Introduction

Welcome! My name is Daniel Lim Jhao Jian. Here is where I share my experience, knowledge and ideas. You are welcome to leave comments and follow my blog. You are free to copy anything from this blog. Please recommend this blog to your friends.


Thursday, 29 December 2016

My experience during Foundations of Clinical Practice (FoCP)

Foundations of Clinical Practice (FoCP) is the 1st semester of Stage 3 of Medicine course at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia. FoCP lasted for about 15 weeks from 29 August 2016 to 14 December 2016. During FoCP, I lived in Horizon Residences, Bukit Indah which is accommodation managed by the university. Even though now I have completed FoCP, I can still remember it very well. Here, I am writing about my experience during FoCP.

Week 1 (29 August - 3 September):

On 28 August, I moved into Horizon Residences. My parents drove me from Subang Jaya back to Bukit Indah. Then, FoCP began on 29 August. It was a bit earlier compared to the previous years where the FoCP used to begin on 1 September. This marked the end of my 3 month summer break. I felt quite sad about that because this was the last long break in my life. At that time, I was still in holiday mood. Week 1 was the introduction week. We did not go to hospitals on this week. There were introductory lectures on 29 and 30 August. 31 August was a public holiday for the National Day of Malaysia. Then on 1 September, there was a history taking practice session. During the session, I was introduced to Clinical Group (CG) 3. One of my close friend in my Stage 2 seminar group was in CG 3.

Week 2 (4 September - 10 September):

Week 2 was the critical illness week where we learnt about critical care and emergency medicine. I was in Critical Illness Group (CIG) O for this week. We again did not go to hospitals on this week. On 5 and 6 September, there were lectures and clinical skills sessions. I fell quite sick on 5 September, where I experienced tiredness, headache and back pain. I slept for a long time and managed to recover on 6 September without having to consult a doctor. On 7 and 8 September, there was a case-based group discussion on sepsis and shock. I worked with my group mates to solve the questions. Then, there was a debriefing lecture for the case-based group discussion on 9 September.

System Based Weeks (Weeks 3 - 9):

Weeks 3 to 9 were the System Based Weeks. During the System Based Weeks, I was in Clinical Group (CG) 3 every Monday to Thursday and in Simulation Group (SG) D2 every Friday. Every one in CG 1 to 4 were assigned to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail (HSNI) in Batu Pahat for the System Based Weeks. We learnt about a particular system of the human body every week. On Mondays and Tuesdays, there would be lectures and clinical skills sessions at NUMed. After class on Tuesdays, we would travel to Batu Pahat by bus. We would stay overnight at Crystal Inn in Batu Pahat on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. On Wednesday and Thursdays, we would go to the hospital. After class on Thursdays, we would travel back to NUMed by bus. On Fridays, there would be various sessions depending on the week.

Week 3 (11 September - 17 September):

On Week 3, we learnt about the cardiovascular system. 12 September was a public holiday for Hari Raya Haji. On 15 September, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail (HSNI) in Batu Pahat for the first time. The environment at HSNI was quite nice. There was a seminar room there specially for NUMed students. On that morning, we had to listen to talks by the nurses about the rules at the hospital. Then in the afternoon, I and two of my friends clerked a patient in the ward. Because we still did not have experience, we took the history in a very unorganised manner. After that, we walked around the hospital just to have a look. Since we only went to HSNI for one day, we did not stay overnight in Batu Pahat. 16 September was a public holiday for the Malaysia Day.

Week 4 (18 September - 24 September):

On Week 4, we learnt about the respiratory system. On 20 September, I and CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. We stayed at Crystal Inn for the first time. The hotel was small but comfortable and I was in the same room with two of my friends. At that time, I started becoming close to my CG 1-4 group mates. On that night, all of us went to Selera Rasa Aelynaz near Crystal Inn and had dinner together. Then on 21 September, I and a few of my friends had dinner at Crystal Cafe in Crystal Inn. At HSNI this week, I again clerked patients with two of my friends. This time, we followed the normal structure of history taking and managed to take a better history. On 23 September, there were seminars on dermatology and antibiotics.

Week 5 (25 September - 1 October):

On Week 5, we learnt about the gastrointestinal system. I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat on 27 September. Throughout the journey, the engine of the bus kept emitting some strange noise, so I had the feeling that there was some problem with the bus. On 28 September, I and a few of my friends walked to Dataran Penggaram Batu Pahat to play frisbee. I was quite poor at frisbee, but my friends taught me how to play it. After that, we had dinner at Rex Food Junction. On the morning of 29 September, we waited at Crystal Inn for the bus to take us to HSNI, but the bus never arrived. Initially, the bus driver kept saying that he was on the way, but later he stopped answering our phone calls. After waiting for 2 hours, we decided to take taxi to HSNI because we did not want to waste time. We had to call several taxis because there were 28 of us. We also had to bring all our luggage to HSNI and put them in our seminar room. At HSNI on that day, I had my 1st Formative MOSLER. I performed poorly in the MOSLER, because of my lack of experience. After class on that afternoon, I and my friends in CG 1-4 had beriani rice at McBeriani. Then, we again waited for 1 hour before the bus came to fetch us. The bus driver told us that there was some problem with the bus. We requested him to change another bus because we were worried that the bus might break down during the journey back to NUMed. The driver took us to Batu Pahat Mall and we stayed there for another hour while he went to change the bus. It was already 9PM when we arrived at NUMed. On 30 September, there was a simulation session as a revision of what we learnt during Week 2. I was given a scenario where I was a house officer and I had to provide care to a patient that was in critical condition. There was a mannequin to act as the patient. I did not perform well due to lack of preparation.

Week 6 (2 October - 8 October):

On Week 6, we learnt about the central nervous system. 3 October was a public holiday for Awal Muharram. I experienced vomiting and diarrhoea on 4 October after eating fried noodles at the NUMed cafeteria. However, I recovered quite quickly without having a consult a doctor. On 6 October, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to HSNI in Batu Pahat. We did not stay overnight at Crystal Inn since we only went to HSNI for one day. On 7 October, there was a hospital session at Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) with Simulation Group (SG) D. Because I was still not close to my SG D group mates at that time, I could not find a friend to clerk patients with. As a result, I had to clerk patients by myself, for the first time. It turned out that I could actually do it quite well. The lecturers had always encouraged us to clerk patients by ourselves, and now I realised the benefit of that.

Week 7 (9 October - 15 October):

On Week 7, we learnt about the musculoskeletal system. On 11 October, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. After arriving at Crystal Inn, we had a birthday celebration for 2 of our friends at the lobby of Crystal Inn. We bought a cake and ordered pizza. The management of Crystal Inn was happy to let us celebrate there, as long as we cleaned up the place after the celebration. On 13 October, I and a few friends went to the outpatient clinic of HSNI to practise drawing blood from patients. I was a bit slow when performing the procedure, so the doctor there kept asking me 'Do you know how to draw blood?' On that afternoon, an incident happened. The students in CG 1&2 decided to have lunch at a restaurant near HSNI together with the lecturers, but they did not invite me and other students in CG3&4. When I told them that I wanted to join them, they also did not seem to welcome me, so in the end I chose not to join them. I felt upset because of this incident. Later, my friends in CG 1&2 told me that they did not invite us for the lunch because we had different timing and different lecturer for the afternoon teaching session. Therefore, I no longer blamed them over the incident. On 14 October, there was a case presentation session, where we presented interesting cases that we came across in the hospital.

Week 8 (16 October - 22 October):

On Week 8, we learnt about the special senses which include eyes, ears, nose, throat, breast and skin. On 16 October, my parents came to Bukit Indah to visit me. Since 2 years ago, I had itchy rashes on my neck. On that day, my father noticed that the rash was getting worse, so he took me to consult a doctor. The doctor diagnosed me with psoriasis. He said that there is no cure for psoriasis because it is an autoimmune disease, but it won't be serious. He prescribed me with betamethasone cream for the rash. Coincidentally, I learnt about psoriasis on 17 and 18 October. In the evening on 18 October, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. I decided that starting from this week, I would clerk patients in the hospital by myself instead of clerking with my friend. On 19 October, I and a few friends went to the radiology lab of HSNI. There, we observed the procedure of taking an X-ray. I and my friends in CG 1-4 had dinner together at Crystal Cafe in Crystal Inn on that night. On 20 October, we took group photos in front of HSNI. After returning to Bukit Indah on that day, I and a few of my friends celebrated someone's birthday at a Nasi Lemak stall in Jalan Indah 16/12. We bought a cake for her. On 21 October, there was another case presentation session. This was my last session with my SG D group mates, so we took group photos together at the end of the session.

Week 9 (23 October - 29 October):

On Week 9, we learnt about the endocrine and genitourinary system. On 25 October, a fire occurred at Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA). I was at NUMed at that time and no NUMed student was injured in the fire. On that afternoon, there was power failure at NUMed, causing the lectures to be cancelled. Later, there was a heavy thunderstorm and the lightning kept striking. I dared not walk to my car in the car park to get my luggage because I was afraid of being struck by lightning, so I had to ask a security guard to help me. In the evening, I and my CG 1-4 group mates went to Batu Pahat. The bus driver dropped us at Old Street Commercial Centre in Batu Pahat for half an hour. It was a very nice place and I took photos with my friends there. After that, the bus driver took us to Crystal Inn. On 26 October, I and my friends in CG 1-4 planned to have steamboat at Glow Park, but it was closed. Therefore, we went to Leezo Restaurant for western food instead. My last session with my CG 1-4 group mates was on 27 October and that was the end of the System Based Weeks. We again took photos and I felt sad about having to separate with them. After returning to NUMed on that day, I drove two of my friends back to Horizon Residences. At that time, looking back at the System Based Weeks, I realised that while I was very close to some of my CG 1-4 group mates, I was not close to the rest of them. Unlike me, my best friend was close to every one in CG 1-4. I regretted this mistake very much, but unfortunately I would not be able to correct it as I would no longer be with CG 1-4.

Hospital Based Weeks (Weeks 10 - 15):

Weeks 10 to 15 were the Hospital Based Weeks. During the Hospital Based Weeks, I was in Hospital Based Group (HBG) B1. We were assigned to a different hospital every week. We had to integrate everything that we had learnt during the System Based Weeks previously. Every Monday to Thursday, we would go to the hospital. Every Friday, there would be lectures at NUMed.

