. You would be feeling confident and would be calmly striding into the examination room with a smile on your face – but how often has that happened to you?

 You might be the sort of student who has left it too late and is desperately trying to cram things in at the last minute. Or you may have started revising anatomy early, but no matter how much time you spend on it, it just does not seem to stay in your head.

Whichever group you may find yourself in, there is no question that learning anatomy fast would be a massive bonus.  If you are worried about your upcoming anatomy exam, try these 5 tips which you can apply to any subject to help you get through.

 Learning anatomy quickly and retaining all the facts to pass your exam is the holy grail for any medical student trying to get through medical school.

 Sadly, there is no...

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2021 Let's Go....LIVE!

2021 - Let’s Go!!

Well that was an incredible start to 2021….. This week has been a dream come true for us as we went LIVE and finally got to meet some of you.

We did our first live tutorial with Prof Vishy, on Zoom last Thursday. We kicked off with the sound track ‘Let’s Go’ by Usher and Calvin Harris, and after the typical technical issues , (which some of you were able to help us resolve – thank you!)  Prof Vishy delivered a phenomenal lecture on the Mediastinum. It was great to see him back in his tie and braces and once we got the first slide working – he was off and on a roll. I was reminded of what a fantastic teacher he is and how he can make the most complex of areas, so easy to understand.

Today I did our first Live YouTube and Instagram ‘Anatomy Clinic’ where I answered some of the questions that had been asked by students earlier this week. This is a totally new format for on-line teaching and it was great to...

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3 Books that Changed my Life in 2020

 

Background

In 2015, I found myself in a really difficult place as I was emotionally lost. After spending over 20 years working hard to achieve my goal of becoming a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at one of the top orthopaedic hospitals in the world, which I thought would be a job for life, things did not work out that well. The job had both clinical and academic components, and there were several roles that I was expected to fulfil.  This meant that I was stretched between research, teaching and clinical commitments. The intradepartmental politics in both the clinical and the academic institutions were intense.

My twin daughters were born during this time and the stress I was experiencing at trying to do the best I could at work was affecting my family life. It just was not fair on my daughters to have a mum who was tired, irritable and absent even when I was in the room with them.

Something had to give.

After several months of tossing it backwards and forwards in my mind I...

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10 Tips for Studying Anatomy during COVID

 

When I went to medical school I was excited but I was also anxious about many things such as

– Would I like it?

- Would I make any friends?

- Would I find it to difficult?

- Is this the right course for me?

Sometimes those feelings were overwhelming. I found studying anatomy particularly hard as there were hundreds of new words and structures to learn and remember. And this was during the ‘good times’ when I could meet other students and go into class for lectures for support.

I can only imagine how much harder it must be to study during COVID, where in some countries, social distancing and lock down restrictions are still in place. A lot of universities have had to restrict their teaching facilities due to COVID and for a lot of students this means distance learning. That can be lonely and demoralising. Keeping a check of your mental health is so important and over the next year I will be writing a lot more about that.

But in this blog and accompanying video, I...

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Orthopaedic Surgeons - Strong as an Ox but half as Smart

‘Strong as an ox and half as smart’ was a classic line that was used by medical professionals to describe orthopaedic surgeons. When I went to medical school there was a generalised attitude that orthopaedic surgeons had to be very strong to operate on bones, but that they were not that clever. They were also not considered to be that sensitive to emotions and feelings, and that in some way talking about this was ‘weak’. Incidentally that does not mean that they didn't care, but just that it would be considered strange for them to share their own feelings.

 When I started training, the typical image of an orthopaedic surgeon would be a big, tall, well-built man, who went to the ‘correct school’, played rugby, talked loudly (often about themselves), laughed even louder, drank copious amounts of beer, and wore beige chinos and a blue blazer with brass buttons. Please be reassured that if you happen to fit this description, I do not have...

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Create Your Environment for Success

Did you know that sometimes you sabotage your chances of success in developing a new habit before you have even started it?

But did you also realise that you can accelerate your chances of reaching your goals by making some simple small changes?

The environment you create for yourself can make all the difference between success and failure.

Let me give you an example. If you are trying to lose weight, but every day you have a habit of buying a cake or doughnut on your way home, this will not help you lose weight.   You know that you need to stop buying that doughnut because you are not stupid. But if you keep passing that same shop on the way home, your brain will automatically send you signals as you near the shop that you need to go in the shop and you need to buy a snack because it will taste sooo good and make you feel sooo much better – which to be fair it does… for a minute or two, but then you spend the next hour beating yourself up about giving in to...

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Start a habit

Start a Habit

A habit is a behaviour that you have repeated so many times that it becomes automatic. 

Habits can be actions such as brushing your teeth. There are several complex steps involved in this activity that you probably have not thought about in several years. In order to brush your teeth, you need a toothbrush and you need toothpaste. You then apply the toothpaste to the toothbrush and then you need to put the brush on your teeth and move your hand up and down so that the toothbrush actually cleans your teeth. This is an action that you have repeated so many times that you do not even need to think about each individual step, your brain knows what to do and it  just happens automatically. (which is probably a good thing because if you are anything like me, you will still be half asleep when you brush your teeth ) 

But habits can also be thoughts. For example the decision to brush your teeth in the first place is not one you think about – you just do it...

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Be Your Own Cheerleader

Be Your Own Cheerleader

So much of your success in life is determined by the attitude you bring to the task in hand. This applies to anything you do from something small like washing dirty dishes, to monumental tasks like winning an election. Not everyone will be running for president, so let’s go back to the dishes - if you look at the pile of dirty dishes and think – I hate this job, its such a waste of time, I could be doing something more fun, then the job will suck. If, however you think to yourself, I need to wash the dishes because its nice to have a clean kitchen and if I just get on and do it quickly, then I can forget about it and do something more fun instead. Whilst I am doing the dishes I can also listen to a podcast and learn something new, or I can listen to some music that I like, which will put me in a good mood. This way the task will not seem onerous at all and you may even enjoy it.

When it comes to studying the same principles apply. If you look at...

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Write Your Manifesto

Your success at university will be determined by the mental attitude that you bring with you. Staying positive, focussed and self-motivated will be essential skills you need to learn. Making this a conscious process will put you in far better position towards being successful. There are some very easy and clear steps that you can take now to help you on your way.

When you change from school to University there is a massive shift in so many aspects of your life. You are on the road to becoming independent and will have so many choices ahead of you in all aspects of your life.

At home you have to live by other people’s rules; the rules of your parents, the rules of your family, the rules of your school, the rules of your culture or place of worship. These rules have shaped who you are today so far, but now you are starting a phase in your life when you decide what you want to do and when you want to do it.

 In every aspect of your new life you will have choices. You can now...

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