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    london graduates fair very average on post-graduate exam performance. ucl course is lectures but it is random lectures on things that are not necessarily going to help you much when you start clinics. it is very different and unrelated often. much of the time in clinics is spent on pointless activities. places like nottingham, newcastle they teach their students better and they perform better on post-graduate exams so they teach them well there. there has been research into medical school and percentage failiure rates at post-graduate exams and the results show remarkable differences. it is the way we get taught that needs some reformation to match that of the better medical schools.

    edit: dont neg rep me. there are good reasons why the course has been changed so radically from now on. it shows they are listening to the students that have done it. they have taken out pathology exams, they are cutting the exams in fourth year from three sets to one, they are allowing student to retake finals. it certainly will be better for you guys in the future so be grateful !!
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    (Original post by visesh)
    I used Basic Robbins and Underwood. Underwood was a little basic so I'd use the lecture handouts more than a textbook at your stage to be honest. The "Big" Robbins is better suited for Final MB pathology, though it might be overkill. Part II-wise, what have you enjoyed about Part IA and IB? I loved immunology, mostly because my supervisor and DoS was in that field and manage to bring immunology into most of our supervisions. About half my year ended up doing pathology. Mechanisms of Disease will hold you in good stead for clinical stuff and Final MB pathology, but it can be really hard work. I'd try and do a project-based one and attempt to get published. I sort of regret doing a dissertation, but it did mean I had a really chilled out year and could concentrate on extracurricular stuff like JCR work and running a couple of university societies.

    FWIW, I don't buy the argument that early clinical contact makes you a good communicator. It's much more innate than that (at least to an extent), and we get a ****-tonne of clinical communication skills teaching in clinical school to supplement that. Our first three weeks of clinical school concentrated on getting the basic examinations down and learning how to take a history. I don't think many people were shy or unconfident about taking histories or examining people after their first placement. Three weeks versus however many weeks of less high-yield work as a junior student with little background knowledge? I know what I'd pick.

    As for practical skills, it's not difficult to find lots of opportunity to suture/cannulate/venesect/catheterise as a clinical student and get pretty damned good at it. Hell, I've managed to scrub for over 40 cases and over 250 hours as a student (mostly as first-assistant) off my own back and in my own time and have been told numerous times by consultants that I'm at an SHO-level, surgical skills-wise. No, I didn't do a surgical SSC.
    Cheers for the advice. Our DoS has told us strictly to stay away from MoD and is telling us all to try and get a project. I'm thinking Pathology atm but unsure of options. Thinking Cellular & Genetic pathology and virology (or microbiology).

    Also out of interest, how did you get so much work in your own time? Is it really easy in clinical school to get lots of extra experience if you are keen?
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    (Original post by visesh)
    As for practical skills, it's not difficult to find lots of opportunity to suture/cannulate/venesect/catheterise as a clinical student and get pretty damned good at it. Hell, I've managed to scrub for over 40 cases and over 250 hours as a student (mostly as first-assistant) off my own back and in my own time and have been told numerous times by consultants that I'm at an SHO-level, surgical skills-wise. No, I didn't do a surgical SSC.
    Yeah I imagine it's a helluvah lot easier, and far more appropriate to do so as a student 3rd year+ most of the time on wards with docs etc,
    although i don't think i'll be a gunner for surgery it's just pretty crazy hearing things like my fellow first year on a £2000 microsurgery course... Standard medic rant over someone doing something i'm not doing I should focus on improving my poor knowledge of medical science for now :rolleyes:
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    LOL at all the now ex-finalists descending into chaos in my halls :rolleyes:
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    Quick question (long story, but basically know someone who's a bit of a chronic porkie-teller and hypochrondriac and as sympathetic as we try to be, she's a bit... questionable, sometimes):


    She says she went to her GP with some problems (purely physical, she had a sore throat) and claimed in the end that they started to dig deep and asked her about emotional problems and diagnosed her with bipolar disorder (cyclothymic disorder) and since then her mood swings have miraculously been magnified. She was convinced of it before, but now it's been diagnosed it's her excuse for everything and whilst we've been very sympathetic and supportive, she admitted recently that she sometimes subconsciously thinks she magnifies issues that she has to make her more interesting.

    something someone said to me recently made me wonder about it, though, and I do think it's a very fair point:

    She said she was diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder by her GP. However, another friend, having family experiences of the disorder, didn't think they could diagnose her properly just by going to a GP, and thought that being referred to a psychiatrist is usually the way they go about it. I've been looking online and she appears to be right, but I'm not sure whether it is possible to be diagnosed through a GP anyway.

