I am an Anatomy Professor who has taught anatomy to the medical school students in discipline based medical education system for first 10years of academic life. When I started teaching Anatomy in system-based medical education in the later half of my academic life I was surprised to find out that my students in system-based education can retain a lot of anatomy knowledge as they can visualize the application of the contents in the pathology, clinical science contents, PBL triggers and clinical skills sessions.
Surprisingly, medical schools in India still follow the discipline-based medical education. Mostly the students are forced to retain the factual knowledge of Anatomy in this system. When they are in Year 1,they study only Anatomy,Physiology and Biochemistry. Hence it is very difficult for the student to imagine the application of the knowledge of Anatomy learnt in lecture or dissection room.
For example, the students in discipline-based system learn the gross anatomy of the sternum and anterior thoracic wall. They need to memorize the importance of sternal angle without visualizing it as they are still not practising palpation of anterior thoracic wall for apex beat. I know that they learn it provided they are lucky to get a tutor who is a medical doctor, who obviously takes them to the task of palpating intercostal space through palpation of sternal angle in skeleton or over their own body surface marking.
But the lack of Clinical skills practice in traditional discipline based medical education in year 1 does not allow the student to apply their anatomy knowledge automatically.
Dr Nilesh Mitra
Book of the week (BotW) = The Darwin Economy by Prof Frank
Being a medical student and wanna-be-surgeon, I am naturally very competitive. I know exactly where I want to end up in life. I want to be a surgeon at a major unit doing research, teaching and management, as well as many other things. To reach this goal in a rational way I, and many others like me, need to look at what is required and make sure that we tick the boxes. We must also out-compete every other budding surgeon with a similar interest.
Medicine is also a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to getting the job you want. Luckily you can head off into almost any field you find interesting, as long as you have the points on your CV to get access to the training. In recent years, the number of med students has increased, but so has the competition for places. The number of FY1 jobs has increased but so has the competition for good rotations. The number of consultant posts has increased, but so has the competition for the jobs.
To even be considered for an interview for a consultant surgeon post these days a candidate (hopefully my future self) will have to demonstrate an excellent knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and demography. They will need to have competent surgical skills and have completed all of the hours and numbers of procedures. To further demonstrate this they will need to have gone on extra-curricular courses and fellowships. They will also need to show that they can teach and have been doing so regularly. They must now also have an understanding of medical leadership and have a portfolio of projects. Finally, they will have had to tick the research box, with posters, publications, oral presentations and research degrees.
That’s a long list of tick boxes and guess what? It has been getting longer! I regularly attend a surgical research collaborative meeting in Birmingham. Many of those surgeons didn’t even get taught about research at medical school or publish anything until they were registrars. Now even to get onto a good Core Training post you need to have at the very least some posters in your chosen field and probably a minimum of a publication. That’s a pretty big jump in standards in just 15 years.
In two generations the competition has increased exponentially. Why is that?
Prof Frank explains economic competition in Darwinian terms. His insights apply equally well to the medical training programme. It’s all about your relative performance compared to your peers and the continual arms race for the best resources (training posts). However, the catch is, if everyone ups their performance by the same amount then you all work harder for no more advantage for anyone, except for the first few people who made the upgrade. The majority do not benefit but are in fact harmed by this continual arms race.
I believe that this competition will only get worse as each new year of med students tries to keep up and surpass the previous cohort. This competition will inevitably lead to a greater time commitment from the students with no potential gain. Everything we do is relative to everyone else. If we up our game, we will outperform the competition, until they catch up with us and then relatively we are no better off but are working harder.
Why is this relevant?
I know everyone will want to select “the best” candidate, but in medicine the “best” candidate doesn’t really exist because we are all almost equally capable of doing the role, once we have had the training. So there is no point us all working ourselves into the ground for a future job, if all our hard work won’t pay off for most of us anyway. But we can’t make these choices as individuals because if one of us says that “I am not going to play the game. I am going to enjoy my free time with my friends and family”, that person won’t get the competitive job because everyone else will out-perform them. We have to tackle this issue as a cohort.
