After studying a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Anatomy and Physiology in South Africa I realised that I wanted to become a Doctor and study medicine. I love interacting with patients and learning new skills! This degree is a perfect balance between science and humanity, and I am really enjoying living in England and exploring the area around Preston.
I have now finished Phase 1 and have reflected on how my MBBS studies have gone so far, including which techniques have helped me throughout the course.
My top tips for studying Medicine are:
Stay on top of the work
It can be quite overwhelming at times, but if you work consistently it really helps to manage the workload. Making sure that you work on your time management is another important skill that you can use throughout the course as it allows you to study and learn efficiently.
Know your study style and what works best for you
So many people study differently, and it is important not to compare or stress that you are not studying like someone else.
Repetition worked for me, especially with subjects like anatomy where the vast amount of content can seem quite overwhelming.
Another study technique which helped me was making flashcards for pharmacology, which is an easy way of learning via repetition and a great way of studying with peers.
Put time and effort into your portfolio and student-selected component
These are two crucial components that are often overlooked as we become distracted by the other workload. However, both of these are components that we carry through to the final year and if you work hard understanding and completing them in Phase 1, they will become a welcome routine and a break from studies rather than an added stress.
Treat modules with equal importance
Looking back at my first and second years, I remember how stressful it could be to juggle all the modules. Make sure you see them as being equally important and work on them all each week.
One way I prepared for clinical skills was to do the pre-reading and watch the videos provided in advance to make the sessions productive. I often looked through the checklist afterwards, repeating the steps back to myself or to friends, as practise really makes perfect when it comes to OSCEs as well as sounding confident.
Take time off to enjoy the city and surrounding areas
A balance always helps to keep you motivated to start the week fresh and prevents the feeling of burnout. I study throughout the week and one day of the weekend, but I try to take Sundays off to relax, exercise or explore the area.
One of my favourite places in Preston is Avenham Park, a beautiful area close to the city centre for a jog, walk or cycle and a great way to get some fresh air after a long day of studies!