Week 10 (30 October - 5 November):

On Week 10, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI) in Johor Bahru. On 31 October, we went to the pathology lab of HSI. There, the doctors explained and demonstrated to us the procedure of carrying out tests on specimen such as blood and urine. We also had the opportunity to perform antibiotic resistance tests. There were self directed learning (SDL) sessions at HSI on 1 and 2 November. Many of my group mates went home, but I stayed in the hospital. It was difficult to find a place to sit down and rest in HSI. While HSI had a nice library, I did not know where it was located. The environment in HSI was not very nice and I preferred HSNI Batu Pahat much more. At that time, I was still not close to my HBG B1 group mates and I missed by CG 1-4 group mates very much. On 4 November, there was a lecture on career guidance and a formative professional assessment. During the assessment, the lecturer looked at my logbook for FoCP. I had still not completed many parts of the logbook and the lecturer reminded me to complete it by the end of FoCP.

Week 11 (6 November - 12 November):

7 November was a public holiday for the Hol Day of Johor. On Week 11, I and my HBG B group mates were supposed to go to Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) in Johar Bahru. However, due the fire 2 weeks ago, NUMed reduced the number of students going to HSA on each day. Therefore, we only went to HSA on 8 November. I did not like HSA because the environment there was worse compared to HSI. On that day, a few of my group mates made some cakes and they gave the cakes to every one in HBG B1. We had to go to HSI on 9 and 10 November and join other groups. On 9 November, I joined HBG F2 for the teaching session. On 10 November, I wanted to join HBG F2 again but there were too many students, so I joined HBG F1 instead. I followed my friends in HBG F1 for lunch at Restoran Anisofea Asam Pedas near HSI. On 11 November, there was a lecture on Malaria, Dengue, Typhoid and Leptospirosis.

Week 12 (13 November - 19 November):

On Week 12, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail (HSNI) in Batu Pahat. We travelled to Batu Pahat on 13 November and stayed overnight at Crystal Inn on 13 to 16 November. I stayed in the same room with two of my friends. I was very familiar with HSNI because I was there during the System Based Weeks. At that time, I started becoming close to my HBG B group mates. On 14 November, we had dinner together at Restoran Nikmat Tandoori. On 15 November, we had wan tan mee for dinner. We were not full after eating, so we went to Seventy Two Foodcourt for more food. At HSNI on 16 November, we went to to the Emergency Department. There, we observed doctors providing care to patients in critical condition. My friends had dinner together again on that night and they phoned me to invite me to join them. However, I was sleeping at that time so I did not answer the phone. Eventually, I had dinner myself at Crystal Cafe in Crystal Inn. We travelled back to NUMed after class on 17 November. On 18 November, there were lectures on Alcohol Misuse and Gastrointestinal System. On that day, we received a call from HSNI because we did not return the key for our seminar room in the previous day and the door was left unlocked. What happened was that someone had placed the key on my chair in the room with the intention of passing it to me, but he did not tell me about that so I did not know the key was on my chair. Luckily, the staff at HSNI later found the key on the floor in the seminar room so the problem was resolved.

Week 13 (20 November - 26 November):

On Week 13, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom (HEBHK) in Kluang. We travelled to Kluang on 20 November and stayed overnight at Ailang Hotel on 20 to 23 November. Only me and 3 of my friends took the bus to Kluang while the others drove there. During the journey, the television on the bus was showing the movie Skiptrace and I watched it. It was a funny and interesting movie. Ailang Hotel was not so nice compared to Crystal Inn, but it was still comfortable. I had the room by myself because my roommate went to stay at his relative's house. I had never been to HEBHK previously. The environment there was quite nice and I felt that it is even better than HSNI Batu Pahat. On 21 and 22 November, we went to the outpatient clinic of HEBHK. There, we had a lot of opportunity to draw blood and measure vital signs of several patients. The nurses were friendly and they taught us a lot. It was a great experience and I felt like a doctor. I and my friends in HBG B went to Gwee Lek Assam Pedas for dinner on 21 November. We had dinner at 128 Restaurant on 22 November. After that, we went to Kluang Mall to buy gifts for the nurses at the outpatient clinic. On 23 November, my friends had dinner together again at 128 Restaurant and they invited me to join them, but I declined because I wanted to eat something different. I had dinner myself at a burger stall in front of Ailang Hotel. At HEBHK on 24 November, I had my 2nd Formative MOSLER. This time, I performed much better compared to the previous time. We travelled back to NUMed after class on that day. On 25 November, there were lectures on Endocrine System and Clinical Chemistry.

Week 14 (27 November - 3 December):

On Week 14, I and my HBG B group mates did not go to hospitals. We only had sessions at NUMed. On 28 and 29 November, there were a revision sessions for the WriSkE (Written Skills Examination) and SBA (Single Best Answer) Paper. Then, there were clinical skills revision sessions on 30 November and 1 December. During the session, I volunteered to let 9 of my friends practise performing ECG on me. On 2 December, there were induction lectures for the Essential Junior Rotations (EJR) next semester. EJR seemed to be quite difficult and stressful. The student group list for EJR was released at that time. Most of my CG 1-4 group mates were assigned to Group 1, but I was assigned to Group 2 instead. Only 2 of my CG 1-4 group mates and 2 of my HBG B group mates would be in Group 2, and I knew very few students in Group 2. I really wanted to be in Group 1 instead, so I requested the lecturer in charge to switch me to Group 1. Unfortunately, the lecturer told me that it was not possible to switch groups because it had already been finalised. I felt very sad and disappointed about that. For a few days, I kept ranting on Facebook and I even created a Hitler Rant video. Some of my friends gave me words of encouragement to help me get over that.

Week 15 (4 December - 10 December):

On Week 15, I and my HBG B group mates went to Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI) in Johor Bahru. At that time, my friends showed me the way to the library of HSI. I went to the library to do revision for the oncoming examination during the Self Directed Learning (SDL) time on 5 and 6 December. On 7 and 8 December, one of my friend in HBG D1 joined my group for the teaching sessions. He was supposed to go to HSA but he came to HSI because NUMed reduced the number of students going to HSA due to the fire previously. The hospital visit of the Stage 2 students were also on 7 and 8 December. We were in charge of the Stage 2 students who came to HSI. I found patients for them to clerk and had a discussion with them about the patients' case. Then, I took them around the hospital and also gave them some tips for the Stage 2 assessments based on my past experience. On both days, I and my friend went for lunch at Bharat Curry House near HSI. There, we met some students from HBG C1 and D1. On 9 December, there was a summative professionalism assessment. The lecturer again checked my logbook for FoCP during the assessment. I had completed the logbook at that time so I passed the assessment.

Week 16 (11 December - 14 December):

Week 16 was the examination week. Since the examinations were just formative, I took it easy and did not feel too stressed. I prepared for the OSCE and SBA Paper but not the WriSkE, because unlike OSCE and SBA, the WriSkE would be summatively tested only in Stage 5. On 13 December, it was the OSCE. I felt that I performed reasonably well and better compared to the Stage 2 OSCE. On 14 December, it was the WriSkE and SBA Paper. The WriSkE started first, followed by the SBA. The WriSkE was quite easy and I could answer reasonably well even though I did not prepare for it. The SBA Paper was not too difficult, except that I had to rush to finish answering all questions within the time limit. After that, it was the winter break which would last about 2 and a half weeks until 2 January 2017. This marked the end of Foundations of Clinical Practice (FoCP). This was the first time since I entered NUMed where the examination was scheduled before the winter break instead of after it, so I could fully enjoy the winter break. I took a flight back to Subang Jaya on 15 December.

Conclusion:

I definitely had a great experience during FoCP which I will never forget. Initially, I was unhappy that I was assigned to HSNI Batu Pahat for the System Based Weeks and I preferred HSI or HSA instead, because I didn't like the idea of having to travel to Batu Pahat and stay overnight there. It turned out that I enjoyed Batu Pahat a lot. My experience definitely wouldn't be that good if I was assigned to HSI or HSA. In the past, I had always thought that FoCP would be very stressful. It turned out that FoCP wasn't stressful actually, because all the assessments were just formative. Instead, Stage 1 and 2 were more stressful. FoCP was very interesting. In fact, I think it is the most interesting semester in MBBS. During FoCP, for the first time I felt that I am really studying Medicine, unlike Stage 1 and 2. My awesome friends in CG 1-4 and HBG B made my FoCP experience even better. We had a lot of interesting activities together. In particular, we were very close whenever we were in Batu Pahat or Kluang, which is why I like these two places a lot.

If you find this story interesting, you may want to read this too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2016/12/my-2nd-year-of-medicine-course-at-numed.html

Saturday, 17 December 2016

My 2nd year of Medicine course at NUMed

The 2nd year of my Medicine course at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia lasted for about 9 months from 29 September 2015 to 1 June 2016. In NUMed, 2nd year is known as Stage 2. During Stage 2, I lived in Horizon Residences, Bukit Indah which is accommodation managed by the university. Even though now I have completed Stage 2, I can still remember it very well. Here, I am writing about my experience when I was in Stage 2.


September 2015:

On 26 September, I moved into Horizon Residences. My parents drove me from Subang Jaya back to Bukit Indah. My housemates also moved in on the same day. Then on 27 September, I and my housemates had dinner together at a Chinese restaurant in Skudai. Stage 2 of Medicine course began on 29 September. It was about a week later compared to the previous years. This marked the end of my 4 month summer break. At that time, I felt that the summer break seemed to pass so quickly and I felt sad because I would not have any more 4 month break in the future. For the 1st semester of Stage 2, I would be studying Thoughts, Senses and Movement (TSM) which comprises the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. For Stage 2, I was assigned the same seminar group as during Stage 1. All my group mates also remained in the same group. I was very happy about this.

October 2015:

In early October, I was still in holiday mood so I did not start doing any revision. My next examination would be the Progress 1 examination in January 2016 which was still a long time away. On 6 October, NUMed distributed the assignments for Stage 2 which are Patient Study and Student Selected Component (SSC). The SSC had 2 parts, Literature Review and Oral Presentation. I expected that the SSC would be quite difficult while the Patient Study would be easier. I planned to do a part of the assignments in November and continue with the rest after the Progress 1 examination. I and my friends went to the EduCity Stadium near NUMed to play badminton on 7 October. As NUMed students, we could access the stadium for free. I was quite poor at badminton and I knew only the basics, but I still enjoyed playing badminton with my friends. This was my 2nd time playing badminton.

