6 Sep 2017

medschool essentials and ten things I wish I'd known

Today, I thought I'd share some of what I saw as essentials during medical school and what I wish I had known at the start :)

Textbooks
Most Used - The Oxford Handbooks (Surgery, Clinical Medicine and Clinical Specialties) were invaluable to me. You can access the other specialist handbooks online too if your university subscribes to OpenAthens!

Anatomy - I liked Netter's Anatomy Flashcards - they were pretty good for revising with on the bus/train/tube.

Pharmacology - I wouldn't recommend the Rang and Dale Pharmacology Flashcards as I found that they didn't go into enough depth. The actual Rang and Dale textbook is great though! Another useful pocket book was 'The Top 100 Drugs' by Prof Emma Baker.

Physiology - I liked Tortora's Anatomy and Physiology here though there are many others on the market.


Equipment
The basics: stethoscope, tendon hammer, pen torch and lanyard. Carrying them all at once is optional (I usually only carried a stethoscope and lanyard).


Stationery
Always carry something to write on and something to write with is my advice. You never know when someone decides to impart some piece of wisdom you never want to forget - clinical or otherwise!


Other Bonus Bits
Have you noticed how few dresses and skirts actually have pockets? I've managed to acquire a wardrobe where the majority of my skirts and dresses have pockets but when I first started... Well, carrying everything around was difficult (do I carry this energy bar or this pen torch? Usually food was the winner in such battles.).

Tissues are always good too. You may be asked to clerk a patient and things may get emotional for them (through no fault of your own)!

Finally, comfortable shoes must always adorn your feet. A six hour ward round is painful enough, why put yourself through more suffering?! Trust me, I've worn shoes that pinched my toes on long ward rounds and as someone who gets bored quickly and easily, they are ideal for preventing you from falling asleep... But are equally good at distracting you from what is going on around you!


1. Medschool isn't the be all and end all. Make time for hobbies.

2. It doesn't get any easier.

3. Ask more questions. And say yes!

4. Sleep is something for the weekends. Or at opportune moments if you're a good napper.

5. There is always more to know. Accept it.

6. There will come a point when you feel ready.

7. There is always time for the Student Union bar!

8. Your friends will be your future colleagues. As will everyone else in your year. And the year above. And the year below.

9. Machine washable clothing that don't need ironing after a wash are the holy grail.

10. It does get easier.

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