For followers of the FBMH Student blog, the name Tahmeena Amin will be very familiar to you. The first year medical student has already provided us with an insight in to what a medicine offer holder day is like at Manchester whilst she has also filled us in on her first GP placement as a student. Here, she runs us through what a typical week is like for a first year medical student at the the university. Prospective medical students, take note!
My Mondays start with a 9 AM problem based learning (PBL) session over in Stopford Building. This week’s case is all about hypertension. The way the content for this semester has been organised is that the first 3 weeks are about the lungs, the next 3 are about the heart and then the final 3 weeks after the Easter break are about the blood vessels!
After my PBL session I attended an extra workshop run by the ‘study skills’ team on how you can use the feedback from the semester 1 test to help aid future revision. Some useful tips were shared and there was also the opportunity to ask some older year students any questions that we may have.
On Monday afternoons, from 1-3, I have my anatomy session – this week’s session was slightly different as we didn’t do any dissection, but instead had a surface anatomy session where we painted the lungs, heart and various other surface landmarks on each other using body paints – it was a really fun and relaxed session!
This semester we have something called the PEP (Personal Excellence Pathway). This is where in groups we have to create a scientific poster on a topic of our choice and also write an individual report on an aspect of the poster. My group’s topic is about the effect of pre-natal cocaine exposure on childhood development and my individual report is on the clinical assessment and management of cocaine-exposed neonates. I sent a draft report to my PEP tutor last week and he replied with some feedback. This evening, I made some amendments to my report based on the feedback from my tutor so hopefully my report is almost ready to submit!
The only scheduled sessions I have on Tuesdays are three lectures from 2-5 PM. I know it’s tempting to have a lie in, seen as I don’t have anything in the morning, but I’ve decided to use this time each week to work on my PBL learning agenda. Me and my friend booked a study room in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons from 9-12 and managed to get a lot of work done.
At 12, I went to meet my PPD (Personal Professional Development) tutor and we discussed the reflective pieces that I need to write for my portfolio. This semester we are expected to keep a clinical learning and clinical skills record for our portfolio.
In the afternoon, I attended the three lectures – these were all related to the week’s PBL case. The first lecture was about the control of blood pressure, the second was about regulation of vascular tone and the third and final one was about the physiological response to exercise.
At 5.30 I attended a healthcare conference run by the university iSoc – it was a great event and there were lots of really interesting talks by a variety of guest speakers. The first talk was by a junior doctor who had recently qualified from Manchester, he presented some of the struggles of being a Muslim healthcare professional and how you can overcome them. Other talks included ‘the Islamic perspective on organ donation’ (which I learnt quite a few things from) as well as another on ‘Islamic and medical ethics’.
My Wednesdays normally consist of 3 lectures (from 9-12) followed by a trip to the anatomy resource room (and since recently, attending the extra lecture that’s put on by the anatomy demonstrators). However, this Wednesday was slightly different!
My first lecture of the day was cancelled due to the UCU strike action so instead of starting at 9, I started at 10. I had a short lie in and spent a relaxed morning reading the book that I bought at the Discover GP conference that I attended last Saturday (this was run by the UoM GPsoc and RCGP). The book is called ‘This is going to hurt’ and is written by former junior doctor, turned comedian/TV writer, Adam Kay (he even did a book signing at the event!). I’m really enjoying the book so far – it’s really funny and entertaining to read!
After attending the two lectures that were still on, a friend and I went to Stopford library to take part in a 3rd year medical student’s research project. The student had made a revision card game based on the pharmacology of semester 2 (the semester we are currently doing) and wanted some first years to participate in using the cards and then completing a quiz afterwards. I found the card game really useful and the student said that she’ll email us the cards so we can print them off and have a copy to use ourselves for revision!
In the evening I listened to the podcast of the lecture that was cancelled due to the strikes and made some notes. I also worked on my PBL learning agenda some more. Later on, me and one of my flatmates went out for some dessert!