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    Hi Guys,

    So last week I found out that I failed first year, the main paper and the OCASE.

    I am studying GEM and just found everything very over-whelming in terms of what I had to learn. My background is in business and I had no science experience since GCSE. I failed my written exams by 9 % and my ocase by one station.

    I know what went wrong in my OCASE, I was just incredibly nervous and made silly errors.. I did however know how to do every station well but just forgot silly things and made little errors that got me red flags like not checking the medication before sub q injection.

    My main issues are SAQ and EMQ, I never know how much to write for saq and I genuinely don't have a clue how to revise for the EMQ. The questions are just so random.

    I have a chance to resit in August and if I don't pass this time I will have to resit the whole year (at my expense) or leave.

    I guess I just want some help and advice from people who have been there and done it. Do you think I should be going over the whole of the first years LOs or using the lecture material/ GEMS material as my main base?

    I am genuinely terrified of failing as I have invested a lot of time, money and effort into this.

    Thank you in advance.
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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    Hi Guys,

    So last week I found out that I failed first year, the main paper and the OCASE.

    I am studying GEM and just found everything very over-whelming in terms of what I had to learn. My background is in business and I had no science experience since GCSE. I failed my written exams by 9 % and my ocase by one station.

    I know what went wrong in my OCASE, I was just incredibly nervous and made silly errors.. I did however know how to do every station well but just forgot silly things and made little errors that got me red flags like not checking the medication before sub q injection.

    My main issues are SAQ and EMQ, I never know how much to write for saq and I genuinely don't have a clue how to revise for the EMQ. The questions are just so random.

    I have a chance to resit in August and if I don't pass this time I will have to resit the whole year (at my expense) or leave.

    I guess I just want some help and advice from people who have been there and done it. Do you think I should be going over the whole of the first years LOs or using the lecture material/ GEMS material as my main base?

    I am genuinely terrified of failing as I have invested a lot of time, money and effort into this.

    Thank you in advance.
    My personal experience may be of little help as im only a first year, but I know many people have gone through Failure in medical school and have come out of the other side and passed resits, very very few get let go.

    My advice is to take a long look at the way you revised, planned and time
    Managed during the run up to exams and see where you could improve your technique. Make sure you are actively revising the material rather than just passively going over it.

    My best tips are to focus on the things you are much less comfortable with in greater detail, specifically with OSCEs. As for what to revise, it depends what your exam is like, you will never ever be able to know every word from every lecture, but if lecturers put a lot of emphasis on certain topics then they are more likely to come up. Its all about revising smart.

    Best thinf to do now is meet with your medical schools team to discuss what went wrong, get as much advice as possible and go back to revising. Your hard work will pay off.


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    (Original post by Natalierm2707)
    My personal experience may be of little help as im only a first year, but I know many people have gone through Failure in medical school and have come out of the other side and passed resits, very very few get let go.

    My advice is to take a long look at the way you revised, planned and time
    Managed during the run up to exams and see where you could improve your technique. Make sure you are actively revising the material rather than just passively going over it.

    My best tips are to focus on the things you are much less comfortable with in greater detail, specifically with OSCEs. As for what to revise, it depends what your exam is like, you will never ever be able to know every word from every lecture, but if lecturers put a lot of emphasis on certain topics then they are more likely to come up. Its all about revising smart.

    Best thinf to do now is meet with your medical schools team to discuss what went wrong, get as much advice as possible and go back to revising. Your hard work will pay off.


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    Thanks for the advice Natalie.

    I am trying my best to stay positive through it all but it is quite hard when the prospect of my dream career coming to abrupt end. GEM is quite difficult in that there isn't any sort of curriculum.

    I am studying at a PBL based school and it is hard to know what I should and shouldn't know. I also struggle to know what to revise for EMQ as they always seem so unrelated.

    Thanks for the help though.

    Good luck with the rest of your course

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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    GEM is quite difficult in that there isn't any sort of curriculum.
    There must be a curriculum as the course has to be approved by the GMC. You should also be provided with learning outcomes that make it fairly explicit what you need to learn. I am not too familiar with GEM or PBL courses, but I find it hard to believe that these resources are not available in some form
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    (Original post by Ghotay)
    There must be a curriculum as the course has to be approved by the GMC. You should also be provided with learning outcomes that make it fairly explicit what you need to learn. I am not too familiar with GEM or PBL courses, but I find it hard to believe that these resources are not available in some form
    The LOs are the curriculum as such. The resources are available it's just that it is self directed learning so it is sometimes difficult to know where is the best place to look to learn the LOs
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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    The LOs are the curriculum as such. The resources are available it's just that it is self directed learning so it is sometimes difficult to know where is the best place to look to learn the LOs
    Okay. Have you spoken to your peers to find out what resources they used that you didn't? Maybe they found some stuff that is good for your course that could help you with the resit
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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    Hi Guys,

    So last week I found out that I failed first year, the main paper and the OCASE.

    I am studying GEM and just found everything very over-whelming in terms of what I had to learn. My background is in business and I had no science experience since GCSE. I failed my written exams by 9 % and my ocase by one station.

    I know what went wrong in my OCASE, I was just incredibly nervous and made silly errors.. I did however know how to do every station well but just forgot silly things and made little errors that got me red flags like not checking the medication before sub q injection.

    My main issues are SAQ and EMQ, I never know how much to write for saq and I genuinely don't have a clue how to revise for the EMQ. The questions are just so random.

    I have a chance to resit in August and if I don't pass this time I will have to resit the whole year (at my expense) or leave.

    I guess I just want some help and advice from people who have been there and done it. Do you think I should be going over the whole of the first years LOs or using the lecture material/ GEMS material as my main base?

    I am genuinely terrified of failing as I have invested a lot of time, money and effort into this.

    Thank you in advance.

    I would re-start the whole year.
    You'll be better experienced, and everyone I know who has repeated the year has done a lot better.
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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    Hi Guys,

    So last week I found out that I failed first year, the main paper and the OCASE.

    I am studying GEM and just found everything very over-whelming in terms of what I had to learn. My background is in business and I had no science experience since GCSE. I failed my written exams by 9 % and my ocase by one station.

    I know what went wrong in my OCASE, I was just incredibly nervous and made silly errors.. I did however know how to do every station well but just forgot silly things and made little errors that got me red flags like not checking the medication before sub q injection.

    My main issues are SAQ and EMQ, I never know how much to write for saq and I genuinely don't have a clue how to revise for the EMQ. The questions are just so random.

    I have a chance to resit in August and if I don't pass this time I will have to resit the whole year (at my expense) or leave.

    I guess I just want some help and advice from people who have been there and done it. Do you think I should be going over the whole of the first years LOs or using the lecture material/ GEMS material as my main base?

    I am genuinely terrified of failing as I have invested a lot of time, money and effort into this.

    Thank you in advance.
    In terms of SAQs, let the marks awarded be your guide. If it's a three mark question you need to make three key points. This doesn't mean a massive essay but when writing look to see that you've made three distinct points. Whether that's something like three causes, or one diagnosis and two points expanding on how you've come to that answer (depending on type of question).

    There is probably some form of unofficial resource floating around. Do you know anyone in the year above? Or even just to find out what books etc that they used.

    This isn't the end of the world. First exams in medical school are a shock to the system. Particularly if you don't have a science background. But you have plenty of time to revise for resits.

    OSCEs are a case of breathing and practice/positive visualisation.
    If you know what kind of stations come up, practice with friends. But also visualise yourself going through the steps and what may go wrong.
    If you're getting panicked, take a few deep breaths. Ask them to repeat the question/can you move on, or repeat the instructions. Use those seconds to compose yourself.
    OSCEs are a performance. You just have to learn to play the game. Over emphasise the important things.. I will check this drug, I will wash my hands now, I will check the patient's id etc. But again practice is key.

    Good luck

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    (Original post by omfgalib)
    I would re-start the whole year.
    You'll be better experienced, and everyone I know who has repeated the year has done a lot better.
    This doesn't really apply in medicine. Repeating a year, especially in GEM, is a massive undertaking and most people want to avoid repeating.

    Not too mention the funding implications for the OP

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    (Original post by omfgalib)
    I would re-start the whole year.
    You'll be better experienced, and everyone I know who has repeated the year has done a lot better.
    It sounds good but in practise it really isn't. Retaking a year of med is a big undertaking and I could not afford to do so.
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    In terms of SAQs, let the marks awarded be your guide. If it's a three mark question you need to make three key points. This doesn't mean a massive essay but when writing look to see that you've made three distinct points. Whether that's something like three causes, or one diagnosis and two points expanding on how you've come to that answer (depending on type of question).

