Doctors don’t just care for a patient’s symptoms. They provide comfort and reassurance. Patients want smart, competent doctors, but they also want happy doctors, real people who they can feel a connection to. And yet doctors and medical students suffer from staggeringly high rates of depression.
The problem begins in medical school, where the high pressure environment seems almost designed to break even the most hardworking students. While changes need to happen on the institutional level, there are things we as individuals can do to help reverse this worrying trend.
It’s about remembering why we chose to become doctors in the first place, and putting the joy back into medical learning.
According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention as reported by VOX, doctors are between 1.4 and 2.27 more likely to commit suicide than the population as an average.
Evidence shows that the problem begins in medical school, where as many as 1 in 3 medical are students affected by depression. Patient’s want happy doctors, and as human beings we are entitled to happiness. So WHY are doctors and medical students are statistically miserable?
Medical school is tough. The amount of information that students need to learn in a very short time period is astounding. Combine that with the pressures of exams and intense competition, and you have an environment that advocates like Pamela Wible describe as resembling a military boot camp. The fact that medical students tend to be smarter than average, actually makes the problem worse. Medical school brings together the smart kids from across the country. Suddenly, you may no longer be the best student in the room. All the best and brightest are now competing, facing pressures that they’ve never been adequately prepared for.
By the time students make it to the residency stage, the pressures just keep piling on. Many students have to move away from home to do their residency, losing the social support and comfort of being at home. Making life and death decisions about real patients adds a whole new world of stress and anxiety. After graduation things don’t always get brighter. Students frequently enter the real world saddled with enormous amounts of debt, and already burned out before their careers have even had the chance to begin. Elizabeth Poorman put it most bluntly in her conversation with Vox. “Fundamentally, medical schools and residency cause mental health disorders,” she said. “They cause depression.”
The very factors that make medical school so traumatizing to begin with are the same factors that too often prevent students and doctors from seeking help.
Doctors from the USA to the UK are terrified that if they are caught reaching out for help, they will be perceived as weak. They worry that may jeopardize their chances of becoming licensed, and sabotage their future careers. Nathaniel P. Morris, a former student at Harvard Medical School, wrote an article about his struggles with depression, and his decision to seek help. Discussing the article in the Washington Post, Morris writes: Last spring, I wrote publicly about my own struggle with depression during medical school. The days leading up to the article’s publication were terrifying. I worried I might lose the residency slot I had matched into or forfeit the trust of future colleagues. Again and again, I checked the medical licensing requirements in California to make sure I wouldn’t lose the ability to care for patients. Yet my fears have gone unfounded and, in the days that followed, I received nothing but support from colleagues and mentors. Fortunately, others are speaking up as well. There are two apparent lessons here. The first is that we as a community need to be more open. We need to encourage conversation about the pressures we face here, without being afraid of judgement and what others may say. The second is that we as individuals need to take confidence in the example of Nathaniel Morris and the many others who share his experience.
The consequences of seeking help are as nothing compared to the consequences of not seeking help. [Find a List of International Suicide Helpline Numbers]
The world desperately needs more doctors. An aging population globally is putting massive strain on the medical profession. As older doctors retire and too few young people enter medical school, the situation gets worse every year. The World Health Organization estimates that we’re already short 7.2 million healthcare workers, with that number expected to rise to almost 13 million within the next two decades. And yet we’ve created a paradigm in which becoming a doctor is often a traumatizing experience. People entering the profession are already burned out! So how can we change that? One way is to start putting the joy and love of life back into medical school. To put back the love of learning medicine that made students want to become doctors in the first place. There are many aspects of this paradigm that can only be solved at the institutional level. But in this article, we’ll look at something we can all do, both as individuals and as a community. It’s a simple matter of attitude. It’s about giving students permission to be human and rediscover the joy and excitement that learning and life can bring. Being a doctor isn’t just about knowledge and technical skills. Patients want happy doctors because they want to feel a connection. Doctors need social skills. They need to listen. They need to have empathy and they need to have compassion. They need to see the whole patient, and leave that patient feeling reassured, uplifted and like they are in safe hands. Students who succumb to pressure and spend all their time locked up in the library are unlikely to become good doctors. They may acquire a lot of knowledge, but they miss this fantastic opportunity to develop the human, social skills which are just as important in the real world. Of course the knowledge element is essential. But studying is not everything. Good doctors need to develop into complete, rounded individuals. And yes, this means having friends. It means going out occasionally on the weekends. It means playing a sport and pursuing a hobby. And it means not feeling guilty every time they dare lift their weary eyes from the textbooks, and decide to do something fun.
In addition to my medical lectures on YouTube, I work as a spokesperson for QUPI, a medical learning startup.
What QUPI have done is compiled basically everything students need to know to pass medical school into a bunch of exam style practice questions. One of the reason I chose to represent QUPI was they share this attitude of fun, of bringing the joy back into medical learning. check them out at QUPI.com
If practicing medical knowledge can be made fun, if we can relieve some of the pressure and replace it with joy then the world won’t only have more doctors, it will also have better doctors. Patients want happy doctors. As members of the medical community, we owe it not only to them, but also to ourselves, to stay positive, and to keep innovating.
Studying the human body can be really interesting if you look at it as a beautiful story. Understanding the structure and the mechanism and remembering everything is a difficult task if you don’t enjoy studying it, but if you see it as an unfolding story, then this fascination will make sure you don’t get bored!
Learning the structure and the relationship between the different body parts is what we call learning Anatomy. Physiology is all about understanding the function of the body and the body as one system. We can specialize in different areas as well. But Anatomy and Physiology together cover the understanding of the whole body.
Medicine is a huge field, but anatomy and physiology broadly break down into 13 modules. If you’re new to med school, chances are you’ll first receive a brief introduction to each topic before you dive in deeper.
Some systems that you will study are.,
You’ve discovered the 13 disciplines above. In addition to them, you’ll also be learning about the five stages that the body performed, which goes from the basic molecular level all the way up to your largest organs working in tandem. Lets look at them one by way:
Chemical stages – learning from the stage where it’s about combinations of molecules or atoms. This is where one will dig deep in to the subject and understand the basis of each system in molecular point of view.
Cell Stages – Then for each system, cells arrangement will be identified. How cells are specialized for different functions in different systems.
Tissue Stage – Cells combine together and make tissues. This part one will learn about the types of tissues in the body and how it will change from system to system.
Organ stage – The cells get organized and make units which will enable to do a particular activity in the body.
System stage – two or more organs will together and accomplish a specific task. For example the digestive system requires many organs to perform the required task every single day!
When you look at it, it’s like a flow chart. Each and every system has this flow. If we take nervous system, what will we be learning? We will learn the atomic nature of the body first. Then we will understand about one neuron cell and the characteristics. Next we will understand how the neurons get together and make the neuron system in the body. Then we will learn how it functions. Then we will learn how the ideal function get deviated due to various reasons. Finally, we will learn deviations and prevention for deviations. At the same time, you know how your body anatomy is structured as well.
Having a sound knowledge about Anatomy and Physiology will enable to understand your whole body in a holistic manner. But it is tiresome to memorize and remember all this information. One need to study continuously and keep memorizing the subject matter every day to become an expert. Looking at the body like a fascinating story will help you stay motivated, and keep studying even when it gets hard.
Have you all ever heard the phrase: “If you don’t use it, you lose it”? To what degree is this true? When it comes to medical knowledge, it makes perfect sense–specially by considering the amount of info involved.
Each med student has many tasks to deal with so keeping up with the updates and refreshing one’s core knowledge doesn’t seem that easy. Yet, it isn’t that hard if you integrate it into your lifestyle. In view that what works for some doesn’t work for everyone, I’ll present a few best practices for you to decide wisely.
In fact, learning should be a lifelong practice; just like the lifestyle changes you’ll be asking patients to make when they are diagnosed with a chronic condition. Let’s put it simple: make it a habit naturally incorporated into your daily life and then it won’t look so overwhelming.
If you are not the kind of student who likes sitting down with a pile of books in a room at the end of the day or during breakfast/lunch/dinner, you might be one of those who prefers learning while being on the go. For example, you could do it on the elliptical machine at the gym or on your daily bus/tram commute. As you sweat it out on the machine, you’ll absorb relevant information that could be beneficial afterwards.
While exercising, you could also listen to specific podcasts. Some suggestions are the New England Journal of Medicine podcast with Steve Morrissey or the one with Joe Elia: NEJM Journal Watch, as well as general news podcasts from NPR or The Economist. It’s not about listening to them all every day; just some of it.
For instance, you may read Journal Watch content in general medicine, hospital medicine, diabetes, etc. This method might be interesting for those who hear something once and don’t have it down cold, so they need to reinforce the information they get (e.g. some of the daily headlines from First Watch get explored further in Journal Watch stories).
Others are more of visual learners and for that, I would recommend using some question banks as you’d be able to go through a great deal of questions at a manageable pace. You’d also have more time to review what you didn’t answer right. Speeding up your test-taking skills is as critical as increasing your knowledge, as advised by Judi Kesselman-Turkel & Franklynn Peterson in their bestseller work Test–taking Strategies.
