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TOP TIPS FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS THIS ACADEMIC YEAR


As we draw close to the new academic year of 2021, many medical students would be curious to know what awaits them in their new school year. This blog features mini-interviews with a group of students, each from different years to tell you what lies in store...

Advice for Year 1 Students


Exclusive Interview with

Toluwani Olusoga

(ACMAs Mentor Scheme Lead)


What are the top five tips you would give a student entering Year 1?


  1. Try and join clubs related to medicine. They run great revision sessions as well as helping you spark an interest in a particular area of medicine.

  2. Saying this, also join clubs outside of medicine. If you have a passion, don't stop it! Stay well-rounded and remember it's always good to have a break.

  3. Revise/study from day 1, so it doesn't build up too much come test time.

  4. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice! If you're struggling, someone else probably is too. Ask people in your year, people in older years, medic parents, student mentors, personal tutor and/or other academic staff.

  5. Enjoy every second of it!


What is one thing to look forward to in Year 1?


It would be starting CBL in January. PCS is tough but be encouraged that it won't last forever.


What is something unexpected that happened in Year 1 that you weren't prepared for?


That would be having to give presentations on topics you may not know a lot about during SSC week.


What is one piece of advice you would give your Year 1 past self?


Say YES. Try and make the most of every opportunity. You never know who you may meet or what skills you may learn.



Advice for Year 2 Students

Exclusive Interview with

Muwi Adoghe

(ACMAs Health & Wellbeing Lead)


What are the top five tips you would give a student entering Year 2?


  1. Find a balance – put the continual work in but also do things you enjoy to keep you sane.

  2. Focus on and enjoy the process of learning during cases – try not to get bogged down with exams and results cause if you are making the most of each case, you learn what you need for exams anyway.

  3. With ISCEs make a list of what you need to know and grab a group of friends to start crossing stuff off slowly – you’ll thank yourself in summer.

  4. Find a revision method that works for you – it is important not to compare yourself with how other’s do things (this literally makes such a difference for your mental health). For me, ANKI and question banks like Peerwise helped, but others revised very differently – ask around in older years for advice.

  5. Take part in societies – it’s a great way to meet people similar to you.


What is one thing to look forward to in Year 2?


You start to have more independence and self-guided learning. You can make cases your own in terms of how you like to learn, and SSCs are a brilliant way to start delving deeper into individual interests. Also probably the most ‘free time’ you’ll have in medical school!


What is something unexpected that happened in Year 2 that you weren't prepared for?


Adjusting to medical school during a pandemic. Luckily now we’re coming out on the other end but one piece of advice, if things continue online, is to try and follow the timetable. Once you start skipping lectures and telling yourself you will watch them back later you may fall off and end up having way too much to catch up on – at least if you are a lazy person like me.


What is one piece of advice you would give your Year 2 past self?


Compared to earlier on in the year, the last couple months of year 2 gets very intense. We had two SSC projects, reflective writings, and all the summative exams while still having two more cases to finish. If I could go back I would start doing some things earlier on in the year when you have a lot more time free – or at least make use of the Easter holiday.



Advice for Year 3 Students

Exclusive Interview with

Hanna Jegina

(ACMAs Clinical Lead)


What are the top five tips you would give a student entering Year 3?


  1. Remember to do your SLEs throughout the block - do not wait until the last two weeks to get them done.

  2. PassMedicine is so useful - you learn a lot by doing SBAs.

  3. Write out SBAs as well as doing them - it really does help you learn.

  4. Make a list of all the assignments and deadlines you need to get done in the term - it really helped me to keep on top of everything.

  5. Have fun! The third-year was my fave year by far - get brunch with your friends, join fun societies, remember to relax especially after exams.


What is one thing to look forward to in Year 3?


The last month of third year is so fun, all your exams are done and assignments are completed. You can enjoy being a student without too much stress.


What is something unexpected that happened in Year 3 that you weren't prepared for?


I didn't anticipate having so many deadlines in April, as well as an exam.


What is one piece of advice you would give your Year 3 past self?


Make the most out of placement, ask as many questions as you want and don't be afraid to approach the doctors and nurses on the wards.



Advice for Year 4 Students

Exclusive Interview with

Linn Mensouh

(MedSoc President)


What are the top five tips you would give a student entering Year 4?


  1. Attend placement with goals in mind of what you want to achieve.

  2. Find study buddies that hold you accountable.

  3. Utilise patient interactions to practice history taking and examinations.

  4. Start early and remain consistent with studying - a little and often goes a long way.

  5. Things might not go to plan, but that’s okay!


What is one thing to look forward to in Year 4?


The relief of passing ISCEs!


What is something unexpected that happened in Year 4 that you weren't prepared for?


Saying yes to new opportunities and feeling overwhelmed.


What is one piece of advice you would give your Year 4 past self?


Remember to have some downtime and have fun!


That wraps up the mini-interviews! Hopefully, this was helpful, giving a little insight and advice on what you would be expecting this coming year.

If you have any further questions at all, feel free to drop a comment down below as we love hearing from you!

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