Final undergrad results

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Looks like I’ll be graduating this year and studying medicine next year!

Reflecting on results, anat was more or less what I expected, frontiers in biomed was a close shave, I was happy with guitar, and physiology was a bit of a let down.

In terms of the subjects themselves, anat in second semester was more enjoyable than first semester, however I did better with the content in first semester. Although the content of frontiers in biomedicine were all over the place, I really enjoyed my tutorials and I felt that the exam was fair. Guitar was fun. Although physiology had easy assessments, it was difficult to do well in them bar the exam.

As I’m writing this, I just received an email about MMI scores being released late January / early February, so it would be interesting to see how I went quantitatively.

Cheers,
J

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Unimelb interview completed

Just finished my interview today. Thank you all for your wishes and support, you all know who you are! As for the interview itself, I felt like I did okay – could have done better; could have done worse – it’s hard to say. I’m just glad it’s over. Now it’s time to play the waiting game.

My thoughts after the interview: CSP offer would be the dream, I’d be happy with a BMP, FFP would be my expensive backup. Also, who knows if Usyd will bump me up from the waiting list to a BMP offer.

In the mean time, I’m gonna use this mid-semester break to catch up on all the uni work I’ve neglected for interview preparations. Although I’d only need to pass my subjects if I receive a conditional offer on the 30th October / 2nd November, I’m still going to try and go out of my undergraduate studies with a bang.

Cheers,
J

Usyd waiting list

As expected, I didn’t get an offer from USyd today. I felt like my interview performance could have improved.

At least I’m on the waiting list for those who decline their Usyd offer in preference for a GEMSAS one. But then again, I’ll probably find out if I get a Unimelb offer before then.

As for Unimelb, my interview time is 3pm on the 24th, before the mid-semester break – a bit early I’d say. At the moment, I’m just pushing aside uni work for interview preparation. It’s going to be tough catching up during the mid-semester break, but I feel it’s important to practise for my tightrope performance without the safety net of Usyd.

Cheers,
J

Usyd interview, Surgery observation, Anatomy museum guide

Before gearing into the second semester, I’d like to quickly reflect on these holidays. I didn’t do much. I played guitar, hung out with friends and family, took up an extra volunteering shift at RMH in wheelchair assist, and did a little bit of interview preparation. It’s been getting busier towards the back end of these holidays.

So I had my University of Sydney interview last Monday (20th July). ‘How did you go?’ I hear you ask. Well… I’m not too sure to be honest. It’s too hard to say. At times, I felt like my tongue had a mind of it’s own and I didn’t even know what I was talking about! The examiners were fairly nice/friendly. The university itself was quite nice too. The campus isn’t too far from the CBD and there were a few buildings that looked like something out of Hogwarts.

Now I’m a bit careful in disclosing interview information in terms of the interview in order not to confer an unfair advantage to other applicants, but I am writing about them solely for memory’s sake. The blackout period is now over for domestic students and I’ll keep it brief. My first station was about robotics helping the elderly, my second station was about a grandmother favouring one dentist over another, my third station was about a professor helping her daughter win a competition, my fourth station was about a homeless man asking you for spare change, and my fith and final station was about another interviewee taking a pill that would ‘make [him] think like a nobel prize winner’.

So what else did I do in Sydney? Eat, sleep, repeat:

On the following Friday, I took time off RMH volunteering to observe orthopaedic surgery at Epworth Hospital Richmond. I woke up early to get to the Hospital before 7.30am and was met with Assoc. Prof. Martin Richardson (‘best shoulder surgeon’ and one of our guest lecturers), Dr. John Cormack (‘best’ anaesthetist), Dr. Tony Sobol (assistant surgeon) and the rest of the team. I saw a few frozen shoulder cases, a few cases of the acromion impinging on rotator cuff tendon, a mid-shaft clavicular fracture, a lateral ankle ligament regraft, a knee replacement, and a hip replacement. One thing I loved about the 14-hour session was the interaction. Either they or I would ask questions that I didn’t know the answer to, and I would either end up consulting Dr. Google, drawing on the white board or hear an eloquent lecture on just about anything. I got asked to ‘help’ anchor the shoulder joint when the surgeons were increasing the range of motion of the frozen shoulder. I got asked to ‘interview’ the patients and learnt how to take patient histories. I got to record an ultrasound during a nerve block for John. I got to play with the cement they use in the knee replacements and realised Martin wasn’t kidding in the lectures when he said it would get hot! The patients came in and out like a factory line and I didn’t want to take a break until about 7.30pm! It felt like a non-stop cycle of observing John anaesthetising patients and surgery, anaesthetising patients and surgery, ad infinitum. During the last operation, something didn’t go according to plan, but everyone was so calm and collected that it seemed as though nothing went wrong until the improvised a solution.

I thought I would never have to touch the brachial plexus this year again:

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Lastly I volunteered for Open House at the Harry Brookes Allen museum of anatomy and pathology the day after. I didn’t do much there but an experience is an experience.

What’s next for volunteering: Teddy bear hospital winter checkup at Chadstone shopping centre (2/8/15) and possibly The University of Melbourne’s Open Day (16/8/15).

