Medical exam, Words of wisdom
The response of people when they hear that you actually made it to your dream
destination in addition to your own inner feelings of reassurance about the fact
that the tag of 'doctor' will soon be a part of your recognition may be so
overwhelming that it takes a while for the anticipation to die down.
Dec: WHile preparing for any exam, one inadvertently also starts planning so many
other things that one would do after the exams. However, just when you have all
the time in the world to do anything and everything, you become too slothful to
actually get a single thing done. Something like this also happens when one is
through with the aptitude test for a desired medical college.|
is only when the student realises that the celebration is over and that it is
time again to get serious about studies is when reality about medicine not being
a child's play strikes. There is a great deal of knowledge to get yourself
familiarised with within a limited span of time.
You learn with
experience. It is only after the first professional medical exam that students
realise how the different subjects are to be tackled so that they are retained
in the mind for as long as possible. However, how so better would it be were
there someone to tell you all this when you needed to know about it, that is,
before the first year. So this little article here should serve as a guideline
for all first year medical students. It will show you how to approach the
seemingly back-breaking subjects and how to turn them into relatively manageable
Anatomy is one subject that gives a really
hard time to the students for the simple reason that has been further divided.
There is Anatomy itself as Gross Anatomy along with Histology, Embryology and
General Anatomy. Then there is Physiology, which brings along with itself
another cause for worry. Though interesting and easier than Anatomy, it is
rather lengthy. Biochemistry is the shortest of all but it was the subject for
which I had to refer to most books as every teacher presented us with his/her
own favorite treatise and only in the end did I come to the conclusion as to
which books are meant for me.
Books to follow
students the most is which book to follow. And who else to provide the best
answer to this dilemma than your seniors. They are the real saviors. Whichever
book you follow, it must offer at least as much detail as the teacher
emphasises. It is also equally vital to understand the language and style of the
book. Some are written in a more reader-friendly manner than others. Hence it is
a good idea to have a look at all the standard publications. The college library
comes in handy here and the books one finds appealing can all be used for
No matter which books your teachers or seniors ask you to go
for, study from the ones you understand the best. The likes and grasping ability
of every individual varies and so does the complexity level of each book. Though
it is important to follow the books as the teacher expects from you, the only
thing that matters in the end is whether you know the stuff or
Thin or bulky?
Some students think smart and prefer
thin books to the bulky ones. The thin variety works wonders, but only in the
case of revision. They are not meant to quench the need of the volume of
knowledge required to build concepts. Moreover, since no thin book provides a
perfect summary of the bulky one, a student can do a great deal of good for
him/herself by adding in the missing points from detailed books to the shorter
versions during the course of study. This really helps in the final exams when
you need a concise compilation of the bulky textbooks for a rapid and effective
Though attending classes is important
for all the subjects, it is most important for Anatomy. The teacher helps you
understand by using various interactive modes of teaching like multimedia and
models. Illustrations play a very significant role in retaining Anatomy
knowledge, Human Atlas by Netter being famous for this purpose. Mc Minn's Colour
Atlas for Human Anatomy is also a good choice for illustrations in bone marking.
There are tempting illustrative books available for Histology, Embryology as
well as other subjects too that are worth spending money on.
soft and plastic, should be considered as important a tool for learning as the
books. Therefore, dissection classes should be regularly attended and taken
interest in. Anatomy museum must be visited often too.
always been a sound source of learning. They are easily available on various
sites on the Internet and can be created by you as well. Different DVDs and
sites can ease the burden by providing excellent three-dimensional figures for
some extremely convoluted knowledge.
Once in the field of medicine, any
form or source of knowledge should be more than welcome. Various informative
programmes on TV, instructive sites, video/audio cassettes and CD/DVDs, ebooks,
etc., should all be used to strengthen ideas and perception. A medical student
should learn to develop a keen eye. Medical reports, hospital visits,
medicine-related novels and health magazines can all be used to broaden the
scope of thought and understanding.
from your seniors as well as the teachers the type of questions that constitute
an exam and the way to solve them. The question type may vary in case of
different subjects. Preparation for exams should begin right from the start.
Studying one topic should be followed by solving questions about that subject.
There is no need to keep track of the number of books solved, the more the
better. Seniors can help in telling which books are important from an exam point
of view. Past papers should also be solved.
As for vivas, they are simply
inevitable. They are a part of every exam, therefore preparation of every topic
should be done keeping in mind that both written and oral exams are to be dealt
Theory exams require extensive study while the questions put to you
during viva are supposed to be a common knowledge. Nevertheless, it is more a
matter of luck as to which teacher gets to take the viva exam and the way he/she
likes to do it. Whatever the case, only true hard work, willpower and interest
can make studying medicine a joyful experience for you.
By Komal Motwani (Dawn)
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