Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
HOW TO STUDY MEDICINE                          Dr.T.V.Rao MD                     With many years in the Medical Profession...
knowledge and competence. My great fascination to learnCommunity medicine which I think to be called Total Medicine,though...
impossible. You need a more efficient method of learning. Readingjournals can help you keep up on current information, but...
searching and you lose no time with internet. My few words may notsolve all problems I still think learning is an art to b...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

How to study medicine

566

Published on

How to study medicine

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
566
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
14
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "How to study medicine"

  1. 1. HOW TO STUDY MEDICINE Dr.T.V.Rao MD With many years in the Medical Profession andseeing several students I was tempted to write a brief article on howto study medicine. As teachers we were taught how to teach to ourstudents in several medical educational programmes, rarely weteach our students how to study medicine. Many of us just teachwith the concept of our specialization majority think theirspecialization is the entire world. Let us think that we are making araw student into a Doctor to take care of other humans. I was a keenobserver of the events of my life for several years. My writing are notscientific but with interaction with several students and followingtheir careers. The real problem in medicine is same as when I was astudent 4 decades back. The biggest problem in medical educationtoday is an old one: There is too much to know, and not enough timeto learn it. The problem is more acute today than it has been in thepast, because of the great increase in medical information and eventhe addition of new courses in medical colleges. The real questionremains for the student how can one digest and remember so muchinformation. I have just a question how much we have read GraysAnatomy, Robin’s pathology or Oxford Medicine and Harrison’s textbook of Medicine. Despite the importance of reference texts; it canbe difficult to go through them in the short times allotted formedical-college courses. Also, the information can be sooverwhelming that it becomes difficult to see the forest for the trees,and acquire an overall understanding. While it is important to havethe reference text, the initial phase of acquiring understanding isbest achieved through the small books which are plenty, written byour Indian authors which helps us to see the big picture to acquire
  2. 2. knowledge and competence. My great fascination to learnCommunity medicine which I think to be called Total Medicine,though, Park’s community medicine made my thinking easier andmade me realise Medicine is to understand the community thatalone responsible for beginning of many diseases in both developedand developing countries, helps you to see the reality of manydiseases we come across in real practice. Once you’ve managed that,you can delve into the reference texts or elsewhere in greater detailas time permits, and you’ll have greater success than just trying tomemorize information. The stiff competition makes our students tostart preparing for Post graduate entrance from 2nd MBBS and theyrarely concentrate on assigned work during Horsemanship. Studenttime to study for entrance tests the post graduate entrance may belimited, especially since studying often needs to be done while othermedical college courses are underway. However passing theUniversity examinations is important, so is having the understandingnecessary to be a good clinician. While one could review a book thatcontains isolated facts that may appear on the boards, you won’tacquire an understanding this way. Ideally, you should have thisbefore you review isolated facts for the internal assessments anduniversity examination with time as constraint. Such understandingcan be achieved through the small books that focuses on clinicalrelevance and overall understanding, ideally read at the time thecourse is taken, but later if needed. The focus of the entrance for PGcourses is on basic sciences, clinically relevant topics, so that smallbooks will likely contain the most relevant facts for passing it. Onceyou’re on the wards, the question is how to make the most efficientuse of your time in continuing your medical education. Not only isyour time limited, but you’ll often find yourself fatigued from longperiods on clinical duties. Trying to study a book like Harrison’sMedicine from cover to cover is likely to be futile and may be
  3. 3. impossible. You need a more efficient method of learning. Readingjournals can help you keep up on current information, but yourprimary focus in the medical-college years should be on acquiring thegeneral broad information that is common basic knowledge. This initself is a very large task, it has often been said, and I agree, that thebest way to learn and retain medicine is through patient interaction.But to supplement this learning experience, it is important to do acertain amount of critical reading. Learning from your seniors orresidents can be very useful, but the literature is more likely to beaccurate. The most efficient way to do this reading relevant material,in my view, is to ask specific questions about the patient conditionsyou’ve seen during the day, and then seek out specific information inyour reading and then only refer to the online resources. In thiscontest I wish to emphasize yet in my view there is no book likesurgical methods by Dr.DAS. You should have specific questions toresearch, and then look for specific answers. In that way, over time,you will have learned the most important information related to thecommon diseases you are likely to encounter. I am late to realise myteachers advised me Medicine is in a patient and may not beaccurate in Textbooks, now I realise many of my co students whoconcentrated on patients became very successful Physicians andSurgeons, at the same time many who attained many Medals werenot able succeed in real-time practice due lack of understanding therealities of the Society. Today the Internet and online resourcesprovides a much quicker and more efficient way of searching forinformation. By using a general or medical-specific search engine, itis now possible to find important current and practical informationabout virtually any medical condition. Many of us search throughGoogle without fully understanding the full potentials, our searchshould be scientific in feeding words, and today Medicine is aspecialization to the narrow possible extent. Perfect the art of
  4. 4. searching and you lose no time with internet. My few words may notsolve all problems I still think learning is an art to be perfected.However learning medicine becomes easier if we practice learn fromthe patients. I wish to emphasize acquire a general understandingthrough the small, clinically relevant books that provides the overallpicture, so you can see the forest rather than the trees. Humour andmnemonics can help, but understanding is key. Seek out particularpoints of information through the Internet. Keep a reference text athand underline when you have to refer in future. Read journals astime allows, today we see few teachers utilize the Library resource,with loss of major investments in the Libraries. Journals teach diverseways Medicine is understood, and motivate us as future researchers.Keep in mind reading Medicine alone can never make you perfect,read many times with understanding and try to correlate with clinicalpractice, or you are lost in the competitive world.Emaildoctortvrao@gmail.com

×