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Two weeks have passed since med school started again, taking away comfort in my daily life.
On new classmates
In PLM, there is an annual shuffling of students so you will have to be in a new group of people yearly. Most of my 1A classmates hate this because we have become clingy and it felt like being separated from family if we weren’t classmates. But then again, for me, it is nice to know other people in our batch. So far, people in 2D are fun to be with, organized, and accommodating.
I am now a member of Medthrob, the official dance troupe of PLM CM, and LiKaS, Lingap para sa Kalusugan ng Sambayanan. I have performed twice already for Medthrob, the first was the Freshmen Orientation and the second was at Trance Acquaintance Party.
R and I have been adjusting to our new schedules. Getting used to it is a pretty tough thing to do. He now stays in OM for the whole week; I, on the other hand, stay in OM on Mondays and Thursdays only and in PLM for the rest of days (until Saturday!). We see each other mostly on dinner dates the past weeks. I guess I will miss the in-between-classes-visits :(
The Student Council assigned each of the second years to a freshman buddy. We were asked to finish a series of tasks for the buddy week. Sadly, no one got the chance to do this. However, I have given my buddy all the notes, trans, ebooks, books, other references I have. I hope this buddy system pushes through, it will be a great thing for the college.
On acquiantance party
Yesterday, I attended Trance, this year’s PLM CM Acquaintance Party. It is so much more fun than last year’s. This time, it was held in a bar, Exclusiv, Malate. Med students sure know how to party!
Nothing much. I should be studying right now but oh well, here is a blog post instead :)
Hi. I am Joanne and I am already a second year student this coming June. I have survived first year of medicine in PLM and have maintained my scholarship (fortunately!) but this does not put me in any position to tell you what to do and what’s gonna happen in your life as a med student. This, instead, is a humble approach to guide you while you adjust in the world of medicine. The student council and many other orgs give freshmen guides but I still hope that you take a shot reading this because it might include things that aren’t in the guides.
GROSS ANATOMY - Pre-lec short quizzes (5 items) are given so read in advance. Listen to the professors lectures. It would help if you have an atlas and trans with you (if you haven’t read in advance) so it would be easier for you to understand the lecture. This actually applies to all subjects. Take note of distinct characteristics (e.g. all muscles in this part are innervated by blah blah except this) and parts with clinical application (e.g. McBurney’s point). It would also help you draw. For anatomy, it’s helpful if you draw because it is easier to remember what you see than what you read (or imagine). Here are some of my drawings!
Don’t get me wrong. You do not have to be REALLY good in drawing. You just have to know the structures and which ones go around them and who’s on top or bottom and…well everything but you get the point.
Some find it helpful watching videos. If you want good videos, comment here or email me for references (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Also, the recommended book is Snell’s Clinical Anatomy. The atlases that are commonly used are Netter and McMinn. Netter uses drawings while McMinn uses pictures of cadavers. Netter is better in terms of the completeness of labels and clarity of parts but always consult Snell because it will always be the basis when it comes to which one is correct. McMinn is very useful for your guide in the lab because it uses cadavers, so you will know what the structures look like in a real human body. However, cadavers used in McMinn are sometimes “too good to be true” that they do not look like the cadavers you will be dissecting at all.
For the LAB part, always make use of your time dissecting and reviewing (including the models). You have usually 2 15-point lab quizzes (practicals) per shifting and they comprise a big chunk of your grade so do well in them! Get at least 12 points on each quiz.
There are case discussion and better be prepared because you’ll be asked in the discussion and there is a 5-item quiz that follows.
PHYSIOLOGY - Professors give pre-lec quizzes, but mosty post-lec quizzes (5 items). Come to class prepared. If you don’t understand something, better ask. Recommended book here is Berne & Levy but there are topics taken from various books such as Guyton. I used Guyton mostly because it was the one I had. It is an easy but longer read compared to Berne & Levy. Sometimes I skip paragraphs when I am already
For the LAB, always read the manual before going to class, there is a pre-lab quiz. Use your time wisely, perform experiments more than once (or more than what is asked of you) so you have “extra” data in case something happens.
