Author: doctorinspe

The importance of blood donation

Blood donation is one of the most important necessities in a hospital. Donated blood has many uses. It can be used in standard procedures or it can be used in ambulant help. Even though it’s on of the biggest necessities a lack of blood donors still occurs in many different countries.

Why is it important to donate blood?
It’s used in many surgeries, even in accidents people are often in need of blood which is provided by blood donors. Due to various reasons people don’t want to give blood or they’re not allowed to give blood. This can cause a lack of blood donors and therefore a deficit in blood supplies. Giving blood keeps the chain going and is therefore important!

Who can donate blood?
People aged 17-66 and have a BMI within range can donate blood. Before the blood donation you’ll see a doctor who will ask you some questions about your health. This is to make sure that the blood you’re donating is ‘clean’.
There are a lot of rules that need to be taken into account before giving blood. Depending on where you’re giving blood you’ll be able to check the conditions online.

Note: if you’re not able to donate blood, you might still be able to donate blood plasma as it doesn’t contain red blood cells. Blood plasma is then used to treat people with coagulation diseases.

Where to donate blood? 
There are donation centers where you’ll be able to donate blood. You could also donate blood to a local hospital.
In America there are two main blood donation centers the ‘American red cross’ and ‘America’s blood centers’ where you can donate blood. In the U.K. the blood donation happens via NHS.

I hope that I’ve informed you about blood donation. As usual make sure to check with your GP before donating blood. This is to make sure that you’re not harming yourself or someone else by donating.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you’ve donated blood before in the comments down below!

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

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One year blogging and going strong!

It’s been exactly one year since my first ever blogpost and I wanted to talk about blogging in general and the amazing things I got to learn from medical students around the world. I never thought I would reach anything or anyone with this blog. I made this blog to take others on my journey to becoming a doctor and to show all of the amazing things I get to do as a student. There is most definitely not enough appreciation for the amazing opportunities we get in and outside our classroom.

I want my blog to inspire med/premed students or anyone to start a blog. You can never imagine how many amazing things you’ll get to experience while having a blog. This blog has in the short span of a year given me the opportunity to virtually meet other medical students and talk about subjects that are often taboo or subjects that we’re not familiar with. It gave me the opportunity to get to know medical students all around the world.

I also learned a lot of things that I haven’t learned in my textbooks. I learned more about mental health, about the amazing charities that are making a difference every day. I also read a lot more books and expanded my view on life.

I also started using social media more often! You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’m not an avid social media user but I try to upload from time to time!

This blog and this year have been a great adventure so far and I couldn’t thank you guys enough to come on this journey with me. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as I did and that I was able to teach you guys some things along the way or just inspire you to study med or start a blog.

Lots of love
– A doctor in spe

Essentialism summary and review

I recently read essentialism which is a book about ‘the disciplined pursuit of less’. The book was written by Greg McKeown CEO and founder of THIS, inc in Silicon Valley. He has achieved quite a lot and he thanks most of it to essentialism.

What’s this book about and what’s essentialism?
The book talks about how people are often doing unproductive things and saying yes to every opportunity in their life instead of focussing on one task. By putting their effort into just one task they’ll end up having one decent task, instead of multiple unfinished tasks.

The book describes a difference between the essentialist and the non-essentialist. The non-essentialist believes that he/she is able to do everything at once. In our society it’s often expected of people that they are non-essentialists and are able to do everything at once. In reality (and according to the author) doing this leads to a whole bunch of nothing. You can’t have it all or do it all.

To be an essentialist, you have to make sacrifices and even say no when you don’t have many alternatives. You have to focus on one thing before moving on to the next and you have to make a clear difference between what’s really important and what’s not.

My opinion on the book
I read this book after ‘the subtle art of not giving a fuck’ and ‘mindset’ and it was a great read. It was quite a short book which was pleasantly surprising and like most of these types of books it was an easy read.
I liked how the term essentialism was introduced and then elaborated. There were many examples that showed the life of different essentialists often in the corporate life. The only thing I personally didn’t like was that a lot of the examples given, were about people working in or running a company. Nevertheless all rules of essentialism can be applied to anyones life.

I would advise this book to people who are doing it all, but aren’t finishing much. It’s probably the shortest book I’ve read and reviewed and I promise that you won’t lose much time reading it. You will gain knowledge on ways to spend your time better and you’ll hopefully learn to differentiate important matters from less important matters.

Let me know in the comment section which books you’ve read and would recommend. I hope you enjoyed this post!

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Doctorinspe is now on FACEBOOK!

It took a while to make this page but it finally worked! Show some love and support and follow my page on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/Doctorinspe/

A lot of work went into making the page so make sure to check it out. Give some recommendations on how to do better. I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog. If you have a Facebook page of your own, leave the link down below and I’ll make sure to check it out!

