medicine

A medical compendium 

I recently found out about a kickstarter campaign that I thought you might find quite interesting. Two medical students from the Netherlands called Veerle Smit and Romée Snijders decided that the books they used to study medicine were often confusing and contained a lot of information without giving a proper overview on the subjects. They decided to make a Dutch compendium in collaboration with medical students and specialists and eventually published their book ‘compendium geneeskunde’ in september 2016.

At this point you might wonder why I’m talking about this campaign because the book is already published and it’s not really something that could interest international med or premed students since it’s written in Dutch.

Well… The goal of their kickstarter campaign is to change that. They want to raise money to make a complete English (and thus international) version of their book. The book will have the same structure as the Dutch version. It will be a compendium consisting of 4 books. Each book contains different chapters and at the end you’ll be able to test yourself on the information you just read.

bok.jpg

If you happen to be a medical/premed student or if you just want to know a little bit more about basically anything medicine-related I would recommend supporting their kickstarter campagin and buy a 4-part compendium. The prices of these books are amazing and you’ll receive the first ever English version which in my opinion makes it a bit more special. I’m leaving the link to this campaign everywhere on this page 😉 so definitely go check it out!

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Tips for prosection courses!

Prosections are a part of anatomy. You’ll see parts of the human body and you will most likely have to know where the muscles, nerves, veins and arteries are. I spend a lot of time preparing for my prosection course so I have quite a few tips!

1.Look up videos
The best way to have a clue of the material you’ll be studying is to look online for some videos in which they go over every part of the body and talk about what’s important. On youtube you’ll find sapiens medicus, on the internet I found this site. These videos will help you know where to look for certain structures.

2. Anatomy book
Your anatomy book is going to be your best friend during all of med school and it’s filled with pictures of the human body with and without muscles, nerves, arteries and veins. I use Sobotta anatomy which has an online site on which you’ll be able to find anatomical pictures. These are more structured and therefore easier to visualize.

3.Work together
It’s perfectly normal to search for certain structures. Talk to your peers and ask them if they know something you don’t. This is what helped me so much. Everyone I knew seemed to remember a certain part of the human body best. I always asked my friends to help me with structure I didn’t know.

4. Take your time
I ended up going to two groups of prosections to have enough time to revise everything and to make sure that these prosections where actually useful. You’re going to have to retain all of this information and it helps if you do it well. In my university every group got 1:30 hours to look at the cadavers. For me this was not enough so I ended up staying over groups to make sure that I was able to visualize and point out every structure.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! Let me know what you thought of your first prosections in the comments down below 🙂

Lots of love
-A doctor in spe

Charity hair for kids with cancer

I wanted to talk about donating hair since it’s something that is done quite often and it is important. There are a lot of people in the world that are diagnosed with cancer. Some prognoses are terrible whereas others have a chance of getting cured. While talking about the basics of cancer I also wanted to raise awareness for cancer and hopefully show you how you can help.

Cancer is a disease that is characterized by abnormal cel growth. Keeping it quite simple (and more understandable) cel growth is not necessarily a bad thing. If these abnormal growing cells stay in one place of your body and don’t invade in the tissue around them you’ll most likely talk about a good form of cancer that’s often curable. I’m saying often curable because there are so many different types and forms of cancer that don’t follow the rules.
If these abnormal cells keep growing and invade in the surrounding tissue or they move through blood or lymfe vessels they will lead to more abnormal cell growth in different places and are most likely to be benigne or bad cancer. This form is often aggressive, more likely to return after treatment.

The curing of cancer has a very rich history and there is a beautiful book written about it but the essence is that physics (chemotherapy) combined with chemistry (medicines) and biology (human processes) are able to create a situation in which quick growing cells are attacked. This is a process that requires a lot of energy from human beings. If you know someone with cancer you’ll know that the entire process of chemo and medicines can cause changes in someones appearance. Since these treatments work on rapid growing cancer cells, they also work on other quickly growing cells just like hair cells and skin cells. Therefore people with cancer start getting a fragile pale skin and might experience hair loss. Hair loss is often a negative experience it can damage your self-esteem. Besides that buying wigs is quite expensive. That’s why there are a lot of foundations that make wigs for people with cancer and…

…here’s how you can help. If you have beautiful long hair and you want to get a haircut you can donate your hair. Depending on where you live you can donate either directly; send your hair to the correct address or you can donate via your hairdresser (this is only possible if your hairdresser donates hair).
The hair is then taken and processed before it’s made into a beautiful wig. There are a lot of ponytails needed to make a wig so please consider donating your hair.

I’ve listed some websites down below that are aimed at hair donation. There are also a lot of foundations that are aimed at kids that have hair loss due to other diseases besides cancer. So I really wanted to list those down below as well ;).

Canada
UK or UK
USA
USA
NZ

Definitely leave some options in the comment section. I’d love to see more places where you can donate your hair.

Lots of love
– A doctor in spe

The medical tag

Since I’ve tagged people I follow, I figured that it was time to answer the questions to my own tag. I hope that it’ll will give you an image of who I am!