Keeping up with the latest information is just part and parcel of the job, and that’s when Qupi enters the game. It makes students review essential topics; the core medical info that is to be constantly reviewed if you want to be a respectful clinician right after your med studies. I believe that is your main goal, isn’t it?
Yet, it’s not really the case. It amounts to maybe 15 minutes a day (or a bit more depending on your availability). Just put in a little time up front by signing up for alerts from products like Qupi and it will all come to you. My advice to someone who thinks this is too much work: start small, and build a habit. Don’t bite off more than you can chew (:
For example, Future Doc House explains medical issues and shares the knowledge he gained through his medical studies. You can also find material linked with microbiology via easy-to-understand and straight-to-the-point practical videos. In this way, you’d benefit from the net.
Go find the sources that suit you better and discover your personalized routine (remember not to compare yourself though, as per my previous article). Once you set it up, sticking to it turns out not to be that tough.
Does any of the recommendations above make sense at all? If so (or if not) please leave your comment or any doubt/question below. A last phrase I’d like you to remember: practice makes perfect, so keep trying and assess your own outcome as you move forward. To subscribe to Qupi, click on the link that follows => Continue with Facebook
Pathophysiology is an extensive subject and is filled to the brim with complex interactions and extensive changes, features, symptoms, and signs. It can take forever to try and remember all of the complex models of different diseases and as students, we value all the help we can get. A great task is memorizing the extensive volumes by heart. However, there is an easy way of doing it. Pathophysiology quiz flash cards. Yes, flash cards are some of the fastest ways of committing information to memory. You can easily transfer some useful information to flash cards and swirl them up to embed that information deep within your brain. Here are 3 reasons why these flashcards are so beneficial.
Once you look at the front of a flashcard, you stimulate your brain to think if the answer, a process called active recall. This works better because you are creating the concept from scratch, instead of recognizing it from a textbook or identifying it in a multiple choice bank. Studies have proven that active recall builds interneuron connections and strengthens the knowledge in the brain for long-term retention. An extensive subject like pathophysiology quiz can be easily accomplished using these flashcards. Also, they are very easy to revise and repeat, which makes flash cards extremely efficient at providing and solidifying the knowledge.
When you reveal the answer side of the flashcard, you compare your answer with the one written on the back. This work like a feed-forward pathway, where your brain makes amends for the next cycle and then the next, tuning the answer as you go. This helps solidify information and also makes it easier to recall. Also, as the answer improves with repetition, you are likely to get the best answer at the end of the revision. Pathophysiology quizzes as well as quizzes for other subjects Ike anatomy and biochemistry can be learned in this manner with efficiency.
Books are bound in a cover and are difficult to separate according to needs. Flashcards, however, can easily be separated into different piles according to which ones you need more often than others. This helps you attack that pile of information that needs polishing. This is called confidence-based repetition and is proven to be one of the most effective methods of learning and retaining information. Pathophysiology quiz is just one of the many different quizzes that you can easily tackle, once you have done the flash cards.
All these points point to the extreme usefulness of flashcards. They are convenient, easy and effective, which makes them the perfect aid for learning different things like the pathophysiology quiz. Try them out! You will be surprised at how well they work, for sure!
USMLE is no laughing matter. There are so many things that can go wrong even when everything you did was write! It needs proper planning, vigilant preparation and thorough understanding of the subject to be able to overcome this gigantic exam. First aid USMLE, in particular, requires you to have all your wits about you to identify and diagnose every scenario by the minute. The clock keeps ticking and it’s important that you think fast to get to your answers. In all the rush, there are many common mistakes that candidates make, which are easily avoidable. Here we discuss, 3 of the most common ones so that you don’t end up making them as well.
The most common excuse that students make is that they just finished MED school and were saving it up for later. Although the course is high yield, the book still has 583 pages for you to go through. No matter what others say, it is impossible to complete the book in a few weeks, if you want to learn it enough to do your profession justice. Let alone that, it isn’t enough to allow you to pass. The best way to learn first aid USMLE is by taking it side by side during your regular classes. This way, you would have covered a major part of your course beforehand, allowing you to easily revise the book when it’s time.
On the other extreme are those students that try to digest every bit of information, scribbling down notes from class on the first aid USMLE book. The problem with this is that the book itself has been fine-tuned to give you the most refined and manageable knowledge that you will need to pass the exam. When you distort with added info you end up confusing the text that was supposed to be learned as well. Your brain fails to retain all the extensive information and steers to the next available option, which is drainage. This way, you are left with nothing.