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

World mental health day

It’s world mental health day and I thought it’d be nice to talk about mental health today as a lot of people struggle with mental health. I would like to emphasize that I’m not a professional (yet) so if you’re having any health issues I’d advise you to see a GP.

There are a lot of mental disorders. The biggest issue medics are facing is that diagnosing mental disorders is difficult because there’s still a lot about the human brain that we don’t know about.

It should be no surprise to you but mental health for example depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia actually affects millions of people all around the world. Mental health is very diverse and there are a lot of different disorders. Did you know that 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 teenagers(!!!) will experience some kind of mental health problem during their life. In Britain. Mixed anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders.
I decided that it might be interesting to leave a blogpost I read today. It’s written by Katie Conibear who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She has a great blog which you can see here.

What I loved most is that you can get involved with some amazing fundraisers and activities that the mental health foundation organizes. I thought it would be best to leave a link to both – American and English – foundations. You can find a lot of information on their sites AND you can find out how you can make a difference!

United Kingdom
The United States
Also check out Twitter!

It’s time to change the mentality we have when it comes to mental disorders and illness and I hope that this post is a step in the right direction.

UPDATE: I’ve read some amazing posts since it is world mental health day and I’m going to share a few below hoping that they might help you!
Tips & advice 
Tips to help yourself or others
A playful article about crafting
Poetry
And more poetry
Sean’s testimony

Lots of love!
-A doctor in spe

Mindset – Caroline Dweck

While I was on vacation I read the book ‘mindset’ which is a book that will ‘learn you to achieve your full potential’. The book was written by Carol Dweck who is a psychology professor at Stanford. She was interested in knowing why some people are ready for challenges whereas others shy away from them and she has written all about her findings in this book.

Summary (Spoiler)
The autor talks divides people into two categories and describes the difference between both groups. The first group of people are the ones who give up when things get difficult, they have a fixed mindset. The second group consists of people who thrive during difficulties, they have a growth mindset.

People with the fixed mindset count on numbers a little too much and if something isn’t feasible they give up out of fear of being called dumb. They fear that one setback will make them dumb and if they’re dumb well then there’s nothing to do about it.
People with a growth mindset are the opposite. They see most things in life as an opportunity to grow. If they have a setback, they see it as an opportunity to learn and do better next time. They know that one setback will not make them dumb as a person. Below there’s a picture containing all the information you need on both mindsets.

mindset.jpg

This sounds logical, a human is constantly changing but I can tell you that when I was told at the age of 12, 13, 14 and 15 that boys were better at math and there was nothing to do about it, I honestly believed it. This topic is also touched in the book as there are teachers who have a fixed mindset and teachers who have a growth mindset. A teachers’ mindset partly determines the students mindset.

Don’t fear because there is definitely a way to change your mindset. The first thing you need to do is to think about your own mindset. Think about what mindset you have and try to change it little by little.
Start thinking about work and school as challenges. You win sometimes and you lose sometimes but whether you win or lose, there is always room for improvement. Reflect on what happened, try to see what went wrong or good and use that knowledge for future challenges.

Opinion on the book
I absolutely loved this book mainly because it was actually quite interesting. There were a lot of examples given. How your mindset influences your entire life varying from mindset in sports, at school and even at applied to leadership qualities. I learned that mindset is determined mainly by your upbringing – parents, teachers and other people around you. And I learned how to change the mindset you have by changing the way you see obstacles in your life.
This book is a great read for any college student but I would strongly advise it for newly starting college students.

I hope you enjoyed this book review/summary. Let me know what you think of this book and if you’re going to read it.

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Anatomy videos

While I was studying for my anatomy course past year I must admit that I had a hard time. Anatomy is one of those courses where you need to get a lot of information in your brain in a short period of time. What helped me most, especially for anatomy, were videos. There are obviously a ton of videos online but these were the ones I found most useful because they helped me visualize the material and they contained a lot of mnemonics.

1. Medzcool
I loved the mnemonics that were used and explained in these videos. Especially for the cranial nerves. If you prefer other mnemonics than the ones mentioned in the video, check out the comment section!

 

2. Dr. Preddy
Give this man an award asap! If you don’t have enough time to learn all the arm and hand muscles this is your man! He is able to teach all of the arm muscles and their innervation in two brief videos! These videos are filmed by students but they’re useful nevertheless.

Arm muscles part 1
Arm muscles part 2

3. AnatomyZone
The youtube channel of anatomy zone contains almost all information about myology! These videos show our muscles from all angles which helps to memorize origin and insertion points. These also give a good image of the location of each muscle, artery and vein.
There is also an AnatomyZone site where you can find all of these videos for free you can click on the link to check it out!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found these tips useful. Medical students often rely on tips coming from fellow medical students and having a lot of tips definitely makes a difference when it comes to studying effectively. If you have tips that are helpful to study anatomy (or other courses) leave them in the comment section down below!

Lots of love
– A doctor in spe

 

SYNAP – reblog

Today I wanted to share Synap with you. It’s a fairly new concept and as a medical student I can do no more but to promote amazing work other medical students are able to put out there. Synap is one of them. You can find all the information regarding Synap down below or on their blog.

REBLOG: Synap is an online education platform created by two medical students – James Gupta and Omair Vaiyani – to make studying easier. Synap lets you create, practice and share Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with your friends.

We have a huge range of practice questions and exam banks for doctors, nurses, dentists and physician’s associates – including some premium content provided by Oxford University Press written for final year medical exams, and the specialty board exams such as MRCP, FRCA, FRCP and MRCS.

To learn more about how Synap works, check out the short animation below!

 

What I loved most about Synap is that it’s an interdisciplinary site so it’s not only great for doctors but also for nurses and dentists!

Thanks for passing by! If you enjoyed this post check out SYNAP via links above and let me know in the comment section what you think of it!

Lots of love
– A doctor in spe

Summary the subtle art of not giving a fuck

The subtle art of not giving a fuck is a book that I’ve been suggesting to everyone. I loved reading this book and up until this moment I’ve read the book 2 times which proves how great it is. This book has changed my view on my own life and in a way you can consider this a wakeup call. This book along with ‘mindset’ are books that should be a must-read for anyone in the middle of adulting.

I usually talk about the book itself and how it’s written but I saw that the writer, also a blogger, has posted an excerpt of the book on his blog and I advise you to read that before reading this review. So click here for that.

Summary
Just like you probably saw from the title the autor does not mince matters. This book is brutally honest and therefore one of the best self-help books I’ve read so far. There were some important lessons to learn here.

Lesson n°1
This book tackles our society for giving too many fucks about the wrong things and not enough fucks about what actually matters. To give an example people seem to talk more about the Kardashians outfits than for example about food waste – note: if you care more about the Kardashians that’s perfectly okay!!

Lesson n°2
Another important lesson is that everything that matters in life, is attached to a negative experience. You need to study really hard (often not fun) to get good grades (fun). This is something that isn’t always represented correctly in todays society. We hear a lot of succes stories but there’s more to those stories than meets the eye. Someone worked crazy hard to get where they are and all we see is that they achieved their goal. To get a bigger reward, you need to put in more effort.

Lesson n°3
People often seem to think that when they’ve reached their goal, it’s done, they’re happy and everything is fine but it isn’t. Problems are still there, the only thing they’ve achieved, is to be a little better than before, to have grown a little more. The growth mindset was present in this book, just explained differently.

For more lessons I’d advise you to read the book. It wouldn’t be fun to spoil the entire thing.

Review
The writing style of this book is easy and comprehensive. There aren’t any difficult words, but the language is sometimes explicit which might not appeal to everyone.
The book gives a lot of examples on what to do and what not to do. It’s therefore a great book for those people who don’t completely know what to do with their life.
I’d definitely say that of the self-help books I’ve read so far this is definitely one of the best. It’s unique not because of the writing style, but because of the honesty.

Since there is an excerpt of this book on the authors blog check it out before buying this book. You might not like it. As for me I loved the book hence why I’ve suggested it to almost everyone I know. Let me know in the comment section what books you would recommend.

Lots of love and have a great day!
-A doctor in spe

 

Prepping and how I study

I’ve already talked about my improved study techniques but today I’m going to talk about the three things that made the biggest difference in my results!

1 Preparing notes ahead

When i go to lectures I make sure that I’ve done everything ahead of time. If i don’t i’m just waisting my time and the professors time. Preparation is key. I like to make notes ahead of time and take those to class. Some people prefer reading through their notes, I do this when I don’t have enough time to type out my notes but this works great as well.

Along with this I reread all of these notes while going home. I take public transport so I often wait for my bus or metro. Those 5 minutes make a difference. It’s small but all small bits help! The time I need to get home varies but I spend an average of 1hour to 1hour30 to get home. Instead of waisting i try to benefit from that.

2 Visuals (other sources)

For medicine looking out for other sources is a good way to look at your courses differently. Especially if you don’t know the difference between things that are more important and things that are not. I watch a ton of videos and if there are things in my course that other videos emphasize on it means that it’s probably quite important. I personally loved ‘Shomu’s biology’ on youtube because he’s able to explain quite difficult concepts in an easy way.

3 Reading

Not only reading through your own course or textbooks but using other medical books is a great way to retain difficult topics. Different books often explain concepts differently and that is something that may or may not work for you.

I hope you enjoyed these tips. Let me know what your tips are in the comment section down below.

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe