Foundations block and test

By week 3 of class, we’ve covered the basics and have even been tested on them before the undergrads have even started!

We blitzed through some physiology, histology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, anatomy and pharmacology within the first two weeks, and had our test today – I think I went okay.

Overall, I’m quite enjoying the pracs the most – so far we’ve learnt some basics on history taking, taking blood pressure and some microbiology lab techniques. In one of the blood pressure pracs, I was assigned to take a dose of caffeine and nicotine – my experience on the nicotine was not pleasant at all.

I’ve had to change my learning style in order to keep up with the onslaught of lecture content. Rather than making summary notes as I would in biomed, I am now writing or copying down some questions and answering them on Anki flashcards.

I’ve also come to really enjoy my time outside of studies – there’s less pressure to perform well. It’s as though the concept of work-life balance has subconsciously been embraced upon admission into med school – they needn’t have bestowed it upon us during the induction week.

In other news, I’ve recently picked up an interest in snorkelling as a hobby. Not only that, but I’m also keen on changing my role from ward assist volunteer at RMH to a music therapy volunteer! Was thinking of teaming up with my friend on keyboard and jamming out live music at the entrance – that’d be amazing. In order to do that though, first I’ll need to upgrade from my Baby Taylor – I was thinking of upgrading to an acoustic/electric GS mini… Thoughts?

Obligate work-life balance shot; happy birthday buddy:





6 thoughts on “Foundations block and test

  1. Hi J,

    I only just stumbled across your blog while doing some conventional GAMSAT googling.

    First of all – congratulations on making it into the course you wished for. You seem well on your way to becoming a doctor.

    I am uncertain as to whether I should leave this as a comment here but I couldn’t find any other means to contact you. I just have a question, which I am only able to ask because after reading all your entries, you seem to be a very approachable and genuine person (also, you and your gf make a very cute couple c:). So I hope it does not offend you for me to ask this.

    It seems apparent to me that you’ve graduated with a GPA of 6.96 and a GAMSAT of 68 (unweighted). Under the calculations of University of Melbourne, (6.96/7 + 68/100 = ) 1.6742 is well above the 1.6043 (unofficial) minimum scores for 2015.
    Despite this, were you offered a BMP place, as opposed to a non-bonded place?


    • Hey Jaime,

      Thank you for your kind comment and I am not at all offended! I think there are two reasons for receiving my BMP place:

      Firstly this year’s cohort was more competitive than last year. According to a Paging Doctor source (slightly skewed, not sure how updated this is on my resources tab), the CSP average combo (not Melbourne weighted) was 1.695, whereas the BMP average combo was 1.641.

      Secondly, I kind of ‘bombed’ 2 of the 8 stations in my interview. It’s nice how Unimelb releases your interview score, so you know which areas you can improve on. They score it out of 20, and for the most part I was around the averages for each station, except for getting a 6 for decision making (because I prepared for a group decision rather than an individual decision, which I attempted to argue that you need to consider everyone’s viewpoint for your own decision – that and the interviewer was playing a bad cop: looking out the window, scratching his crotch, asking me multiple times what my decision was), and getting an 8 for building rapport (not sure how well this translates to in real life). On the bright side, I could have done worse!

      Either way, I think rural will do some good for me – I’ll have more one-on-one time with doctors and patients so hopefully I can improve on developing rapport. Also, you’ll get taught primary healthcare and get more hands on in rural compared to the inner east tertiary hospitals where everyone above you in the medical hierarchy is fighting for the consultant’s attention. They say that there’s no significant differences in the marks between clinical schools, but I’ve heard you’re better prepared for in the OSCEs because rural provides you with common cases that they’ll test you on.
      I’m looking forward to the lifestyle too, where I’ll get to move out with some classmates to a more relaxing environment.

      And what’s more, they changed it from a 4 year (or however long you study) ‘return of service’ requirement after you finish your degree to only 1 year, because too many people were paying off their contract and as a result, not enough people were working in those workplaces of shortage.

      Each university has their own program and they may change it from year to year, but for Unimelb this year, only the BMP students got the rural zone. That being said – because there’s only a small handful of places at each rural clinical school, and that they still need to accomodate the next cohort of rural students, they essentially want you to come back to your first clinical zone (inner east for me) preference. Next year however, I’ve heard that they’ll be randomising the clinical schools rather than basing it off academic merit, which I think is more fair.

      Lastly, I wish you the very best if you decide to continue to pursue medicine – maybe I’ll see you around some day 🙂



  2. Hi again J (:

    Wow, I didn’t have a proper look at your resources tab; only just saw the compilations you put up there. It’s very helpful, thank you for that!

    Indeed, it seems that entry to medicine is getting more competitive year by year.

    I have also read about the changes made to the BMP program and it does seem like a significant improvement. Including the advantages you’ve mentioned, one year does seem more manageable than the time equivalent to the full course.

    I have just started second year, so it’s still a bit away but yes, it would be awesome if our paths crossed one day.

    Meanwhile, I’ll definitely be following your blog! Wishing you all the best, good luck for 1st year MD!!


    • Hey Jaime 🙂

      I’m glad you find my blog helpful! What’s more, apparently if you want, you can now break up your 12 month return of service into 12 week (3 month) blocks – I’m definitely very lucky to have these changes implemented in my year.

      Ah, well I wish you all the best for your future assessments, and if you ever do see me, definitely stop whatever I’m doing just to say hi 😛



  3. That’s great 😀

    Thanks! Unfortunately, the chances of running into you seem slim seeing as I’m studying at usyd but if I ever do, I will for sure!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s