    There is probably some form of unofficial resource floating around. Do you know anyone in the year above? Or even just to find out what books etc that they used.

    This isn't the end of the world. First exams in medical school are a shock to the system. Particularly if you don't have a science background. But you have plenty of time to revise for resits.

    OSCEs are a case of breathing and practice/positive visualisation.
    If you know what kind of stations come up, practice with friends. But also visualise yourself going through the steps and what may go wrong.
    If you're getting panicked, take a few deep breaths. Ask them to repeat the question/can you move on, or repeat the instructions. Use those seconds to compose yourself.
    OSCEs are a performance. You just have to learn to play the game. Over emphasise the important things.. I will check this drug, I will wash my hands now, I will check the patient's id etc. But again practice is key.

    Good luck

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    Thanks for the advice, really helps I just panic I think when I get in there and I obviously know there are students around me who know a lot more and that kind of throws me off... especially in PBL when we are all discussing.

    I do OCASE at my med school, so it involves anatomy as well which is a bit of nightmare but I do know what I am doing, I red flagged 2 exams I am usually excellent at just for silly mistakes.

    I am going to just revise my bum off and hope for the best. I just need some good resources I think.
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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    Thanks for the advice, really helps I just panic I think when I get in there and I obviously know there are students around me who know a lot more and that kind of throws me off... especially in PBL when we are all discussing.

    I do OCASE at my med school, so it involves anatomy as well which is a bit of nightmare but I do know what I am doing, I red flagged 2 exams I am usually excellent at just for silly mistakes.

    I am going to just revise my bum off and hope for the best. I just need some good resources I think.
    The best advice I can offer is to ignore how much everyone else knows (unless you're getting them to teach you something). Medicine can be a ***** for your self esteem, especially as everyone seems to always know stuff you don't. The secret is everyone (bar those few insanely clever) feels the same. We all feel like we don't know anything, especially because there is just too much to learn. Half the time I only know things because I happened to look it up the night before or had seen a patient with that.
    If you can stop comparing yourself (difficult, I know) you'll feel much better and it will allow you to focus on just trying to learn what you need to know, rather than all the random details someone might know but aren't really ever going to be examined.

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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    The best advice I can offer is to ignore how much everyone else knows (unless you're getting them to teach you something). Medicine can be a ***** for your self esteem, especially as everyone seems to always know stuff you don't. The secret is everyone (bar those few insanely clever) feels the same. We all feel like we don't know anything, especially because there is just too much to learn. Half the time I only know things because I happened to look it up the night before or had seen a patient with that.
    If you can stop comparing yourself (difficult, I know) you'll feel much better and it will allow you to focus on just trying to learn what you need to know, rather than all the random details someone might know but aren't really ever going to be examined.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thanks I do my best to ignore it, it just makes you panic especially in PBL during a week like neuro when people just rattle it off like it is nothing haha.

    It is random EMQ's that I am most nervous about, I never seem to be able to deduce the right answer from the various choices. I guess it is just a case of increasing my knowledge and doing practise tests.
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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    Thanks I do my best to ignore it, it just makes you panic especially in PBL during a week like neuro when people just rattle it off like it is nothing haha.

    It is random EMQ's that I am most nervous about, I never seem to be able to deduce the right answer from the various choices. I guess it is just a case of increasing my knowledge and doing practise tests.
    Hey, doing GEM at Warwick and just failed the SAQ paper also, so will be resitting late July similar to you. Since sitting, I've found a few decent 'high-yield' (use that phrase carefully haha) resouces that I wish I'd found sooner. First one is First Aid for USMLE -- yes it's overarching and not for UK students, but the organ systems chapter pretty much matches our course for content and it's full of helpful stuff. Worth a look into IMO (wink wink it's available for torrenting not that I'd condone it..)
    Good luck, it's a horrible experience to go through but everyone fails at some point – we're just experiencing it slightly earlier than planned! Nothing to do but grind on and hope for the best second time around.
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    (Original post by MJK91)
    Hey, doing GEM at Warwick and just failed the SAQ paper also, so will be resitting late July similar to you. Since sitting, I've found a few decent 'high-yield' (use that phrase carefully haha) resouces that I wish I'd found sooner. First one is First Aid for USMLE -- yes it's overarching and not for UK students, but the organ systems chapter pretty much matches our course for content and it's full of helpful stuff. Worth a look into IMO (wink wink it's available for torrenting not that I'd condone it..)
    Good luck, it's a horrible experience to go through but everyone fails at some point – we're just experiencing it slightly earlier than planned! Nothing to do but grind on and hope for the best second time around.

    Hey. I am using the USLME step 1 book as we speak. I guess we both just need to put our all into this and hope we come out the other end. I just don't know whether to go over all previous material or focus more on practise papers etc.

    *
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    (Original post by jacky12345)
    Hey. I am using the USLME step 1 book as we speak. I guess we both just need to put our all into this and hope we come out the other end. I just don't know whether to go over all previous material or focus more on practise papers etc.

    *
    Did you get given a breakdown per theme or block or whatever it is your school goes by? We got percentages for each theme (pharmacology, anatomy etc) and per block so we know where we did weakest. So the plan is to just go through high-yield for everything (using the USMLE stuff etc) but then comb through the weaker parts in more depth – lecture slides etc.

    Depends on individual circumstance really. If you feel you failed due to exam technique then maybe practice questions/papers is the way to go?
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    (Original post by MJK91)
    First one is First Aid for USMLE -- yes it's overarching and not for UK students, but the organ systems chapter pretty much matches our course for content and it's full of helpful stuff.
    (Original post by jacky12345)
    Hey. I am using the USLME step 1 book as we speak.
    I personally wouldn't put too much store in the USMLE books for passing UK medical school exams. I have seen a few students get bogged down in unnecessary facts/detail from these books and get distracted from the things that actually matter.

    The way that most lecturers (including those in medicine) write exam questions is to lift them directly from the written material that they provide to students. *In most cases, this will be lecture slides or perhaps the answers to group work tasks.

    They do this (a) out of laziness as it's easy to formulate questions by flicking through slides and (b) to satisfy themselves that they definitely taught the facts they are testing. No lecturer wants to be left wondering whether they actually listed the causes of pancreatitis if that's going to be a question in the exam.

    You are much better off learning the facts and lists from these written materials (even if they are incomplete and poor quality) than struggling through the First Aid books. The USMLE is a much harder exam than most you will encounter at medical school and you risk making life more difficult for yourselves with this strategy. I know that the books are nicely organised and full of meaty facts but you need to "study for the test" first and the USMLE isn't your test ;-)*
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I personally wouldn't put too much store in the USMLE books for passing UK medical school exams. I have seen a few students get bogged down in unnecessary facts/detail from these books and get distracted from the things that actually matter.

    The way that most lecturers (including those in medicine) write exam questions is to lift them directly from the written material that they provide to students. *In most cases, this will be lecture slides or perhaps the answers to group work tasks.

    They do this (a) out of laziness as it's easy to formulate questions by flicking through slides and (b) to satisfy themselves that they definitely taught the facts they are testing. No lecturer wants to be left wondering whether they actually listed the causes of pancreatitis if that's going to be a question in the exam.

    You are much better off learning the facts and lists from these written materials (even if they are incomplete and poor quality) than struggling through the First Aid books. The USMLE is a much harder exam than most you will encounter at medical school and you risk making life more difficult for yourselves with this strategy. I know that the books are nicely organised and full of meaty facts but you need to "study for the test" first and the USMLE isn't your test ;-)*
    Oh I absolutely agree on the whole, but I'm not kidding when I say section 3 (the organ system bit) mirrors our entire curriculum. Goes into a bit too much on the pathology, but the anatomy/embryology/pharmacology/physiology parts are scarily similar to our lecture content!

    I'm ignoring the first two sections on biochemistry etc. which is well beyond what we need to know.

    I'm just using it to recover what I did before the exams, and catch up again. Then going through individual lectures etc for the bits I need improvement on if that makes sense.
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    (Original post by MJK91)
    I'm just using it to recover what I did before the exams, and catch up again. Then going through individual lectures etc for the bits I need improvement on if that makes sense.
    Great - just as long as your eye is on the ball !!

    I'm working through Step 2CK now and it's not a walk in the park despite medical school, five years as a doctor, MRCS, and 2/3 of MRCP...
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    Great - just as long as your eye is on the ball !!

    I'm working through Step 2CK now and it's not a walk in the park despite medical school, five years as a doctor, MRCS, and 2/3 of MRCP...
    Don't doubt it for a minute haha, sounds intense. And expensive...

    Best of luck!
 
 
 
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