From Classroom to Clinic

Table of Contents

Come closer, yes you! I know you are a medical student, but are you in year 3 and yet to write your first professional (MB) exam? Yes? then this is for you.

Hey there, I’m Toluwanimi and I’m in the same shoes as you. I can relate, so please read to the very end. Viva voce is definitely not something I look forward to because I have tachylalia and I tend to stammer in between sentences. I do public speaking, give speeches and talking fast has never been an issue, but the mere thought of sitting in front of professors, doctors and clinicians who know so much more than I do increases my anxiety, adds a pinch of dysarthria to my already pulsating tachylogia and that is the exact reason I prefer to write.

How many MCQ questions is likely to be given? If it’s answer 7 out of 10 questions, I should be able to answer 6 conveniently, steeplechase would easily be my score booster, wet labs have to be within a certain range, blood pressure is measured in mmHg, PCR is in vivo; so many thoughts have been going through my head, I mean it’s a bustling world in my area 46.

In case you are still wondering, I’m here to give you strategies on how to navigate the tension build up that comes with the examination that serves as the gateway to clinical school into a tackling force against the challenges you might face in preparation. It’s funny right? I am yet to write the examination but I want to give you study tips. In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn, – Phil Collins

The journey to clinical school is a pivotal moment -a turning point that heralds the transition from classroom to hands-on patient care. The transition is more than just a procedural shift; it represents a profound evolution in our roles as medical students no longer confined to the realm of textbooks and lectures. We are preparing to step into the dynamic and multifaceted world of clinical practice where the principles and theories we have diligently studied will be put into action, and the art of medicine will come alive through our interactions with patients , colleagues and healthcare teams.

This assessment, a crucial hurdle to overcome, is not merely a test of academic prowess; it is a rite of passage that signifies our readiness to embark on the next stage of our medical journey. It is essential to approach it with diligence, determination, and a clear understanding of what lies ahead.

So, how do we prepare ourselves for the rigors of the exam? Let’s explore some strategies:


      1. Review and Reinforce: Take the time to revisit the foundational knowledge and skills acquired in the course of years 1&2. Organize study materials, create comprehensive and realistic study plans that fits your everyday schedule, and prioritize areas that require further review.

      1. Practice, Practice, Practice: engage in regular practice sessions, utilizing mock exams, practice questions, and clinical case studies to sharpen diagnostic and problem-solving abilities. Collaborate with peers to simulate clinical scenarios and enhance reasoning skills.

      1. Maintain Composure and Confidence: acknowledge and embrace any apprehension and anxieties surrounding the upcoming exam, but endeavor to maintain composure and confidence in your abilities. Implement stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing, or visualization to alleviate pre-exam jitters.

      1. Prioritize Self-Care: Amidst the demands of exam preparation, put yourself first by ensuring adequate rest, nutrition, and exercise. Establish a healthy balance between study sessions and leisure activities to optimize mental and physical well-being. Remember to sleep when necessary, as adequate rest is essential for cognitive function and overall well-being.

      1. Embrace Support Networks: Lean on your peers, parents, mentors, lecturers for guidance, encouragement, and emotional support throughout the preparation process. Create or join study groups, seek advice from senior students, and utilize available resources to bolster confidence and motivation.

    And remember, if at first, you do not succeed, there is always a re-sit option. Failure is not the end of the road -it’s a detour on the journey to success. Just as life didn’t end when I had to re-sit jamb ( I didn’t fail my first jamb), your medical education journey continues despite setbacks. With determination, perseverance, and a growth mindset, we can overcome challenges, learn from experiences, and emerge stronger and more resilient. So, let us embrace the transition to clinical school  with optimism, knowing that our journey is just beginning, and the best is yet to come.

                                                                                                                Folorunso Abigail Toluwanimi

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