HOW TO STUDY MEDICAL COURSE — The methods employed in the study of medical courses are so unique to the course, this is because “YOU ARE medicine”.
This is why courses or the mechanism that govern that component of the body are more realistic and convincing.
So every method of study should be channeled towards having a mental or real picture of the internal part of your body, which you can’t see.
All the methods of study treated in this chapter will help students immensely to have a consolidated memory of the courses, such that after their study the knowledge becomes part of them.
Some of these methods that will be treated include dissections, use of synthetic models, atlas, lecture note, discussion groups, past question papers, use of your fellow course mate as a model, microscopic view, through video tapes and audios, assistance from predecessors and tutorials.
Dissections How To Study Medical Course
This is the art of exposing the internal parts of the body using dissecting kits, for anatomical study.
This method of study was used by the founding fathers of anatomy to discover different structures in the body.
Due to their curiosity, there was a time in the past when anatomists dissected living criminal. This is because touching dead bodies than was a taboo. But today, anatomy dissections are performed on dead human bodies called cadaver.
For many students, the first day in the dissection room is always very terrible.
They usually suffer some emotional trauma and anxiety; this is common in female students. Maybe, they haven’t seen a dead body before or because it is totally against their personal beliefs to see or touch a dead body.
No matter what your reasons may be, you can’t do without dissections as far as anatomy is concerned.
You are advised to condition your mind to be more receptive so that you can cope. Although students get better with frequent dissections.
Get the dissection kits (your laboratory coat, dissecting instruments and hand gloves) and buy a dissecting manual.
During your dissection days, your instructor directs you on what to do. Always feel happy to be the dissector.
You are bound to learn more than any other student in your group as you dissect. Your aim should be to see all the internal structures of the body treated in the class and study them.
When you have done a good dissection, you now have the mental picture of the particular structure of study such that while reading your text and notes, you will have an easy understanding.
Ask your instructor questions on structures you can’t identify and he or she will help you out. Remain attentive during dissections and go for personal dissection if possible.
This is because dissections will help you digest anatomy. You will be able to appreciate the internal structures of the body physically.
The stories you were told about these structures in the class, which appeared fictional become more real while you dissect. It is also advisable to go for dissections with gross anatomy atlases for comparative purposes to enhance understanding.
Use of Synthetic Models On How To Study Medical Course
Synthetic models are an imitation of human body parts made of plastics, glass or other synthetic materials. These models serve almost the same purpose as dissection.
There are also other models which are not synthetic but are extracted directly from the cadaver (like bones and other organs). Use these models while studying as it will help to enhance understanding and easy remembrance.
When you are studying any part of the body and it is proving tough to understand, get a model of it and use this for your study.
An atlas has been treated. Atlas is a compilation of pictures of the microscopic view of body tissues and dissected body parts prepared by professional dissectors and laboratory scientists.
This is how to use an atlas: while studying your text or note and a particular statement is made concerning a particular structure.
Go to your atlas, find out the diagram of the structure and confirm that statement. Then, at the side of your note or textbook, where the statement was made, write down the page of the atlas where you found the diagram of the structure.
Do this for other structures. When you will be preparing for exams and while you read your note, frequently search out the referred pages and look them up concurrently. Make sure that you always view these pages while you are revising your note and textbooks.
For example, your gross anatomy textbook or note may read; the inferior surface of the clavicle is roughened by a groove called subclavian groove which gives less knowing how its inferior surface looks like.
Then get your gross anatomy atlas, go to the index page (usually among the last pages), search out clavicle, and then under it search for the inferior surface, some pages are stated there.
Open to these pages and you will see exactly what you have read, the subclavian groove, subclavius muscle and how rough the groove looks. Then at the side of your note, write down the page where you found this information. Also, form the habit of watching the picture in the atlas at your leisure.
These are notes taken while receiving lectures either dictated by the lecturer to the student or jotted by the student. It is the note the lecturer approved. This note usually forms an essential part of your study schedule.
Every point in these notes is to be considered important because it may be required on the exam day.
Most lectures dictate notes to students while others expect students to jot some few points from the lecture and make their own notes. While ever might be the case; notes should be taken or made with precision. Try as much as possible to avoid mistakes.
How To Study Medical Course Using Lecture Notes
- Immediately after a single lectures ends, revise the note taken during that lecture before the next commences.
- When you get that same day, study the notes. Check the textbook and extract some points that are supposed to be under that topic which the lectures left out. Study the note with your atlas and also extract some diagrams that illustrate the notes better; add all these extract to the note. Also, check models and use them while studying. Study the note immensely. If there are some points that you don’t understand, write them down inside your jotter and go to lectures for explanations the next day.
- Make sure no day’s note escapes that same day into the next day without being treated.
- Revise your notes every weekend and within the week. This will make the note become part of you and stick well in your memory. It will also help you do well in an impromptu quiz and semester exams.
How To Study Medical Course Discussion Groups
Discussion groups are formed by a number of students and once in a while, these students converge to discuss and exchange ideas on the courses they offer.
