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NUMed Learning Under Lockdown

When operations cease and the world is at a standstill, it’s important not to take all the extra time for granted – especially when one has access to the Internet and electronic devices. This article explores the various digital learning platforms medical students could utilise during the MCO.

 1. Tweetorials

Tweetorials are a series of tweets on Twitter, most commonly presented as a thread, which aim to educate an audience on a specific topic. They are often posted by leaders and experts in their specialities, and can allow students to interact with them in an informal way. Medical students are required to use their critical thinking skills to discern and dissect any niche topics discussed, which could be beyond the scope of some medical curricula.

Recommended Sources:

Andre Mansoor, @andremansoor

Provides useful videos from real cases with a focus on clinical observation and examination techniques.

MedTweetorials, @medtweetorials

Collects relevant tweetorials from a variety of sources and provides a quick overview of topics covered by them; a great reference source.

Tony Breu, @tony_breu

Covers a wide range of specialities, grouped by topic; a treasure trove of engaging tweetorials that are light and fun.

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to complement traditional learning methods, especially for those who prefer learning by listening. Some podcasts adopt a case-based approach with clinical examples, whereas others focus on one disease or topic. Although they generally do not provide the same depth of information as books and lectures, they do offer structured approaches to topics that are particularly difficult.

Recommended Medical Podcasts:

Run the List

Structured and concise. Focuses on one disease at a time and discusses a relevant case that encompasses the most important facets of the disease.

Second Opinion

Short episodes (usually around 3-5 minutes) packed with unique insights, often related to health policy. Might not help you ace your exams but will definitely encourage reflection on topics you might not have thought about.

The Curbsiders

A light hearted podcast, with cases presented in a fun, engaging, and stimulating manner. Not as formal or academic as many other medical podcasts.

 3. YouTube

YouTube provides an enormous amount of video content, with subjects ranging from pharmacology to practical exam preparation. Although many medical students have access to video lectures, the sheer volume and range of teaching styles on YouTube makes the platform a great alternative or supplement to lectures and books.

Recommended YouTube channels:

Armando Hasudungan

Beautifully hand-drawn illustrations – perhaps the best out of the highlighted channels. Video is well-paced and easy to follow.

Najeeb lectures

Provides a highly detailed and comprehensive view of topics, and has a great knack for explaining difficult ones.

Khan Academy medicine

Not highly detailed, but provides a good overviews of physiology and disease – great as an introduction to a new topic. The narration is clear, and the audio is one of the best on the platform.

Ali Abdaal

An F2 who attended medical school at Cambridge and vlogs about life as a medical student and junior doctor.

America Revere

A US medical student in her final year of medical school who openly vlogs about the intensity of the workload, but always shares her highlights with her viewers. 

The Junior Doctor

Dr Ezgi is training to become a GP, but currently works in a London hospital. She regularly vlogs about her hospital shifts, offering a real insight into the work of a UK junior doctor. 

4. Alternative platforms

While video and audio learning platforms are relatively familiar to many medical students, other innovative platforms exist. Some revolve around creating visual representations to aid in memorising information. Other apps such as Essential Anatomy, Anatomy Learning – 3D Atlas, and Teach Me Anatomy are interactive ways of engaging with anatomy. Although these platforms are different from traditional forms of learning, they can be useful for memorising and understanding large volumes of information through clever visual techniques.

Recommended Alternative Platforms:

SketchyMedical

An apt resource for visual learners, with visual mnemonics, particularly for microbiology and pharmacology.

Picmonic 

Similar to SketchyMedical, although the illustrations are not as crisp. Tailored to US students but useful as an alternative to memorising concepts, particularly for visual learners.

Anki

Makes creating flashcards simple; also avoids the pitfalls of personal flashcards (e.g. illegible, damaged, lost). The flashcards can be shared among friends and can include pictures.

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