How to thrive in your 2nd second year at medical school

Assalamualaikum everyone!! I’m Huma Malik your second year coordinator. 

First of all congratulations on getting through first year!! Especially POM 🤢. 

As your year coordinator I’ll be organising your BRS and LMAP tutorials for the year and helping you all as much as I can. Second year can be a tough one but if you stay on top of everything then it should be smooth sailing inshAllah! 

 

BRS

You’ve all done BRS in first year so you know how it works. BRS this year essentially builds on everything you learnt last year whilst adding in more details and concepts to really perfect your knowledge on each system and prepare you before you enter your clinical years. Since it is your main exam, my advice to you all is to stay on top of your lectures!!! Once you fall behind it can be really easy to let everything pile up and it can be hard to catch up once you’ve started the next system. 

I recommend you look at your breakdowns for your results from first year and identify your weakest topics/systems and really spend time understanding those. Chances are if you didn’t understand it in first year it’s going to make it harder to build on in second year. In terms of exams and year 1 knowledge you don’t need to know everything from first year again but anything that is relevant from first year will be mentioned in your lectures. 

 

LMAP

LMAP consists of a epidemiology, health coaching, health through the life course, global health and power and politics. 

Epidemiology is the most content heavy out of all of these and you finish it by Christmas so I would definitely use your Christmas break to solidify your epidemiology understanding to make it easier for you later. This exam is new therefore, there aren’t many questions you can do to prepare for it but making sure you understand the content is key to being able to apply it to different scenarios. 

 

ANATOMY

Flashcards is definitely the best form of revision when it comes to anatomy. The amount of anatomy you need to know increases significantly this year. Please do your pre-reading before your sessions even if it’s just skimming through it. When I was in first year I was told REPETITION is key in anatomy, and looking over stuff before you go in means you’ll have read a word, and seen a diagram one more time than if you hadn’t. When it comes to the actual sessions, constantly quiz each other in your groups and make sure you go through the instructions given as it provides a good structure to the session. Summarising throughout is also really helpful. Do not be afraid to ask questions!! You aren’t expected to know everything and if you don’t know the answer to a question, chances are someone else won’t know either. Consolidating after your sessions is also key and ideally this should be done the day after your sessions. 

 

CPA

Make use of your in person sessions and just practice practice practice. The questions you will be asked after the examinations are quite simple and you’ll most likely know them from your BRS teaching so don’t stress about that. Also don’t forget to sign up for the tutoring scheme and the MM mock when it gets released!

 

REVISION

In terms of revision hopefully you’ve all tried and tested different techniques and you know what works best for you. You will have access to a deck of flashcards created by students in the year above and lots of notes (keep ur eyes on the MM website for this 👀). With this being the first time you will have done in person exams, it is essential you use active recall techniques to help you memorise all the content. 

 

SOCIAL

Second year can be intense but it is equally important to have your down time. A lot of you will be involved in society positions this year and will have more responsibilities to juggle. It’s essential you find the right balance and don’t stretch yourself out too much. Conversely, you can’t spend your entire day doing lectures and nothing else. They say if the only thing you leave with at the end of the 6 years is your degree then you’ve done university wrong. Socities can teach you important skills and please remember that having fun is not wasting time. If you’re organised then you will be able to do well and have fun. 

Hopefully I have not overwhelmed you with advice. But just remember to pace yourselves this year and inshAllah all your hard work will pay off. 

If you have any questions feel free to drop me an email: hm719@ic.ac.uk

Good luck! 

Huma Malik 

2nd Year Coordinator 

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