For lab reports, make a good presentation and prepare your report based on the objectives of the experiment. ALWAYS check if you have the right objectives. Answer the guide questions. Research on clinical applications.
For case discussions, research about the case at least 2 days before the scheduled discussion. Make your own concept map and know it by heart because some profs won’t let you read notes during the discussion. This is also a good training for you. Analyze the case with the group and be sure you have contributed something before the discussion ends. Remember, your grade here is 50:50 on what you say and what the group says. Enjoy the case discussions in physio! They are really exciting. :)
BIOCHEMISTRY - Do not be late, because the department is very strict on punctuality and attendance. After all, as future doctors, we have to always come on time. They give 10-item post-lec quizzes, 10-item post-case discussion quizzes and 10-item post-seminar report quizzes.
For the lecture part, read Harper’s. However, you may also read Biochemistry books such as Stryer, Lehninger, Devlin and Voet. These are helpful because Harper’s discussion is very clinical, whereas the discussion involves basic biochemistry concepts. Read in advance especially if it is your first time taking biochemistry. It might take a long while learning to love this subject. (Well, it took me 4 years. Kidding!)
For the lab, read the steps in the experiment and try to search about the reactions and expected results. Due to limited resources, there might be missing or spoiled reagents so you won;t always get the results but be sure to understand the concepts and know what has gone wrong.
For case discussion, make good presentations. Always relate your case and discuss it BIOCHEMICALLY (although you have to integrate all subjects).
HISTOLOGY - No pre-lec and pre lab quizzes. Come on time. Classes start at 7 am. COME ON TIME, DO NOT BE LATE. Prof is always early and he is really kind and it is really embarrassing to enter the room once the discussion has started (#grandentrance). After the lecture, be sure to see the slides under the microscopes on your own. Take photos using different powers (LPO, HPO, oil immersion). You can also draw (outline or prominent structures).
Read Wheaters and Di Fiore and Junquiera. Take online exams on Blue Histology and review ppt slides from the University of Michigan (Email me, I have complete copies on all topics!). In histology, I found it helpful to review slides until you can almost picture them in your mind. Check important structures and note the characteristics. (e.g. Nucleus’ shape, size, position, color, etc.)
Prepare well for the 2 10-point practical exam every shifting because they comprise 50% of your grade. I know!!
NEUROANATOMY - No pre-lec or post lec quizzes. Just 2 25-item long quizzes (50%!!!) and a shifting exam (50%). Invest on you long quizzes. If you get perfect scores on both, you need only 25% (50/100 correct answers) on you SE to pass.
Read Snell’s Clinical Neuroanatomy. Some topics are not in there though, so you have to read Manter and Gatz. This is an old book, no ebook for this as far as I know but we have it in the library and you can have it photocopied.
FCM - Post-lec quizzes (5 items). Take down notes. Listen to the discussion. You may think this is an easy class but do not take it for granted if you do not want to be shocked in the shifting exam. There are no reference book/s recommended here (because there are A LOT) but you can always rely on old transes from upper batch and the prof’s lectures. Be sure to listen very well because they ALWAYS give post-lec quizzes. Do not be late. Avoid absences. (3 lates = 1 absent = 1 point deduction on grade)
ETHICS - Listen attentively, participate in the discussion, engage in meaningful arguments. Do not be absent and late. There are post-lec quizzes (10 items).
Prepare for the play. This will be your finals in ethics.
You will all be taught by doctors who are really good that some may intimidate you but they are all very willing to teach you. Do not hesistate to ask questions in class. Greet them when you meet them in hallways or even outside the school. I meet some professors in malls and sometimes they stay for a while and chat with me and it feels very refreshing seeing them and talking to them outside medschool. It is nice to get to know them and it makes you feel less intimidated. I stalked some of them (!!!) and knowing that they are also people and they have families makes you realize that they have been through med school too and they survived it and that is very inspiring. :)
These, my future freshmen med students, are all I can think of right now to share with you. This may not be all you need to know but at least (I hope) gave you a heads up. May you enjoy your first year in medicine and continue to burn the passion of learning and service in your hearts!
Welcome to PLM College of Medicine!