I wrote these reviews on the ATAR Notes forum, but they'd probably be of more use to people here so I'll transfer them over with some updates given retrospection. Happy to field questions about the course in this thread. Note that I started the degree while it was 'just' an MBBS, since then it's moved from MBBS(Hons), to a BMedSc/MD program, thus there may be some old information here, but most elements will still be relevant for the current students. I'll also provide bonus reviews on the BMedSc(Hons) which I was lucky to complete with first class honours in 2016. Subject Code/Name: MED1011 - Medicine 1 Workload: per week: 12 x 1hr lectures + 1 x 2 hr prac + 4 x 2 hr tutorials + 3.5 hr PBL (Problem Based Learning tutorial) + occasional site visit Assessment: For the semester - 25% Mid-Semester Test, 50% Case Commentary Assignment, 25% End of Semester Exam (formative assignments include practical write-ups and weekly quizzes). In terms of the year - 5% Mid-Semester Test, 10% Case Commentary Assignment, 5% End of Semester Exam Recorded Lectures: Yes, with screen capture that includes lectures notes being written on (although some things were written on overhead slides) Past exams available: No, the Faculty has published a document with threats to expel students from the course if they are caught compiling past questions or distributing or using past compilations. All past compilations have been removed from the MUMUS site. Textbook Recommendation: Clinical Examination A Systematic Guide 7th - O'Connor and Talley* General Anatomy - Adams, Ahern, Briggs and Eizenberg* Langman's Medical Embryology 11th - Sadler Life The Science of Biology 9th - Berenbaum, Heller, Hillis and Sadva* Medical Sciences 1st - Court, Naish, Revest Microbes in Motion 3 - Delisle and Tomalty Neuroscience Exploring the Brain 3rd - Bear, Connors and Pradiso Rang and Dale's Pharmacology 7th - Dale, Flower, Henderson, Rang and Ritter* Textbook of Medical Physiology 12th - Guyton and Hall Wheater's Functional Histology A Text and Colour Atlas 5th - Heath, Lowe, Stevens and Young * means essential Lecturer(s): Many, depending on the series of lecture (biochemistry, cancer, pharmacology, haemotology, immunology, pathology, etc.) Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2012 Comments: I'll say this from the onset, your first few weeks in the degree can often feel like this... ...and that is completely normal! It's worth realising now that uni is not like school, you won't breeze through uni like you did in school. You just won't. No one does. No one. Everyone here is as smart or smarter than you, and the Faculty knows it. So your exam and assignment results might not be hitting that 95%, or heck, might not even hit that 70%. And that is FINE. Transitioning to uni is different for everyone, some get used to it in weeks, others take years. First year, in comparison to the rest of the degree, is hardly worth anything at all. Your first exam and assignments are worth a fraction of that. Please don't stress too much if you end up being in the bottom quartile of students for a particular assessment, you're still smart and still deserve to be there. Focus on learning from your mistakes and mixing up your study routine, and eventually things will fall your way. One more thing I'll add before I get into the nitty-gritty. Med students have a horrible habit of still caring about high school. It's not unusual for you to field silly questions about ATARs or UMATs or Bonded/ERC status. Let me tell you this: I came into the degree knowing I was in the bottom 25% (in fact, I was cheekily informed I had the lowest ATAR in my row in a lecture once, and my ATAR was still 99+), but I finished Year IV into the top 25%. How you did in school, is largely irrelevant. Uni is a clean slate, and no one should care about your ATAR and UMAT, especially you. Time to move on. Alright with that mini-rant out of the way, let's talk about the nitty-gritty. For some, this actually starts with the Biology Bridging Course. I personally did VCE Biology, but I delved into the bridging course mainly out of boredom. In all honesty, it's a decent course, but it's much harder to retain knowledge online compared to others who had a whole semester or two to learn that same things during school. Therefore, if you haven't done high-school Biology, you will be at a disadvantage, but it's worth noting that this disadvantage is only evident for the biochem parts of MED1011. You're on level ground for the rest of the unit, and for the rest of the degree. Speaking of the degree, it has a "general structure" and is divided into four parts (or themes of study): Theme I: Personal and Professional Development Theme II: Population, Society, Health and Illness Theme III: Foundations of Medicine Theme IV: Clinical Skills Of the four themes, I (and the vast majority of the cohort) found themes III and IV to be the most enjoyable because they focus on knowledge and skills that have a direct and practical use in future life as a clinician. Themes I and II contain a lot of theory, a lot of which is very logical and dry. Luckily, majority of the course is focused on themes III and IV, and the exams reflect that too. Now let's get into this uni specifically. The lectures during this unit are very good, with most of the lecturers being very captivating and interactive with the students. Questions are allowed to be asked before, during and after the lectures, and all lecturers are more than happy to respond to emails afterwards. The lecture notes/slides given are also of a decent standard and it is possible to pass the unit solely using