    I'm not asking to be a sort of "I am right, she's lying" sort of friend. Far from it. However, I think if she does have the disorder and it is what is causing her behaviour, she needs some sort of mood stabiliser as I don't think the anti-depressants are enough. So I think if she has been suspected of having it, she should go to a psychiatrist and be diagnosed properly, so they can give her the help she needs as sometimes I don't think she realises how people can react to her, and as her friends we do love her but for her sake she needs to get it sorted.
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    (Original post by Revenged)
    london graduates fair very average on post-graduate exam performance. ucl course is lectures but it is random lectures on things that are not necessarily going to help you much when you start clinics. it is very different and unrelated often. much of the time in clinics is spent on pointless activities. places like nottingham, newcastle they teach their students better and they perform better on post-graduate exams so they teach them well there. there has been research into medical school and percentage failiure rates at post-graduate exams and the results show remarkable differences. it is the way we get taught that needs some reformation to match that of the better medical schools.

    edit: dont neg rep me. there are good reasons why the course has been changed so radically from now on. it shows they are listening to the students that have done it. they have taken out pathology exams, they are cutting the exams in fourth year from three sets to one, they are allowing student to retake finals. it certainly will be better for you guys in the future so be grateful !!
    It definitely wasn't me who negged you. I very rarely neg anyone and I believe I +ed you earlier so I can't really.

    I see your points, however, I think also another thing UCL needed to do is change the examination system and get some variety into the course (which they do appear to be doing). I think some of the things we learn may become useful later on (I know of a fair few people who have found it useful), but variety wouldn't go amiss. I also think that examining EVERYTHING at once in one mixed up set of exams is just asking for students to doss around and drink the entire year and not take certain parts of the course seriously as they think "it's not gonna come up on the exam" then revise like hell for a few weeks before the exam. It is what I do, and I believe it is what a lot of people do. Now if they actually integrated PDS and stuff more INTO the course, and did vary their exams a bit, eg. I don't like entirely PBL-focussed courses, personally, but I believe at imperial they do a fair bit of PBL and have an exam on it which they're allowed to take their notes into which means they'll learn and not just base everything on memory- this sort of thing is a good idea.

    however, my objection is to really overly focussed clinical courses, as I've said before, it doesn't make any sense when you first see it and there's not much a first and second year can do when running around a hospital.
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    (Original post by Becca-Sarah)
    Agreed. We don't have surgical SSC's and we don't get theatre rotations til fourth year, but I've scrubbed in on over 80 cases and feel confident cannulating and taking blood despite the fact the medical school's attempt at teaching that was to give us three venflons and a plastic arm to play with. Maybe it's overkill, but I'd rather that than be the FY1 that can't stick a venflon in (and I have heard of people getting to FY1 having only done 3 or 4 in their entire time at med school). And at least I can now focus on 4th year with the aim being to pass written finals, instead of trying to juggle learning practical and theoretical stuff together.
    Do you know of a good orthopaedics book? I'm struggling to get everything into some sort of system. In all honesty, I don't think it will be a career choice for me, but still keen to learn as much as possible - fractures come up quite often in life...I'm itching to get back to general medicine
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    (Original post by Wangers)
    Do you know of a good orthopaedics book? I'm struggling to get everything into some sort of system. In all honesty, I don't think it will be a career choice for me, but still keen to learn as much as possible - fractures come up quite often in life...I'm itching to get back to general medicine
    I have Dandy & Edwards Essential Orthopaedics & Trauma, tho never used it a great deal. For examination, I have a 1983 McRae, which by coincidence is exactly the book our teaching came out of. The Ortho section in the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialties is probably sufficient to cover everything.
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    (Original post by JordanCarroll)
    It seems that those who do surgical SSCs open doors for themselves to get a whole lot more shadowing/experience, I regularly hear friends talking about surgery they now get to observe, it's like an extended SSC for as long as you're in contact with the surgeons and as long as they're willing to have you

    A friend's comment following his plastic surgery SSC:



    what the hell???

    end of rant, they're bloody lucky, I guess if I was that keen to do that same I'd just have to somehow ask a doc at the royal london/barts..

