Seeing as I’ve been officially accepted into second year, I guess ‘jacksfirstyearofmed’ no longer really applies. Standard lack of foresight from me. In the interests of keeping things fresh (and a few other reasons), I’m heading darkside. Wordpress darkside. For now at least, you can find my blog at jackversusmedicine.wordpress.com. While the title is perhaps a little confrontational, hopefully I can brainstorm something better in the near future. See you on the other side of cyberspace.
So although medicine couldn’t be further from my mind right now, second year is really sneaking up on me and neuro is making me nervous. Got my enrolment confirmation email the other day (showing my skyrocketing HECS debt, but never mind) and it made me realise I’ve got to make the most of the rest of the holidays. Especially as next year they are cut in half! A few of my mates in second year are heading up to Lismore or Orange for their rural year, which is definitely on my to-do list! I’ve never lived bush before and I think it’s worth a look, especially as once I have found a Scandinavian wife and lured her to Australia I reckon being a GP in a country town with a nice little property is not a bad way to go. I’m not getting ahead of myself am I? Is that creepy? Anyway, point is that I plan on making the most of these holidays!
Especially with the nightmare that is neuro just around the corner.
The holidays have been awesome though, with my Norwegian housemate from my 2011 exchange in Bergen coming to stay for a few weeks. I feel like we showed Leo a pretty good trip and, although we somehow didn’t find time to see the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge, he definitely went home with an impressive tan, sand all through his bag and salty hair.
So before every big exam, when you’ve left everything too late, you have to make sacrifices. My friend Sam calls it high-yield vs. low-yield study. When time is of the essence, only look at the things that are going to get you clutch marks. Don’t bother with the stuff you’re not even close to understanding and don’t go over things that have already stuck. Look at schemas, draw diagrams and memorise mnemonics. Guess what they are going to ask. And learn it.
Well that all went a little wrong. I have two questions really. Why do they split the exam in two with a two hour break in between. And why did they ask so many questions on the lipids lecture that I never went to, listened to at home, or even looked over.
I think I did enough. Time will tell.
Study weekend at my friend Verity’s place up in the Blue Mountains. Trying to kick the Facebook habit: clearly failing. Lucky it’s a convenient place to duck down to Nepean from on Monday morning for my last day there for the year. Probably the only place it’s convenient for…
And now it gets serious. But there is some good news, if it all falls apart and I fail, I get another crack: on January 7. Seeing as that falls mid-Tasmania adventure I guess it’s all the more incentive to put my head down and get this done.
Pretty much our exam is made up of two parts: the anatomy part and the written part. Both are effectively pass/fail this year but are separate, so you have to do enough in both of them.
The anatomy part is effectively a ‘name that thing’ test with 3 different types of specimens. The first are prosections with pins in them denoting muscles, nerves, parts of bones and things like that. These are okay because we have been looking at prosectioned cadavers the whole year so we should be able to recognize them. It just gets difficult when you look at the list of 300+ structures we need to know… The second are histology slides on enlarged print outs. These are perhaps the ones I am most worried about, largely due to my inexperience with, and dislike of, anything cellular. And the third are pathology bottles in which we have to describe what we see. These should be fine because as far as I can tell they give us the list of 50-odd bottles we could get and you just sit down for a day and rote learn them. The other thing that scares me about this part of the exam is the way you rotate around the stations with a timer and a bell to move you on. No time to look out the window and imagine holidays, or to leave it and come back later.
The written part of the exam is a little different and comprises two 80 question exams of two hours each, split by a lunch break. It’s all multi choice but I tell you what that option E really changes things. The written exam is pretty much based on a spread of material based on the 250+ lectures and pracs we have had this year, with a weighting towards the more recent blocks. A heap of content but I guess I want my doctors to know all of it, so fair enough.
And on the other side… nearly 3 months of summer holidays.