I and my friends celebrated the birthday of someone in our group on 12 October. We went to AEON Bukit Indah to buy the ingredients, then we prepared the food for the celebration at Horizon Residences. Since I do not know how to cook, I only helped with the preparation of the drinks. The birthday celebration was held beside the swimming pool of Horizon Residences. We surprised our friend with the celebration. During the celebration, we entered the swimming pool. It was really an interesting birthday celebration. On 14 October, I and my study partners visited our patient for the Patient Study assignment. Then, I submitted my proposal of my choice of topic for the SSC assignment on 18 October. On 19 October, I started creating the notes for AS Level Physics, Chemistry and Biology based on the 2016-2018 syllabus, after receiving numerous requests from my blog readers. I finished creating the notes and uploaded them to this blog on 22 October. On 23 October, I was informed by my lecturer that my proposal for the SSC had been approved.

Around that time, I was thinking back of Stage 1 and I realised that I had not obtained excellent results in examinations ever since the Stage 1 Progress 1 in November 2014. I felt sad about it and as a result I set myself the target of getting at least 80% for the Stage 2 Progress 1 examination. To achieve it, I decided to start revising very early. This got me out of my holiday mood. I began my revision for the Progress 1 examination on 26 October. On 28 October, I and my study partners followed our patient to visit his GP as part of the Patient Study assignment. We had to skip a few lectures in the morning for that. After returning to NUMed, I was very tired, causing me to fall asleep for a few minutes during a lecture. One of my friend took a photo of me sleeping and sent it to our WhatsApp group with the words 'Thug Life'. On that afternoon, there was a formative anatomy practical test. I and my friends decided to not write our names on our answer sheets, instead we all wrote someone's name. However, our lecturers were upset when they knew about that. They said that if we didn't want to write our actual names, we could use our initials, but we should not use another student's name. We eventually apologised to our lecturers over this incident.

November 2015:

Throughout November, I was doing revision for the Progress 1 examination. A large proportion of TSM is anatomy, which was my weak point at that time. Therefore, I put in more effort to revise anatomy in greater detail. Soon, I began to feel that anatomy isn't that difficult actually. Because there was still a long time until the Progress 1, I did not study very long hours every day, so I was not too stressed. Earlier, I had planned to do a part of the Patient Study and SSC assignments in November. However, I changed the plan and decided to do the assignments only after the Progress 1, because I wanted to focus on revising for the Progress 1 and there would still be a lot of time to do the assignments after the Progress 1. On 13 November, I and my study partners carried out our 3rd visit to our patient for the Patient Study assignment.

December 2015:

In early December, I started feeling more stressed and I revised longer hours daily, because the Progress 1 examination was approaching. On 4 December, there was a cultural fest at NUMed and I attended it for the first time. The fest presented several cultures, particularly food and games, from different parts of the world. It was quite interesting. I and my study partners carried out our 4th visit to our Patient Study patient on 5 December. On 10 December, it was the 1st Hospital Visit for Stage 2. We went to Hospital Sultan Ismail. At the hospital, I and one of my friend clerked 2 patients. We also had a discussion and conversation with our Stage 3 seniors. Then on 14 December, I and my friends visited Diabetes Malaysia at Hospital Sultanah Aminah as part of the Patient Study assignment. The 2nd formative anatomy practical test was on 17 December. This time, I and my friends wrote the initials of our names on the answer sheets.

The winter break started on 19 December and it lasted for 3 weeks. The break used to last for 4 weeks in the previous years, but it was shortened to 3 weeks for this year. I could not enjoy the winter break at all, due to the fact that the Progress 1 examination would be immediately after the break and I had to revise for the examination during the break. This is something that I really dislike, because I think that breaks should be for students to rest and relax. Unfortunately, many students preferred to have the break to study, which was why NUMed scheduled the Progress 1 after the break. My parents fetched me back to Subang Jaya on 20 December. I had dinner with my Taylor's College friends on 22 December. Then, I had lunch with them again on 23 December. On 26 December, I went to Kulim for 1 week. During that time, I was very busy revising for the Progress 1 and I felt very stressed.

January 2016:

On 2 January, I returned to Subang Jaya. I met one of my Taylor's College friend again on 7 January. We watched the Hong Kong movie Anniversary at GSC Cinema in IOI Mall, Puchong. Then, my parents drove me back to Bukit Indah on 8 January. On 11 and 12 January, it was the Progress 1 examination. The examination questions were very difficult because they tested on a lot of fine details, some of which I did not pay attention to during my revision. As a result, I could not answer well in the examination despite having done a lot of revision. After the Progress 1 ended, there were about another 2 weeks of break. I relaxed for a few days before starting the Patient Study assignment. On 14 January, I and my friends went to Cat's Cafe in Johor Bahru for lunch. I drove my friends there. In the cafe, there were many cats walking around. They were very cute and were always kept clean by the staffs. It was truly an interesting experience. I and my study partners visited our Patient Study patient for the final time on 16 January.

On 17 January, I started writing the Patient Study assignment. This assignment is similar to the Family Study assignment in Stage 1. I had to write a report based on the information gathered when I and my study partners visited our patient previously. I referred to the assignments done by my seniors as a guide. Most students wrote the assignment by dividing it into several subheadings. However, I wrote the assignment as a single continuous essay because I preferred it this way. Just like what I had expected earlier, the Patient Study was not difficult and I did not feel stressed doing it. On 18 January, the results for the Progress 1 examination was released. My score was 71.86%. Although I did not reach my target of 80%, I was still happy because it was still a good score and there was a slight improvement compared to the Stage 1 Progress 3 examination. The 2nd semester of Stage 2 began on 26 January. For this semester, I would be studying Clinical Sciences and Investigative Medicine (CSIM) which comprises pathology, immunology and microbiology. The lecturers told us that CSIM would be quite difficult.

February 2016:

The deadline for the Patient Study assignment was on 12 February. However, I had completed and submitted the assignment on 5 February. With this, I could celebrate Chinese New Year without having to worry about the assignment. This was the first time where I submitted an assignment before its deadline. The Chinese New Year was on 8 February. NUMed had 4 days of holidays from 6 to 9 February. I decided to skip classes on 10 to 12 February so that I could have one whole week of holidays. On 6 February, I took a flight back to Subang Jaya. I flew by Malaysia Airlines and it was the first time I flew alone. Then, I and my parents went to Kulim on 7 February to celebrate Chinese New Year. My cousins' family also went to Kulim and we all stayed in my grandparents' house. It was an interesting Chinese New Year. I and my parents returned to Subang Jaya on 11 February, then my parents drove me back to Bukit Indah on 12 February.

I relaxed for a few days before I started writing the Student Selected Component (SSC) Literature Review on 15 February. This assignment is similar to the Critical Appraisal and Literature Review assignment in Stage 1. I had to find relevant articles for the title I chose, then write a review of the articles followed by a conclusion. I again referred to my seniors' assignments as a guide. Contrary to my expectation earlier, I did not find this assignment difficult or stressful. Unlike the Stage 1 Critical Appraisal and Literature Review, this assignment was not boring because I chose the topic that I was interested in. On 18 February, there was a wet teaching session on microbiology. We had the opportunity to produce bacteria cultures and look at specimen of bacteria using microscope. On 24 February, when I was sleeping, I had 3 strange dreams. The 1st was about me trying to find a burger shop in SS2, the 2nd was about me and my cousins going to Pakistan for holidays while the 3rd was about me experiencing ear pain while taking a submarine ride.

March 2016:

The deadline of the SSC Literature Review was on 10 March. By 6 March, I had largely finished writing the assignment. Then, I submitted it on 9 March ahead of its deadline. I decided to fully relax for 2 weeks before I start revising for the Progress 2 examination. There was a solar eclipse on 9 March. Strangely, the sun seemed to look normal, except that the sky was not as bright as usual. I sent my Acer laptop for repair at the service centre in AEON Bukit Indah on 10 March because it broke down shortly after I completed the assignment. I was told that the hard disk was damaged so it had to be replaced. Therefore, I would lose all personal data and programs in my laptop. Luckily, I had backed up my personal data to the cloud. On 14 March, my laptop was ready and I went to collect it. After that, I started reinstalling the important programs on my laptop.

On 15 March, it was the 2nd Hospital Visit for Stage 2. Once again, we went to Hospital Sultan Ismail to clerk patients. On 17 March, I had an outing with my friends. We had lunch at Indian Kitchen which is located not far away from NUMed. After that, we went to Puteri Harbour. There, we had desserts at Starbucks. We took a look at Jen Hotel, where the NUMed Prom Night would be held in the following month. When we came across a Toy'R'us store, we decided a get a toy car for every one of us as a symbol and memory of our friendship. This outing with my friends was really interesting. I went to Columbia Asia Hospital on 18 March to get vaccination for chickenpox which is compulsory for all medical students. This was arranged by NUMed because my health report showed that I was not vaccinated against chickenpox.

On 20 March, I played the video game Braid and successfully completed all levels for the first time, with the help of a walkthrough on the internet. On 21 March, my HTC One E8 mobile phone received the upgrade to Android Marshmallow, which I had been waiting for months. Later on that night, I watched the launch of the iPhone SE and 9.7 inch iPad Pro live online. My 21th birthday was on 23 March 2016. Many of my friends wished me through the internet. I had dinner at Nando's which is my favourite restaurant, then I had cake at Secret Recipe. On 24 March, I decided to create a 2nd Facebook account specifically for keeping in touch with my close friends, while my 1st Facebook account would still continue to be in use. NUMed had an Easter break which started on 26 March and lasted for 2 weeks. On 26 March, I took a flight back to Subang Jaya. I flew by Firefly this time. My parents then drove me to Kulim on 27 March. At that time, I started revising for the Progress 2 examination which would be in May. However, as I was in holiday mood, I did not put my full attention in the revision.

April 2016:

On 2 April, my cousins came to Kulim. On that night, I watched the movies Bad Neighbours and Interstellar with my cousins. Then on 3 April, my parents drove me back to Subang Jaya. However, in the journey my father's car broke down due to a problem with the alternator. Luckily, that happened when we were at Tapah rest area. We called a tow truck and had to wait hours for it to arrive. We then sat the tow truck to Subang Jaya. On 5 April, I met up with one of my Taylor's College friend. We went to watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at GSC Cinema in IOI Mall, Puchong. I flew back to Bukit Indah on 9 April. NUMed reopened on 11 April. On that day, the results for the Patient Study assignment was released. My score was 37/50 for Skills and 38/50 for Knowledge. Although not as good compared to the Stage 1 Family Study, it was still a good score and I was quite satisfied. At that time, I started preparing for the Student Selected Component (SSC) Oral Presentation, so I temporarily stopped my revision for the Progress 2 examination. For the oral presentation, I had to present on a topic of my choice using PowerPoint slides.

