Steps into Medicine
by : acabeire*

I was having a lecture about stroke this evening. Since he is one of my favourite lecturer that I can’t miss! His lecture is very sarcastic, yet funny and inspiring. I am not going to talk further on the causes, pathogenesis, clinical findings, bla…bla.. about stroke. What I want to share is the way we should organize our study as a medical students. Let say you are lost in a jungle. What will you do? Yes, find a map or find a way to see the whole routes of the jungle or maybe (this is impossible to do) is by hiring a helicopter as to see things a whole. So, before you read Kumar and Clark(medical book) for example for medicine, try to find the key words and something that can be seen as the main crucial points that can be the roots of the studies. Then you can go to the branch, leaves and bla2. Trust me, if you start reading your lecture notes and Kumar and Clark without SEEING THINGS AS FROM BASIC AND AS A WHOLE, YOU WILL FORGET IT JUST AFTER THE NEXT DAY.

The second things that he always remind it is to CLASSIFY things from something basic that is easy for you remember. It will be the key for you to open up the memory, things that you have read in the past. Your own notes is not something that you write on add more details when you hear a lecture because trust me you will simply forget it afterwards. The notes that you should do is more on something that you will remember for the rest of your life. So, start with tables, classifications, mind map and bla..bla..

The third things that really amaze me, when he gave an example on how you will learn table. You will not be able to learn mathematics by simply doing the simple calculation every day. For example, 2×2=4. Do you practise this in your primary school time to memorize it or you still doing the calculation until to get the answer 4? Exactly! So doing medicine is not all about memorizing every single thing that you learn in your class. It is about listening intensively to the lecture, and decide which one is more important than other, and also which one the least important. Even in mathematics, you must have at least very basic requirements before you can be the expert in math of physics or others. So in medicine, you will suffer for the 5 years to learn all this basics, including the preclinical stuff for the past 2-3 years (anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pathology, pharmacology and microbiology; subjects during pre-clinical years) and memorize the basic stuff that you will use for the rest of your life. With only this basic requirement, and you will achieve more in your life and can become a competent doctor.

As for my years in Penang Medical College(clinical years), in our third year, we must strengthen our basics in history taking and physical examination in all systems in surgery and medicine. So, thank you to our Professor of Surgery for his surgical proforma that is like a Qur’an to us. He even jokes that one day he will make a new translation of Qur’an with the surgical proforma behind it (the proforma contain name, age, occupation, presenting complaint, past history of presenting complaint,bla..bla).

So for those who feel you guys really want to do medicine, or just want to show off that you guys are simply brilliant,or want to help people, or want to make a lot of money, or want to be someone popular in the community so that you can be a politician, whatever reason that you might choose medicine as your life carrier, these are something useful that i can share with all of you.

(I would really appreciate for other readers to share the skills to study medicine. You might Consultant, Medical Officers, Houseman Officer, General pratitioner, medical students, please share with us your experience that make you as a successful doctor. I am sure that you will be smiling while writing your hardtime in 5-6years doing medicine. Thank you)


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