Exam time

So I realize it’s been a while since my last post (over two months, besides the last two which I actually started weeks ago but only just posted). The reason for this is, I’ve been swamped with lab work since mid-January, and I just handed in my final lab report and started a ten-day break from studying!

At least that’s what I thought, this week is my assessment week at the University of Edinburgh’s online distance learning MSc in Internal Medicine. This is the third such assessment week since I started last September, but it’s definitely the most challenging. Ten weeks of study culminating in one exam that includes all aspects of internal medicine bundled into 100 questions. From the kidneys to the brain, the skin to the liver – nothing is off-limits! I’ve been handling my lectures and tutorials well thus far, but I still feel like I should be studying more! The exam is in the style of the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) exams, which I hope to take sometime next year. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the exam, and I believe that the excellent preparation I received from the teaching staff at Edinburgh will serve me well. The program is brilliantly designed to guide it’s students through a wide range of topics, focusing on common illnesses, which is what the MRCP exam aims to test.

That being said, I may not have so much time to post anything this week, but I plan to come back next week with more exciting stories to tell! (And hopefully a victorious conquest of the exam)

Till then 🙂 !

Renal struggles

It was a lovely break, but I am a bit relieved that this week teaching finally resumed at the MSc Internal Medicine, University of Edinburgh. And what better topic to begin with than my sworn enemy – nephrology. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like it – well to tell the absolute truth I don’t, but it’s not what you think.
Renal medicine has a notorious reputation for being difficult and complex – even in medical school I dreaded everything from renal physiology to clinical nephrology lectures. The field is riddled with overlapping diagnoses, vague symptoms that can point to anything or nothing, and complex treatment regimens. I like to think that in all other branches of medicine, I can think of a single most likely diagnosis given only the patients signs and symptoms (in most cases). In renal medicine, however, I find myself stumped without an array of complicated investigations (which sometimes – who am i kidding – most of the time, leave me even more confused). Everything affects the kidney and the kidney affects everything – nightmare.
Sometimes I ponder upon whether I dislike nephrology or it dislikes me. I find it interesting that people often say that they fancy nephrology for these very same reasons. But I don’t get it – not at all. That being said, the past week went a lot smoother than I expected – we dealt with some of the more common aspects of renal medicine through a tutorial and a series of lectures. I’m proud to say this week left me feeling a little less resentful towards the kidney and its intricacies. Next week is cardiology by the way (yay!).