On 15 April, it was the NUMed Prom Night which was held at Jen Hotel, Puteri Harbour. I drove one of my friend there. When I arrived there, the prom night had not yet started so I walked around the hotel. Many Stage 2 students and some lecturers attended the prom night. 7 out of 10 of my group mates attended it. I was in the same table as many of my friends. During the prom night, food was served and there were many performances on the stage. The food was quite tasty and the performances were interesting to watch. There were also lucky draws, but unfortunately I did not win any of them. Towards the end of the prom night, I and my friends began taking photographs. I took group photos with my group mates and with my friends who sat in the same table. I also took two-person photos with many of my friends. There was also a dance but I did not take part as I do not know how to dance. We spent more than an hour taking photographs before leaving. The prom night was really interesting, especially taking photographs with my friends.

I finished preparing the PowerPoint slides for the SSC Oral Presentation and submitted it on 18 April, one day before its deadline. I practised the oral presentation with my friends quite often at that time. The GP Visit for Stage 2 was on 20 April. I and my group mates went to Klinik Kesihatan Mahmoodiah. There, we observed the patients' consultation with the doctors. On 21 April, it was the SSC Oral Presentation. I performed quite well in the oral presentation, due to the fact that I had practised a lot. I felt that this was the easiest assessment in Stage 2. After that, I relaxed for a few days. I went to Columbia Asia Hospital on 22 April to get a booster dose of vaccination for chickenpox. On 25 April, I started my revision for the Progress 2 examination. I had forgotten most of what I had revised a few weeks earlier since I wasn't revising wholeheartedly, so I needed to revise them again. I expected that the revision would be stressful. There was a formative anatomy practical test on 28 April. That was also the last anatomy session for Stage 2.

May 2016:

On 6 May, it was the last lecture for Stage 2. There was a formative OSCE on 7 May. I performed poorly because I was not well prepared for it. On 9 May, there was a clinical skills revision session. After that, we had a 3 week study break. There was a clinical skills session on knee examination on 20 May. This session should have been scheduled previously before 6 May, but our lecturers forgot about it. This was the final clinical skills session for Stage 2. Throughout May, I was very busy revising for the Progress 2 examination. I had to revise very long hours every day and I felt extremely stressed. There was a lot that I had to revise because the examination would test on both semester 1 and 2 topics. The topics for CSIM were also quite difficult. I was worried that I would not have enough time to finish the revision. To save time, I ate just 2 meals every day, one of the meals being instant noodles. I always longed for the examination to end and for the summer break to begin. I was definitely just hoping to pass Stage 2 and nothing more than that.

On 22 and 23 May, I temporarily stopped my revision for the Progress 2 and I practised the OSCE with my friends at Horizon Residences. The End of Stage OSCE was on 24 May. During the OSCE, I could not perform well in the first few stations, even though I thought that I prepared well for the OSCE. It affected my confidence, causing me to not perform well in the remaining stations too. I felt that I had screwed up the entire OSCE and I was really worried that I would fail it. I was prepared for having to resit the OSCE, but I told myself that I must try my best to pass the Progress 2 examination. After the OSCE, I continued my stressful revision for the Progress 2. The Progress 2 examination was on 31 May and 1 June. It turned out that the Progress 2 was actually not very difficult because the questions were quite direct. After all my hard work, I could answer it reasonably well and I was confident of passing it.

June 2016:

After the Progress 2 examination, it was the summer break which would last about 3 months until 28 August. I could finally relax after more than 1 month of stressful revision. However, I was still quite worried because of the the OSCE. On 2 June, I and my friends went to TGV Cinemas in AEON Bukit Indah to watch X-Men: Apocalypse. My parents drove me back to Subang Jaya on 4 June. I left some of my personal belongings at Horizon Residences because NUMed allowed me to do so with no extra charges. On 8 June, the Stage 2 Pass List was released, along with the results for SSC assignment, Progress 2 and OSCE. I was so nervous that I dared not check the pass list first. Instead, I checked my SSC results first, followed by the Progress 2 and finally the OSCE. For the SSC, my score was 44.5/60 for Skills and 38/50 for Knowledge, while for the Progress 2, I obtained 64.65%. I was quite satisfied with the results. Then, I was so happy to know that I passed the OSCE, though it was really a narrow escape. My percentage was 74.28 while the pass threshold was 73.12, and I failed 3 out of 10 stations which was the maximum allowed. With that, I passed Stage 2 successfully and could continue on to Stage 3. This marked the end of Stage 2.

Conclusion:

Overall, Stage 2 was quite interesting. It was about as interesting as Stage 1. I am glad that I no longer had problems with the assignments during Stage 2, unlike in Stage 1. The most stressful thing about Stage 2 was doing revision for the Progress 1 and 2 examinations. My greatest weakness for Stage 2 was the OSCE, which I performed badly and nearly failed. This is definitely something that I need to work to improve on in Stage 3.

If you find this story interesting, you may want to read these too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2016/12/my-experience-during-foundations-of.html
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2015/09/my-1st-year-of-medicine-course-at-numed.html

Friday, 2 December 2016

27 October 2016 Incident

The System-based Weeks was the first phase of Stage 3 of my MBBS course at NUMed, which was followed by the Hospital-based Weeks and then the Essential Junior Rotations.

During the System-based Weeks, I was in the group CG 3. But on a wider sense, I was in CG 1 to 4. CG 1 to 4 was the collection of the 4 groups of students who were allocated the Batu Pahat hospital. All of us in CG 1 to 4 went to Batu Pahat together, stayed in the same hotel and we often had outings together. But during the teaching sessions, it was just CG 3 & 4.

27 October 2016 was the last day of the System-based Weeks. When we were on the journey back from Batu Pahat to NUMed, my best friend sat at the back of the bus and surrounding him were a few students from CG 3 & 4. He was talking to them happily and obviously they had a very close relationship. Looking at that, I felt envy.

I started thinking, why my best friend was so close to them while I was not? Then, I realised something - I was being antisocial. In the past, I was once quite antisocial during my early days in Taylor's College. It was the incident on 31 July 2013 that brought me much closer to my Taylor's College friends, and since then I was no longer antisocial. Unfortunately, I just repeated the same mistake during the System-based Weeks.

Before Stage 3, I had known many students in CG 1 & 2. My best friend in NUMed happened to be in CG 3 with me and I was glad about this. However, I did not know the other students in CG 3 & 4. At the start of the System-based Weeks, I naturally became close to those in CG 1 & 2. However, I did not attempt to get to know my CG 3 & 4 group mates, so I was not close to them.

As time went on, nothing has changed. I kept staying in my comfort zone by talking only to my friends in CG 1 & 2. I hardly talked to my CG 3 & 4 group mates (apart from my best friend of course), even though they are actually quite nice. Whenever I was with CG 1 to 4, I talked a lot and I seemed to be quite sociable. But whenever I was just with CG 3 & 4, I became very quiet and antisocial.

This was not the case for my best friend. He too did not know any of our CG 3 & 4 group mates earlier. But the difference was that he took the step to get to know them. Soon, he became very close to them and they liked him a lot. For sure, if I was willing to get out of my comfort zone, I too could have a good relationship with them. No doubt, without that I still enjoyed the System-based Weeks very much, but I was missing something that I shouldn't have missed.

I really regretted the mistake of being antisocial during the System-based Weeks. I should have gone forward to get to know and be friends with my CG 3 & 4 group mates. Sadly, I could no longer correct the mistake, because for the Hospital-based Weeks, we were all redistributed into different groups, so I was separated with my CG 3 & 4 group mates.

Soon after I started Hospital-based Weeks, I heard of rumours that the grouping for the Essential Junior Rotations would be the same as that of the System-based Weeks. I felt quite hopeful about that and I told myself that if I could be ever in the same group with my CG 3 & 4 group mates again, I would definitely put in my effort to build a good relationship with all of them.

On 2 December 2016, the group list for the Essential Junior Rotations was released. The Essential Junior Rotations grouping was largely based on that for the System-based Weeks. However, there were changes in the grouping for a few students, and unfortunately I was one of them. While most of my CG 1 to 4 group mates were allocated to Group 1, I was allocated to Group 2 instead. 

I requested the lecturer in charge to switch me to Group 1. Unfortunately, the lecturer said that it was not possible to switch groups because the grouping had already been finalised. Therefore, I could not be in the same group with my CG 3 & 4 group mates, so I once again lost the opportunity to correct the mistake and it is likely that I will never get to correct it. This is definitely something that I feel very sad and regret.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Newcastle University UK / NUMed Malaysia MBBS Stage 1 and 2 Assignment Samples

If you are studying Stage 1 or Stage 2 of MBBS at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia or Newcastle University UK, there are a few assignments that you have to do as part of the university assessment. Are you looking for good samples of the assignments? Here, I have uploaded a copy of my assignments that you can use as a sample.

NOTICE: 
1. These samples are only intended as a guide for you to complete your assignments. Please note that PLAGIARISM IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you submit an assignment with plagiarised work, this will cause you to fail your assignment and professionalism.
2. My assignments are definitely not perfect. I have highlighted the weaknesses of my assignments in the comments' section. You should try to avoid these when doing your assignment.
3. The instructions and guidelines for every assignment may change from year to year. The way the assignments should be done may be different for your year compared to my year. You should ensure that you follow the instructions given to you.
4. I uploaded the assignment samples as PDF files. However, you have to submit your assignments as Microsoft Word documents (Microsoft PowerPoint slides for the SSC Oral Presentation).

If you are studying Medicine course at any other university, it is possible that you may have to do similar assignments. You can also use my assignments as a guide, but please note that your university may have different instructions and guidelines for the assignments and you should follow them.


STAGE 1 NEWSPAPER ARTICLE & REFLECTION

Link: Not available
My Score: Skills - 14.5/25 (58%, Amber), Knowledge - 13.5/20 (68%, Green)
Comments: I did this assignment very poorly because I had no idea how to do it. The reason was that this was my first assignment after starting university and I had no experience in doing assignments. Therefore, I will not upload this assignment as it will not be a good guide for you. Sorry about that.


