Tuesday, 31 January 2012

UBC Medical Journal: Love at first click

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

I am happy to say that today I was directed to the UBC Medical Journal, the most relevant journal out there on the current happenings at UBC medical school. In their own words:

"The University of British Columbia Medical Journal (UBCMJ) is a student-run academic journal with a goal to engage students in dialogue in medicine. Our scope ranges from original research and review articles in medicine to medical trends, clinical reports, elective reports and commentaries in the principles and practice of medicine. We strive to maintain a high level of integrity and accuracy in our work, to encourage collaborative production and cross-disciplinary communication, and to stimulate critical and independent thinking.
We have a goal of establishing ourselves as one of the leading student-run publications in Canada and internationally, and expect high quality from our submissions. We accept articles in all areas of medicine, including but not limited to research, reviews, case reports, medical history, ethics, medical anthropology, epidemiology, public health, and international health."
So, make sure you check out this medical journal. Especially if you are on the hunt for relevant information about UBC medical school and their research focus.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Organic Chemistry II study tip of the week - Let's talk about how NOT to fail, shall we?

So, you're in organic chemistry class and you are committed to passing, possibly even doing well if you are ambitious. Maybe you're a premed. Maybe you just want a challenge (woo). Regardless, you're physically enrolled in ochem II class and that's a very good thing. Why? Because you passed ochem I. Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it. And now take a deep breath, it's going to be a bumpy ride because this aint ochem I, ladies and gents.

I'll tell you a secret, since I seem to be in a highly veracious mood this morning. A lot of students fail organic chemistry II. It can be a beast, and with a myriad of other course material from X, Y, and Z classes, ochem II can be very difficult to keep up with. So, I have a couple of pointers I'll share with you today about how to avoid getting an "F" on your transcript.

1) Never miss a lecture. You will fall behind.

2) Make a commitment to practicing as often as possible. And do whatever you can to figure out the solution on your own first. If it doesn't make sense to you, then take the initiative to find the relevant material in your textbook. If that doesn't make sense to you, there is most likely a key area where you are lacking comprehension. E.g. electronegativity, lewis structures, electron flow, charges, etc. Identify what you are not understanding and try to fix it.

3) Start to build a reaction notebook. Inside, keep all of the reactions you go through. You can even colour the reagents and/or write notes. Make sure you understand what portion of your starting material is reacting and the reagents they interact with.

4) Hand in every single assignment ON TIME. I don't care how good at organic chemistry you are. Or, how poor you think you are, for that matter. Every bit counts.

5) Never miss your exams without a valid reason. Need I explain?

6) Think about investing in a white board. If you have room, and find it helpful to practice while minimizing harm to the environment, go for it. Likewise, you can use your tablet or tablet PC as a writing tool for your practice.

7) Build a good relationship with your professor by attending office hours. Organic chemists love their chemistry. Talk to them. They are much more than just the people who give you your grades at the end of the day. Show them you want to succeed because chances are, without talking to them, you are going to end up being just another one of the "X" hundred students without a voice.

That's the tip of the week! Let me know what's going on through your minds. If you have specific questions, I can answer them. Or, I can come up with my own and hope they help you. Good luck, everyone.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

January book of the month: "The Night Shift" by Dr Brian Goldman

January's featured book of the month is "The Night Shift" by Dr. Brian Goldman. He is rather famous for his CBC radio show White Coat, Black Art where he attempts to provide an inside glimpse into the world of medicine, demystifying it for his viewers. He is also an ER physician at Mount Sinai hospital in downtown Toronto and is known for his refreshing candor when speaking of his own experiences as a physician. "The Night Shift" is a compelling read as it takes you through the mind of a physician as he encounters late night patients during his night shift at the ER. You begin to feel the compassion he has for his patients, as well as the uncertainty he must deal with when trying to decide how to best help them when solving medical and even ethical dilemmas.

I am only into this novel's third chapter. It has been downloaded on my iPhone and I keep finding myself returning back to it as I go on throughout my day. I hope you all enjoy it as I have thus far a great deal.