these. There is no attendance requirement for this unit, however it is expected that students attend all lectures (most lectures are nearly full, so that shows the quality of what is given). Granted, if you cannot attend lectures, that's fine because they are recorded (with video) and posted online for your own perusal. The tutorials during this unit are also very enjoyable. Each tutorial focusing on one aspect of the themes; for example, in the Clinical Skills tutes we learn how to take patient histories, give injections, take blood pressures and measure the vital signs. Most tutes encourage group discussions and teamwork, which is often good. The one exception to this are the Problem Based Learning (PBL) tutes. These tutes are famous around the world and are present in many unis in some form or another, but I really think they're over-rated. These tutes are student-led with a doctor overlooking the tute progress, and how much you learn is dependent on your group. If you have a few duds in your group, which is almost inevitable, then it's really annoying. Other than PBL though, all other tutes are led by doctors, GPs and registrars, and are of a good standard. Worth noting that there is a strict 80% attendance requirement for all tutes in this unit. In addition to tutes and lectures, external site visits give this unit extra depth and enjoyment. During the unit, each student is able to have a hospital and a GP placement, which not only are necessary for the Case Commentary assignment, but are also valuable insight into the medical profession and the clinical years of the degree (years 3-5). Just a word on the assessments. The Case Commentary causes a lot of stress. I'll re-emphasise from my first paragraph: first year, in the grander scheme of things, is hardly worth anything. The main goal should be learning. Remember that. Will you be asking your "case" patient the questions a seasoned physician or general practitioner would ask? No. Of course not. The Faculty knows you're a complete rookie at the bottom of the food chain. So just try your best, study from the samples provided, and accept and learn from the feedback you get from your clinician assessors. Didn't get HD? You'll survive. It's ok. As long as you're learning and improving, you're doing well. I'll echo that same advice for the mid-semester test (ie. exam) which can be a real shock to many. The mark isn't all that important because the exam hardly counts for anything, focus on improving and refining your study technique. Similarly for the formative Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), it's a learning experience. Last word on academic aspects of the course: join a Vertically Enhanced Study Program Approach (VESPA) study group. These are inter-year study groups, so you'll receive informal weekly teaching from second year students. These are great tutes because these students JUST sat the exams that you'll be sitting, and they have invaluable tips. I'd recommend joining one, just one, as soon as possible. If you can organise this yourself with friends you may have from second year, that's ideal, because more formal organisation of these often takes a few weeks. One more word on the administration requirements. My advice is simple: be on top of it. Get your police check done early. Get your working with childrens' check done early. Get your immunisations done early. Don't leave these things late because no one else is and the Faculty will chase you. So make sure you get all of that done as soon as possible because starting off your degree with a disciplinary hearing is far from ideal. Now to tackle a couple of common FAQs I always get. A popular question I get asked is: what clinical equipment will I need? Honestly, nothing. Having said that, the vast majority of people will be armed with a brand new stethoscope. Why? Mainly because they can, but also because there are uses for the stethoscope later in the semester during clinical skills tutes. Most people opt for a Littmann Classic II/SE or III, with a smattering of Littmann Cardiology III or IVs for those with a bit more money lying around. I'd strongly advise against buying something without a turnable diaphragm (ie. any Littmann product with "Master" in the name). You don't need any other equipment for this unit. The second question I get is: will I need all these textbooks? Now Monash has this obscene booklist, buying everything on there will set you back about $3,000... so obviously don't buy all of it. In fact, don't buy any of it. Here's what I'd suggest: test out what books you like from the library or pdf copies (ask your seniors! *wink wink*), and if you're really bonding well with a book, then maybe buy a hard-copy. This is especially the case for anatomy atlases and textbooks. But if you can't bear to have an empty bookshelf because of your obsessive-compulsive personality traits, I'd pick up a copy of Talley and O'Connor, it'll serve you well for many years to come. In addition to academia, you're also introduced to the Monash University Medical Undergraduates' Society (MUMUS) and the rest of the clubs and societies Monash has to offer. I strongly recommend you join and get involved with "uni life" as much as you can. Please don't feel that just because you're an "all-important medical student" now, that means you have to slave away in the libraries studying all the time. There's no point being in uni unless you're enjoying it, so I'd encourage you to go to uni events (MUMUS or otherwise), get a bit rowdy, make some friends outside of med (this is important!), and create some good times and memories for life.