Published on 17th November 2015 by Roya

Welcome to the fifth instalment of the one-stop-shop for all you need to know about that special somewhere over the rainbow, namely, medical school. So cherubs, by this point you would’ve sent off your personal statements to the four medical schools you’ve always dreamed of going to/ the four you reckoned would be most likely to let you in. Odds are that the majority of you are driving yourself nuts waiting for that all-important email letting you know about the outcome of your application. To take your mind off it, here are three nuggets of distraction to ease the stresses, if only for a moment.

1. Welcome to Medical School – get your brain in gear

The topic of the day is mid-course assessments. Unfortunately kids, the endless fun of examinations doesn’t stop once you cross the threshold of uni. Oh no, luckily for us doctors, the examinations never stop. I repeat: exams. never. stop. Good news is that if you’re like me, you relish an exam as an opportunity to show what you’ve learned and that you’re in the right place. Universities are getting more and more keen on checking in on your learning progress as you go throughout the year. Try to avoid discovering with a rather unpleasant shock that you’ve shown up to two lectures in the last six months and haven’t the foggiest what’s going on.     

2. Work out the best way to learn

I’m going to recount my traumatic tale of my mid-sessional exam after Christmas this year. Picture me, having just survived my first term in medical school and all ready to relax over the holidays, only to have the startling realisation that rather than spend Noel basking on the beach (my Christmas was in South Africa – be jealous) I’d be inside, nose in book, slowly turning into Gollum. I wrote up the entire terms lectures up into my own notes. Different people have different styles of learning, so take this opportunity to properly find a method that works. Efforts did pay off you’ll be glad to hear, however it left me lacking questioning my sanity and woefully without a tan.  

3. Remember to learn as you go along

Despite looking like I’d just spent my Christmas break in the Arctic chilling with penguins instead of springboks, I have to say that there were definite pluses. For one thing, I didn’t get a stern lecture from my terrifying head of year. Secondly, mid-sesh after parties are always a good time. Thirdly and (perhaps) more importantly, I felt much more prepared when my medical school summer exams came around. I can’t tell you how awful the feeling is when you realise the sheer vastness of the content of your course and how crucial it is to learn as you go along. Unless you’re some sort of wunderkind, you’ll find it nigh on impossible to cram for summer exams. Believe me when I say doing a little work often, very often goes a long long way. This year I’m trying to do A LOT more work for exams during the term so I can properly relax over Christmas. Stay tuned to find out how that works out for me!


So in conclusion friends, don’t expect medical school to be all sunshine and rainbows. You are (unfortunately) there to work at the end of the day. Expect in-course assessments to be part of the daily struggle, but rest assured you’ll be far better off at the end of the day for putting the effort in. Seize the opportunity you’re being given to strut your stuff and who knows, you may accidentally enjoy yourself along the way.

Medic love,


Uploaded by Tristan on November 17th, 2015


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