You survived first year! Not only that but you’ll never have to do first year again! That’s the good news, the not so good news is that you’re now expected to know something. Ah. But c’mon it’s mostly positive – remember those irritating MED2000’s who were PBL room hogs and were always yelling at you to tidy up and “go somewhere else” so they could do “PBL 2”? Well now you get to be those MED2000’s!
Second year is a bit different from first year and so we have decided to put together this little guide to give you a few “what we wish we’d known” tips and hopefully answer some questions.
So read on…
What’s the same?
Almost everything. Seriously, not much changes. You’ll still base your week around a PBL case, goto UTS, have a CCS day and have clinical attachments (Although not that many!) . It’s the same faces in the same building.
As previously mentioned nothing major but there are some notable changes that it’s worth knowing about:
- PBL cases are more clinical: You start to dip your toes into the worlds of pathology, pharmacology and management. Basically they get more interesting!
- You have a new PBL tutor and, like MED1000, they’re fantastic.
- CCS sessions expect more of you: It’s no longer enough to bumble your way through a cardiology exam like you’re a medical parrot. You’ll need to do focussed exams now which address specific patient presentations. Also by the end of the year there’s a lot you will have covered.
- Clinical attachments get more real: You’ll take a trip to the mortuary which many find quite affecting and you’ll also probe some of the more sensitive aspects of medicine such as taking a sexual history and women’s health.
- You’ll have more free time: Yay! But you should be studying during it. Boo!
- You do a couple of field trips: Always nice to get out of the office, eh? Especially when it’s to the beach. You’ll have a start-of-the-year trip to Colloroy
- You have to do a Social Justice Project / Writeup: More on this in the ‘advice’ section.
- KenHub: A cheap and innovative way of memorising anatomical structures. Great for testing yourself and firming up old knowledge.
- Passmedicine: You get free access to OnExamination through the uni, but if you want some more Q’s on he cheap then this site it great. Well worked through answers.
- Firecracker: Innovative learning and revision tool that uses proven memory retention tools. Aimed at the USMLE but still very relevant.
- Picmonic: This is one of those resources that you might well end up loving, especially if you’re an arts undergrad. Also SAVE 20% off the cost with the code PICUND2.
- The Calgary Guide: Wonderful and free one-page pathology summaries.
Words of wisdom from previous students:
1) Learn pharm – drugs and mechanisms, plus i.e. list 5 drugs to treat x disease
2) Have fun – it’s actually ok to go out occasionally 😉 please don’t spend your lives studying
3) Anatomy labs are better in second year – make the most of them and prep before “
Organise study groups – BCS and CCS from the start and stick to them. A little bit every week takes the stress off at the end.
The importance of PPH.
The importance of PBLs. To study around the topics in Pbl rather than just the pathology itself.
That the level of lecture material do not necessarily correlate well with what you need to know as a second year med student
A mix of gordos, los and my own notes… This was different to last years plan and I actually felt more stressed this year. I would recommend keeping to whatever works for you and not messing around too much, also try not to overload yourself with information
Study groups and block study (in comparison to week by week). UQ past exams and UNDS past exams all paid off in the end.
Did a study day with a friend and powered through all the Los for them – answering on spot, not looking up answers.
Find a good study document from the year above and use it. There are plenty floating around. Also, participate in the tutorial discussion. You’ve got to sit there for an hour anyway and instead of falling asleep you may as well get involved.
Lots and lots of practice – alone and with various study partners
Practice practice practice. In hindsight be tough on each other because nerves take over on the day. Remember the basics as if you get a bad station you will likely get enough marks to get you over line with the basics.
Throughout the year with a group of friends. Closer to exams with one friend, I also tried ‘ccs study breaks’- when I got bored of BCS during exam periods I would take 20 min breaks in which I practiced/watched ccs.
Med2000 is a lot of work but there’s also a lot of opportunities for having fun (trips to collaroy+ lithgow)…so don’t forget to make wonderful memories with fellow students as you may not see much of them in 3rd/4th year!
Some general advice
You’ll already have a good handle on things so we’ll keep this brief. Here are a few things that we learnt over the course of another year at ND:
- LOGOS: Some
luckyorganised souls will already have knocked our favourite course augmentation on the head. If you’re not one of these people then we’d advise you smash it in the first semester. Just get it done. The second semester is far more busy and you won’t want to be loosing study time.
- SOCIAL JUSTICE PROJECT: The only advice I’d offer here is to maintain some perspective. This is worth 3% of your PPD grade so DON’T PANIC! Make sure you read the guide the university gives you and also check the documents that have been uploaded on the files section of this website.
- STUDY: The same sort of rules apply from first year. The more you do during the year and the more up-to-date you keep yourself the less pain you’ll feel at the end of the year. You’ll still feel pain. Just less. Also remember that (and here’s a scary thought) that this is likely the last time you will have freedom to really get on top of the basic medical sciences. You can also brush up on your physiology or pathology later on but it will have to be during snatched time. Just a thought.
- BALANCE: Of course the same thing applies to this year as the one before it and the one afterwards: You need to strike a balance between work and play. You’ll hear this advice again and again and it still won’t get any easier to follow. “But there’s so much to learn! I’ll just spend the weekend…” Stop. There’s a point where you’re running so fast that you’ll fall, the trick is to find your line and not cross it. Go to the park, go to the beach, go to a gallery or just read a non-medical book. You’ll be so much more efficient when you come back to it.
- ENJOY: Look, the time for you to just study for the sake of it (and exams natch) is coming to an end. In no time at all you’ll be a doctor and the decisions you make will have real-world consequences for other people. The time to just observe and not carry the burden of responsibility is drawing to a close so make the most of it and don’t wish the years away.
Look, it’s more of the same. 32 more PBLs and a couple of enjoyable trips out (Collaroy and Rural Trauma). You might find yourself frustrated by the lack of clinical experience. That’s fair enough. If you can console yourself with the knowledge that you’re basically in training to be an amazing clinical-years student.
After MED2000 you’ll be spending the next four years rotating around hospitals and specialties. So take this chance to indulge in the theory and hone your CCS skills. I’ll say that again hone your CCS skills. You’ll never be pre-clinical again so make the most of it and keep your eyes on the prize. Good luck from the class of 2015!