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October 21, 2020, 04:27:26 am

Author Topic: Just a guy in med school  (Read 3322 times)

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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2020, 05:20:15 pm »
+8
Short post this week, I swear.

This week was a revision week so we basically had no classes or lectures -- we did have one on bacterial pathogenesis (how bacterial cause disease/damage) and epidemiology but apart from that none.

Study-wise I continued using Flora. I noticed that I was only clocking in 1-2 hours per day but that's alright because I'm not behind on lecture notes and tutes. Plus my friends in cohort also felt the same way so I don't feel like I'm dragging behind too much. On Saturday I had a pretty good day where I clocked in 3.5 hours and retired early but that was because I was synchronising my pomodoros with a friend -- I hope to replicate this
time (record is 6 hours but IDK if that's feasible) to the point where it's at least every 2 days. Today I've only done about 1 hour but I also spent 2 hours working out with friends over video call which was neat. I aim to do a further 1 hour or so after I've written this and cooked dinner.

In terms of how I've revised I've used "timelines" which link together all the content I've learnt into one page. eg. for Pharmacokinetics (from last week) I wrote a timeline summarising the process of drugs from administration to excretion. Also what's helped for taking written lecture notes is "blocking", graphically organising "chunks" of info into "blocks" with clear lines eg. Piaget's Cognitive Development theory is one block, Carey's theory is another block. With the summary pages I've made I've also tried to have a "block" for key words (I adapted this from Cornell notes, which are seriously worth the time trying) that make it easy to judge my knowledge. This works for every subject I have except anatomy which I haven't tried it with (I haven't really spent too much time on anatomy apart from quizzes and practising examinations on self/parents).

Mental health has also been good, idk how, but I just made myself stop comparing myself to others. It's weird to explain but I feel better and know better than to "indulge" in unproductive, self-deprecating thought. Diet is a lot better, just by paying attention to what I eat and avoiding eating out of boredom I cut out processed sugars almost entirely (no more chips, cookies, ice cream) and have returned to eating fruit/chugging water. I guess it's just being aware of what you're doing and avoiding "indulging" in things you know are bad for you. It's likely not as simple as that, there are probably other confounding factors though.

Sub-100 new cases daily for Victoria is also really good news, I hope people don't immediately rush out and start a 3rd wave once this Stage 4 is over.

Take care everyone, have a good week.
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2020, 11:04:08 pm »
+6
(record is 6 hours but IDK if that's feasible)

It's feasible!

Managed 5 hours 45 minutes of concentrated studying today, treating time spent studying like weightlifting (progressive overload) (also having Flora to record my progress) really pushed me to keep doing more. That being said a lot of it wasn't spent "studying" per say but just going through mandatory content so maybe my triumph is baseless. That being said, I feel like I learnt a lot, and that's the key objective.

Anatomy of lower limb is quite tough because we got hit with a ton of lectures/content day 1, but I pre-answered some of tomorrow's tute questions/learnt the relevant muscles and I feel like I've gained a lot of progress (I tried to take it as a chunk-by-chunk process rather than "all at once"). I used a "Key Terms/Key Facts/Key regions" split for studying muscles of lower limb which helped *a ton* because I can chunk it down into "compartments" and then individual muscles and also keep track of stuff like which muscle attaches where. Also having a "tl;dr" section on Notion for the main compartments of the limb & what each compartment does is a nice way to take notes and make sure I get the big picture.

I feel like this is how Week 1 should have gone, treating it rationally and making sure to rely on the textbook whilst watching lectures and understanding that the knowledge will come eventually (rather than going "Oh shit I don't know anything!"). I think I can cope with anatomy slightly better, but it's a process and I'll never have learnt enough in anything.

Also drank a ton of water.

Tomorow's a long day with like 3 lectures & 4 hours of tutes so gonna retire to bed now.
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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2020, 01:09:56 pm »
+4
It's feasible!

