Essential Medicine and Surgery: frequently asked questions!

What topics are covered?

Essential Medicine covers Essential Surgery covers
Cardiovascular medicine The acute abdomen
Heart sounds and murmurs Colorectal operations
Myocardial infarction, heart failure Small and large bowel obstruction
Renal medicine Surgical quiz / slide-based clinical cases
Neurology 1 including peripheral neuropathy, cerebellar signes and stroke Head and neck, including thyroid
Neurology 2: common cranial nerve questions, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis Breast disease
Diabetes Hepatobilliary surgery
Diabetic emergencies Arterial disease
Respiratory medicine Varicose veins
Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism Examination of the hip
Acromegaly and Cushing's Examination of the shoulder

What are the course times?
Essential Medicine start at 08:45 with registration on Zoom from 08:00 and finishes at 17:45. Essential Surgery starts at 09:00 with registration on Zoom from 08:15 and finishing at 17:00. The lunch break is from 13:00 to 13:45.

What is different about an Ask Doctor Clarke course?
The live courses use a variety of educational methods, combining lectures with slide quizzes, based on typical material from clinical exams and videos demonstrating physical signs. What makes our courses different is the use of advanced memory techniques, including an emphasis on deep understanding of basic pathophysiology together with songs, poems, dances and simple repetition of buzz words. We even do an origami exercise to construct a model of the inguinal canal.

Are the courses designed to help with written exams or are they just for the clinical exams?
Students generally report that they find the courses helpful for both written and clinical exams. Every year, a significant number of students say that they wish they'd attended earlier, probably because the courses enabled them to identify what they already knew and were good at and where their learning needs were. Finding "blind spots" helps to focus revision. There is a big overlap between what is asked about in written and clinical exams, so to that extent the courses address both. The course doesn't include lots of multiple choice questions, but the knowledge you gain will help you to answer such questions. There is a significant focus on clinical exam technique as this is the area that previous students have found overall the most stressful part of their exams.

Is the course just for final year students?
No. Every course includes students from third and fourth year as well as a few postgraduates coming back for a refresher.

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