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Five Doctors Go Hunting
Five doctors - a general practitioner, a paediatrician, an internist, a surgeon, and a pathologist - decided to take a weekend trip and go duck hunting.
Soon after they were in their duck blind, a bird flew over and the general practitioner said, “I think that is a duck,” and so he took aim and slowly squeezed the trigger…but then he lowered his rifle and said, “I better get a second opinion.” “Back of the line,” said the group.
Another bird flew overhead and the paediatrician said, “I think this one is a duck too,” and he took aim…only to lower his rifle and say “but that duck might be a mother have baby ducks somewhere.” “Back of the line,” said the group.
A third bird flew overhead and the internist shouted, “That looked like a duck, etiologically classified as Animalia, Chordata, Aves, Anseriformes, Anatidae, based on the size, I am judging it to be a male, with an estimated weight of…” Before he could finish his thorough assessment or raise his rifle, the bird was gone. “We do not need to hear all that gibberish. Leave it to me,” said the surgeon.
Then a fourth bird flew overhead and the surgeon immediately raised his rifle and with no hesitation shot the bird out of the sky. He then turned to the pathologist standing next to him and said, “now go find out if that was a duck.”
Memory Tricks For Medical Students
- Write it down. It can be during a lecture or while reading a text. Don’t try to copy the entire paragraph from a book. Write short notes- simple, easy to understand, and straightforward. You can even use flashcards or website like Quizlet. Outlines, pens with different colors, drawings, or even highlighters can also help. This can help you create “cheat sheets” that you can easily recreate from memory during exams.
- Experience it. Why do you need to go into a lab and dissect a cadaver for anatomy class? Why must you go through clinical rotations before graduation? It is because you best remember what you learn through an experience. When you are confuse about definitions like adduction and abduction, just do those actions while recalling the terms until you are confident.
- Watch it. There are many videos that were created to help medical student memorize textbook information. Yes, they can be corny and horrible but they can also work wonder. Have you tried singing those medical songs? There are places such as Nucleus Medical Media and ORLive too. If your professors do not teach in a way that suits your style, you can listen into lectures of the same subjects from different school too on YouTube Education or the school’s website. iTunes may even have their podcasts.
- Roman room system. It is similar to drawing a mind map where you draw the main subject in the center and branches of associated information. Instead, you are using a room or a house. Then you put various objects and associate those with information you want to remember. Afterwards, you can imagine yourself trying to find those objects to retrieve the information. Takes practice but it can be quite helpful.
- Mnemonics. Initials can either help you or hurt you. Sometimes, people will end up remembering the initials but not their actual meaning. Some Lovers Try Position They Cannot Handle, for example. Try to come up with your own or the ones that work best for you. You may also substitute stories with mnemonics instead.
- Repetition. Sometimes, you may just have to shove that information forcefully through repetition. There can be no other way around it. You need a routine. You want it to be in your long time memory, not a short one. You can even try teaching it to others.
- Organization. You need to be able to organize your notes (handwriting!), thoughts, study breaks, study spaces, and even relationships. You only have to be organize to yourself. Make you sure you can explain to others so they too can understand you, especially in relationships. If you have a
horribleillegible handwriting, practice calligraphy before going into clinical portions…for the patients’ safety.
- Application of knowledge. Before taking board exams, professors and other medical students recommend doing LOTS of practice questions (USMLEWorld or Kaplan) so you can practice, know what to expect and work on your weaknesses. They will also make you do physical examinations on each other for the same reason. It is part of the experiential learning style.
- Play brain games. I highly recommend Lumosity. But you can also play other games that will help you expand your ability to memorize and remember other things unrelated to your study. They are fun and entertaining. They may even help you relax and release your stress.
- Rest well. Sleep helps improve your memory. Period. Try not to cram the night before, if you can.
These tricks may work for some and not for others. I didn’t learn some of the tricks until after I finished basic sciences. The important thing is to search for techniques that work for you and keep it. What are some of the memory tricks you use for yourself?
“Medical school is like a second puberty. It's overwhelming, confusing and by the end, your personality has changed so much that you barely recognise the person smiling back at you in that photo from the first day.”— An openly honest 4th year whilst briefing a group of overly enthusiastic first years on clinical years.
Are you a poor student studying for the MCAT?
- 10 week ExamKrackers Schedule
- Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package (Searchable)
- Outlines [Biological Sciences] [Physical Sciences] [Verbal]
- Biology [audio (1) (2)] [lecture]
- Chemistry [audio] [lecture]
- Organic Chemistry
- Physics [audio] [lecture]
- Verbal Reasoning and Math
There are also videos but due to their size, I’m unable to upload them. If you really need videos, if this isn’t enough, please contact me and we can see if we can work something out.
why you should wear your stethoscope out in public.
- You will look like a pretentious twit. But before you cry out, consider the model of socialisation familiar to first years and anyone cramming for final exams. Acting like a doctor is a crucial step to becoming a doctor, and House and Dr Cox are doctors who are also pretentious. Therefore, in order to become a doctor, you must wear your stethoscope out in public.
- Doctors get upgraded to business class when flying. How else will the flight attendants be aware of your pending-doctor status if you don’t wear your steth?
- There’s scope for, ahem, roleplaying.
- Think of the pick-up lines. “Excuse me miss, but you just made my heart skip a beat. Care to hear?” “I’m offering free health checks to all attractive males… and you most certainly qualify.”
- If you plan on going into surgery or psychiatry, this may be the only opportunity you get to wear your stethoscope. How many surgeons have you seen wear a stethoscope on ward rounds?
- “Stand back, I’m a doctor” sounds much more impressive if you look like one. And no one will question your doctor qualifications if you’re wearing a stethoscope.
- It’s a great party trick. In fact, the last two parties I’ve been to, I’ve whipped out my pretty little stethoscope and conducted full cardiovascular examinations on my friends. Not only do they get free healthcare, but it makes you seem super intelligent because you can tell them that their hearts are normal.
- Eavesdropping. Forget holding glasses up to walls or casting listening charms—if your friends are having a super secret conversation next door, you can simply hold your stethoscope to the wall and listen to all the dirty gossip.
- It’s great revision for clinical exams. If you’re wearing your stethoscope on a long train trip back from the country, imagine how many times you can listen to your heart and lungs. You’ll be a pro at identifying normal breath sounds by the end of it—and if you’re game, you can always practice on the other passengers. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
- Hitting someone with a stethoscope hurts. Therefore, wearing your stethoscope on those long walks between hospitals, residential colleges, and sophisticated drinking establishments means you always have a weapon on hand should you find yourself in less-than-pleasant company.
Please note, this is an entirely facetious list. Don’t wear your stethoscope outside the hospital, please.
Anon Question: Being 'Good Enough' for Medicine
The answer is complex.
To me, you can never give enough or be good enough for medicine. It wants all of you. There is a strong “Keeping Up with the Jones’” attitude that pervades many medical attitudes and minds. You can let that drive you crazy or find a way to be okay with that. It is unfortunately ‘normal’ that people doubt themselves or find themselves in endless competition with their peers. A little healthy competition is fine, but it shouldn’t drive anyone crazy. So I have a different way of thinking about it:
I have learned to see medicine as not a symbol of perfected self, but as a calling. You don’t asked to be called. Something happened to you that made you susceptible to hearing it. It’s better than comparing yourself to some idol or vision of perfection in a white coat that you will never, ever be. A calling is for people who have a story to tell, a mission in life. And I think that’s something we should all have.
When you think of medicine as a calling, all you can do is give it your best shot. Sometimes you screw up and you want to stop. Some days you win life’s jackpot and nothing brings you down. Some days you are brought to your knees, humbled by what you have seen or experienced. Some days you fall to the ground and you feel like you can’t get up.
I’m not good enough for a lot of things; I don’t know if I’m good enough for medicine. In that way, I can’t answer your question and I apologize for that.
But what I do know? Everything that has happened to me has led me to medicine. It gives meaning to my experiences and ignites my passion. It gives me the tools to help those who need help. If I can take away a little pain and replace it with something better? I’m enough for myself and maybe enough for medicine.
My answer is way off the beaten path, I know. Thank you for your question!