Managed 5 hours 45 minutes of concentrated studying today, treating time spent studying like weightlifting (progressive overload) (also having Flora to record my progress) really pushed me to keep doing more. That being said a lot of it wasn't spent "studying" per say but just going through mandatory content so maybe my triumph is baseless. That being said, I feel like I learnt a lot, and that's the key objective.

Anatomy of lower limb is quite tough because we got hit with a ton of lectures/content day 1, but I pre-answered some of tomorrow's tute questions/learnt the relevant muscles and I feel like I've gained a lot of progress (I tried to take it as a chunk-by-chunk process rather than "all at once"). I used a "Key Terms/Key Facts/Key regions" split for studying muscles of lower limb which helped *a ton* because I can chunk it down into "compartments" and then individual muscles and also keep track of stuff like which muscle attaches where. Also having a "tl;dr" section on Notion for the main compartments of the limb & what each compartment does is a nice way to take notes and make sure I get the big picture.

I feel like this is how Week 1 should have gone, treating it rationally and making sure to rely on the textbook whilst watching lectures and understanding that the knowledge will come eventually (rather than going "Oh shit I don't know anything!"). I think I can cope with anatomy slightly better, but it's a process and I'll never have learnt enough in anything.

Also drank a ton of water.

Tomorow's a long day with like 3 lectures & 4 hours of tutes so gonna retire to bed now.

It's good to see that you feel better adjusted to your subjects homie :0
Also nice to hear how long other ppl study per day! I average around 4-5 omg
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2020, 05:41:44 pm »
+9
Really short update inbetween studying blocks. ("Short" because it took me 17 minutes instead of like 30-50)

Anatomy of the lower limb started this week. Initially quite intimidating with all the muscles and stuff but again, compartmentalising makes it fine. Spent Saturday going through Moore & Dalley blue boxes, learnt about what muscles are the hamstring muscles, learnt that there are bursa in the hip joint (it's like an "oh shit, what, they exist" moment, but then again, they should be there...). Apart from that, there was physiology and pharmacology. I love pharmacology, learning about how the drugs work is interesting and using it as applied physiology (eg. we learn about receptors in physiology, then study the relevant drugs targeting said receptors). But it's unfortunately taking a backseat to anatomy.

Mental health is still alright, not as good as the start of the week mainly because I had a day doubting myself because I thought I was answering questions too much. I don't want to be seen as a gunner lol, it's like a weird variant of Impostor Syndrome. But I bounced back pretty well I reckon and even though I'm not as ecstatic as I was on Monday I think I'm in a good space.

Also averaging like 3 hours' study a day which is good by my standards (others are probably studying more though), I never beat my 5h on Monday, but doing 3x1h study seshes seems to work. Having a friendly competition with a 4th year mate is what really pushes me, also the satisfaction of seeing the hours go up on Flora.
I'm feeling pretty confident with anatomy, but I probably need to write a timeline/summary sheet about neurophysiology which everyone seems to dislike (ran a poll about most disliked subjects in the gc, it was pretty tied between anatomy and phys).

The assignments are starting to flow in, two out of three have been released (one had a Q&A session without being released lol). One of them is a group assignment and our group is pretty good I reckon. I'm probably the weakest link because I'm the resident dropkick med student. I did some research on chronic kidney disease for our assignment today which is pretty interesting, but also tough because kidneys are Year 2 content. The other assignment is on epidemiology and I haven't planned that out yet. I found out it's basically identical to a Year 1 BMed assignment which was pretty interesting.

That's it for the week (or maybe today). Take care, stay safe.
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2020, 08:12:25 pm »
+10
Mid-week update, I reckon I'll post biweekly so each post is longer. Also doing this while waiting for a friend to get on to study. Happy R U OK day by the way, it's at least good that there's an event that puts the spotlight on mental health.

Content this week has been manageable. No anatomy lectures, just online, asynchronous activities that were a slog to get through but oh-so-satisfying to finish. A fair amount of physiology & pharmacology -- I love pharmacology by the way. It makes physiology feel rewarding to learn. We studied NSAIDs, SAIDs -- basically anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain like paracetamol. Had a good time today drawing a nice mindmap that incorporated drugs, inflammation in with how pain gets transmitted -- from the stimulus itself via the nerves to the cortex where it actually gets perceived. Maybe I should have put Pharmacy as my other-non-med option instead of Physiotherapy lol.

With the help of my mentor I've been able to improve my studying. She suggested taking down the 3 key ideas as dotpoints for each lecture, which complements my Cornell notes well. It makes the content easier to digest instead of noting every individual detail. I've been reverting back to logging notes physically, then summarising them as "factoids" (or 3 dotpoints) on Notion, which makes it so much easier to go back through (and nicer to look at!). That being said I've been noticing I haven't reviewed past weeks' content and I haven't been using Guyton & Hall enough to revise Physiology. That's midsem break stuff I guess.

Been clocking in average 3/4 hours everyday -- it's good compared to last semester. But my friend in a similar course has been clocking in 6 hours' daily study and I've been thinking that what I'm doing isn't enough. A friend of a friend apparently treats her study like a full-time job, clocking in 8-10h and although a friend and I discussed how that could be inefficient I think that's God-tier for medicine. (I feel like Patrick Bateman talking about study like this)

Mental health has been questionable. I've flip-flopped between feeling incredibly unstable and restless and feeling on top of my studies and confident about my progress with the content. Trying to hold out until my psych appointment next week -- looking very forward to it.

R U OK day hasn't really helped either -- I read an article by a guy opining that the day is more of a novelty than a real catalyst for change. I agree somewhat. One conversation can be what it takes to start further dialogue but a lot of the time you don't want to expose yourself like that especially to people you don't know especially well. I love my friends in med but I can't bring myself to be honest so it's yet another year of "Yeah I'm alright, wbu?". That's my hot take as someone who's been dealing with depression for the past 4 years or even more.

Anyway, enough pity-partying from your local dropkick medical student (that's my new title I suppose).  Looking forward to tonight's study and to tomorrow's ICL tute (our tutor shows us interesting cases he's found in clinical practice which I think are the highlight of the day).

That's it. Take care and make sure you're staying mentally healthy. :) And if you're ever experiencing any mental difficulties, just know it's OK and treat it like a regular sickness and talk to someone about it. As a friend said, if you had an acute fever, you'd probably see the doctor right?
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2020, 08:44:38 pm »
+7
End of week update, very short this time.

Continued studying examinations and trying to revise the branches of the brachial plexus. Had a lovely ICL session on Friday where we went through shingles and falls in the elderly -- there's really so much you have to consider when treating an elderly patient who had an injury/fall, like drug usage (might be on sedatives), brain disease (maybe Parkinson's), cardiovascular disease (eg. they could have a heart attack), history of fractures. List goes on. It's fun learning differential diagnoses. Also our tutor is a really cool guy so that makes sessions a lot smoother (people don't like how he calls out people to answer questions but I don't mind, it's a learning opportunity and it's low-stakes). Our group work assignment is heading swimmingly, everyone puts in the work and our meetings are efficient.

Continued the same studying techniques I used throughout this week. Drawing diagrams for nerve networks & muscles is helping a ton, I'm glad, and it makes studying easier. Also identified that a major flaw of my studying is that I spend 20 mins chatting with friends inbetween 1hour study blocks which severely dampens my momentum, so I take 5-10 minute breaks now.

I feel stupid for celebrating working 3h a day because apparently everyone else does 8-10h a day, not just other people in med but in BMed & Science as well. Apparently 3h is really low lol. I studied 6 hours today so far in response but it feels like the last hour I spent was spent in a daze not really learning anything. At least I got some stuff done .. it feels like the longer I study the less efficient I become with my time. But I need to do as much as my classmates.

That's it, take care.
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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2020, 09:27:37 pm »
+10
...because apparently everyone else does 8-10h a day, not just other people in med but in BMed & Science as well.

Lol, no. Quite frankly, a small amount of people have a self-serving obsession with the idea of a med student being someone who works all day/doesn't have a life/whatever. It's the most bizarre of a flex, really. These are the types that spread silly rumours about how you need to spend x hours in a day studying.

To be very blunt, if someone is spending 8-10 hours a day studying in first year, they either are going all out on learning a massive amount of irrelevant content or are working shockingly inefficiently.

Within my group of friends, some of who scored highly in first year (not that it matters), absolutely no one works those kinds of hours. I'm sure it gets a bit more hectic in clinical years and especially beyond, but please don't feel you need to be spending that much time studying haha.

I can only comment on preclin, but medicine really isn't that much of a demanding course so far. From insight with my non-med friends, biomedicine or science students seem to need to work significantly harder.

Remember - P's get degrees.
 
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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2020, 12:06:30 am »
+1
Lol, no. Quite frankly, a small amount of people have a self-serving obsession with the idea of a med student being someone who works all day/doesn't have a life/whatever. It's the most bizarre of a flex, really. These are the types that spread silly rumours about how you need to spend x hours in a day studying.

To be very blunt, if someone is spending 8-10 hours a day studying in first year, they either are going all out on learning a massive amount of irrelevant content or are working shockingly inefficiently.

Within my group of friends, some of who scored highly in first year (not that it matters), absolutely no one works those kinds of hours. I'm sure it gets a bit more hectic in clinical years and especially beyond, but please don't feel you need to be spending that much time studying haha.

I can only comment on preclin, but medicine really isn't that much of a demanding course so far. From insight with my non-med friends, biomedicine or science students seem to need to work significantly harder.

Remember - P's get degrees.
 
Great to see fellow pre-clins on here :)

8-10h of studying on top of classes? That's... the definition of masochism. Coming from a biomed background I'd have to say that Year A has been a definite step-up in terms of sheer volume of content. It seems that unlike in biomed, you can't leave things till SWOTVAC  hahah :')



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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2020, 08:48:45 am »
+7
As a 3rd year med student, can confirm 1000 times over that studying 8-10 hrs a day is not realistic or helpful (assuming this must include the time taken attending classes because otherwise that's quite insane).

In pre-clin the aim is to hang on to key concepts which will serve you well in clinical years - but know enough of everything else to pass/do well on exams. You don't want to burn out so early on, and some people like myself also fit in a few hours of work on some days.
As a 3rd yr I usually can't study past about 7pm at night because my brain switches off and there was a time where I didn't study on weekends (now I do a little bit on Sat mornings and sometimes Sun depending on how behind I am!) I also don't like just sitting at a screen and typing for most things (Except anki flashcards) so I do this routine with handwriting the bulk of my notes (if you can't draw something out simply why bother with the complexities?)
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2020, 09:49:07 pm »
+8
Damn, didn't expect so many med students to comment on my humble dropkick thread. Glad to see that 8-10h ISN'T the normal. And I think he meant on a day with no classes, not sure.

This week was more of the normal -- foot revision in anatomy which I found pretty easy, smashed out an anatomy Kahoot (I love those lol, guess I'm that guy) and robbed my mate of first place  :P. I ignored the intrinsic muscles of the foot pretty heavily though, but apparently that's not that big of a deal according to the specimen tutors. Apart from that, there were some Microbiology lectures that I haven't watched yet which were uploaded late lol. I love Microbio, only problem is that they're 2 hours each and I had little time today. Also went through more leg exams on Tuesday, there was a pretty cool 2nd year who kept quizzing us on conditions & pathologies relating to the tests we were doing which helped me snap out of my post-anatomy daze. But everyone was dead basically during that tute. 

Took the advice and decided to wind down this week. Been averaging 3 or so hours every day and I feel more confident about the content now. More exposure seems to equal more retention -- I joked to a friend that if you took a shot for every time they mention foot drop (due to dorsiflexor muscles being palsied from common fibular/deep fibular nerve damaged) in a tute, you'd drop dead. But the exposure thing works. Also salvaged an old whiteboard, gave it a clean with some WD40 and now I use it to sketch out things. I drew out the walking cycle and it proved effective in visualising things, also good way to practice my sketching anatomy lol. Just not sure if it's high-yield stuff, but it sure is vital for revising leg muscles' functions (finally got it through to my head that the iliacus flexes the hip).