STAGE 1 CRITICAL APPRAISAL & LITERATURE REVIEW

Literature Review Title: Evaluate The Benefits And Risks Of Statin Treatment With Respect To Both Cardiovascular Disease And Diabetes
My Score: Skills - 27/45 (60%, Amber), Knowledge - 25/35 (71%, Green)
Assignment Date: January 2015
Comments: The greatest problem with this assignment was that I made very few citations, especially for Part 1. I was very stressed when doing this assignment, and as a result I left out the citations. I lost several marks for Skills due to that. Besides, the weaknesses in Part 2 were that I did not have any subheadings and I reviewed the articles one after another rather than in an integrated manner. 


STAGE 1 FAMILY STUDY

My Score: Skills - 43.5/50 (87%, Green), Knowledge - 42/50 (84%, Green)
Assignment Date: March 2015
Comments: I obtained an excellent score for this assignment, which was much higher than the average score of all students. The way I presented the assignment was significantly different compared to that of many other students, but this was not an issue because I still followed the instructions of the assignment. The only weakness was that there were very few subheadings in my assignment.


STAGE 2 PATIENT STUDY

My Score: Skills - 37/50 (74%, Green), Knowledge - 38/50 (76%, Green)
Assignment Date: February 2016
Comments: I scored quite well in this assignment, but there were some weaknesses. My explanation was incomplete in some areas. Besides, some of the sources that I used as references were not professional sources. I also used very few subheadings, tables and graphs in my assignment.


STAGE 2 STUDENT SELECTED COMPONENT

Link (Literature Review):
Literature Review Title: Is Mirror Therapy An Effective Treatment Option For Phantom Limb?
Oral Presentation Title: Treatment Of Phantom Limb
My Score: Skills - 44.5/60 (74%, Green), Knowledge - 38/50 (76%, Green)
Assignment Date: March 2016 (Literature Review), April 2016 (Oral Presentation)
Comments: I obtained a rather good score for this assignment, but I had some weaknesses. For the Literature Review, my explanation was not very detailed and I did not integrate the articles well when reviewing them. For the Oral Presentation, the text in my presentation was a bit small and I used very few pictures.


To download the assignment samples, open the download link above. After that, click the Download button at the top of the page to start the download. The downloaded file is in PDF format. To open the file, you need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The 3 eventful months between 1 June 2016 and 29 August 2016

For the year 2016, the most interesting period of time was my 3 month break between 1 June 2016 which was the last day of my 2nd year of MBBS course and 29 August 2016 which was the start of my 3rd year of MBBS. Several interesting incidents happened during that 3 months. Now, I still remember those incidents very well, and I am going to write about them here.

Before that, I was already longing for the 3 month break to begin. Throughout May 2016, I experienced extreme stress while I was revising for the Progress 2 examination as there was a lot to revise. The break allowed me to fully relax myself after having gone through the stress. This is the last long break in my life. In 2017, my break will be only 1.5 months; in 2018, my break will be only 1 month.


1 June 2016 (Wednesday):
- Completed Paper 2 of Progress 2 examination
- Had dinner at Nando’s, AEON Bukit Indah

2 June 2016 (Thursday):
- Watched X-Men: Apocalypse with my friends at TGV Cinema, AEON Bukit Indah
- Had lunch with my friends at Stonegrill

4 June 2016 (Saturday):
- Went back to Subang Jaya

8 June 2016 (Wednesday):
- Passed 2nd year of MBBS successfully

11 June 2016 (Saturday):
- Went back to Kulim
- Had dinner at Fettes Park, Penang with my parents and grandparents

14 June 2016 (Tuesday):
- Watched Apple WWDC Keynote online

26 June 2016 (Sunday):
- Returned to Subang Jaya
- Had dinner at The Ship with my parents

27 June 2016 (Monday):
- Went to a book fair at One City Mall with my mother
- Learnt new attack strategy for Clash of Clans - GoVaHo

28 June 2016 (Tuesday):
- Uploaded notes for A2 Level Physics based on the 2016 syllabus to this blog

30 June 2016 (Thursday):
- Uploaded notes for A2 Level Chemistry based on the 2016 syllabus to this blog

2 July 2016 (Saturday):
- Had lunch with my friends at Home Made Restaurant, SS15
- Had desserts with my friends at Fatbaby Ice-cream
- Played board games with my friends at Meeples

3 July 2016 (Sunday):
- My 1st Clash of Clans account upgraded to TH10
- Had buffet dinner at Melting Pot, Concorde Hotel with my parents

5 July 2016 (Tuesday):
- Tried to renew my passport but had to give up as there were too many people

6 July 2016 (Wednesday):
- Had lunch with my friends at Archana Curry House, Klang
- Played board games with my friends at Meeples, SS15
- Had dinner at Sri Petaling with my relatives

7 July 2016 (Thursday):
- Had dinner at Red Lobster with my parents

8 July 2016 (Friday):
- Took the LRT for the first time with my mother

9 July 2016 (Saturday):
- Uploaded notes for A2 Level Biology based on the 2016 syllabus to this blog

10 July 2016 (Sunday):
- Had lunch at Yut Kee Kopitiam with my parents

11 July 2016 (Monday):
- Successfully renewed my passport

14 July 2016 (Thursday):
- Had lunch with my friend at Raj’s Banana Leaf, Bangsar
- Went shopping with my friend at Reliance Optical Centre

15 July 2016 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Plan B with my parents

16 July 2016 (Saturday):
- My 2nd Clash of Clans account upgraded to TH9
- Had dinner at Cheras with my family

17 July 2016 (Sunday):
- Had dinner at Pavilion Mall with my family

19 July 2016 (Tuesday):
- Had dinner at Sri Petaling with my relatives

21 July 2016 (Thursday):
- Watched Bad Neighbors (2014) online

22 July 2016 (Friday):
- Went to IPC Mall with my mother
- Met my friend there by chance

25 July 2016 (Monday):
- Uploaded e-books for A Level Mathematics to this blog

29 July 2016 (Friday):
- Updated my Acer laptop to Windows 10 Anniversary Update

30 July 2016 (Saturday):
- Had lunch at Nandos, USJ Taipan with my mother

3 August 2016 (Wednesday):
- Went to a sports fair at USJ 19 Mall with my mother

5 August 2016 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Fatty Crab Restaurant with my parents

6 August 2016 (Saturday):
- Attended my grandfather’s birthday dinner in Penang
- Went back to Kulim

8 August 2016 (Monday):
- Joined NUMed confession page

11 August 2016 (Thursday):
- Reached Arena 7 in Clash Royale

12 August 2016 (Friday):
- NUMed confession page was shut down

14 August 2016 (Sunday):
- Retuned to Subang Jaya
- Had dinner at The Ship with my parents

17 August 2016 (Wednesday):
- Watched Captain America: Civil War online

18 August 2016 (Thursday):
- Created a fixed deposit account at my bank

19 August 2016 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Morganfield’s with my parents

17 August (Wednesday) – 21 August 2016 (Sunday):
- Watched Rio 2016 Olympics

24 August 2016 (Wednesday):
- Watched Nerve movie with my friend at GSC Cinema, NU Sentral
- Had dinner with my friend at Chili Espresso

27 August 2016 (Saturday):
- Played badminton with my friends at Taman Megah Badminton Hall
- Had lunch with my friends at Ming Tien Food Court
- Had dinner at Fuego, Troika Sky Dining with my parents

28 August 2016 (Sunday):
- Moved into Horizon Residences

29 August 2016 (Monday):
- Began 3rd year of MBBS at NUMed


If you find this interesting, you may want to read this too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-4-eventful-months-after-my-1st-year.html

Friday, 26 August 2016

The 4 eventful months between 27 May 2015 and 29 September 2015

Looking back at year 2015, the most interesting period of time was the 4 months between 27 May 2015 which was the last day of my 1st year of MBBS course and 29 September 2015 which was the start of my 2nd year of MBBS. Several interesting incidents happened during that 4 months. Even though now it is year 2016, I still remember those incidents very well, and I am going to write about them here.


27 May 2015 (Wednesday):
- Had lunch with my house mates
- Sat for Paper 2 of Progress 3 examination
- Had dinner at Nandos in AEON Bukit Indah

30 May 2015 (Saturday):
- Went back to Subang Jaya

1 June 2015 (Sunday):
- Had dinner at Burger Factory in SS15 with my parents and grandparents

3 June 2015 (Wednesday):
- My Clash of Clans Town Hall upgraded to level 9

4 June 2015 (Thursday):
- Passed 1st year of MBBS course at NUMed Malaysia

6 June 2015 (Saturday):
- Went back to Kulim

7 June 2015 (Sunday):
- Collected my SPM 2013 certificate at Kedah State Education Department in Alor Star
- My cousins came to Kulim

8 June 2015 (Monday):
- Had a food trip to Penang with my family
- Visited Snake Temple in Penang
- Watched Fast and Furious 7 at home with my cousins

9 June 2015 (Tuesday):
- Watched The Avengers: Age of Ultron at home with my cousins

28 June 2015 (Sunday):
- Returned to Subang Jaya

29 June 2015 (Monday):
- Had dinner at Thai Thai Restaurant in Sunway Pyramid with my friends

4 July 2015 (Saturday):
- Watched Terminator Genisys at GSC Cinema in IOI Mall with my friends
- Had dinner at Sakae Sushi with my friends

5 July 2015 (Sunday):
- Had dinner at Souled Out in Sri Hartamas with my parents

8 July 2015 (Wednesday):
- Spent time at Taylor’s College

9 July 2015 (Thursday):
- Attended my relative’s wedding

11 July 2015 (Saturday):
- Had a weird dream which seemed to remind me about the importance of my family

12 July 2015 (Sunday):
- Had lunch at Yut Kee Kopitiam with my parents
- My all Dragons strategy in Clash of Clans no longer effective
- Had dinner at Fatty Crab Restaurant with my parents

16 July 2015 (Thursday):
- Had lunch at Sri Ganapathy Mess with my friends
- Had desserts at Weng Kee with my friends

17 July 2015 (Friday):
- Had dinner at KLCC with my family

18 July 2015 (Saturday):
- Had lunch at KLCC with my family
- Watched Ant-Man at GSC Cinema in IOI Mall with my friends
- Learnt new strategies in Clash of Clans: GoWiPe and GoWiWi

19 July 2015 (Sunday):
- Completed Escape Room challenge at Berjaya Times Square with my cousins
- Had lunch at Pavilion Mall with my family
- Had dinner in Sri Petaling with my family