How do we ensure that we don’t work ourselves into the ground for nothing?
Collectively as medical students and trainees we should ask the BMA and Royal Collages to set out a strict application process that means once candidates have met the minimum requirements, there is no more points for additional effort. For instance, the application form for a surgical consultant post should only have space to include 5 peer-reviewed publications. That way it wouldn’t necessarily matter if you had 5 or 50 publications.
This limit may seem counter-intuitive and will possibly work against the highly competitive high achievers, but it will have a positive effect on everyone else’s life. Imagine if you only had to write 5 papers in your career to guarantee a chance at a job, instead of having to write 25. All that extra time you would have had to invest in extra-curricular research can now be used more productively by you to achieve other life goals, like more time with your family or more patient contact or even more time in theatre perfecting your skills.
If you were selecting candidates for senior clinicians, would you rather pick an all round doctor who has met all of the requirements and has a balanced work-life balance or a neurotic competitor who hasn’t slept in 8 years and is close to a breakdown?
Being a doctor is more than a profession, it is a life-style choice but we should try to prevent it becoming our entire lives.
As the days are slowly getting longer, and spring looms in the near future, it can only be the deep inhale of the medical student ready to embrace the months of revision that lies ahead. Books are dusted off the shelves and Gray's anatomy wrenched open with an immense sigh of distain. But which book should we be pulling off the shelves? If you're anything like me then you're a medical book hoarder. Now let me "Google define" this geeky lexis lingo - a person who collects medical books (lots of medical books) and believes by having the book they will automatically do better!... I wish with a deep sigh! So when I do actually open the page of one, as they are usually thrown across the bed-room floor always closed, it is important to know which one really is the best to choose?!?
These are all the crazy thoughts of the medical book hoarder, however, there is some sanity amongst the madness. That is to say, when you find a really good medical book and get into the topic you start to learn stuff thick and fast, and before you know it you’ll be drawing out neuronal pathways and cardiac myocyte action potentials. Yet, the trick is not picking up the shiniest and most expensive book, oh no, otherwise we would all be walking around with the 130 something pounds gray’s anatomy atlas. The trick is to pick a book that speaks to you, and one in which you can get your head around – It’s as if the books each have their own personality.
Here are a list of books that I would highly recommend:
Tortora – Principles of anatomy and physiology
Tortora is a fantastic book for year 1 medical students, it is the only book I found that truly bridges the gap between A levels and medical students without going off on a ridiculous and confusing tangent.
While it lacks subtle detail, it is impressive in how simplified it can make topics appear, and really helps build a foundation to anatomy and physiology knowledge
The whole book is easy to follow and numerous pretty pictures and diagrams, which make learning a whole lot easier.
Tortora scores a whopping 8/10 by the medical book hoarder
Sherwood – From cells to systems
Sherwood is the marmite of the medical book field, you either love this book or your hate it.
For me, Sherwood used to be my bible in year two. It goes into intricate physiological detail in every area of the body. It has great explanations and really pushes your learning to a greater level than tortora in year one. The book doesn’t just regurgitate facts it really explores concepts.
I cannot be bias, and I must say that I know a number of people who hate this book in every sense of the word. A lot of people think there is too much block text without distractions such as pictures or tables. They think the text is very waffly, not getting straight to the point and sometimes discusses very advanced concepts that do not appear relevant
The truth be told, if you want to study from Sherwood you need to a very good attention span and be prepared to put in the long-hours of work so it’s not for everyone. Nonetheless, if you manage to put the effort in, you will reap the rewards!
