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30 tips to help you survive CP1 (as told by 4th years) 1. Make sure you own a stethoscope and consider having your name engraved on it. Junior doctors will often wander off with them after  borrowing  them  for  “a  few”  patients. 2. Be  aware  that  you  don’t  know  everyone.  So  you’ll  almost  definitely  mistake  someone  from   your year as a GEM. Awkward. 3. Don’t  expect  lectures  to  get  any  better.  It’ll  still  be  too  warm,  dark  and  comfy  to  stay  awake   in Friday afternoon teaching. 4. Kumar and Clark will still be a functional doorstop/draught excluder. Instead, buy the lighter and  more  useful  Oxford  Handbook  of  Clinical  Medicine  (the  “Cheese  and  Onion”). 5. Take opportunities! It may seem a little scary at first  but  you’ll  gain  a  lot.  Ask  questions  and   volunteer  yourself  to  do  things.  You’ll  learn  much  more  by  getting  involved  and  most  doctors   are more than happy to talk to you if you seem interested! 6. Buy  a  cheap  black  biro  and  when  it  gets  lost  or  “stolen”,  buy a whole bunch more. There is always a shortage of pens on a ward and everyone from doctors to nurses to the pharmacist need more. What better way to make friends than to be their dealer? 7. Never,  ever  write  on  a  patient’s  notes  in  blue  ink.  Just  don’t. 8. Get (and  actually  use)  an  iron.  Those  that  don’t  iron  their  shirts  will  be  silently  judged  by   those around them. As will those wearing bow ties. 9. Turn  up,  and  turn  up  on  time.  Just  because  it’s  optional  doesn’t  mean  it’s  useless.  (At the same time, just because  it’s  mandatory  doesn’t  mean  it’s  useful.) 10. The  answer  to  pretty  much  every  question  is  either  “I  would  do  a  full  history  and   examination”  or  “ABCDE”  (Airway/Breathing/Circulation/Disability/Exposure  and…   Everything  Else”.  On  a  similar  note,  gallstones  tend to come up quite a lot for no apparent reason,  so  if  you’re  stuck for an answer, suggest them. 11. You  can’t  learn  everything  from  a  textbook.  Most  people  find  that  they  learn  the  most   important skills by going onto the wards and speaking to patients and doctors. Clerk patients, take bloods, distract patients, and make yourself useful. History taking is a particularly important focus of CP1 so think carefully about your questions and get as much practise as possible! Lots of interesting stuff happens out of hours too, so be keen and seen and  you’ll  get  a  lot  out  of  it. 12. Once you have taken a history, try and present it! You will have to do this in the practical exam at the end of the attachment, so find someone to listen to you and ask for feedback. 13. Remember CFU?  Yeah,  it’s  time  to  start  checking  what  your  patient  has  been  up  to  in  the   year since you last spoke to them. 14. Invest in a loud alarm clock and some strong coffee. 15. To  get  the  disappointment  out  of  the  way…  Grey’s  Anatomy  lied.  There  are  no  (or  at  least   very few) attractive consultants or registrars. Or F1s, for that matter. This  shouldn’t  stop  you   befriending them though. They can be very helpful with signatures. 16. Choose your Bible. The  Heron’s  and  Red’s guides were written by past students and provide a decent guide to what information you need to know to pass the knowledge exams. Heron’s  has  a  jazzier  font  but  Red’s  is  less  waffly.  Both  are  available  from  the  Lenton  Print   Shop.  Even  better…  Heron’s  is  available on the NLE! (Go to NLE>CP1>2007/08>Student Area).  They  are  slightly  out  of  date  and  don’t  include  enough  diagrams  and  are  partly  copied  


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from  leading  textbooks…  BUT…  they  act  as  total  lifesavers  in  the  lead  up  to  the  exam. Also, get Marmite and Sardines.  It  might  be  aimed  at  CP3  students…  but  it’s  still darned useful. Perfect  your  “I  can’t  help  it,  I’m  just  a  little  third  year”  face  and  you  can  get  away  with  most   things. Consultants  will  be  mean  and  make  you  feel  like  you’re  2  inches  tall.  It’s  nothing personal. Invest in a tendon hammer. Essential for neurological assessment practise and handy to lend to  that  medic  child  you’ve  been  taking  such  good  care  of  (hint  hint)  for  their  OSCE  practise. People will constantly ask you to work out a differential  diagnosis  using  the  “surgical  sieve”.   This is really confusing until you learn what the sieve actually is. Essentially, it gives you a structured approach to finding a diagnosis/answering questions/taking a history by sorting the causes of a presenting complain into various categories: Congenital, Infection, Inflammatory, Degenerative, Trauma and Mechanical, Neoplastic, Metabolic/Endocrine, Neurological, Iatrogenic and Idiopathic. Know your limits. Make sure that you talk to someone if you find yourself in a situation you aren’t  comfortable  with  or  find  upsetting.  Similarly,  getting  to  watch  surgery  may  be  really   interesting, but if you feel funny at any point, say so and take 5 minutes out. Surgeons would much rather you do that than deal with a medical student  who’s  passed  out  on  the  floor.  It’s   quite common and nothing to be ashamed of. Although eating a big breakfast beforehand can help, especially on a Thursday morning after Crisis. Stay on top of your learning. CP1 is a huge learning curve with many new things being thrown  at  you  throughout.  There’s  also  no  4  week  holiday  to  cram  everything.  Use  the   objectives at the back of the log book to help guide you through. Read  up  ahead  of  your  seminars/teaching.  If  you  don’t  know  the  basics,  you  won’t  learn   anything.  And  the  doctors  will  think  you’re  thick  and  won’t  even  bother  trying  to  teach  you.   At  the  same  time,  don’t  be  put  off  by  the  uber-keen GEMs. We can catch up! (Maybe). Invest  in  a  fob  watch/time  keeping  device  that’s  not  worn  on  your  wrist.  It’ll  make it much easier to take respiratory and heart rates every time you do a clinical examination. Prepare  an  answer  to  “What  speciality  do  you  want  to  go  into?”  as  saying  “I  don’t  know”  will   become tedious. Consider telling the consultant that actually, you’re  quite  interested  in   <insert their speciality here> as it might just make them like you more. Get yourself a phone with internet access. Teaching can change last minute and they have a habit of only telling you via email. Placed in Lincoln or Boston? Take  your  own  duvet.  They  do  provide  them,  but  they  aren’t   great. Placed at Derby? Costa does 25% off for staff on a Friday. Come exams, this will make you very happy. Also, choose your car share for Derby carefully.  You’ll  be  commuting  with  them   for 16 weeks. One  more  thing…  make  friends  with  the  F1s  so  they  give  you  some  of  their   weekly  Domino’s. Plan something fun for your summer. 2014 is going to be a long one. Most  importantly…  ENJOY  IT!  This  is  what  you  have been waiting for since starting medical school, so go out there, get stuck in and have a fantastic time.

Compiled by MedSoc Welfare


CP1 Guide 2014