Q&A Thread - studying medicine and being a doctor (1 Viewer)

Eagle Mum

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I did rostered overtime and it is always paid.

Evenings/nights/weekends are included in the roster, yes. When do you work weekends you end up going into paid rostered overtime.
Thanks for your reply. Then, do/did you work/ed significantly more than a 40hr week or do rosters include days off during ‘normal business hours’ when you work out of hours shifts?
 

thush@decode

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Thanks for your reply. Then, do/did you work/ed significantly more than a 40hr week or do rosters include days off during ‘normal business hours’ when you work out of hours shifts?
Sorry I disappeared for a while!

As an intern? Highly variable. Some weeks you are rostered for 38-40 hours. Other weeks you are rostered for up to 45-50 hours (uncommon though). Rosters can include days off on normal business hours where you work out of hours shifts, yes.
 

Eagle Mum

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Thank you very much for the information.
I am impressed that you continue to tutor as a BPT. My daughter has tutored high school students throughout Uni but she started winding back last year and next year when she is an intern, she will only have one Yr 12 student left.
 

thush@decode

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Thank you very much for the information.
I am impressed that you continue to tutor as a BPT. My daughter has tutored high school students throughout Uni but she started winding back last year and next year when she is an intern, she will only have one Yr 12 student left.
That's very nice of you!

I had wound back my tutoring significantly going into internship myself - the job is quite tiring. At the moment I do teach a couple of classes but I also am doing a lot of book-writing for my company (Decode)!
 

Time&moretime

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Hi everyone! I'm Thushan and I am currently a medical registrar at Monash Health. I completed my MBBS at Monash University in 2017.

I would be very happy to offer my time on this forum to anyone who has any questions about what it is like studying medicine, and what it is like being a doctor.

For Year 12 students who are thinking about pursuing Medicine, this is the place to ask questions!
The medical school I'm with issued a list of 'prescribed' and 'recommended' books often with electronic access. My question is if it would be a good idea to own a couple of them like Gray's anatomy for students, Netters (this isn't on the list but I hear that the illustrations are good) & maybe Kumar's Pathology as aids to fully get an overview on specific topics. I understand that the lectures & materials will be sufficient.
Also, I would appreciate your thoughts on productivity tools like ANKI & Notion which I hear are quite popular among students & your best note-taking methods?
Would appreciate your insights. Thank you.
 
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thush@decode

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The medical school I'm with issued a list of 'prescribed' and 'recommended' books often with electronic access. My question is if it would be a good idea to own a couple of them like Gray's anatomy for students, Netters (this isn't on the list but I hear that the illustrations are good) & maybe Kumar's Pathology as aids to fully get an overview on specific topics. I understand that the lectures & materials will be sufficient.
Also, I would appreciate your thoughts on productivity tools like ANKI & Notion which I hear are quite popular among students & your best note-taking methods?
Would appreciate your insights. Thank you.
Anatomy and physiology textbooks are certainly plentiful. Definitely would own at least one anatomy and one physiology textbook:
  • Anatomy - Gray's Anatomy for Students; simple, to the point, no BS. Netter's Clinical Anatomy is also very much on point.
  • Physiology - there are two textbooks, both of which I really like:
    • Guyton and Hall - this is the one so many students swear by, and it is certainly a legendary textbook. There is a fair amount of detail to this but is explained very well.
    • Boron - this is (in my opinion) the best medical physiology textbook, but it does take some getting used to. This textbook is quite thick, and teaches everything from first principles so you actually understand the stuff amazingly well although you do need to spend a little time reading it. Once you get past that initial "wtf" moment you realise how brilliant it is.
  • Pathology
    • Robbins and Cotran is probably my go-to reference book here. Wouldn't be reading this cover to cover, but is certainly a very helpful reference that goes back to first principles.
The lecture notes work as a pretty good summary and is a window into what exam questions the lecturer might set.

____
Funny - I only learnt about ANKI this year. Absolute godsend of an app. Used it more often than I have ever used a flashcard app.
I used ANKI heavily whilst studying for my BPT written exams - was an absolute gem. Cannot recommend it enough.
Accumulate flashcards throughout the year - when you notice you keep forgetting a particular fact you want to be able to pull out of your head instantly, stick it straight onto your flashcards.
____
Note taking - the main purpose of note taking is to help you actually pay attention to what you are digesting/reading. Diagrams, flowcharts and figures are your friend. To be honest, what I'd say here is - whatever study methods you used at school, use those, they served you well enough to get into med school, continue using those methods.
 

Time&moretime

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Anatomy and physiology textbooks are certainly plentiful. Definitely would own at least one anatomy and one physiology textbook:
  • Anatomy - Gray's Anatomy for Students; simple, to the point, no BS. Netter's Clinical Anatomy is also very much on point.
  • Physiology - there are two textbooks, both of which I really like:
    • Guyton and Hall - this is the one so many students swear by, and it is certainly a legendary textbook. There is a fair amount of detail to this but is explained very well.
    • Boron - this is (in my opinion) the best medical physiology textbook, but it does take some getting used to. This textbook is quite thick, and teaches everything from first principles so you actually understand the stuff amazingly well although you do need to spend a little time reading it. Once you get past that initial "wtf" moment you realise how brilliant it is.
  • Pathology
    • Robbins and Cotran is probably my go-to reference book here. Wouldn't be reading this cover to cover, but is certainly a very helpful reference that goes back to first principles.
The lecture notes work as a pretty good summary and is a window into what exam questions the lecturer might set.

____
Funny - I only learnt about ANKI this year. Absolute godsend of an app. Used it more often than I have ever used a flashcard app.
I used ANKI heavily whilst studying for my BPT written exams - was an absolute gem. Cannot recommend it enough.
Accumulate flashcards throughout the year - when you notice you keep forgetting a particular fact you want to be able to pull out of your head instantly, stick it straight onto your flashcards.
____
Note taking - the main purpose of note taking is to help you actually pay attention to what you are digesting/reading. Diagrams, flowcharts and figures are your friend. To be honest, what I'd say here is - whatever study methods you used at school, use those, they served you well enough to get into med school, continue using those methods.
Thank you for your insights. Will give ANKI a shot! :)
 

may22

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Hi! My career goal is to get into surgery, and I've been looking at a bunch of uni degrees, and the (very long) process of getting to that stage. I wanted to ask if you have tips and advice? Do you know how many years it takes to become a fully qualified surgeon, potentially with a speciality like neurosurgery?

I also wanted to ask if you think it's feasible to do surgery and conduct medical research?

Thank you :)
 

thush@decode

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Hi! My career goal is to get into surgery, and I've been looking at a bunch of uni degrees, and the (very long) process of getting to that stage. I wanted to ask if you have tips and advice? Do you know how many years it takes to become a fully qualified surgeon, potentially with a speciality like neurosurgery?

I also wanted to ask if you think it's feasible to do surgery and conduct medical research?

Thank you :)
Hi! The career pathway is to do a medical degree (either undergraduate or graduate entry), do a medical internship and work as a junior doctor in various surgical units, and try to get into a surgical training program in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. These training programs are extremely competitive and it usually takes a few years to get on (one of my friends who is an absolute gun got into the General Surgery stream in her 4th year out of medical school), with certain specialty streams taking 5+ years to get into the training program. Research is not only feasible, but expected and almost mandatory to get into surgical training (due to the competitiveness).

Neurosurgery is among the most competitive specialties from my understanding and it generally takes 5+ years to get into the training program. From there, the training program as I understand it is an additional 5 years.

Overall, you'd be looking at med school+-undergrad degree (5-7 years) + junior doctor (5+ years) + training program (5 years) - so a total of about 15 years or so if you are very good.

Tips and advice - I would say focus on getting into a medical school (it honestly does not matter which one and anyone who tells you otherwise is telling you porky pies) and if you really, really are set on surgery, try start making connections when you start your clinical years and pick up some simpler research projects in the specialt(ies) you are interested in to build your CV.
 

may22

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Hi! The career pathway is to do a medical degree (either undergraduate or graduate entry), do a medical internship and work as a junior doctor in various surgical units, and try to get into a surgical training program in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. These training programs are extremely competitive and it usually takes a few years to get on (one of my friends who is an absolute gun got into the General Surgery stream in her 4th year out of medical school), with certain specialty streams taking 5+ years to get into the training program. Research is not only feasible, but expected and almost mandatory to get into surgical training (due to the competitiveness).

Neurosurgery is among the most competitive specialties from my understanding and it generally takes 5+ years to get into the training program. From there, the training program as I understand it is an additional 5 years.

Overall, you'd be looking at med school+-undergrad degree (5-7 years) + junior doctor (5+ years) + training program (5 years) - so a total of about 15 years or so if you are very good.

Tips and advice - I would say focus on getting into a medical school (it honestly does not matter which one and anyone who tells you otherwise is telling you porky pies) and if you really, really are set on surgery, try start making connections when you start your clinical years and pick up some simpler research projects in the specialt(ies) you are interested in to build your CV.
Thank you so, so much! This really clarified a lot for me :)

Funnily enough, at one point I ONLY wanted to do medical research, and was tossing between genetics and neurology, but then, on a whim, I looked deeper into neurosurgery, and my fascination and motivation just keeps growing.
 

willitrue

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My brother is in his fifth year of medical school. And he goes to an awesome school like: trinityschoolofmedicine.org. I asked him to write a summary about this school, and this is what he told me: "This institution teaches medicine, and awards professional degrees for physicians and surgeons. These medical degrees include Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Surgery, Master of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and many others. Upon graduation, each student receives quality training, knowledge at a high level, and good practical skills. Also, upon graduation, each well-prepared student is sent to the best clinics to build their future career.
 
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GrilledCheese

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With regard to overtime also keep in mind some rotations run on a 7 on 7 off roster as well. For instance ICU, paeds and O+G where I trained ran:
7 days on (12 hours) -> 7 off -> 7 nights -> 7 off repeat.

ED was 4 on 4 off, switching between days, evenings and nights.
 

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