When I was thinking about what revision weekends to go to for finals I was really stuck because not that many people have reviewed them. Luckily for me there are a host of helpful people on twitter who helped me out, but this is my attempt at helping others out with a little review of my own.
Ask Dr Clarke has a great reputation. In London it also has a great venue... BMA house. I arrived there nice and early, about 8.20 and was surprisingly faced by table after table of coffee and tea... free!! I know I paid a lot to go on the course so it wasn't strictly free, but still, I wasn't expecting it. As we registered we also got a book of revision notes and a hat pin with a red and white end to test visual fields. I never had one of these before. I was disproportionately excited.
As a little aside the book of notes is fantastic. It has lots of bullet point notes, diagrams and extra notes for things that aren't covered in the course. The course aims to cover the 3 types of learners; visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. I've always been a kinaesthetic learner, but I find that learning in all 3 ways really helps cement things in my mind.
The day is split into topics. Each starts with a little quiz, so you can identify the areas you have strengths or weaknesses. This is really useful as I always end up revising the topics I'm comfortable with as it makes me feel better, which isn't useful. This really showed me where I need to do more work (cardiology and renal!!) and where I could probably relax my revision a little (endocrinology is my mastermind subject!!).
Key ideas were reinforced through repetition, singing (for heart sounds) and doing dances. Sounds cheesy, but it was awesome. Dr Clarke himself is also a really engaging speaker.
As many of you know my tummy rules my mind, so the inclusion of lunch was also much appreciated. Everyone got a cute little lunch bag, with a choice of sandwich, bottle of water, apple, bag of crisps and kit kat. Om nom nom...
Kit-kats are my favourites (along with Toblerones, Choc Orange and Mini Rolls), just in case anyone ever fancies treating me...
I'll write about the surgery revision course soon.