Over the last year I have started to understand how non-medical students view medical students. This has been very interesting, enlightening and somewhat frustrating at times, in the form of debates over the dinner table to overhearing conversations about medical students in SAFB (I mean if you are going to voice your opinion you could pick a better building to sit in than the medics building!).
So as I prepare to spend some time with non-medics, I thought I would write a blog to dispel any myths about Imperial medical students.
“Medics never do any work”
This was the first opinion that I heard about medics and started a long dinner table discussion. To put this into context the week before I heard this an average day had been:
Leave the house by 5:45am (looking presentable and smartly dressed!) in order to get the tube to Northwick Park Hospital, where at 7:15am I started clerking pre-surgery patients before their operations.
This discussion is dedicated for the prospective Biologists at Imperial. Here is what you are going to have in a Biology exam at Imperial. We have four modules during the first year and each module will have an exam eventually. So there are four exams each year. In every exam, there will be three sections.
1> 40 Multiple (5) choices questions:
Negative marking system is something you should be aware of. Don’t guess the answers and only answer what you are most confident with is the whole point of this system. (And I’m not a big fan of this tbh :P) Most multiple choice questions in the mock paper (only a mock paper provided for each term) of the first two modules (BCM and OB) are unchanged for the last two years, so there really isn’t much you can get from the MCQ in mock paper.
By the courtesy of Imperial student blogger platform, I would like to express my sincerest wishes to all the Chinese overseas students studying abroad a very happy Chinese new year! (Try not to get too homesick! 😛 )
Now quite a few of my Chinese readers have requested for a post about the Chinese experience in London. And in response to your request, I will make this post in short time. I can assure you that it’s never too boring to be a Chinese in London 😛 😛 😛 (Enough said, you’ll see more from this special post later this month)
I’ve got some emails from my beloved readers, asking for my revision techniques. So I though I’d do a discussion on how I revise for exams. It is really up to you to decide which method suits you best so my version is certainly not a perfect example. I humbly present to you……the revision notes!
I enjoy making revision notes after having that lecture (usually on weekends or over free time). The key difference between revision notes and lecture notes is that processed information are being listed in a logical manner with key annotations. Here are a few points I’d like to provide before posting an example of my revision notes:
1> Keep the wording short and concise: Trust you don’t want to read some hideous long paragraphs in some midnight to prepare for exams!
Congratulations if you have studied A-level Chemistry or any level in equivalence in high school! Cause the first two sections of BCM largely contain information about Chemistry. If you didn’t learn A-level Chemistry, that’s fine! (It’s not the end of the world!) The part of Chemistry involved in Biology is not that much. (Frankly you only need to know elements like C, O, H. N from the periodic table!)
For the first section, Chemistry of biomolecules, instead of going through the PPT in lectures, pre-recorded lecture videos are provided to watch and learn in your own time. You will need to answer questions in lectures.
No class in the morning at the moment so I sleep in for a bit. I do a bit of lifemin (life admin), checking emails, putting on some laundry etc. I have lunch and then head out to meet my group before our afternoon lectures. We’re working on a presentation where we need to pick one area of neuroscience (which is the course we’re doing at the moment) and then present for 20 minutes to teach the rest of the class something new. We’ve chosen to focus on phantom limb syndrome – a pain syndrome where amputees can still feel sensations, including very real pain, coming from where their limb should be.
One of the major selling points of Imperial is that its specialises in science and engineering. In terms of environment, there’s nowhere you can go where you can be more surrounded by maths geniuses, mad inventors and generally very scientifically minded people. Personally, I’m more of a fan of the interesting personalities and generally more philosophically stimulating conversations that comes with people that study arts, but you win some, you lose some. I’ve never been one of those people firmly rooted in a love for maths and science. I loved writing essays (weird, I know), something about making an argument, and thinking about things in that totally non-sensical, non-linear liberal artsy way was compelling and freeing from the straight logic of science.
This week the cracks from the exhaustion and stress of final year have begun to show. I cannot remember what placement I am on when someone asks, I now dream at night about doing revision and I keep falling asleep on the bus. Finals are nearing; now 5 weeks away- which seems a lot, but there’s also a lot to know. I imagine they will be fine (most people pass and do well), but the general stress levels keep rising- which isn’t easy when you work and socialise with medics!
On the plus side, finals getting nearer means that our medical elective abroad is nearing!
The amount of information you received at University is much more than what is taught in A-levels or IB. Biology is a highly information-orientated subject, meaning that a good memory on Biological facts and deductive reasoning ability are essential. Just to give you a simple example, the first module we learnt is OB (Biology of organisms) which consists 4 main sections.
Phylogenetics comprised of basic knowledge in phylogenetics and the vast unknown territory in evolutionary history. (5 lectures)
Animal section goes through key features and key phylum and classes in both vertebrates and invertebrates, along with the evolutionary relationship between them.
There was a time where this would have looked like another language to me. And that time…was last term.
Apologies for no video this week. This week I’m getting a report set (essentially a write-up for an experiment). Therefore I shall be spending the weekend putting my heart and soul into it. Therefore I decided to get all of my other work into the past 5 days to free up as much time to work on my report (working to free up time to do more work feels a bit weird, but there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… at some point).