Sherwood scores a fair 5-6/10 by the medical book hoarder
Moore & Dalley – Clinical anatomy
At first glance Moore & Dalley can be an absolute mindfield with an array of pastel colours that all amalgamate into one! It’s also full of table after table of muscle and blood vessels with complicated diagrams mixed throughout. This is not a medical book for the faint hearted, and if your foundation of anatomy is a little shakey you’ll fall further down the rabbit hole than Alice ever did.
That being said, for those who have mastered the simplistic anatomy of tortora and spent hours pondering anatomy flash cards, this may be the book for you.
Moore & Dalley does not skimp on the detail and thus if you’re willing to learn the ins and out of the muscles of the neck then look no further. Its sections are actually broken down nicely into superficial and deep structures and then into muscles, vessels, nerves and lymph, with big sections on organs.
This is a book for any budding surgeon!
Moore & Dalley scores a 6/10 by the medical book hoarder
Macleod’s clinical examination
Clinical examination is something that involves practical skills and seeing patients, using your hands to manipulate the body in ways you never realised you could. Many people will argue that the day of the examination book is over, and it’s all about learning while on the job and leaving the theory on the book shelf.
I would like to oppose this theory, with claims that a little understanding of theory can hugely improve your clinical practice.
Macleod’s takes you through basic history and examination skills within each of the main specialties, discussing examination sequences and giving detailed explanations surrounding examination findings. It is a book that you can truly relate to what you have seen or what you will see on the wards. My personal opinion is that preparation is the key, and macleod’s is the ultimate book to give you that added confidence become you tackle clinical medicine on the wards
Macleod’s clinical examination scores a 7/10 by the medical book hoarder
Oxford textbook of clinical pathology
When it comes to learning pathology there are a whole host of medical books on the market from underwood to robbins. Each book has its own price range and delves into varying degrees of complexity. Robbins is expensive and a complex of mix of cellular biology and pathophysiological mechanisms. Underwood is cheap, but lacking in certain areas and quite difficult to understand certain topics. The Oxford textbook of clinical pathology trumps them all.
The book is fantastic for any second year or third year attempting to learn pathology and classify disease. It is the only book that I have found that neatly categories diseases in a way in which you can follow, helping you to understand complications of certain diseases, while providing you with an insight into pathology.
After reading this book you’ll be sure to be able to classify all the glomerulonephritis’s while having at least some hang of the pink and purples of the histological slide.
Oxford textbook of clinical pathology scores a 8/10 by the medical book hoarder
Medical Pharmacology at glance
Pharmacology is the arch nemesis of the Peninsula student (well maybe if we discount anatomy!!), hours of time is spent avoiding the topic followed immediately by hours of complaining we are never taught any of it. Truth be told, we are taught pharmacology, it just comes in drips and drabs. By the time we’ve learnt the whole of the clotting cascade and the intrinsic mechanisms of the P450 pathway, were back on to ICE’ing the hell out of patients and forget what we learned in less than a day.
Medical pharmacology at a glance however, is the saviour of the day. I am not usually a fan of the at a glance books. I find that they are just a book of facts in a completely random order that don’t really help unless you’re an expert in the subject. The pharmacology version is different: It goes into just the right amount of detail without throwing you off the cliff with discussion about bioavailability and complex half-life curves relating to titration and renal function.
This book has the essential drugs, it has the essential facts, and it is the essential length, meaning you don’t have to spend ours reading just to learn a few facts!
In my opinion, this is one of those books that deserves the mantel piece!
Medical Pharmacology at a glance scores a whopping 9/10 by the medical book hoarder.
Anatomy colouring book
This is the last book in our discussion, but by far the greatest. After the passing comments about this book by my housemates, limited to the sluggish boy description of “it’s terrible” or “its S**t”, I feel I need to hold my own and defend this books corner. If your description of a good book is one which is engaging, interesting, fun, interaction, and actually useful to your medical learning then this book has it all.
While it may be a colouring book and allows your autistic side to run wild, the book actually covers a lot of in depth anatomy with some superb pictures that would rival any of the big anatomical textbooks. There is knowledge I have gained from this book that I still reel off during the question time onslaught of surgery.
Without a doubt my one piece of advice to all 1st and 2nd years would be BUY THIS BOOK and you will not regret it!
Anatomy colouring book scores a tremendous 10/10 by the medical book hoarder
Let the inner GEEK run free and get buying:)!!
Just as a bit of an intro, my name is Conrad Hayes, I'm a 4th year medical student studying in Staffordshire. My medical school are quite big on getting us into the habit of writing down reflections. It's something I feel I do subconsciously whilst I'm with patients or in teaching sessions, but frankly I suck at the written bit and I feel on the whole it's probably because there's nobody discussing this with us or telling me I'm an idiot for some of the things I may think/say!
So I think if I'm going to attempt to complete a blog then I am going to do it in a reflective style and I do look forward to peoples feedback and discussions. I'll try to do it daily and see if that works out well, or weekly. But hopefully even if it doesn't get much response it can just be a store for me to look back on things! (Providing I keep up with it).
So I'll start now, with a short reflection on my career aspirations which have been pretty much firmed up, but today I gave a presentation that I felt really galvanised me into this. So I want to do Emergency Medicine and Expedition Medicine (on the side more than as my main job). Emergency Medicine appeals to me as I love primary care and being the first to see patients, but I want to see them when they're ill and have a role in the puzzle solving, as it were, that is their issues. Possibly more to the point I want to do this in a high pressure environment where acutely ill individuals come in, and I feel (having done placements in A&E and GP and AMU) A&E is the place for me to be.
Expedition Medicine on the other hand is something I accidentally stumbled upon really. In 2nd year I was part of a podcast group MedHeads that we tried to set up at my medical school. I interviewed Dr Amy Hughes of Expedition & Wilderness Medicine, a UK company, and I got really excited about the concepts she was talking about. Practicing medicine in the middle of nowhere, limited resources and sometimes only personal accumen and ingenuity to help you through. It sounded perfect! And since then I've wanted to do it, particularly being interested in Mountain Medicine and getting involved with some research groups.
Today in front of my group I gave a presentation on the effects of altitude on the brain (I'm on Neurology at the moment and we had to pick a topic that interested us). I spoke for 15 minutes, a concept that usually terrifies me truth be told, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Now I've given a fair number of presentations but this was the first time I was actively excited and really happy about talking! It seems to me that if that isn't the definition of why you should go for a job, then I need to talk to a careers advisor. This experience has definitely ensured I pursue this course with every resource I have available to me!
I would be interested in hearing how other people feel about their careers panning out and what got them into it so feel free to leave a comment!!
Fluoroscopy with Videography Showing Deployment of the Valve: The valve is deployed during rapid right ventricular pacing. The crimped valve and support frame are expanded with underlying balloon inflation. Also seen are the transesophageal echocardiography probe and the temporary right ventricular pacing lead.
Animation of the Complete Transfemoral Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Implantation (TAVI) Procedure: The procedure for transfemoral TAVI involves insertion of the sheath through the femoral artery, retrograde balloon aortic valvuloplasty, advancement of the TAVI system across the aortic valve, and subsequent deployment of the valve and support frame.
This question is about the somatic nervous system (SNS).
I read that this the SNS part of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and that it controls skeletal muscle. It is therefore thought to be voluntary. In contrast, the autonomic nervous system controls smooth muscle, under involuntary control.
What I'm wondering is if reflex arcs (or reflexes) are controlled by the autonomic nervous system, why is it making use of skeletal muscle?
Take the example of the reaction of moving your hand away when it is placed on something hot. These motor commands come from the autonomic nervous system but control the arm muscles that are normally controlled consciously. In other words things normally controlled voluntarily.
The response was activated by the ANS, and was therefore automatic, but the muscles supplied by these motor commands were skeletal muscles? Can someone explain this (contradition) or perhaps correct my wrong thinking?