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    Hey everyone,

    Just coming to the end of first year GEP, and feeling overwhelmed already .

    I scraped a pass on my first set of exams, and came near the bottom of my entire year, so I told myself I would study harder for the next set of exams, but - yet again -- here I am at the last minute having barely even started my revision. I am trying my best to get into a groove where I'm getting adequate sleep / study breaks, but my brain is still rebelling at every turn, and I just want to switch off and go outside/sleep.

    There is so much ground to study that I don't even know where to start. Obviously I need to prioritise my learning, as I can't possibly cover a whole year's worth of work in the scant time available. At this point in time, though, all I can do is stare at my rows of files and feel utterly defeated.

    Any hints on boosting energy levels and motivation? Also, any ideas on what/how I should cram to maximise exam success on little - no knowledge??

    I know, I know, this post if pathetic for a grad student; so sue me.

    I just really want to pass med school, so I can get out there and start helping people...

    Thanks guys and girls!
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    Hey! The first thing I would say is that if you passed your first set of exams then a pass is a pass is a pass! You can always try to do better, but youre over the first hurdle! Youve done it once and you can do it again.

    What type of exams do you have coming up that are overwhelming you? Is it written or OSCEs that are concerning you most, or both? Are they in a specific area?
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    Hi Zakadoh,

    D'aw, thanks for getting back so positively.

    Exams coming up are on pretty much everything - OSCEs, MCQs, anatomy; the whole shebang.

    I think I'm just going to start with my work from week 1 and go from there. I know I won't get through it all, but surely the key is to just start somewhere??

    Oh man, I'm sooo tired!
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    So anonymous posts take a while to get approved, huh?

    Meant to say on my last comment: maybe I have one particular small strength and one area where I'm doing really badly, but in general I performed equally poorly across the board...
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    I'm in exactly the same boat. I have just finished my end of year exams for GEM medicine, I 100% failed both the written and OCASE and only just scraped by on the winter exams. I know I will be resitting in August and I am really struggling to gain any motivation to get myself ready.

    Medicine just isn't what I expected but it is what I want to do, I am at the end of 2nd year so hopefully things will get better when I move into the clinical years and I would like to say the same for you? Some people just cannot get their head into the basic sciences years.
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    (Original post by Jacko1234556)
    I'm in exactly the same boat. I have just finished my end of year exams for GEM medicine, I 100% failed both the written and OCASE and only just scraped by on the winter exams. I know I will be resitting in August and I am really struggling to gain any motivation to get myself ready.

    Medicine just isn't what I expected but it is what I want to do, I am at the end of 2nd year so hopefully things will get better when I move into the clinical years and I would like to say the same for you? Some people just cannot get their head into the basic sciences years.
    Sorry to hear that. In what way is medicine not what you expected? I feel like in some ways the course is less challenging than I expected in first year (although I can see it's going to live up to my difficulty-level fears next year. Oh boy). It's me who just isn't cutting it. I've run out of steam a lot more quickly than i expected to.

    Maybe you are right that things will pick up for me when I am back out in the real world with real patients. Hope it does for you too.

    Good luck with your results. Hope it's not as bad as you suspect, and that you find hidden energy for resits if it comes to it...
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    GEP year is horrible no matter which uni you are at.
    A pass is a pass in the year and it's all you need, many of my year failed an exam and rest it so don't worry about resist. And honestly the more you panic and wind yourself up the worse you will revise. Don't feel guilty for taking a break and coming back to stuff, my brain physically doesn't work for more than 6-7 hours a day so make sure you are studying correctly and i found with friends to be really helpful.

    What topics are you struggling with? or have to do?
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    (Original post by lcsurfer)
    i found with friends to be really helpful.

    What topics are you struggling with? or have to do?
    Thanks for that. I've tried with friends today, and it did seem to help make me do things, but I also need time on my own otherwise concepts just don't stick, sadly. Exams are on pretty much everything you'd expect to cover in 1st year GEP. I performed way below average in pretty much all areas on my last exams. If I had to pick a weakness I'd say anatomy & physiology, but really it was pretty grim across the board...
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    Still wading through week 1 over here. This is sooo hard! Just don't see how I can possibly pass at this rate...
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    What specifically do you cover in your first year?
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    (Original post by Zakadoh)
    What specifically do you cover in your first year?
    With a couple of small exceptions we've covered the basics of most of your average GEP curriculum already. The idea is to re-visit everything next year and do it in more depth (hence the lower-than-expected difficulty level).

    What I've just said is more true than you would imagine, but I think the fact that I'm unable to explain the topics more succinctly than that probably highlights one of my problems, which is that there is so much information to wade through I've lost a handle on it. I'm therefore going to get a grip and attempt to tease out a few things I really need to study before the exams start next week. In no particular order, I think my performance would be waay better if I could get a grip on:
    -Neurology (particularly the basic anatomy of the cranial and spinal nerves, the main plexuses, the functions of the main parts of the brain, neurotransmitters, and the myotomes and dermatomes)
    -(Following on from the above) the actions and innervations of the main muscles of the body
    -Endocrinology (HPA axis, DM, endocrine functions of the kidney and pancreas etc)
    -Basic pharmacology: actions and side-effects of the most common drugs, how to use the BNF
    -First line treatments and investigations for some of the more common disorders.

    Hopefully just putting that into words will help me, but if anybody has any ideas do please send them this way!
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    Hi,
    I've just completed a GEP programme and can appreciate how you feel. The one big tip is to stay on top of things. I worked part time 20 hours a week through the whole four years, including the 3rd year, which was our resident year in medical and surgical specialities. We did our finals at the end of this year and re-visited everything again in the final year (plus specialities spread across two years), so it would be similar to the year your describe except clinical. From the first week, I was in the library for a couple of hours after rotations. I'd head home, have some food, then back to work for the rest of the night. I'd watch TV for one hour and then go to bed. Some days you'll feel like you just need some time out, and thats fine, as long as you are keeping on top of things. How to do this practically? - make a study timetable and set some tangible goals. Then you wont feel guilty missing a day if you need the time to recharge.

    A few ideas:
    1. Go in early, study an hour before lessons / clinical rotations
    2. Get together with friends and do some self-directed / problem based learning around a topic. Meet frequently and hold eachother to account.
    3. Use online question banks for MCQs and SBA questions (passmedicine, pastest, onexamination).
    4. For pre-clinical topics like physiology use videos (youtube, dr najeeb) - mix up how you learn.

    A few points you raise:
    -Neurology & Endocrinology - I found Dr Najeeb's videos a life saver in developing a good understanding of these areas. I used them in the first two GEP years and still remembered details of neurology a few weeks before my final exams.
    -Basic pharmacology: actions and side-effects of the most common drugs, how to use the BNF - I dont know the format of your course but i would think learning to use the BNF could probably wait until later years. Best use your precious time more effectively learning other things such as the basic pharmacology side of things. Get a book like "pharmacology at a glance" or even "Katsung" (much more detailed but easy read).
    -First line treatments and investigations for some of the more common disorders - Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine or lecture notes were the best resource for me.

    Practice makes perfect, keep working hard and you will pass. It is possible.

    Hope this helps.
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    Sorry Ive not been on here in a while. Ok, so neurolgy is the beast youre yrying to conquer?! Neurology is a massive topic to master, for sure, and more than a lot of specialities anatomy plays a big role. What resources are you using? I will help you out as much as I can, because I remember neuorlogy being a *****! Xx
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    (Original post by inthevale)
    . From the first week, I was in the library for a couple of hours after rotations. I'd head home, have some food, then back to work for the rest of the night. I'd watch TV for one hour and then go to bed. Some days you'll feel like you just need some time out, and thats fine, as long as you are keeping on top of things. How to do this practically? - make a study timetable and set some tangible goals. Then you wont feel guilty missing a day if you need the time to recharge.

    A few ideas:
    1. Go in early, study an hour before lessons / clinical rotations
    2. Get together with friends and do some self-directed / problem based learning around a topic. Meet frequently and hold eachother to account.
    3. Use online question banks for MCQs and SBA questions (passmedicine, pastest, onexamination).
    4. For pre-clinical topics like physiology use videos (youtube, dr najeeb) - mix up how you learn.

    A few points you raise:
    -Neurology & Endocrinology - I found Dr Najeeb's videos a life saver in developing a good understanding of these areas. I used them in the first two GEP years and still remembered details of neurology a few weeks before my final exams.
    -Basic pharmacology: actions and side-effects of the most common drugs, how to use the BNF - I dont know the format of your course but i would think learning to use the BNF could probably wait until later years. Best use your precious time more effectively learning other things such as the basic pharmacology side of things. Get a book like "pharmacology at a glance" or even "Katsung" (much more detailed but easy read).
    -First line treatments and investigations for some of the more common disorders - Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine or lecture notes were the best resource for me.

    Practice makes perfect, keep working hard and you will pass. It is possible.

    Hope this helps.

    Hi inthevale,

    Got your post a couple of days ago, but we're into exams now, which is why I didn't reply right away.

    Ultimately I have left it far too late to do anything about it now, but you have given me some excellent advice for next year. I think part of the problem was that I didn't fall in with the best group when I started GEP, as when we would meet up to do work they would just want to mess around like we're all still 19 and on our first degrees. I don't think they are doing that well either (better than me, though!) and to be honest I have started hanging out with different people in the year - both for nights out and for studying.

    I'm not much of a morning person, but when I have managed to start an hour before it's really helped, so next year (assuming they let me back in!) I'm going to make an appointment with myself to do this once a week. I have also agreed with some people in the class that we will study together one day a week and I will check out all the resources you've mentioned. Thank you so much.

    I've also broken every single revision timetable I have, so I will try better with that next year as well. I will massively be playing catch-up.

    Again - thanks for all the solid advice. Hope you have a blast with F1!

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    (Original post by Zakadoh)
    Sorry Ive not been on here in a while. Ok, so neurolgy is the beast youre yrying to conquer?! Neurology is a massive topic to master, for sure, and more than a lot of specialities anatomy plays a big role. What resources are you using? I will help you out as much as I can, because I remember neuorlogy being a *****! Xx
    Thanks for getting back to me again. Afraid I've run out of time to take action on anything now, but I am going to try again next year. When exams are over, I may drop you a message about neuro if that's OK?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks for getting back to me again. Afraid I've run out of time to take action on anything now, but I am going to try again next year. When exams are over, I may drop you a message about neuro if that's OK?
    Yeah for sure
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    (Original post by Zakadoh)
    Yeah for sure
    Hey Zakadoh,

    Is this still OK? Stuff that's confusing me about neuro (apart from everything!) is:
    -referred pain
    -how you can tell whether something is sympathetic, parasympathetic, etc. I get what the divisions of the nervous system are and what the words mean, but I'm not sure I understand how these translate into actual nerves !??
    -Quick and easy ways of remembering which nerves innervate which structures.
    -Visualising the plexuses in 3D rather than diagrams.

    Oh, and they're letting me into 2nd year GEP thank god. Lol.

    Thanks again! You're a G!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hey Zakadoh,

    Is this still OK? Stuff that's confusing me about neuro (apart from everything!) is:
    -referred pain
    -how you can tell whether something is sympathetic, parasympathetic, etc. I get what the divisions of the nervous system are and what the words mean, but I'm not sure I understand how these translate into actual nerves !??
    -Quick and easy ways of remembering which nerves innervate which structures.
    -Visualising the plexuses in 3D rather than diagrams.

    Oh, and they're letting me into 2nd year GEP thank god. Lol.

    Thanks again! You're a G!
    Flashcards are your friend. I also used this app which, although not cheap, was useful. Oh, and the anatomy colouring books. *

    What confuses you about referred pain - the concept of what it is, or something else?*
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    Wise words from a friend when he got teased for coming last in the year: The last guy to pass is still a Doctor.

    You've passed congratulations! If you could pass before with cramming I'm sure you can do it again. Forget what results you got before, you passed end of. Just pull through and look forward to the clinicals..the future is bright. Be sure to tap into your Uni support network if you have to and talk to your tutor if you're suffering from any external problems.
 
 
 
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