You need to understand the difference between reading and memorizing. Simply reading the text won’t make you memorize it. You need to commit the information to your memory and if you don’t motivate yourself to make that effort, vital pieces of information will slip through your mind at the moment you need them. This is why you need to sit down and learn off those pages so that you can command the knowledge instead of going round in circles. If you find it difficult to differentiate, simply read the pages first and then recall. Repeat the process until you are sure that you have learned that USMLE first aid book by heart.
It can be hectic and trying, having to cram all that information into your brain. However, it’s a necessary part to excel at your job. Unless you do it now, the other information that you need for the exam will vaporize. Since you are fresh, the knowledge is still ripe, and you still have the time and energy to do it, it’s best to get these boards out of the way at one go! If you follow the rules and study right, USMLE first aid, won’t be that big of a hurdle to overcome. You just need to drive your guts to it!
Medical terminology is a complex part of learning medicine, but is a critical foundation for your medical knowledge as well. Many students get intimated by the towering task of memorizing medical terminology. However, there are simple ways that you can use to learn medical terminology fast. Yes, you can actually master these complex words faster by following a well curated medical terminology course, attending a special medical terminology class or by taking a medical terminology test. This particular manner of learning helps you to learn and reinforce your knowledge of medical terminology, allowing you to remember information for the rest of your professional life.
There is a specific course that you need to follow in order to get the most out of your medical education. There are specific books that actually collect all the different definitions and present them in alphabetical order. Repeatedly learning them and revising them constantly will help you to seal them into your mind. It acts as a convenient method of allowing your brain to view and review the information so that it fixates in your long term memory.
Teachers at your university or college realize the importance of learning medical terminology which is why they are likely to conduct a medical terminology class at the start of each section. This is done to help you form a basic understanding of all the complicated words that are likely to come in the text. A relatively easy way to learn medical terminology is by attending these classes, which allows you to gain knowledge by a relatively easy and convenient manner.
Finally, once you are done with the learning process it is important to test yourself. Try out some medical terminology tests online from a range of tests offered at our site. Stimulating your brain to recall knowledge allows you to realize the deficiencies and fill in gaps in your brain. You may have noticed how you know everything once you open a book but forget half or more once you close it. Well, to prevent this from happening try and quiz yourself so that you know what you need to work on more and what you have already learned.
The ultimate way of learning and fortifying your knowledge is by teaching it on. This fulfills all the basic requirements needed for good memory. As it allows you to learn, revise, recall and finally correlate your information, all the medical terminology that you memorized transfers from your short term memory, into your long term memory.
These simple ways of contouring your study allow your brain to progress through the stages of learning and claim the full knowledge. Medical terminology course, classes, and tests, all play a vital role in fortifying the information in your brain. Growing through them progressively will help you learn medical terminology by heart easily and fast!
Physiology is an extremely interesting subject if you set your mind to it. However, at the same time, it can be intimidating for those of you who don’t know the right way to process it. Physiology contains uncountable processes of the body with precisely detailed steps that hold major clinical significance, what’s more, unless you figure out the natural processes, learning the complex abnormalities will be harder than you can imagine. However, if you implement the two together, learning a topic and then learning about its abnormalities will fortify one another and help you remember the subject better. Here are some tips that you can use to learn physiology fast and effectively.
A great way to remember concepts and processes is by forcing your brain to recall them again and again. Most tests are based on critical thinking and unless you learn to correlate the critical points, the chances of getting a good grade are obsolete. Try to link in the pathology of the subject you are studying and then integrate them into flashcards. It may be tough to do so at first, but it will create a cycle of recalling and reinforcement which will solidify your knowledge.
No subject is complete unless you assess yourself. You may know everything when you open the book, however, there can be big gaps in your knowledge with the book closed. The only way to overcome this is by taking frequent quizzes and questionnaires. Half of physiology is about learning what new names mean and the remaining half is about learning what they do. A Medical terminology quiz is one of e fastest way of learning these complex words by heart for the long run.
Learning something isn’t enough unless you apply it. This creates a whole new web in your brain that connects your learned knowledge with practical implementation. Teaching others, taking tests, solving clinical scenarios are all ways that you can implement knowledge and make it last. Plus, as most questions are critical based learning, solidifying knowledge in this manner will make solving these questions considerably easy.
The best way to get the normal processes in mind is by integrating them with abnormal physiology. This will help you to link the two together and remember it forever. We often forget the normal events, however, if we link the problematic states with these situations, they get etched in our brain. Similarly, physiology works in the same way and you can use the same concept to learn it as well.
