Just got back from Hawaii – overall a good experience, but lots of tourists and expensive.

In terms of the food, highlights include Maguro Brothers (sushi tacos), Marukame Udon (tempura udon), Kyoto Ramen Yottekko-Ya (pork ramen), Ahi Assassins (poké), and Tropical Tribe (açai bowls).

We hiked Diamond Head (moderate – $1 entry fee), Koko Crater (hard – someone needed a helicopter to get down; spent Christmas here) and Manoa falls (easy – muddy shoes).

We visited the Iolani Palace to learn about the Kings and Queens of Hawaii, and the downfall of the monarchy. We checked out the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus. We travelled to the Dole Plantation (which had the world’s largest maze) and the North Shore. We also visited Pearl Harbor and attended the USS Arizona Memorial, which was hauntingly beautiful. We flew to Big Island for a tour and saw an active volcano from a distance. And on New Years Eve, we went snorkelling at Hanauma Bay ($7.50 entrance fee) – there were so many beautiful fishes in the reef!

As with any trip, we also had some bad experiences – tipping awkwardness, the worst restaurant service in my life, and temporarily losing my wallet.




MD1 reflections

So the last of my results came out today. For FBS, I scored 93/120 for MST5, 95/120 for the MCQ/EMQ paper, 117/180 for the SAQ paper, with a 17/20 for CSL participation. For PCP, I scored 33/40 for the headache history (pass mark 26) , 37/40 for the cardiovascular examination (pass mark 27), 30/40 for the jaundice history (pass mark 23), 30/40 for the eye examination (pass mark 26), with a 14/20 for class participation. Overall:


Feedback on PCP1 Semester Two OSCEs 2016

FBS EOY Announcement

Looking back on the year, I’m lucky to have befriended some of the smartest and most hard-working peers I know ; it is truely an honour to call you guys and gal pals friends (thanks for carrying me in the past, present and future; you all know who you are). Although I found MD1 more difficult to do well in, it was nonetheless more enjoyable than undergrad thanks to said friends. Looking forward next year, I don’t feel quite ready for clinical placements – but really, who ever is?



Celebrated my birthday early this year. We went to Red Spice Road for the pork belly and Berlin Bar for the bunk(er) bed. I wanted to see what it would feel like being Santa Claus for a day – so as a gesture of gratitude for each friendship, I got everyone their own small gift and nice card. In the end, I was spoilt instead!

Couldn’t have asked for better company (missing PanPan):

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MD1 exams complete

So I just finished the last of my exams this week, and I’ve spent these past few days organising a small birthday dinner for myself – just to spoil some of my friends you know?

Overall, I found the OSCEs this semester quite fair. We had a headache and a jaundice history, and a cardiovascular and a visual examination. For the jaundice history, I left my stickers in the previous station and lost some time running back for them. As for the visual examination, it was so out of left field – no one (but my tutor) really expected it.

The SAQ paper this year was atrocious. They examined us on such low-yield concepts. On the other hand, the MCQ/EMQ paper was more reflective of the content we learnt this year. Now the exercise, locomotor, reproduction and intersystem blocks MST#5 was an interesting one. I felt so confident upon finishing the test, but then the more you talk to your peers about the questions, the more answers you realised you got wrong.

SWOTFAT this year was probably the most enjoyable one I’ve had. I started a new TV show called We Bare Bears, and so much camembear and bluebearries were consumed – not to mention all the other food we got delivered!

The adventures of Grizz, PanPan and Ice Bear:


Now it’s time to catch up on some friends, reading, movies and TV shows.


MEDevice hackathon, blood donation

Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with Team Baemax – my first year medical student friends and final year bioengineering students. I had so much fun working together and pitching our hack Sole-Guard – a personalised protective foot guard for diabetics in the prevention of foot ulcers. It uses 3D scanning of their feet and 3D printing of the materials to achieve the perfect fit. Out of the 5 amazing teams, we placed 3rd – our team leader (and Queen of Mandareen) was beaming and was so proud of us! There’s just something fantastical about group projects without pressures of assessment.

Sole-Guard Presntation

Having more fun than work:


Feeturing our lovely foot model (double entendre pun intended):



The dream team:




With the judges:


With everyone:


Also, I donated blood for the first time, so look away now if you don’t like the sight of it. Apparently it takes a day to restore your blood volume, but 2 months to restore your red blood cells:



As for now, we have our final block test in a month’s time, and following that our final exams and OSCEs. Fun times ahead.


‘Grand’ medical ball and results

The ball was held last week at the Pullman. Overall, I had a good time – I cheekily rode on my friend’s shoulders and managed to pull off 3 backflips! Here are some photos featuring the Champion of Mandareen and my table members:




Neuroscience, endocrine and metabolism block test results also came out last week. I scored 79/90, which isn’t bad considering the insane average of 80.8%.

Class Distributions for MST#4, MEDS90001 2016

Now I’m on my week’s break, which I hope I’ll use this time wisely. My older brother is soon leaving to work/travel in London for 2 years, so I hope to spend quality time with him. In terms of study, I hope to finish up on the exercise block and start outlining what to revise for in the finals and OSCEs.

