A Week as a Medical Student

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Hello everyone!  During my graduate degree, many readers appreciated my day-by-day posts regarding my course and weekly roundups as it offered them better insight about public health and time management.  Last week was pretty eventful so I decided to recount what a busy week in medical school could look like.  I also wanted to highlight the value of extracurriculars and emphasise that there is a life outside medicine that is waiting to lived! 

Monday - Cardiovascular System

9:00am-1:00pm: Our days are fairly short, consisting of two lectures and then a group work session that involves answering questions in small groups about last week's material.  Today was rather interesting as we learnt about the clinical presentations of chest pain, ECGs, and various causes of cardiac chest pain (stable angina, unstable angina, STEMI, Non-STEMI), and non-cardiac causes such as inflammation of pleural sacs or respiratory infections for example.  As an aspiring cardiologist, this is my favourite module.

1:00pm-4:30pm: As I am now home, I decided to read through the lectures we had today and clean up any notes I had taken in class.  On top of this, I read through tomorrow's lectures to familiarise myself with the material in preparation for both dissection and group work. In this time, I make myself enough lunch for today and tomorrow as I will be finishing class later than usual.  Of course, I relax and unwind, usually by watching one of my favourite medical shows or reading a book. After 4:30pm, I start to make my way down to a meeting. 

5:00pm-7:00pm: Today, I have a meeting regarding a public health intervention/programme that aims to increase exercise accessibility and frequency amongst the general population.  I absolutely adore this programme and all it stands for. Being a part of it permits me to apply the skills I learnt during my masters.  After 7:00pm, I begin to make my way home. 

7:30pm-10:30pm: During this time, I make it a point to exercise.  As you would know, I am on the verge of completing my Insanity work out (just one more week left!) and have felt significant differences in my body.  Before doing the formal work out, I practice some Kathak to brush up.  Afterwards, I shower, eat dinner, and catch up on any uncompleted work or admin that needs to be taken care of before heading off to bed. 

Tuesday - Musculoskeletal System and Diagnostic Reasoning

Tuesdays are dedicated to the Musculoskeletal System and Diagnostic Reasoning. 

9:00am-12:00pm: The usual two lectures and group work session transpires.  This week we learnt about the anatomy of the shoulder and clinical conditions that can occur as a result of trauma, injury, or disease.  

12:00-1:30pm: Dissection! In all honesty, I find it a bit difficult to learn through dissection because picturing the nerves, arteries, and veins can be quite frustrating as it all tends to look a bit like spaghetti.  As a result, I recommend the Colour Atlas of Anatomy which uses cadavers to demonstrate where certain landmarks are present rather than a 2D cartoon picture.  Once we have finished, it is lunch time! 

2:00-3:30pm: Today we had an actor come in to play the role of a patient to practice our clinical consultation skills and diagnostic reasoning.  I enjoyed this session as it exhibits the significance in communication, precise wording, and ensuring the patient is at ease during the consultation.  Furthermore, I realised how vital it is to pay attention to detail, for example, patient body-language. 

My evening routine is no different to what I do on Monday and the following days!

Wednesday - Infection

Wednesdays are dedicated to learning about Infection and Immunity. 

8:30am-12:30pm: Wednesdays routinely involve an earlier start to the day.  Same old, same old - two lectures and one group work.  Today we explored HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and discussed their prevention mechanisms, prevalence and pathophysiology, and available treatments. Given that I studied immunology and microbiology/infection extensively during my undergraduate degree, I have a natural affinity for this module. 

1:30pm-3:00pm: Today I had an optional anatomy revision session that was carried out by second year medical students.  It went through all of the structures we covered in MSK and the heart.  Personally, I feel that this session is especially beneficial if you have previously revised a tremendous amount so that it is treated as revision rather than a learning experience.  It has given me an idea of what to expect when it comes to our Anatomy exam which involves identifying structures in the leg, arm, torso, thoracic cavity, or the heart.  

Thursday - Endocrinology

Thursdays are dedicated to Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Haematology. 

9:00am-1:00pm: Todays session (two lectures and group work) explored the adrenal gland and the pathophysiology of clinical conditions and adrenal disorders that can arise in patients.  A lot of the information was brand new to me which made it that much more fascinating.  My group managed to finish ahead of time to leave early which was ideal as I have dance later tonight and appreciated the extra time for my evening routine.  

5:30pm-7:30pm: I am blessed to be able to take private Kathak lessons.  This week, my lesson was longer as my Guruji (teacher) asked me to sit in an extra class which was a brilliant experience that motivated me to continue practicing in hopes to finish my grades.  Kathak is a classical Indian dance form that means 'story'.  It originated from Uttar Pradesh and is rich in grace and elegance.   

Friday - Pathology 

Fridays are dedicated to pathological processes of the cell and disease. 

9:00am-1:00pm: This week we learnt about cellular adaptations and neoplasm.  Our group work structure is slightly different - we are expected to complete the questions beforehand and discuss our answers as a group with a clinical pathologist.  Pathology is another subject I studied greatly during my undergraduate degree and is, thus, another favourite due to its familiarity. 

4:00pm-6:30pm:  Fast forwarding my normal after-school routine, I make my way down to the hospital where I am carrying out research on cancer.  This is my first meeting regarding this project and so far, I absolutely love it.  Not only do I get to practice my public health and epidemiology skills, it is patient-centric research. In the past, I have done code and lab-based dissertations, hence, this is a new experience and chance to expand my toolbox.  

Saturday

7:30am-9:00am: This morning I woke up early to carry out some work in preparation for the exercise programme that will take place later this morning.  

10:45-11:30pm: The programme was shorter than normal this week, nonetheless, it still reached out to a significant amount of individuals in the general public.  Any exercise is better than none!

5:00-8:00pm: The Hindu Society of my university carry out a weekly 'homeless feed' where, at the weekends, they provide food and self-care items to the homeless.  As this programme has been put in place for over 4 years,  many individuals are aware of the whereabouts and timings of this feed.  This is excellent as it makes it possible for us to reach a huge amount of people in a short amount of time.  This week was a one-off as the event was longer and I was able to help out in the kitchen.   Doing any form of charity work during the week cleanses the soul and is humbling.  We are quick to find fault in our lives via comparison and negativity, but can change someone's perspective like aiding those less fortunate.

Sunday

Sundays, on the whole, are days where I have nothing planned bar a feed that takes place 4:30-6:00pm.  I utilise this day to continue studying and preparing for the coming week.  On top of that, this is an opportunity to finish up 'life admin' (emails, cleaning my room, food-prepping/groceries, etc.).  I always ensure that my Sundays include a significant amount self-care as a way to unwind and practice self love and gratitude.

I will be doing a detailed post on my evening routine after school when I do not have any meetings and my Sunday-self care routine in future posts. In essence, I hope this demonstrated the importance of time management and taking part in activities you thoroughly love participating in.  This ensures that the work isn't a chore or just an activity for your CV and future applications.  That is my source of motivation - passion for the project.

Thank you for reading!
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1 comment

  1. A life of medical student is very stressful, they always need a motivation towards study. You can share more information with medical students at q&a. This is best platform for sharing information with students.

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