Thursday, 14 November 2013

Coming up for air

So it's been a while since I last updated this thing. It's pretty obvious from reading my last entry that about a month ago I was feeling really down and I was heading for a crash of one form or another. As it happens, that crash came a few days later in the form of a (normally dormant) health condition which reared its ugly head again and meant that I ended up going back home for a period to recover.

I'm fine now, and in a way the time off was useful because it helped me destress a bit and I returned to uni feeling more hopeful about things. I should also add that the condition is NOT stress related, so the fact that it happened at a really stressful time is just coincidence (or perhaps serendipity...).

Anyway I've been back at med school for about three weeks now and I'm feeling a bit more optimistic about my chances and prospects regarding next month's final pre-clinical exam. One of the biggest things which was stressing me out about a month ago was my renal module and how behind I felt with it and how tricky renal physiology is to understand. Thankfully, I've now largely caught up with it and, even better, the bastard loop of Henle is now starting to make a bit more sense so it's not as awful as it first seemed.

That said, I do still feel like there is an awful lot of content to revise before next month's exam and we still have another week of classes to go before we go on study leave. I think I've arrived at a vague conclusion that I simply won't be able to revise everything in equal depth with only two weeks dedicated revision time, so I am trying to focus more on nailing key topics rather than getting bogged down in the finer details of things which are less likely to come up.

For example, I could spend an entire evening trying to memorise all of the million and one respiratory gas laws which we were taught - something that's unlikely to come up and even if it did, would only count for a few marks - or I could make sure I understand the physiology of ventilation and gas exchange inside out. Or COPD or asthma or anything else which is more likely to come up. It's a slightly risky strategy and not one which I feel comfortable with since last summer I actually managed to revise everything, but I can't see any other way really - there's simply too much to cover and not enough time. I'm also trying my best to keep up with year 1 content because I feel that since I've already passed it once, it could potentially be easy to gain marks in again...especially since I would consider last year's modules to be my strengths.

Generally I'm just happy to be in a better place than I was last month. Yeah, I'm still pretty tired a lot of the time and I don't like the cycle of "wake up-uni-home-revise-sleep-repeat", but at least I get to sleep more easily nowadays and having finished writing up all of my anatomy and physiology notes, I now feel more confident as the clinical stuff is much easier for me to revise (and way more interesting). So really, I'm just hoping that if I keep plugging away at it, I'll get a decent result come December.

Thank you for all the reassuring and helpful comments which were left on my last post...they definitely helped cheer me up whilst I was recovering at home!


  1. Sad to hear that you've been having some issues GrumpyBiomed! But I hope you're in a better situation now :) I'm sure you'll rally for the exams. A guy who can get a great B.Sc and do so well in the summer exams should be fine with the next lot.

    Just out of curiosity, I'm a second year anatomist at the University of Liverpool and was wondering how the graduate medic anatomy content differs from my undergrad. As mine is full time anatomy/physiology, I think we go into a greater detail - but I'd be curious. Do you have any examples of lectures on say the thorax or abdopelvic regions that you could share? Even if its a single slide?

    I've always been nosy! haha. Good luck in the upcoming exams!


  2. Hey vulcanus, thanks for the comment and the encouragement, I hope you're right!

    Certainly - if you email me (gepmedic[at] I'll be very happy to forward you some of our lecture slides :)