On a side note, the subjects that i’m taking next semester are Frontiers in Biomedicine (biomed core), Viscera and Visceral Systems (anatomy), Frontiers in Physiology, and Riffs: Guitar Cultures and Practice.

Cheers,
J

University of Sydney interview offer

Short post – just received an interview offer from the Usyd. The GAMSAT cut-off score this year was 68 (remember that GPA is a hurdle requirement of 5.0). It costs an additional $150 (on top of the QAS application fee of $120) to confirm your interview offer with a booking.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ll get in. With my GAMSAT score, I’ll need to do very well in the interview. If anything, this will be another learning experience; a practise interview for the GEMSAS (and hopefully Unimelb) one. Looks like it’s time to start booking flights and accommodation, and knuckle down with the interview preparations.

Cheers,
J

The exam results that matter the most in applying to med

I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous for this semester’s results. Not only because they were weighted more than the rest, but because I had taken up some extra-corricular activities throughout the semester. As always, I’d like to share them with you:

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Anatomy was somewhat expected. I didn’t even know how I felt about physiology, so I was happy that I scraped in that H1. The pressure was on for m2m, so it was relief to see that I made the cut. As for world music choir, wow – despite all effort I put into the subject, I did not expect to do this well… I guess this must mean I’m a good singer! It was nice to see that I maintained my weighted average this semester, all thanks to Joseph Jordania – what a legend.

I hope everyone was happy with their results. I know some of you didn’t do as well as you’d like this time around, but you can’t change the past. Use this time to reflect on what went wrong and what might need to be fixed for the next time around. Prioritisation and time management is important and sometimes sacrifices need to be made.

P.S. To my friends that didn’t do as well as they’d like to have, I promised to shout you guys food if I was happy with my results. Time to redeem that offer!

Now that results are out, I can actually enjoy my holidays now. Stay tuned for my next guitar cover. I promise I’ll have it out before the next semester starts!

Cheers,
J

Second year complete; second semester results released

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Hey hey! So all my semester 2 subjects results came out today and I feel relieved more than anything. To reiterate my previous posts, I didn’t feel too confident about the physiology component of HSF, nor did I feel the same about microbes. Glee Singing essay results on the other hand came out a week ago, so I had an idea of what to expect for my final mark. Overall, my marks for this semester were a bit lower than last semesters, but nonetheless they still reached the benchmark of 80+. By the way, checking your results overseas takes forever.. We’re leaving Bangkok to Chiang Mai soon, so I’ll be posting about them soon!

Cheers,
J

2014 GAMSAT UK results… you win some you lose some

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Yeah. I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst and I got the bomb dropped on me. This time around, I performed worse in all three of my sections – probably because I didn’t really study for it. Section I dropped from 57 to 54, section II dropped from 72 to 56, and section III dropped from 75 to 68. I suppose this is my natural aptitude. Oh well, there’s nothing much to say but that there’s always March I guess?  Hopefully I can balance my time with studying a summer breadth.

In other news, I finished all my exams yesterday and I feel iffy about them. The anatomy component of human structure and function (HSF) was manageable, the physiology component of HSF was a little more confusing, and I felt like I gave up studying for microbes. Results come out in a few weeks, so I guess time will tell. I’m so glad I did glee singing and didn’t have to do an extra exam. Freedom!

Finally went to see Les Misérables today too. We got there at 11am and lined up for rush tickets ($45) to the 1pm session. The seats we got weren’t too bad (P row stalls on the left), the performance gradually got better towards the end and the music was pretty standard. I’ll admit I teared up a few times! Brunch before the show:

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I’m flying out in a few days time for Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong, so I’ll be quite preoccupied with pre-departure preparations. Looking forward to experiencing the different cultures and the food – I shall be taking lots of photos for you all to see, so stay tuned!

Cheers,
J

2014 GAMSAT UK finished

So my second time sitting the GAMSAT felt a lot different from the first. Although I did the bare minimum preparation for it, I didn’t feel nervous at all coming in. Maybe because I have a decent score to back me up, or perhaps it was because I was no longer a GAMSAT-virgin.

Either way I felt that ACER organised it better at the Caulfield venue – the speaker on the microphone was far more relaxed, there were less people (900 compared to 3000), less zones (4 compared to 12) and less hassle with getting started on the testing time. The desks were far more superior in quality and size than the ones in Flemington and we also finished earlier.

I found section 1 slightly better than last time, however I probably didn’t perform exceptionally well. I guess we’ll see how I fare Friday in 8 weeks time.

As for section 2, I felt the consequences of not writing lots of practise essays; I was far better prepared last time. The themes were modern communication technology for part A and art for part B. I had no idea how to start my part B essay… I mean what is art? I’ll be honest, I’m not looking forward to getting my section 2 results back.

As usual, I found section 3 to be my strongest. Because I rushed the start last time I sat the GAMSAT, I had a lot of spare time at the end. This time took it relatively easy and managed my timing right.

Now it’s back to work, catching up on lecture recordings and lecture notes neglected in place of studying for my mid-semester tests and this GAMSAT exam.

Cheers,
J