4th Year of Medical School Round Up

Hello everyone! How are you doing? It’s been a long time since I posted my last content here on my blog, but I hope I can get back to it and be more consistent during this summer! So two weeks ago I had my OSCE exam, which is a practical exam testing all your clinical skills. Every country has their own interpretation of OSCE. We had 15 stations to prepare for, including gynaecology, pathology, diabetes, electrolytes, resuscitating on adults and children/babies, microbiology, virology, diagnostic of the joints lab diagnostic, bedside tests, ECG, GI, Surgery, operative risks and conversational skills. We had a maximum of 5 minutes on each station where we had to read the instruction and then answer the questions and presenting the asked skill practically due an one to one conversation with a doctor or professor. It was a stressful experience as you can imagine, but the stuff we learned for that exam was super helpful. I honestly think that OSCE is one of the most meaningful exams I had in Med school so far. Passing OSCE is a requirement on our Uni to step up into 5th year and there is only one test date available this year – so that meant that if we don’t pass, we must take a year off school!

Luckily, we got our results two days ago, so I can officially say that with OSCE, my 4th year of Medical school came to an end.

This year was the most relaxing academical year I had so far. The winter semester started of with Public Health, a subject which I (to my own surprise) found very interesting. We talked about cultural differences in handling with illness and death, potential pathogen in our day to day lives and in workplaces, and we learned about the generell health care systems and their differences. Then we had a little bit of Internal Medicine where we covered basically every organ system and had a pretty stressful ECG oral exam afterwards. I also took my very last pharmacology exam of med school (we celebrated big time) on psychiatric drugs as well as anesthetics.

During that semester, I also finally found a topic for my Diploma thesis at the Pediatric Cardiology Department at my Uni! I started meeting with my supervisor very frequently and wrote a huge chunk of the thesis during winter. Starting my thesis felt amazing and was quite liberating. I was in charge of what I do when and everything was completely in my hands which was a nice change for me as we don’t get that that often in Uni.

After Christmas, we had a three weeks marathon session of Dermatology. Our Seminars started everyday at 8:15 am and run until 11:30 and they we’re pretty much set like a lecture. I found Dermatology extremely interesting and although the setting sometimes became quite tiring (I’m not a lecture person), I found that it was so well organized by our Uni and I learned a hell lot. February came, and that month was supposed to be my dedicated study month for our exam, which is called SIP4. It covered Public Health, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Dermatology, and Pain management. We had the whole month off school, but as I shared here a while ago, I got super ill. Somehow, I managed to study through and luckily pass my exam!

Spring came and the new semester started on a very, very relaxed tone. I honestly had weeks and weeks were we didn’t had any tests, only one seminar a week and the lectures in the mornings. The semester started with Psychiatry. We had seminars were we watched old therapy sessions with mentally ill patients and discussed everything afterwards (still very disturbed about the Robertson studies), had to do our own conversations with actor-patients and learned about the basic, most common mental syndromes such as borderline, depression, being suicidal, anxiety disorder and trauma. I then had a few seminars on statistics in preparation for my thesis, which were very helpful and also did a lot of elective courses, choosing psychology based subjects. Meanwhile, I was working on my thesis and examined my first couple of patients for it, who mainly are anorexic teens. Also, I started studying a bit harder for USMLE STEP 1 during April/May, mainly using First Aid. Time flew by and June came, where I mostly studied for OSCE!

My favourite subject this year was definitely Dermatology. Derma is one of those subjects (next to Psychiatry) which gets a lot of stigma and prejudices from medical students and even full educated doctors, which I find so annoying and undeserved. I’m going to attend a Clerkship in August in Derma for the first time and I’m just so excited to deepen my knowledge in that field. Derma is going to be my first non internal medicine Clerkship I’ll attend and since I don’t really know which speciality I want to choose, but I kinda know already that internal medicine is not the right path for me, I’m beyond excited to gain a bit more experience at other subjects!

I cannot believe that I just have two years of school left before I graduate (we do 6 years in total). Two years may sound like a long time, but considering that we already are going to start our clinical rotation from October on and the fact that I am going to leave Vienna by January next year for good makes everything past so quickly!

So that’s a little round up for my 4th year and congratulations to everyone who rocked another year at Uni or school! I hope it has been a great one for you and I would love hearing your experiences! What was the biggest challenge for you so far this year and did you enjoy the most?

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