These tips and methods of learning physiology are sure to help you extract important information from the subject. You need to realize the fact that reading the book will not be enough. You will have to extract the information, implement it in solving questionnaires and medical terminology quiz. This will help you grasp the information better so that you can solve any type of test with ease.
Science is a diverse field of knowledge. There are a great many things that can go amiss, even after you know the answer to a question. Multiple choice particularly is very tricky and can have such similar looking answers that they can ruffle you up even when you have the correct answer pinpointed. So, how do you tackle these hard science questions? Believe it or not, there is a simple strategy to solving these problems. Here we present some valuable tips for solving those multiple choice questions. Once you use them correctly, you can figure out the right answer even when you aren’t sure about it!
The problem with many students is that they do not read the question properly. The sheer amount of questions trouble them and makes them hassle through the questions which results in common mistakes that could easily be avoided. A frequent mishap is missing the word ‘except’ in the question which makes you lose a mark without any reason, let alone all that extra time you spent trying to figure the best of three possible answers.
Another common mistake is just going with the first answer that came into your mind without proper evaluation. There could be a chance that your chosen answer was wrong. To ensure that you really did choose the right answer, all you need to do is perform a quick evaluation. Once you check the other options, you may be surprised by how many times the answers are different than what you expected. Hard science questions are designed this way to catch the student off guard. If you evaluate the answers right, they may even lead you to recheck the question, saving you a mark as a bonus.
The best way to tackle these, tricky, hard science questions is by elimination. Eliminate the answers that are clearly wrong. This will clear up the choice for you. Try and match the relevance of the question with those of the options and eliminate those that don’t seem relevant to the situation. This is a great way to arrive at your answer without hassle. There are pretty high chances that the option left is the correct answer. This way you can find out the answer to the hard science questions without actually knowing them.
You knew those street magicians you run into randomly and they end up telling you your entire family history, just from the watch you are wearing on your hand. Well, that’s basically guessing like a genius. Even after you study extremely well, there are questions that you won’t know the answer to. There will be questions that will leave you stunned and lost for words. In these cases, it’s best to look for connections. Try and find a pattern within the question. There must be a link hidden in there which can help. When that fails, just go with your gut!
These tips are valuable strategies that can help you solve hard science questions in a jiffy. You don’t need to worry about how to solve your paper. If you have studied right, following these steps will guarantee you an ‘A’. Give it a shot, trust us, it isn’t that hard at all!
The USMLE step 1, more commonly known as the boards, is a critical point in every doctor’s career. The brain wrecking questions, quizzes and the thorough interrogation of the examiners can send any student running for the hills. Regardless, you will have to take the boards at some point, so, it’s better to prepare for them beforehand. Although, the exam has 3 parts, here we focus on getting you through the first step. There are some fundamentals of the exam that you need to know and even before you start studying for the test. To help you out, here are some of the most important things that you should know before taking the USMLE step 1 exam.
Basically, the USMLE step 1 is a computer-based analysis of your knowledge. It’s multiple choice, with 7 sections, each having 42 questions, making the total amount to 322. You are given 1 hour for every section. You can also take up to 45 minutes break split in as many as 6 different occasions. If you finish a section early, you can add this time to your break time, but not to the time for the other section. The exam lasts for a total of 8 hours in a single day, which is pretty long, especially considering all the brainstorming that you will need to do.
The exam covers all the basic grounds that you learned in med school, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, pharmacology and behavioral science. On top of this, the specialized anatomy, physiology, pathology and medicine of the particular specialty you have chosen is also included. The exam aims to find out your basic understanding of concepts, the definitions, and problem-solving ability.
The best time to take the test is in between your second and 3 years of Med school. At this time, most of the primary knowledge is fresh in your mind and with a little extra studying, you can easily attempt the exam with minimal effort and maximum result.
You need a score of at least 192 to pass the USMLE step 1. This was much lower back in 2013 but has risen since.
You need to acknowledge the fact that you will not be able to retake the exam, simply to improve your score. However, if you fail the USMLE step 1, you can retake the exam for a maximum of 3 times within 12 months. If you still fail, the 4th attempt has to be 12 months after the first attempt and at least 6 months after the date that you last attempted the exam.
Before you make up your mind to sit the boards, you need to give the factors discussed above some thought. They will surely help you figure out the best plan of action to tackle the USMLE step 1 with good results. The exam isn’t very hard, but you need to be prepared thoroughly before you attempt to take it. After all, it’s the first step to achieving your postgraduate degree!
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