    I know someone who just has good rapport with the regsand SHOs and happens to be there when interesting things happen. Funnily enough, the keener you are, the more things they let you do...his luck peobably is less luck and far more to do with cunning preparation.
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    (Original post by ilovehotchocolate)
    You don't get more non-traditional than Peninsula.
    I have to say I disagree with this statement. I was helping at the open day last week (it's good money if you haven't done it before, I would recommend it) and everyone seems to think Peninsula is completely radical, but I'm not convinced. We have a reasonably big divide between pre-clinical and clinical, and yes we have PBL but loads of places do, and I feel like I got quite a lot of really good science teaching in first and second year. The main problem I have with the course is the assessment, I don't think we are assessed enough on basic science, especially anatomy. But I hear they are finally making a summative anatomy exam, have you heard about that?

    We have 'early clinical exposure' but other than SSUs such as ilovehotchocolate mentioned, there is very little in first year. I had 2 hours every 2 weeks, and none of my SSUs were clinical so that was it. I had 1 day a month of GP in second year which I found really useful, and I was much better prepared for year 3 because of it, but I don't think one day a month is a huge amount of time out of the course. Everyone seems to make a big fuss about our early clinical contact but theres really not that much of it. I guess the amount of clinical skills teaching we have is probably significantly higher than at more traditional medical schools, but I think there are a lot of places with very similar course to ours.

    I think some people are being a little harsh saying that they will definitely know more of everything than us PBL people by the time we all graduate. Assuming we spend a similar amount of time working, it seems harsh to suggest that we will come out knowing less in every area. Perhaps cutting out some of the science is wrong, but I'm sure we will graduate being better at different things, rather than those with a more science based pre-clinical just being better at everything.
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    (Original post by mrs_bellamy)
    I think some people are being a little harsh saying that they will definitely know more of everything than us PBL people by the time we all graduate. Assuming we spend a similar amount of time working, it seems harsh to suggest that we will come out knowing less in every area. Perhaps cutting out some of the science is wrong, but I'm sure we will graduate being better at different things, rather than those with a more science based pre-clinical just being better at everything.
    I think it was becoming more of an debate about an act of balances than anything. It was said that someone will be better at communication if they do more of it in the first two years, therefore the conclusion from that was that we'll be "better" at science because we focus more on that over the course of two years. Both are equally as harsh, I believe.

    Whether or not traditional courses go more in depth hasn't been established, but considering it was decided that more time in the clinical aspects will make someone better at communication, we decided more time in the traditional science aspects will make you better at communication. People do keep using the argument "People who do PBL do do work at the side, it's not just the contact hours", however, the argument that people will be "better communicators" assumes that people who do a more traditional course can't find any other way to practice their communication. For example, it's not like we're taught about the various aspects of communication and we just "forget", we are sometimes made to put it into practice with patient visitors or when we go on placements. Yes they're more of a rarity, but just because we don't have it every week doesn't mean we don't have time to practice. Also, there other mediums in which people who may not have as much clinical time can become "better" at communication in some aspects (if it wasn't good enough already), for example there are many voluntary things you can do with your time which can be of benefit when you get to clinical years, even if they're not entirely clinically focussed (empathy and patience are often exercised in such things). I don't think any type of medical teaching, whether traditional or modern, is a "recipe" for a doctor or medical student to become better at one thing. People might need longer to focus on different things- for example, I do take longer to pick certain scientific aspects up as I like to go into a lot of depth to help me understand it, however some people don't need this. Also, there are some people, on both traditional and modern courses, who do bring up certain concerns on the "communication" levels and probably need more practice at being human (though they are a bit of a rarity I must say).

