Saturday, 29 December 2012

Revision Tips: Pomodoro

I'll try and keep this one short as it is the Christmas holiday now, but I know many of you will have January exams so I hope this helps. I was lucky enough to have December exams, so I've got mine out of the way. Pomodoro is a technique that was recommended to me by a good friend when I first started at university. I'll admit that I don't use it all of the time, but whenever I feel my work is grinding to a halt it gives me a structured way of focussing my revision. The theory behind it is that you do timed chunks of work with short breaks built in, and every so often you have a long break. This technique is attributed to Francesco Cirillo and I'm sure that it exists in many different forms, but this is the one I prefer to use. 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Time Management

A question medical students are often asked is "how do you fit it all in?" And that is the strange thing, medical students in my experience seem to be one of the most active groups of people in the university. Medical students seem to be present in every sports team and society, as well as setting up a whole host of their own. For example, I was a member of the rowing team, a sport known for being very time consuming, yet over half of its members were medical students. This is a phenomenon I have observed time and time again in the clubs I have been a member of, but there's no big secret to it.

Friday, 14 December 2012

When to say "I don't know"

With exams on the horizon this has been at the back of my mind recently. Some of our examinations are multiple choice examinations which require you to choose the correct answer from a list of five choices, but I propose that there should be a sixth option for "I don't know". This is not an original thought, many people would argue that negative marking gives you the I don't know option by leaving the answer blank, but then I don't think people should be penalised for making an educated guess either.

Why Medicine: the question of altruism

This is something which I find crops up again and again in medicine, you are forever asked "why medicine?". Coming from a medical background people often assume that I am trying to please my father, but quite the opposite is true. He has an appalling work-life balance, is under appreciated for what he does and isn't exactly earning millions. If anything my father made me want to turn my back on a medical career.

Revision Tips: Evernote

The first instalment of this blog was written using the free software, Evernote. So I thought it appropriate that I should kick off a series of articles on revision tips with one of my favourite tools. For those of you that don't know, Evernote is a word processor that stores your writing as separate 'notes' inside folders known as 'notebooks'. These notebooks can then be put into larger folders called 'stacks'. In addition to this each note can be given a tag which similar to a twitter hash tag that can help you group together notes that you have placed in different notebooks. 


I'm a fourth year medical student at a northern university in the UK. I'm not quite sure why I chose this particular time to start a blog, maybe it is because my medical degree will start to get interesting soon. Or maybe I am just avoiding the revision I am supposed to be doing for my upcoming exams. What I do know is that I would like this blog not just to be a vent for my thoughts and feelings, but something which might just make you think, even stimulate conversation and once in a while will hopefully put a smile on your face. For that reason I hope you comment on my articles and I will endeavour to reply, it should keep things more fluid. This first paragraph brings up some interesting points: why we do things, procrastination and examinations all of which I hope to touch on in the first set of articles.