  1. Who are you?
    My name is M. and I’m a medicine student in Europe. I’ve just started my first year in medical school.
  2. How did you come up with your blog name/username?
    My blog name is Doctor in spe. The term ‘in spe’ is Latin for ‘in the future’ or ‘to be’. Since I studied Latin in high school I wanted my blog to kind of refer to that period.
  3. How would you describe your blog?
    Doctorinspe is currently a mix of everything that interests me and is related to the medical field. Sometimes I like giving my opinion on a subject, sometimes I’ll write about something that’s noteworthy. It varies a lot!
  4. What made you choose the medical field?
    When I was a kid I loved watching a show called ‘there ones was…’ which was a series on the human body, made for children. That show has always laid a foundation to pursue a career in medicine.
  5. What are your best tips for future medical students?
    Don’t forget to enjoy medical school. There are a lot of things to do when you’re not studying so go out every once and a while and have some fun! Don’t miss out on the fun because you’re always studying!
  6. What’s your favorite quote?
    Life is not the amounts of breath you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away – Will Smith.
  7. Best memory in medical school?
    My best memory was getting into medical school. It was just so gratifying. I remember screaming like 5 minutes before I could process the whole thing. When I told my  brother he did the exact same thing :’).
  8. What’s one course you struggled with?
    Biochemistry. Purely because I was too lazy to make time to study it (yes I have flaws too). Biochemistry is quite a detailed course and I shouldn’t have postponed it that much. You can’t start learning chapter two if you don’t know the first chapter. Biggest mistake in medical school!
  9. Name one thing you want to achieve this year.
    I would like to pass all of my classes upcoming semester 🙂 but I would also love to make this blog into something that I will be proud of.
  10. What’s your favorite book?
    My favorite medical related book is the emperor of all maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. I gave a brief resume on my blog so check it out! The main reason why I liked it is because of the infinite dedication these people showed for cancer research. The world needs more people like that!
  11. What do you do in your free time?
    I blog whenever I find some time and I love watching movies and series. My current favorite series is Grimm and the best movie I watched last month was Sing.
  12. What do you want to major in?
    I have no idea and I don’t even worry about that right now. I still have 6 more years to go so I’ll figure that out along the way ;).
  13. How do you study productively?
    I’m currently using flashcards which helps me a lot! I also use the My homework application to track all of my tasks.
  14. How do you stay motivated in medical school?
    Thinking about that beautiful white coat everytime I can.
  15. Who do you look up to?
    I would like to name a scientist or someone who has done something extraordinary but I look up to my family. My mom dad and brother have supported me so much and I look up to them because of that

I hope you enjoyed this article! Let me know in the comment section if you’re going to do the medical tag :).

Lots of love
– M. Doctor in spe

The emperor of all maladies

About a week ago one of my friends told me about a book that was written by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It was an author I’d never even heard about so I went to the library and got ‘The emperor of all maladies’. This book was so interesting that I had to write about it!

The book starts with the history of cancer. Diagnoses started very early but throughout history nobody could find a cure. Not even a way to relieve some of the symptoms. It’s amazing to see that most treatments only started a century ago. Throughout history people often saw cancer as something incurable and there weren’t many scientists who tried to find a cure.

The rise of chemicals has had such a big influence on cancer treatments. The first use of chemicals on cancer patients were more of a trial and error. People kept trying out different chemicals and hoped to find something that could stop the growth of cancerous cells. Some chemicals worked but they always worked temporarily and caused such disappointment. Even trough all of those disappointments people kept going on and kept combining medicines and different techniques to find something.

The reason why this book is really good is because it’s one of the few books that can grab your attention and keep it. It was so well written that you could even think of it as a novel. There is a way of expressing desire in such way that it’s almost as though you’re reliving the entire thing – that’s what this book is able to do.
I would probably tell you more about this book but I don’t want to spoil it by telling everything. I hope that this brief resume interests you enough to go to the library and read it because I promise you this book is amazing.

Lots of love
-M. Doctor in spe

STUDY TIPS THAT WORK

Study methods and techniques have always been a big struggle. My exams have proved exactly that in the past and it was time to change them. I started taking all the tips I could get and I’ve made a list with the best tips.

  1. Prepare your classes

It’s terrible to prepare every single class you have, but it’s very effective and you’ll have more use out of your classes. You don’t need to do much, just try to read trough your courses when you have some time left.
When you have a lecture, make sure to pay attention! Mark important words and sentences. During classes you can see which parts are more important and you’ll learn to focus on those.

2. Repeat

Repeat your classes the same evening. I know that it will take a lot of energy and work but you’ll definitely benefit from this. You can just read trough the courses.
This is important because in medical school you’ll get very big textbooks and courses and if you don’t keep up you’ll eventually lose track.
Repeating is the most important step when you’re studying and will help to get all that information in your long-term memory.

3. Get help

If you feel like none of these work for you I’d suggest getting some help. Every university has a study counselor. You can always count on them for advise and help. My university has a few counselors for the most difficult courses and a separate person who can help you with study advise. You can always make an appointment and they will help you to the fullest of their abilities. There is a reason why study counselors exist. Not everyone has these issues but there are a lot of people who do.

I would like to emphasize that I 100% believe that everyone can do everything they set their mind to if you just put enough time and effort in it.
For me studying was always the most difficult part. I was never good at it, at least that’s what I thought. The problem I had was that I had enough time to study, I just never wanted to make time for it. The constant procrastinating made my study techniques fail miserably when I had to learn more. Now I’m just working as hard as everybody else and I hope that it’ll pay off.

I hope you found this blogpost somewhat informative and that you’ll learn something from it. Let me know what your best study tip is in the comment section down below.

Lots of love ♥
– A doctor in spe