24 July 2015 (Friday):
- Tested Windows 10 in virtual machine

25 July 2015 (Saturday):
- Upgraded my Acer laptop to Windows 10

26 July 2015 (Sunday):
- Went to Ipoh with my parents
- Had dinner at The Ship with my parents

30 July 2015 (Thursday):
- Spent time at Taylor’s College
- Met one of my friend at college

31 July 2015 (Friday):
- Obtained my Competent Driving License

6 August 2015 (Thursday):
- Spent time at Taylor’s College

9 August 2015 (Sunday):
- Went to Penang with my parents
- Went back to Kulim

12 August 2015 (Wednesday):
- My uncle came to Kulim

13 August 2015 (Thursday):
- Went to Sungai Petani with my grandparents and uncle

15 August 2015 (Saturday):
- My parents came to Kulim
- Attended my grandfather’s birthday dinner in Penang

23 August 2015 (Sunday):
- Returned to Subang Jaya

29 August 2015 (Saturday):
- Had lunch at Shukaku Shabu-Shabu with my friends
- Had desserts at Fruity Bakery with my friends
- Attended the 1st birthday celebration of my mother’s friend’s granddaughter

4 September 2015 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Tony Roma’s in Citta Mall with my parents

10 September 2015 (Thursday):
- Watched Apple Hey Siri event online

11 September 2015 (Friday):
- Joined my friend’s birthday celebration at Fa-Ying by Rama V in Paradigm Mall

13 September 2015 (Sunday):
- Bought 16GB SD card for my HTC One E8 phone
- Had dinner at Fatty Crab Restaurant with my parents

17 September 2015 (Thursday):
- Upgraded my iPad Air to iOS 9

19 September 2015 (Saturday):
- Had dinner at Souled Out in Sri Hartamas with my parents

20 September 2015 (Sunday):
- Had lunch at Face to Face Noodle House in SS15 with my friends
- Played board games at Meeples with my friends

24 September 2015 (Thursday):
- Attended my father’s friend’s Hari Raya Haji open house

25 September 2015 (Friday):
- Had dinner at Bubba Gump in Sunway Pyramid with my parents

26 September 2015 (Saturday):
- Moved into Horizon Residences

27 September 2015 (Sunday):
- Had dinner with my house mates

29 September 2015 (Tuesday):
- Began 2nd year of MBBS course at NUMed Malaysia


If you find this interesting, you may want to read these too:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-3-eventful-months-after-my-2nd-year.html
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-4-eventful-months-after-my-a2-level.html

Friday, 5 August 2016

My Social Life

When I was in primary school, I and my classmates were in the same class from Standard 2 until Standard 6. During that 5 years, I was quite close to most of my classmates and they were the only friends I had. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, I organised my birthday party at my house and I invited my classmates. Many of them attended and we really enjoyed it. Sometimes, we played board games in school when we were free, but the strict rules at my school limited that.

After completing primary school in late 2007, most of my classmates chose to study in SMJK Chio Min. However, my family members preferred that I study in SMK Sultan Badlishah, because it had better results in public examinations and it was only open to students who obtained straight A in UPSR. At that time, I actually wanted to choose SMJK Chio Min as I wanted to continue studying together with my primary school friends, but I eventually chose SMK Sultan Badlishah because I did not want to disappoint my family members. I felt sad having to separate with my primary school friends.

In January 2008, I started studying at SMK Sultan Badlishah. Only about 5 of my primary school friends came to study at SMK Sultan Badlishah. All of them were girls and none of them were very close to me previously. I had problems with my social life in secondary school. I made a few friends in class since my first few days in school, but I did not go and be friends with my other classmates or students from other classes. Worst of all, I sometimes quarrelled with some of the girls in my class.

On 5 April 2008, I organised my 13th birthday party. I invited many of my primary school friends, but not my secondary school friends as I was not close to them. During the party, I could meet and talk to my primary school friends and I felt happy about that. They also thanked me for making this possible through my birthday party. I told myself that I must organise another party in the following year.

Over the following months, due to my excellent results in school examinations, my popularity in secondary school greatly increased and many students from all classes knew me. Everywhere I walked, there would be girls from other classes saying hi to me and that made me feel proud of myself. Despite that, I was still close to only a few friends. I was quite quiet and passive in school. In fact, my teacher complained about that to my parents twice during the Parents' Day.

Towards the end of 2008, there was some improvement in my relationship with the girls in my class. Then in early 2009, I started becoming friends with them. In February 2009, I became very close to one of my friend who was very popular in school. Through him, I knew more people from other classes and became friends with them. Meanwhile, my popularity in school continued to increase. I made it a point to be friends with every one who said hi to me. As a result, the number of friends I had increased greatly.

On 4 April 2009, I once again organised my birthday party. I again invited many of my primary school friends. This time, I also invited some of my secondary school friends. However, during the party I had the feeling that my primary school friends did not want to talk to me that much compared to previously and they seemed to be more interested in playing their mobile phones. I realised that we were not that close anymore after being separated for more than 1 year. Therefore, I decided that my most important friends should be my secondary school friends instead of my primary school friends. I also decided not to organise my birthday party in the following year.

By late 2009, I had many friends in secondary school and I was no longer quiet. I and my classmates remained in the same class from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, I became closer to more of my friends, including those that I was not very close to previously. As a result, I started talking to my friends a lot. I became quite talkative till my teacher wanted to change my seat on a few occasions. However, for some reason, my popularity in school had been declining at that time. On 15 November 2010, I and my classmates went to Kulim Landmark Central to celebrate our end of lower secondary. That was the first and only time I had an outing with them.

In January 2011, I entered Form 4 which is upper secondary. My school reallocated every student into different classes. I was changed to a new class and only a few of my lower secondary classmates were in the same class as me. I felt a bit sad about that, but not too sad since I was still in the same school as my other lower secondary classmates. I became friends with my upper secondary classmates quite easily because I had known many of them previously. I still stayed in touch with my lower secondary classmates. Compared to my lower secondary classmates, my upper secondary classmates were less active and more quiet.

On 16 April 2011, I organised my 16th birthday party, due to requests from a few of my primary school friends. I invited many of my primary school and secondary school friends. Sadly, not many of my primary school friends attended it. In addition, those who attended did not talk to me much, instead they preferred to talk among themselves. Worst of all, among those who did not attend, many of them stated that they 'most likely will attend' and a few stated that they 'definitely will attend' on the RSVP form I gave them. This party was not interesting and there was a lot of wasted food. I was very disappointed with my primary school friends. As a result, I decided to ditch most of them and only consider my secondary school friends to be my important friends from then on.

In June 2011, I set myself the target of getting straight A+ in SPM in order to get the JPA scholarship. Since then, I had been studying very hard and I focused a lot on my studies. Consequently, I did not pay much attention to my relationship with my upper secondary classmates, so I did not become very close to them. In fact, at that time I considered myself a nerd and I was proud about that. When I entered Form 5 in January 2012, I and my upper secondary classmates remained in the same class.

On 11 July 2012, an incident happened which made me realised that apart from my studies my friends are also important and I should make the most out of every moment I had with them since we would be separated in a few months time. After that incident, I became much closer to my upper secondary classmates. I often gave them help in the studies since the SPM examination was approaching. I treasured my every moment in school with them, but time seemed to pass so quickly. After the SPM in November 2012, we were separated. I felt very sad about that and I missed them very much. I wanted to have outings with them at that time, unfortunately, I did not make an effort to organise one, and none of them did either.

In January 2013, I started studying A Level at Taylor's College Subang Jaya (TCSJ). I actually preferred studying Matriculation, but I had to study A Level because I was not confident of getting the offer for Matriculation after I thought that I screwed up the SPM. None of my secondary school friends studied at TCSJ at that time. The environment at TCSJ is very different compared to secondary school and I did not like college life. I also felt different from my college classmates as they were from Subang Jaya while I was from Kulim. 

As a result, I made only a few friends in college and I was quite antisocial. I was only close to my few friends and I talked very little to my other classmates. I also often had lunch alone. For the group assignment of the MPW Moral Education subject, I was put in the same group with a few classmates whom I was not close to. Consequently, I refused to participate in the assignment, which later caused me to fail the subject.

As time went on, I began to enjoy college life, mainly due to the excellent facilities, lenient rules and low stress at TCSJ. In fact, I felt that A Level was a better choice for me compared to Matriculation. In April 2013, there had been some improvement to my social life in college. I became closer to my friends and I also talked to more of my classmates. Starting from May 2013, I often went for lunch with my few close friends instead of alone. On 7 June 2013, for the first time I had lunch with my college classmates in a large group.

I had the opportunity to meet up with my secondary school friends when I went back to my secondary school to get my SPM results in March 2013 and to receive the award for getting straight A in SPM in May 2013. I was hoping to continue meeting them in the future. During my college holidays in June 2013, I took the initiative to organise an outing with my upper secondary classmates. However, the response from them was not quite positive. Some did not respond at all while a few left the group conversation without responding. Eventually, only 3 of them turned up. We had lunch at Kulim Landmark Central. That was the last time we met.

In July 2013, a few of my secondary school friends joined the July intake of A Level at TCSJ and I was happy to see them. At that time, my relationship with my college classmates further improved. I talked more to many of them. I also went for lunch with them in a large group quite often. On 31 July 2013, an important incident happened. I confessed to many of my college classmates about my love story in secondary school which aroused their interest, causing our conversation to last very long. As a result, they knew about me much more and I realised that I could actually communicate with them quite well. That incident brought me became much closer to them compared to previously.

In August 2013, there was 1 week holiday, and then 3 weeks of college examination, followed by another 1 week of holiday. During the holidays, I wanted to meet up with my secondary school friends again, but none of them were free. By September 2013, I was very close to my college friends and I was no longer antisocial. Because of that, I felt that college life was even more interesting than before. Through my secondary school friends who were studying at TCSJ, I knew some of their classmates. However, apart from that, I did not know any student from other classes, because the environment at TCSJ did not foster much interaction between students from different classes.

On 11 November 2013, I had an outing with my college friends for the first time. We went to Secrets of Louisiana for lunch. Then on 9 December 2013, another incident happened. I helped one of my college friends to carry her books and she called me a gentleman. That incident made me realise that I still could give my college friends a good impression about me even though I was quite antisocial previously. After that incident, I started considering my college friends to be my most important friends, replacing my secondary school friends. It had been quite some time since I last contacted my secondary school friends as I was busy revising for my AS Level examination earlier.

From 16 to 18 December 2013, I and my college friends went on a holiday trip to Singapore. It was an interesting trip, even though some incidents happened. That trip made me value my friendship with them even more. During my holidays in late December 2013, some of my secondary school friends talked about meeting up. Again, very few responded to the conversation and this time I did not respond too.

In the first half of 2014, I treasured every moment I had with my friends in college and I made the most out of it, since we would be separated after a few months. I had lunch with my college friends almost every day, and we had outings occasionally. I also gave them help in their studies quite often. At that time, I had considered my secondary school friends who studied at TCSJ to be my college friends as well, so they were also my most important friends.

In May 2014 during my A2 Level examination, I felt sad that the exam was going to end because I would be separated with my college friends after that. It turned out that I was thinking too negatively. During the 4 months after the examination, I and my college friends had outings quite often, so we were not actually separated. We went on a holiday trip to Redang Island from 16 to 18 July 2014. That trip is one of the most interesting trips I had. We continued meeting up until September 2014 and those 4 months were very interesting for me.

In September 2014, I started studying MBBS at Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia. I felt sad that I would not be meeting my college friends for quite some time, but I was sure that we would continue meeting up in the future whenever there is break. At NUMed, I told myself that I should not repeat the same mistake of being antisocial. I made some effort to get to know the students in my seminar group as well as some students in other groups.

I chose not to attend the orientation events organised by the seniors because I was worried that the seniors might disturb me by asking me to do weird things. Despite that, I did not have problems getting to know other students because the environment at NUMed encourages interaction between students. One of my housemate was quite popular in university. Through him, I got to know his friends, some of them were also very popular. Soon, I became friends with every one in my seminar group and many students in other groups. During the Progress 1 exam in November 2014, I scored excellent results and was ranked 9 in my cohort. That helped make more students in my university know me.

On 26 November 2014, I and my group mates celebrated the birthday of someone in our group. During the celebration, we played the 'Truth and dare' game, where I confessed to my group mates about my love story. That incident brought us closer together. As a result, I started considering my university friends to be my most important friends along with my college friends. Meanwhile, I ditched most of my secondary school friends since I had not kept in touch with them for a long time, except for those few who studied at TCSJ.

On 11 December 2014, I had an outing with my university group mates for the first time. We had breakfast at Tea Garden in Bukit Indah. In the first half of 2015, I and my group mates had several outings. We also celebrated the birthdays of almost every one in our group including me. During the university breaks in December 2014 and April 2015, I met up with some of my college friends. In June 2015, I completed Stage 1 of MBBS successfully. During my 4 month break at that time, I and my college friends met up several times.

In September 2015, I began Stage 2 of MBBS. In the previous years, there were some changes in the seminar groups, where 1 or 2 students in every group were moved to another group. At that time, I was quite worried of being moved to another group. In turned out that for my year, there was no change at all for every seminar group, thanks to the fact that very few students failed Stage 1. I was happy that I could remain in the same group with my group mates.

From late 2015 until the first half of 2016, I occasionally had outings with my university friends, just like in Stage 1. During my breaks in December 2015 and April 2016, I again met my college friends. Starting from April 2016, I often sat with my friends when I had lunch in my university's cafeteria and talked to them while eating. That brought me even closer to my university friends. In June 2016, I successfully completed Stage 2. Before going back for the break, I and my university friends went to watch movie together. During the 3 month break, I and my college friends met up many times. We were still very close even though we had separated for 2 years.

In late August 2016, I began Stage 3 of MBBS which is the clinical year. My university completely reallocated every student into different groups. As a result, I am no longer in the same group as my group mates during Stage 1 and 2, so I feel sad about that. However, we are still studying in the same university, so we continue to meet and keep in touch with each other. Meanwhile, I still keep in touch with my college friends.

Now, I consider my university friends and college friends to be my most important friends, and this will remain the same in the future. Unlike my primary school and secondary school friends previously, I will never ditch my college friends and university friends. Even though I was once quite close to my primary school and secondary school friends, we never had much interesting activities together and thus we had less memories, so our friendship couldn't last very long. In contrast, I have a lot of wonderful and remarkable memories with my college friends and university friends which will make our friendship long lasting.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

How I Feel About Assignments?

Assignment is a common form of assessment used in academics, just like examinations. In some cases, both assignment and examination are used together, while in other cases, only either one of examination or assignment is used. If you have the choice, do you prefer to be assessed through assignments or examinations? For me, I prefer assignments, but my feeling about assignments have changed from time to time in the past.

When I was in primary school, I never had any assignments. Examinations were the only form of assessment. Then, in lower secondary school, there were assignments for the History and Geography subjects. In Form 1, since that was my first time doing assignments, it was very daunting for me. I did not have any idea how to do the History assignment, so I had to ask my mother to do most of it for me. The Geography assignment was a bit easier because my teacher gave us samples of it, but I still had to do it under my mother's guidance. At that time, I hated assignments a lot. In Form 2, since I had the experience of doing the assignments in the previous year, I did not find them so difficult and I was able to do them without help from my mother. I also worked with my friends on some parts of the assignments. I no longer hated assignments, although I still did not enjoy doing them. In Form 3, I no longer felt that the assignments were difficult, due to the experience I had from the past 2 years. In fact, I began to enjoy doing the assignments. The reason was because at that time, my grandparents limited my usage of the Internet because they were concerned about my studies, but I could use the assignments as an excuse to go onto the Internet, since the assignments were done using computer.

In upper secondary school, there was no more assignment for History. Instead, there were assignments for ICT, Additional Mathematics and Moral Education. The ICT assignment was quite easy and I enjoyed doing it. However, it turned out that my teacher himself offered to do some parts of the assignment for every student. I preferred my own work, but unfortunately my teacher did not like my work and he insisted that I use the one provided by him. The Additional Mathematics assignment was also quite easy and I enjoyed doing it too. I eventually scored 8/10 in that assignment. The Moral Education assignment was not difficult, but I did not enjoy doing it because it involved writing essays which I disliked. Worst of all, unlike other assignments, the Moral Education assignment must be handwritten and cannot be done using computer.

After finishing my SPM examination, my parents took me to attend the Taylor's College open day in December 2012. There, the counsellor introduced Cambridge A Level and South Australian Matriculation (SAM) which were the pre-university programmes offered at Taylor's College. He explained to us that A Level is fully accessed by examinations while SAM is assessed by 30% examinations and 70% assignments. Thinking back at secondary school, even though I did enjoy doing some of the assignments, I was more accustomed to examinations compared to assignments as most of the subjects in secondary school were fully assessed by examination. So, I decided that A Level which is fully examination based is more suitable for me.

In January 2013, I started studying A Level at Taylor's College. There was no assignment at all for the A Level subjects. However, I had to study the MPW Moral Education and Malaysian Studies subjects which were made compulsory by the Ministry of Education. Both assignments and examinations were used in the assessment of the MPW subjects. Therefore, I still had assignments to do. The Moral Education assignment was a group assignment. At that time, I was quite antisocial in college and I was not close to any one in my assignment group. As a result, I refused to participate in that assignment and I thought I could pass by just scoring well in the examination. It turned out that I failed the MPW Moral Education because I had no mark for the assignment. After discussing with the lecturer, he gave me an alternative 20 page assignment with the title 'The Dumping of Babies in Malaysia'. I definitely did not enjoy that assignment, but I was able to do it reasonably well, so I managed to pass the Moral Education in the end. As for the MPW Malaysian Studies, there was also a group assignment. Unlike the Moral Education, the lecturer allowed us to choose our group members. I chose to be in the same group with my few close friends and I participated in the assignment. In this assignment, we had to do a drama about pickpockets and I acted as the victim. It was quite easy and interesting.

In September 2014, I started studying MBBS at NUMed. On my first day at NUMed, the lecturer explained to us about the assessment system. For the Stage 1 and 2, there are 3 forms of assessment which are Progress (written) examinations, OSCE (practical) examinations and assignments. In order pass a year, students need to pass all 3 forms of assessments; a good performance in one cannot compensate for a poor performance in another. At that time, I thought that examinations would be much easier than assignments because the examinations are multiple choice, while assignments require doing research and writing long essays. In addition, I previously studied A Level which is fully examination based. I also knew that university assignments would be very different and much more difficult than assignments in secondary school. Therefore, I wished that there would be only examinations but not assignments.

There were 3 assignments in Stage 1. The 1st assignment was distributed just 2 weeks after the start of the course. In this assignment, I had to write a newspaper report about Folic acid supplementation and spina bifida, and a reflection about my first 4 weeks at NUMed. I found this assignment very difficult, as I had never written a reflection before and to write the newspaper report I had to do research which I was not good at. Worst of all, its deadline was just 3 days after the Progress 1 examination. I had to do half of the assignment during my revision period before the examination, and I left the other half for the 3 days after the exam. I was able to finish and submit the assignment on time, but I had no idea whether or not I had done the assignment correctly. I eventually got borderline pass for that assignment.

The 2nd assignment was about critical appraisal and literature review. This assignment was more difficult than the 1st so I decided to get a sample of the assignment from one of my seniors and use it as a guide. With the guide, I had the idea on how it should be done. However, this assignment was extremely tedious, because I had to read several long journal articles in detail, and that made me feel very stressed. Worst of all, for my batch, a new instruction was introduced for the first time, where the journal articles should be reviewed in an integrated manner rather than 'one after another'. Reviewing them 'one after another' is definitely easier and that was what my senior did because there was no such instruction for his batch. Amid the stress, I took the risk and ignored that instruction. I also did not make any citation which was required because I hated doing that. In the end, I once again got borderline pass for the 2nd assignment, but my score improved slightly compared to the 1st assignment. I was not deducted any marks for not following that instruction, but I loss several marks for not making citations. The difficulty of the 1st and 2nd assignments made me hate assignments even more.

Then, the 3rd assignment was the Family Study. I was required to write a detailed report after visiting a pregnant mother 4 times with my study partner. This assignment was the longest and it contributed the most marks compared to the others, so it was given particular attention by the lecturers. However, unlike the 1st and 2nd assignments, I felt this assignment was easier and more interesting. I was able to complete it without much stress and difficulties, and I didn't even get any sample from my seniors. I also learnt how to use EndNote at that time which made citations much easier. I was very confident that I would pass it. At last, I scored 85% for the 3rd assignment. It was an excellent score and was a very huge improvement compared to my 2nd assignment, and I was very proud of it. Because of that, I no longer hated assignments that much.

After completing the 3rd assignment, I was relieved that there would be no more assignments for Stage 1. Since assignments were the most difficult for me, I thought that the remaining of Stage 1 should be easy. However, I soon realised that I was too naive to think that way. It turned out that my revision for the Progress 3 examination was very stressful as there were a lot to revise and I started the revision too late. At that time, I no longer felt that examinations are easier than assignments.

In September 2015, I began Stage 2 of MBBS at NUMed. Unlike Stage 1, there were only 2 assignments in Stage 2. The 1st assignment was the Patient Study. In this assignment, I had to visit a patient with a chronic illness 4 times with my study partners and then produce a report about the patient. It is quite similar to the Family Study in Stage 1. Before I started doing this assignment, I had expected that it would not be too difficult since I did not find the Family Study difficult previously. This assignment turned out to be a little more difficult than the Family Study because it required more knowledge. Still, I did not feel stressed doing it. In fact, I completed and submitted it one week before the deadline. I eventually scored 75% in this assignment. Even though not as good as the Family Study, it is still a very good score.

The 2nd assignment was the Student Selected Component 1 (SSC1). This assignment had 2 parts, Literature review and Oral presentation. For the 1st part, I had to choose any topic that I am interested in and do a literature review about the topic. It is similar to the 2nd assignment in Stage 1. I chose the topic 'Is mirror therapy an effective treatment option for phantom limb?'. I first heard about phantom limb through one of the lectures in my university and I was interested to explore further about it. Before I started doing this assignment, I had expected it would be quite difficult since the 2nd assignment in Stage 1 was quite difficult for me. However, it turned out that this assignment was not that difficult after all. Even though I had to read several journal articles, I did not feel too stressed this time, probably because I had the experience gained from Stage 1 and the topic which I selected myself is more interesting. For the 2nd part, I had to present to an audience about my topic using PowerPoint. I considered this to be the easiest among all assessments in university. Back in Stage 1, when I first knew about the existence of this oral presentation, I thought that it would be quite difficult for me, but my thoughts on that had since changed. I felt that I performed quite well during the oral presentation. I scored 75% for the SSC1 in the end, which is the same score as the Patient Study.

After completing the 2nd assignment, I started revising for the Progress 2 examination. Just like what I had expected earlier, the revision was extremely stressful because there were a lot to revise and the topics were quite difficult. Since then, I feel that examinations are actually much more difficult than assignments. Doing research and writing essays for the assignments may not be easy, but is definitely not as difficult as having to understand and remember a lot of information to revise for the examinations. This is the direct opposite to what I thought in the beginning of Stage 1.

However, there is no assignment in Stage 3 and the 1st semester of Stage 4. My next assignment will be the Student Selected Component 2 (SSC2) in the 2nd semester of Stage 4.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

My Lost Glory in Academics

In the past before I entered university, I used to get excellent results in examinations. I obtained 9A+ 1A in SPM and 4A* in A Level. I also achieved straight A's in every single school and college exams from October 2009 until August 2014, a 5 year record. In September 2014, I started studying Medicine at NUMed Malaysia. At that time, I was hoping that I could continue my academic excellence in university.

On 22 September 2014 which is my first day at NUMed, the lecturer explained to us about the assessment system. For Stage 1 and 2, there are 3 forms of assessment which are Progress examination, OSCE and assignment. Every assessment is given 3 grades which are Green (Safe pass), Amber (Borderline pass) and Red (Fail). In order pass a Stage, students need to pass all 3 forms of assessments. A good performance in one cannot compensate for a poor performance in another. At that time, I felt that Progress examinations would be my strong point while assignments would be my weak point since I previously studied A Level which is fully examination based. The pass mark for Progress examinations is usually around 52%. I aimed to score 80% or above in every Progress examination because that feels like getting grade A, even though there is actually no special grade for 80%. As for the OSCE and assignments, I was just aiming for pass.

Things went well in the beginning. On 3 November 2014, it was the Stage 1 Progress 1 examination which is the first exam in university. I felt that the exam was more difficult compared to A Level, as many of the questions require a lot of thinking. I also found the questions on anatomy very difficult, but there were only a few of them. Despite that, I successfully scored 84% in that exam which is a very good result and I was ranked 9 in the whole cohort. I was very happy about my results and that greatly boosted my confidence in studying Medicine. I wanted to maintain the same results for the next examination. In early December 2014, I started my revision for the Stage 1 Progress 2 examination. While revising, I did not put in any effort to improve my knowledge on anatomy which I had identified as my weak point, because I thought that anatomy is not important since only a few questions on it appeared in Progress 1.

On 12 and 13 January 2015, it was the Stage 1 Progress 2 examination. Unlike the Progress 1, this exam had 2 papers. For Progress 2 Paper 1, I felt that it was about as difficult as Progress 1. Once again, there were a few anatomy questions and I could not answer most of them. After Paper 1 ended, I went back to the university accommodation together with a few friends. During the journey, I discussed with them about the exam questions. They said that they felt the anatomy questions were not difficult. Also, there were a few questions which I was already very confident that I answered correctly, but my friends had different answers, and they were also very sure that they were correct. That affected my confidence on Paper 1, and I felt I did not answer it that well compared to the Progress 1. I was hoping that I could do better in Paper 2 to compensate for that. What's more annoying is that one of my housemate proudly said that the anatomy questions were easy and that he felt his "love on anatomy is beginning to grow".

It turned out that Paper 2 was much more difficult than Paper 1. Out of my expectation, there were many questions on anatomy, most of which I could not answer. After taking Paper 2, I knew I had no chance of getting 80% in the Progress 2 anymore. Worst of all, when my housemate (who said the anatomy questions were easy) knew about that, he mocked me by saying "How are you going to be a doctor when you don't know anatomy?" I was quite annoyed with him over that incident. Eventually, I scored 73% for the exam. I was disappointed that my score had dropped a lot compared to the Progress 1, and as a result I hated the Progress 2. The timing of the Progress 2 exam was also bad. It was scheduled immediately after the winter break, therefore I could not relax and was forced to study during the break. In addition, the deadline for the 2nd assignment was just 2 weeks after the exam, so I had to start doing the assignment immediately after the exam and thus could not relax.

On 11 March 2015, I finally completed the 3rd and last assignment in Stage 1. After all those assignments, I decided to relax for one whole month. In mid April 2015, I started studying for the Stage 1 Progress 3 examination. Initially, I aimed to get back 80% in the Progress 3. However, I soon realised that I had started my revision too late. There were a lot to revise for the Progress 3 since it would test on everything learnt in both Semester 1 and 2 and that made me feel very stressed. I knew I could no longer get 80% so I gave up on it. The Progress 3 exam was on 26 and 27 May 2015. Progress 3 Paper 1 again had many anatomy questions and I could not answer many of them. Paper 2 also had many questions on anatomy, but somehow I was able to answer some of them. Still, I knew that I had no chance of getting 80% in the exam. On 4 June 2015, the overall results for Stage 1 was released. I obtained 68% for the Progress 3 and I passed Stage 1 successfully. At that time, I was having 4 month summer break. Since I had passed Stage 1, I did not think much about my examination results. Instead, I fully relaxed and enjoyed myself throughout the break.

On 29 September 2015, I began Stage 2. At that time, I felt that the 4 month break seemed to pass so quickly and I was still in holiday mood, so I could not get myself back to study. Then, one day in October 2015, I was thinking back of Stage 1. I realised that in the beginning of Stage 1, I was an excellent student, just like before I entered university, but starting from the Stage 1 Progress 2 exam onwards, my exam results dropped a lot and thus I had lost my excellence in academics. The Stage 1 Progress 1 exam was the last time I ever obtained excellent results. I felt sad thinking about that. I told myself that I must make a comeback by regaining my excellence in academics. I set myself the target of getting 80% or above in my next examination which was the Stage 2 Progress 1. That got me out of my holiday mood and back to study. I started revising for the Progress 1 examination in late October 2015 which was quite early. This time, I put in my effort to revise anatomy in more detail, since my weak point was anatomy. The revision made me feel quite stressed, but I persevered in order to achieve my aim.

The Stage 2 Progress 1 examination was on 11 and 12 January 2016. It turned out that this exam was very difficult as it tested on a lot of fine details, many of which I did not pay much attention during my revision. So, despite having done a lot of revision, I still could not answer very well in this exam. On 18 January 2016, the results of the Progress 1 exam was released and my score was 72%. I did not reach my target of 80% and I felt quite sad and disappointed over that. Later on the same day, I heard of the news that the JPA scholarship for leavers of the KPM Bursary had been suspended. It affected students who would be entering university from January 2016 onwards, and would not affect me and other students who were already offered the scholarship. I felt sad and pity for those students, and I gave them words of encouragement through the Facebook group for Bursary students. Then, thinking of myself, I realised how lucky I am to be sponsored by the JPA scholarship to study Medicine at NUMed. Even though I did not get 80% in the exam, I still passed and thus would be able to continue my course under the scholarship. Actually, my disappointment of not getting 80% in the exam is nothing if compared to the disappointment of those students who might be unable to further their studies due to the suspension of the JPA scholarship. Therefore, I should be grateful with my score in the exam, as long as it is a pass. Because of that, I was no longer disappointed about not getting 80% in the exam.

In late April 2016, after completing the last assignment for Stage 2, I started revising for the Stage 2 Progress 2 examination. Many students and even the lecturers claimed that this exam is the 2nd most difficult exam in our entire Medicine course. Therefore, even before I started the revision, I already expected that it would be very stressful. My expectation was true. I experienced extreme stress throughout May 2016 where I was busy revising. Amid the stress, I was worried that I might even fail the exam because I felt that I could not finish the revision in time. I was just hoping to pass and nothing more than that. I dared not even think about getting 80% as I knew that would be impossible. On 31 May and 1 June 2016, it was the Stage 2 Progress 2 exam. After all the hard work, I was able to answer reasonably well in the exam. The overall results for Stage 2 was released on 8 June 2016. I scored 64% in the Progress 2 and I passed Stage 2 successfully. Even though my results was worse compared to the previous examinations, I was grateful about it because I still passed.

From Stage 3 onwards, it is the clinical years. Compared to pre-clinical years, the learning process for clinical years is quite different, where there is a great emphasis on self-directed learning. As a result, clinical years is much more difficult and stressful. Therefore, I am definitely just aiming for a pass. I do not aim for better results as that will add to my stress. My attempt to regain my excellence in academics during Stage 2 had failed, and it looks like I will never be able to regain it again, but that doesn't matter to me anymore. Now, I have realised that whether I scored just a pass or 100% or anywhere in between, I am still graduating with the same MBBS degree, since my performance in exams will not be stated on the degree certificate at all, so regaining my academics excellence serves no real purpose. Medicine is a difficult degree course, so it is not reasonable to aim for the same level of performance in exams like A Level previously.