What’s new and exciting in store for me is the MEDevice hackathon – where we network and form teams, learn about 3D modelling and 3D printing, and pitch our idea/’hack’ to a panel of judges. I’m also going to donate blood for the first time – last week I had a ‘cough’ and couldn’t donate. So look out for these in my next post.


Writing therapy

Therapeutic post – it’s the day before the neuroscience, endocrine and metabolism block test and here I am writing this post. I never seem to be able to get myself into the mood of studying the day before tests/exams. It’s like a feeling of impending doom; that whatever I study today won’t make a difference tomorrow; that I just want to get it over and done with. Sometimes I wish I knew how to cram like the others – it really is time efficiency at its finest.

Overall, I enjoyed the blocks so far this semester. Neuroscience, although harder to grasp, was definitely more interesting to learn about; endocrine and metabolism on the other hand, were more straightforward and relaxing.

During this time, I had my first session demonstrating anatomy to 2nd year science students. I found it nerve-racking and awkward at the start, but I managed to enjoy it towards the end. I was surprised at how much they all knew (there were some pretty hard questions thrown at me) and the other demonstrators were friendly.

Also, our med hoodies have arrived. They’re super comfortable, however I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it out in public. A part of me says ‘I’ll be judged’, another part of me says ‘who cares?’:



These days, I’ve been getting back into Coldplay for the A Head Full Of Dreams Tour. The Queen of Mandareen is a big fan, and because I thought Mylo Xyloto was their latest album featuring Magic and A Sky Full Of Stars, she definitely was not pleased me! Now we have Coldplay song-offs, where the #coldplaychallenger challenges the #coldplayconnoisseur for the Coldplay Honour, with mandarins at stake of course.


Respite, MDSC, results

This little mid-year break was only 2 weeks, but I’m sure glad I could use it to catch my breath. I didn’t really get up to that much – I just caught up with friends that I haven’t seen for ages, learnt Sungha Jung’s version of moon river on the guitar, and also read up a little on ECGs.

Next thing I knew, it was the week of the MD student conference (MDSC). On the whole, I enjoyed the 4-day conference. There were inspirational speakers, and there were not-so-inspirational speakers. I suppose what I liked the most about it was that we weren’t examined on any of the sessions, so we were able to learn in a stress-free environment.

During the last day conference, we had a little bit of fun with mandarins. Now I know what you’re thinking, but allow me to explain. It kind of started off as an inside joke because our ‘Queen of Mandareen’ in the centre of the photos absolutely adores these fruits. And then somehow along the way, we acquired these mandarin-themed Game of Thrones titles.

From left to right: Champion of Mandareen, Queen of Mandareen, and Lord Commandareen:

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I’m not sure whether this mandarin thing is a passion or becoming an obsession:


Our gastrointestinal and renal block MST, and OSCE results actually came out today. Overall I did better in the MST than the OSCEs – which I suppose gives me more room to grow and improve on the latter. I scored 100/119 on the MST, 34/40 for the physical exam OSCE (pass mark 26), and 32/40 for the patient interview OSCE (pass mark 25). What’s interesting to note is that when they calculate your final PCP grade, they will scale (down I think in this case) the OSCE marks according to their respective pass marks. CSL and PCP participation marks also came out, for which I scored 16/20 and 14/20, respectively.

Not too bad I guess. I’ll be honest, I haven’t asked any of my peers how they went yet, so I don’t really know how I stand amongst them – but then again, who really cares about this kind of stuff anymore?

Class Distributions for MST#3, MEDS90001 2016

Class Distributions for OSCE#1, MEDS90002 2016

Next week, we start the neuroscience block, so I better enjoy the rest of this weekend.


Renal and gastrointestinal block test complete

This week, I finished my first OSCE and the renal and gastrointestinal block test. Overall, I found the OSCE quite a good experience (apart from the lockdown) – I think that the thing I got the most out of it was that I needed to improve on my time management, as I took my sweet time doing the abdominal exam and only got 3/4s of the way through it. As for the the intra-semester test, it started out well, then gradually got harder towards the end. As always, only time will tell how I went for both these assessments.

Next semester, it looks like I’ll be working as an anatomy prac demonstrator for the 2nd year unimelb science students. Even though I’m only on for one session, I think it’ll be a great teaching experience. Because I’m going rural for MD2, hopefully I’ll be reallocated to metro in MD3 and that I can continue to teach!

“I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.” – The Modern Hippocratic Oath

As for my 2 week break before the MD student conference, I’m planning on long-overdue catchups with friends , learning something new on the guitar, and reading up on The ECG Made Easy (John R. Hampton). No way am I going to start studying for the upcoming neuroscience block!

In other news, I have been going through a string of amps and have finally settled on this one – an Orange Crush PiX CR35LDX; a solid-state, 35W, 10″ speaker, with footswitchable overdrive and 16 digital effects: