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    First off, my finals are two years off. But I know that so far I have passed exams through a few late nights of cramming and a bit of luck. I don't feel I have a solid knowledge base, especially not for the wards which I am going to be on full time from next month.

    I just don't know how to bring it all together, there's so much to learn!
    Here are some of the suggestions I have been given already:

    -Read OHCP from scratch :eek:
    -Make notes on each and every disease under the sun
    -Make mind maps on every module covered in uni to date

    I just don't know how to organise my notes to prepare for the wards and any exams I have from now on. Does anyone have any useful advice they would like to share?
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    All of the above will make you go crazy.

    Obviously you should keep up to date with your reading and consolidate what you learn on the wards with written notes, but in reality that just doesn't happen all the time.

    It depends on how your finals are organised, but the few key things I would say will help you are: -
    • Go on onexamination/pastest and do loads and loads of questions (if your finals include MCQs, of course) But you only need to do this in the few months running up to finals, not now.
    • Practise practise practise your clinical examination skills, plus whatever else you will get in your OSCE. Go to see patients with a friend and get them to watch you and tell you what you missed. If you can get hold of a copy of your OSCE mark sheet, even better. Just make sure you're really really slick. Even if you can't see patients, go through the examination on a friend, or examine a teddy bear with them watching.
    • If you have a rough idea of what your OSCE stations will be (there'll always be one cardio, one resp, one abdo etc), make a list of all the possible conditions they could have, and what you would expect to find/look for/comment on. It sounds mammoth, but if you think about what conditions they could use which are chronic, stable, non-life-threatening, have clear clinical signs etc, the list is really not that long. Remember that you will almost certainly not see any acute presentations, so for, say, an abdo exam you are really unlikely to see an acute abdomen (even though this will be very common in real life) but more likely to see something like Crohn's +/- a stoma, chronic liver disease, renal transplant etc. Similarly for resp you're not going to have someone in acute pulmonary oedema or having an asthma attack but might well see an old TB patient, bronchiectasis, fibrosis etc.
    • If at all possible, get hold of old papers, or at least ask people in the years above (who will often be working as F1s in your placement hospitals) what came up.


    Note that this is a list on how to pass finals, not necessarily what will make you get the most out of medical school and be a good doctor.
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    Personally, I'm going to learn the cheese and onion if it comes to it.

    However, before then I'm building on the groundwork laid down by my Med school. I'm taking their system by system approach to teaching but am augmenting it with flash cards and fleshing out with textbooks. It's a long term strategy that should be fully done by my mock finals in 10 months time.

    As for practical exams, we've initiated OSCE Wednesdays in our flat. Every Wednesday we do, are supposed to do, clinical examinations all day. Hopefully, once we've gone through them a thousand times they'll be hardwired in.
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    Im not suprised you feel daunted if you are trying to prepare yourself for finals but aren't seeing patients full time yet. The theory will really all slot into place and become much more memorable when you examine more patients, see the signs you have learnt about, and experience first hand the pathway of treatment they go on to have. Once you have real experiences to draw from then revising for finals really isn't that bad.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    All of the above will make you go crazy.

    Obviously you should keep up to date with your reading and consolidate what you learn on the wards with written notes, but in reality that just doesn't happen all the time.

    It depends on how your finals are organised, but the few key things I would say will help you are: -
    • Go on onexamination/pastest and do loads and loads of questions (if your finals include MCQs, of course) But you only need to do this in the few months running up to finals, not now.
    • Practise practise practise your clinical examination skills, plus whatever else you will get in your OSCE. Go to see patients with a friend and get them to watch you and tell you what you missed. If you can get hold of a copy of your OSCE mark sheet, even better. Just make sure you're really really slick. Even if you can't see patients, go through the examination on a friend, or examine a teddy bear with them watching.
    • If you have a rough idea of what your OSCE stations will be (there'll always be one cardio, one resp, one abdo etc), make a list of all the possible conditions they could have, and what you would expect to find/look for/comment on. It sounds mammoth, but if you think about what conditions they could use which are chronic, stable, non-life-threatening, have clear clinical signs etc, the list is really not that long. Remember that you will almost certainly not see any acute presentations, so for, say, an abdo exam you are really unlikely to see an acute abdomen (even though this will be very common in real life) but more likely to see something like Crohn's +/- a stoma, chronic liver disease, renal transplant etc. Similarly for resp you're not going to have someone in acute pulmonary oedema or having an asthma attack but might well see an old TB patient, bronchiectasis, fibrosis etc.
    • If at all possible, get hold of old papers, or at least ask people in the years above (who will often be working as F1s in your placement hospitals) what came up.

    Note that this is a list on how to pass finals, not necessarily what will make you get the most out of medical school and be a good doctor.
    This is fab advice, thank you!

    (Original post by ThisLittlePiggy)
    Personally, I'm going to learn the cheese and onion if it comes to it.

    However, before then I'm building on the groundwork laid down by my Med school. I'm taking their system by system approach to teaching but am augmenting it with flash cards and fleshing out with textbooks. It's a long term strategy that should be fully done by my mock finals in 10 months time.

    As for practical exams, we've initiated OSCE Wednesdays in our flat. Every Wednesday we do, are supposed to do, clinical examinations all day. Hopefully, once we've gone through them a thousand times they'll be hardwired in.
    I like the idea of learning what med school have given us first, supplemented by textbooks, then building on it...and OSCE Wed sounds fab! I need to do something like that to motivate me.

    (Original post by Smile88egc)
    Im not suprised you feel daunted if you are trying to prepare yourself for finals but aren't seeing patients full time yet. The theory will really all slot into place and become much more memorable when you examine more patients, see the signs you have learnt about, and experience first hand the pathway of treatment they go on to have. Once you have real experiences to draw from then revising for finals really isn't that bad.
    I hope so. I'm a little concerned I'm going to really fall behind on the wards cause I learn things better on my own than having them drummed into me by someone else. And as we are on the wards full time, I won't have the luxury of revising things at my own pace!
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    Easy for me to say now that I know that I have passed but don't go crazy. If you turn up to your clinical placements, take histories and examine patients on regular basis than this in itself will be a very good preparation.
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    (Original post by belis)
    Easy for me to say now that I know that I have passed but don't go crazy. If you turn up to your clinical placements, take histories and examine patients on regular basis than this in itself will be a very good preparation.
    Absolutely. Remember that for the most part, by the time you get to finals they want you to pass - they don't want to have wasted loads of time and effort on you, and if too many people fail, it screws up F1 staffing throughout the country. If you have been reasonably conscientious throughout med school, and don't fall apart under pressure, chances are you'll do fine.
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    Here's an example of the Manchester finals OSCE this year:

    http://manchestermedic.blogspot.com/2010/02/osce.html
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    I don't know where to even start.....
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    From my first lot of finals I would say that generally relatively common things come up and you have to know how to form a differential, investigate and the basics of management. The odd things comes up that you don't expect but especially when it comes to osces it is usually hard but fair.

    Whether or not a passed them or not is another matter but even if I have failed part 1 I would still say that they were reasonably fair (with the exception of paeds which was really hard and had some odd things come up like aneuresis (but still not completely unfair).
 
 
 
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