Academic Success Centre – Getting support with your studies at St George’s

This blogpost was written by Olga Rodriguez Falcon, Lecturer in Learning Development.

Decorative image, of student sitting at a desk in front of the laptop smiling at the camera.

Whether this is your first year at St George’s or you’re now continuing your studies, there are always lots of uncertainties and worries when starting a new academic year. This year particularly so, since you’ll probably need to adapt again to new ways of learning after a long period of mostly online study. Having ambivalent feelings on this, at the same time excited and worried, is very normal. We’re all feeling them, and it definitely helps to know you’re not alone in feeling this way. These are some of the questions that might be going through your head right now:

  • Is there anything I need to be doing to make sure I’m on top of things from day one?
  • Should I change the way I usually take notes and revise this year?
  • Is my academic writing good enough for the type of assignments I’ll have this year?
  • How can I know whether I’m on the right track with my studies?

Getting together with your peers to have honest discussions on these questions will make them less daunting, and you might end up going away with some very useful tips. At St George’s, there is also a dedicated team of Learning Developers that can offer you support and advice on how to maximise your learning and explore any study issues.

First, have a look at our Canvas page: Study+. You should be automatically enrolled as a St George’s student. There you will find lots of very useful self-directed resources that will help with your studies. For example, there is a whole section dedicated to ‘Effective Study and Revision’. This section is very popular with students and can offer ideas on how to approach the material differently, so that you understand it and can apply it to different contexts – instead of just remembering it to pass exams. There are also sections on ‘Academic writing’, ‘Referencing’ and other relevant topics to university study. Try to spend some time going through some of them.

Study plus banner

Our team also offers one-to-one appointments. During these appointments, you can discuss in confidentiality any issues you’re having with your studies. We can offer support and advice on a variety of topics, including effective study strategies, writing academic assignments and English language help. And the good news is, this year we can offer both in-person and online appointments so we can accommodate the needs of your specific circumstances. You can book an appointment via Study + (Click on ‘Academic Success’) or directly using this link: https://10to8.com/book/sgul/

Finally, if you have a quick enquiry for us that might not require a one-to-one appointment, or you’re not able to find a date and time that suits you, you can contact us directly using this email address: AS@sgul.ac.uk. We check this email regularly and try to respond as soon as possible.

We look forward to meeting you!

Photos of Learning Development lecturers, Rosie and Olga.

App Review: Dermatology: Medical Student Edition

The latest in our series of app reviews is a guest post by MBBS student Michelle Warncke. If you are interested in reviewing an app or resources for the blog, please email us at: liaison@sgul.ac.uk                      


Quick Look Post

Name: Dermatology: Medical Student Edition

Publisher: British Association of Dermatologists

Devices: Available on Android (version 2.2+) and Apple unnameddevices

Other requirements: Requires 10MB of memory.

Tested on:  Lenovo P2

Available from: Google Play and the App Store, although the iOS version is currently being re-coded.

Price: Free

For: Anyone who wants to prepare for their YSKTs, OSCEs, or simply to explore dermatology.

  • Main Pros: Simple language, lots of pictures and a wide range of topics.
  • Main Cons: There could be more practice questions with varied pictures.


Type of Information:
Handy guides to clinical examinations, dermatology concepts, and different conditions. Exam preparation help with practice questions including how to describe lesions.

 

One of the most difficult points of dermatology is differentiating rashes and learning how to describe them. This app helps practice just that!

The dermatology app includes sections for learning and for examination preparation.

The learning section includes:

  • Basic concepts: Anatomy and physiology.
  • Essential clinical skills: How to take a dermatology history, how to do an OSCE style examination, and how to describe any lesions you might find.
  • Practical skills: Patient education, written communication, prescribing skills, and clinical examination/investigations.
  • Disease profiles: Emergencies, infections, cancers, common problems.
  • Management: Topical and oral.

The exam section includes:

  • Case scenarios
  • Picture quizzes
  • 113 randomized questions

This free app is very useful because of how simple and clear it is. Its folders are easy to navigate and ordered logically. The descriptions are relatively free of medical jargon, and any more difficult terms are accompanied by very indicative pictures. These pictures are used again in the practice questions. The rehearsal is helpful in making associations and has made even practice questions on other apps easier.  The British Association of Dermatologists designed this app for both medical students and junior doctors, and we can definitely see ourselves using it as a refresher on clinics or on the wards in our foundation years.

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Thanks again to Michelle Warncke for writing this review. Please note, all app reviews on this blog are subject to St George’s Library mobile resources disclaimer. Please take the time to read it carefully.

PathCAL – A pathology and pathophysiology e-resource

PathCAL is a Library subscribed resource with a wide range of tutorials on Pathology and Pathophysiology topics. Each tutorial within the resource outlines its target audience, who has written the content, when it was last updated and the objectives of the tutorial so you can assess if it’s right for your studies. PathCAL covers a wide range of topics from diagnostic techniques through to specific diseases.

pathcal

The tutorials themselves guide you through the topic, though wider reading around the subject is essential, and has regular quizzes to test your knowledge. The quizzes vary between multiple-choice and short, written statements that you can benchmark against appropriate answers. Additionally, PathCAL has a range of images and photographs embedded in its tutorials to aid with understanding concepts and topics.

To access PathCAL you should go through the Library’s databases list and look for PathCAL. If you are onsite you can click through to get direct access to the resource, if you are offsite you will need to login using your University username and password. NHS staff also have access to this resource but only onsite using the computer rooms adjacent to the Library.

Free exam resources for junior doctors

image of students studying

MRCPass – https://www.mrcpass.com

  • Notes on topics covered in MRCP Part 1
  • 130 MCQ questions
  • Bookmark questions
  • Choose questions by topic
  • Track statistics
  • Look back over wrong answers

Revise MRCP – http://www.revisemrcp.com/

  • Covers MRCP Parts 1 and 2
  • Over 5,000 MCQs arranged by topic
  • Free to sign up
  • Past papers going back to September 2010

Medexam.net – http://www.medexam.net/

  • Over 1,800 MCQs with detailed answers
  • Updated with new information every day
  • Covers MRCP, MRCGP and PLAB exams

Exam Doctor – http://examdoctor.co.uk/

  • Sign up for a free seven-day trial – there is an app if you pay for a subscription
  • Over 35,000 MCQs
  • Mock exam feature

Almost a Doctor – http://almostadoctor.co.uk/

  • Works like Wikipedia – put together by registered users but subject to quality control
  • Contains notes, mindmaps, flashcards and an OSCE checklist
  • Blogs from other junior doctors
  • Lots of notes on different topics

PassMed – http://www.passmed.co.uk/

  • Notes on study skills, revision, history taking and clinical skills
  • Free – being created by a group of currently working junior doctors
  • Aims to cover material that is ‘hard-to-find’ in textbooks
  • You can download the entire web site as an app

 

Information reused with permission from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Medical students: test your knowledge and win an iPad

OnExamination from BMJ Learning are currently running a competition Practice makes Perfect for medical students to test knowledge. You also have the chance to win an iPad. The competition ends at the beginning of March 2011.

OnExamination also have a range of revision materials for medical students. Those for freshers (ie first term) are free, but for subsequent years charges apply (typically £35 for 3 months access).