Quote
(if you can't draw something out simply why bother with the complexities?)
Lol, this is my life. Doodling arms & legs on my notebook has carried me through anatomy

Finally had my appointment with my psych. I think things will get better. I admitted that I got anxious over hours studied and she told me I'm a king for doing 3-4hours a day on top of classes. I feel like a bit of an impostor/fake still, since today I literally only did some pre-reading. But still, I think in that 40 minutes we managed to elucidate the underlying causes of my distress.

More detail on Sunday. I'll outline my goals for the holidays on that post. Everyone's telling me to take a break on the holidays but I feel if I lose my momentum/habit I'll have to pick it up again once semester resumes.
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2020, 12:30:20 pm »
+5
Midsem's here and I couldn't be happier.

Spent the last 3 days having a break, went for a walk with an old friend which was a great opportunity to have a convo, had some games nights with friends. There was also a trivia night which was a bit of a disaster (iykyk) but still fun with friends. Now I feel a lot less strung-up and a lot more relaxed.

I have two assignments to do, 3 lectures to catch up on and examinations to study.
Not going to note down all my midsem goals specifically but they're just involving finishing one assignment and starting the other. I have two weeks so if I study lightly (2h? 3h?) on the first week then ramp it up the second week it should be fine. Also need to really brush up on clinical skills because I've neglected that in favour of anatomy for a while. Perhaps some practice exam questions might be in order as well.

That's it. Probably won't be posting for the next 2 weeks because there won't be much to write about. Till then, stay safe, enjoy the break (VCE & Monash people that is aha)
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2020, 10:42:25 pm »
+12
Alas, midsem draws to an end (it already has). So far this week we've gone through infectious diseases epidemiology and opioids, which is an area I've been mildly interested in since high school.

The ability to have a break and just take care of myself was much appreciated. I didn't study as much, but I did get an assignment submitted and did get the chance to revise a lot of anatomy, fill out some quizzes for this week and go on a good walk with a friend. 

I highly regret not paying attention during statistics in Methods in Year 12 because this stuff about CI's, normal distribution and p-values really bit me in the ass during my Population Health assignment -- but now I'm a lot better at reading through scientific journals (and I am sick of reading the phrase colon cancer). I kind of want to make journal-reading a habit just so I spend more time learning rather than surfing or using my time unproductively. 

Looking forward, I'm completing a mental health first-aid course, which is about identifying certain behaviours and illnesses in people you know and knowing how to help them. As someone highly interested in learning about managing mental health I'm looking forward to it! Hopefully it'll offer a lot of new knowledge and practical skills for future. And for uni, we'll be covering the spine and thorax for anatomy as well as the heart -- going to read up on how to interpret ECGs if I have time so I arrive at class prepared.

That's it. Have a good week, take care.
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justaloser

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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2020, 08:32:55 pm »
+8
One and a bit weeks into second half of semester 2 (almost wrote term 2 there. it's a bad habit).

Last week was surprisingly calm. We had no live classes except for one live lecture on opioids, our Friday morning ICL (probably our "hardest" yet -- we were learning spina bifida which seemed like it came out of nowhere) and a Friday revision session. Which meant lots of time for self-learning, which was fine, but also writing: I managed to churn out an unfinished piece on Impostor Syndrome and submit a pitch to Medicguild for an article/piece. Also continued working on my assignment -- it's given me the opportunity to read When Breath Becomes Air again. If you're interested in medicine, it's a fantastic read -- Kalanithi's writing is highly eloquent.

Highlights included a revision on Friday which felt like the Eureka moment of Semester 2 -- it was a case-study consolidation that tested our knowledge. It's so rewarding to have all the individual sciences like pharmacology, clinical and anatomy come together and definitely makes the studying worth it. I live for the application -- I was studying heart valves today and the concept of a "clicking" valve came up, read the other medical student thread on here and a fact about clicking on auscultation & mitral valve clots made sense.