    However, I do credit traditional courses because, personally, I see the beenfit of early clinical contact in that it helps you to maintain focus on what you're actually going to become, helps you practice certain skills and can help with communication, but I don't think that the extent some places do it (for example, Digitalis mentioned 50% of the year in Barts is based on OSCEs) is all that beneficial. I think that some students may take something out of it, but a lot may just become a bit robotic and will only see it for the surface of diagnosis rather than the scientific basis of what they're doing. For example, they might be able to reel off a list of diseases after an abdominal exam, but there is a huge chance they don't know what the **** it is.

    Nobody said pre-clinical traditional courses would be better at everything though at any point, I think we were just discussing the merits.
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    Wait, what? Why does my name say forum assistant?
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    (Original post by Jessaay!)
    Wait, what? Why does my name say forum assistant?
    Minor glitch in one of the overnight upgrades. Should be back to normal by morning.
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    OH april fools. Geddit!
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    (Original post by Becca-Sarah)
    Minor glitch in one of the overnight upgrades. Should be back to normal by morning.
    yoo don't fool me :hand:
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    I was wondering why nearly everyone who comments on this thread has become one. Except me :getmecoat:


    e: Oh no, me too :p:
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    (Original post by It could be lupus)
    Cheers for the advice. Our DoS has told us strictly to stay away from MoD and is telling us all to try and get a project. I'm thinking Pathology atm but unsure of options. Thinking Cellular & Genetic pathology and virology (or microbiology).
    Projects are great - especially when you're applying for jobs later on.

    (Original post by It could be lupus)
    Also out of interest, how did you get so much work in your own time? Is it really easy in clinical school to get lots of extra experience if you are keen?
    It's something called the transplant rota. You sign up for on-call shifts and if there is a transplant retrieval or operation you get called out to assist and get paid £50 for your trouble. I've done a fair few (10-15) but Visesh has done closer to 50 I believe.

    But yes, in general, you have much more opportunity to get stuck in in clinicals.
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    With regards to the debate over which type of medical school prepares you better for practice, there certainly appears to be a difference in terms of performance in MRCP (which requires a helluva lot of science knowledge, as well as communication skills in the PACES).

    The results are nicely summarised here.
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    (Original post by Jessaay!)
    Quick question (long story, but basically know someone who's a bit of a chronic porkie-teller and hypochrondriac and as sympathetic as we try to be, she's a bit... questionable, sometimes):


    She says she went to her GP with some problems (purely physical, she had a sore throat) and claimed in the end that they started to dig deep and asked her about emotional problems and diagnosed her with bipolar disorder (cyclothymic disorder) and since then her mood swings have miraculously been magnified. She was convinced of it before, but now it's been diagnosed it's her excuse for everything and whilst we've been very sympathetic and supportive, she admitted recently that she sometimes subconsciously thinks she magnifies issues that she has to make her more interesting.

    something someone said to me recently made me wonder about it, though, and I do think it's a very fair point:

    She said she was diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder by her GP. However, another friend, having family experiences of the disorder, didn't think they could diagnose her properly just by going to a GP, and thought that being referred to a psychiatrist is usually the way they go about it. I've been looking online and she appears to be right, but I'm not sure whether it is possible to be diagnosed through a GP anyway.

    I'm not asking to be a sort of "I am right, she's lying" sort of friend. Far from it. However, I think if she does have the disorder and it is what is causing her behaviour, she needs some sort of mood stabiliser as I don't think the anti-depressants are enough. So I think if she has been suspected of having it, she should go to a psychiatrist and be diagnosed properly, so they can give her the help she needs as sometimes I don't think she realises how people can react to her, and as her friends we do love her but for her sake she needs to get it sorted.
    Yeah that's not the kind of thing you'd call someone out on unless you are more than 100% certain. Could be very detrimental, even if not bipolar there are clearly some issues there. I can try and casually ask my tutor if they'd ever diagnose someone with bipolar but I'm sure he's mentioned diagnosising patients with such things before & management without any kind of referral.
    You could say something like - as your current medication only seems to be making things worse, do you think you should make another appointment?
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    Back on the topic of snake-oil, check this amazing bit of "holistic practice" out.
 
 
 
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