Belonging to a discussion group will help you understand and confirm your facts about a topic. During discussions, ideas are exchanged; members of the discussion group air their views.
During discussions, you learn to associate with your course mates and to do away with peer pressure.
You can freely express yourself and talk liberally. Discussing a particular topic with your classmates makes it be more assimilated.
In running a discussion group, you can adopt this method: first, draw a timetable for the courses you wish to discuss. Designating the days of the discussion, time and courses/topics. On the eve of each discussion day, each member of the discussion group should prepare for all the topics to be discussed.
In the discussion ground, those topics will be allocated to members to discuss. The “lot technique” can be used; where you write down the topics on little piece of paper and fold them, then each member picks one.
Any topic written on the paper picked by any member should be discussed by that fellow. Each discussion group should not be more than five members to ensure optimal performance. The rules and regulations of the discussion group should be documented.
This should cover issues on absentee, punctuality, compo sure, limitation, attitude etc.
Although, one major challenge in discussion group development is distraction arising from argument and critics.
But don’t let this discourage you, always find a way to moderate these distractions and remain focused. Your discussion group may decide to be meeting daily, twice or thrice a week but not once a week.
In forming discussion groups search out brilliant colleagues and make them an offer to become members.
How To Study Medical Course Using Past Question Papers
90% of the questions you are going to face on the exam day have been asked before to some other students.
So get as much past question as possible and check for questions asked under the topic you have treated.
Attempt these questions and grade your performance. Also, fabricate questions from the topic and answer them.
Ask your predecessors about their experience while they where writing the course.
But most times do not draw a conclusion from those experiences, as they might be an opposite of what you will encounter. Just get an idea of what the course is all about. This will give you confidence and you will be a step ahead of your course mates.
Use of fellow course mate as models On How To Study Medical Course.
When studying surface landmarks of some structures of the body, your course mates are the most suitable models. Also, you can use your course mates to study the movement of the muscle of the body.
This is much importance in the study of histology. After treating a particular organ (e.g. liver), go to the histology laboratory in your school and make a request to view a liver tissue slide.
This will help you have a clear picture of every point you have in your note and textbook and you tend to remember them easily.
How To Study Medical Course Using video and audio tapes.
This is mostly essential in studying gross anatomy Buy some anatomy video and audio tapes, which and listen to them.
The video tapes impact more as they film of dissected cadavers. The structures are videoed in their life-like from and usually a coordinator explains the structures.
You will grab more and faster through visuals and if you make it a habit, an hour of watching anatomy video tapes can profit more than 3 hours of painstaking reading.
Listen to the audio tapes at your leisure hours. It will get to a point where you can dictate the contents of the audio tapes on your own. This will serve as a support and confirm your facts while you read.
Dr Frank Anderson stated that when he was in the medical school, he continuously read anatomy but never understood it.
One day, he went to a film shop to buy films, thereby saw some anatomy video tapes. He developed interest in the video tapes and bought them. After watching the tapes, he discovered he was motivated and wanted more of anatomy.
He bought more tapes and watched them periodically, “in a matter of weeks” he said “I was among the best three in anatomy in my school.
I believe that humans are easily motivated by action, this is what anatomy video tapes give you”, he concluded. Pictures represent a thousand words.
There are also video tapes on physiology and biochemistry, mostly, describing how some practicals are preformed and the mechanism that surround the results obtained.
Reality is non-fictional, when you witness these activities being performed, it will no longer be a mirage.
Help from predecessors.
My teacher, Dr. O. Wilberforce will always say, “Before you embark on an adventure, enquire from those who have acquired what you require”. Your seniors (those that have passed through the level you are presently) should be your role models.
Gather materials like notes, textbooks, past question; tapes etc from them always study with these materials. Find out the topics to be taught in future lectures and read them before the lecture commence.
Besides giving you confidence, this act will balance your knowledge of that particular topic. You will be coming to lectures, after reading your seniors lecture note to confirm and get more explanations on what you have read.
Also you will be ahead of your course mates; they are learning a new topic but you are reviewing a known topic. You will have an inner conviction and happiness.
In my second year in the medical school, David Frank was the ‘hottest’ in my class. While the lecturer is teaching a new topic that is very new and mysterious to the whole class, David is busy discussing with the lecturer and backing him up many times while the lecturer is dictating notes, before the calling a new word, David consciously calls the word with him in harmony.
After our first semester exams the same years, I hid my pride and ego and went to David to know his secrets. After much hesitation, David finally explained that he reads our senior’s note before coming for lectures.
I was surprised, collected these notes from him and photocopied.
Guess what? In the second semester, it was David and I, we were singing the lecturer’s note with him, asking and answering difficult questions; intimidating our course mates.
Tutorials On How To Study Medical Course.
Apart from the normal school lecture provision, you can seek extra-tutorship from other capable sources.
Many testaments have been held among students on the benefits of tutorials.
Some students after learning a particular topic from the school lectures have a better understanding of the topic after it has been treated in their tutorials.
A good tutorship involves a direct communion between the tutor and the students with enhanced clarity and attention. Be careful while choosing your tutors.