Also been doing a Mental Health First Aid course, although a lot of stuff is refreshing existing knowledge, it's great to learn a systematic way of helping people and a more nuanced way of approaching people and getting them to open up about how they're feeling. Also good training for helping others having mental health crises -- I know I've been in those scenarios and had no idea what to do. However I haven't made as much progress as I've liked :( but I'll get there. I've also spent some time playing Minecraft -- God that game has changed, shields are super janky

From now on the content's going to ramp up -- starting the heart/Cardiovascular system this week and so far, I've loved it, it feels intuitive and like an extension of what we've already learnt. I'm sure my attitude will do a 180 in one week though: I'm expecting the usual barrage of content in Specimens (and the inevitable "Flag race!" and "Hmm, not quite"). Furthermore, exams are coming in 5 weeks -- I haven't done any actual exams, so I should create a planner of what exams to do when. That being said, I've talked to my mentor, and from what I can gather it's less definitive and more of a test of knowledge of concepts. I guess I have to get myself out of that VCE mindset?

That's it. Take care.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 09:39:59 pm by justaloser »
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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2020, 09:31:21 pm »
+4
Changing from "trying to catch you out with specific definitions and if you misplace even one word you won't get the marks" to "we're just seeing if you know the principles and if you can convey that you know it we don't care how you do it!" was one of the biggest changes moving to uni from high school. Exams are just so different and now so much less stressful!

Have only read When Breath Becomes Air once a few years ago, but now I want to re-read it!
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Re: Just a guy in med school
« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2020, 05:19:50 pm »
+7
Quick weekly update time..

This week was relatively good. Synchronous week for anatomy, so our tutorials were live -- I honestly prefer live tutorials because it's easier to concentrate and better to interact with other people. There was no flag race in specimens, but the content was nevertheless difficult to get through. Imaging was chill and relaxed as always, and PACA was great. Love it. The tutors make it so much better -- they're so understanding. Our group simps for them lol
Population health this week was a bit of a drag -- really just covering -- and most people (myself included lol) slept through it, probably because it's a 2 hour tute after 2 hours of intensive anatomy. Finally, ICL this week was another step up in difficulty -- considering differentials for cardiovascular disease & learning about CVD is really new, but I'm sure it'll be rewarding given its prevalence in the population.

Mental health has been alright. Saw a faculty member about getting mental health in check and we went through possible options for getting help. The number of students she said she was seeing daily shocked me -- I didn't think that many students were getting help. I was told that what I'm experiencing is "normal" so I'm quite concerned that a lot of medical students/18 year olds are in the same spot that I am lol. Also had a bit of a breakdown in the middle of a tute -- probably the result of a lot of intersecting thoughts that sprung up at the time -- so that's a catalyst for me to get things in check.

The Mental Health First Aid Course has also stalled in the progress -- only completed 2 modules at the time of writing -- probably because of the amount of classes this week. Hopefully I can complete 2 more modules this week since Friday is a free day and classes are asynchronous.

I've continued to write a few unfinished reflective pieces which has really been great, I've slowed down for now but hopefully I can pick up the pace once this next wave of content is over. I'm still concerned about to improve my writing though, since it never feels like I'm making progress with my writing skill. It's currently just simply producing content because it's intrinsically calming/stimulating to turn your abstract thoughts into words rather than to improve. Perhaps I need some sort of outside judge/criticism of my writing to improve.

next week: A ton of cardiovascular anatomy/physiology, but that's fine, I try to read up the weekend before. Trying to figure out ECGs is making me a bit crazy. But it's all good -- the heart is really so intuitive in how it works AND it's super rewarding because it meshes all the past concepts like the autonomic nervous system, action potentials etc. together..

That's it. Take care and, to the VCE students out there -- you got this! It's been such a tough year and you've persevered super well. Good luck!!
2019: 99.00
2020-24: Monash Uni MBBS (Bonded)

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My Med School journal