Last updated on November 15, 2020 at 16:45
Fourth year is a change of pace from previous years. You’ll now have only one subject which you’ll study during the semester, and you’ll study the other subjects just a few days during the exam period.
When I was in fourth year we had pharma 3 (final) in the fall semester. Since then they’ve changed it so that you have two semesters of pharma instead of three, and have the final (pharma 2) on the spring semester of fourth year instead. I think this new approach is much better than the approach we had.
Pharma is definitely the biggest subject of fourth year. You should spend most, if not all, of both semesters studying just pharma. It’s not a huge subject, much smaller than neuro or patho, but it’s still sizeable. Fourth year is probably the chillest year at POTE.
For fourth year you basically have two choices for notes: my notes or Anne’s notes. Anne is a good friend of mine who also writes notes, and they’re very good. Many people swear by her notes for everything she has written for, which are quite a lot of subjects. Anne attends most (if not all) lectures and writes her notes based on them, so if you use them you can be certain that you won’t miss anything important they mention in the lectures. I can highly recommend them.
No student knows exactly what we must know for each topic, so when writing notes we have to evaluate what it important to include and what isn’t. Anne generally errs on the side of writing too much when writing notes, meaning that she rather includes too much information than too little. This approach is safer, as the risk of excluding important information is lower, but it might dilute the most important information.
My notes are the opposite. I generally take a more aggressive approach, only including information which I’m pretty sure is important and excluding information which I’m pretty sure isn’t. This is a less safe approach, as the risk of excluding important information is higher.
My good friend Hatem also makes good notes. You’ll find both Anne’s and Hatem’s notes in the link below.
When I was in fourth year the only subject we had to pass on the fall semester without losing a year was clinical biochemistry. All the other subjects could be taken in fifth year or in the spring semester (pharma 3). I think that still goes, but you can find that out of you check the curriculum for your year of admission here. I think with the new way of doing things with pharma, you must pass pharma 1 too.
So, those two subjects should be your main priority, but luckily neither of them have difficult exams. I’d start with pharma 1, then do clinical biochem, then do the rest in whichever order you want.
My exam period
- Pharma 3 on Monday week 1
- Haematology on Thursday week 1
- Clinical biochem on Monday week 2
- Public health 5 on Thursday week 2
- — Christmas break —
- ENT on Friday week 4
- Radiology on Friday week 5
- Dermatology on Friday week 6
Both me and Anne have written notes in pharma. When we wrote our notes pharma was divided over three semesters, which is why we have notes for pharma 1, 2, and 3. I’m pretty sure the new pharma 1 is equal to our pharma 1 + half of our pharma 2, while the new pharma 2 is equal to half of our pharma 2 + our pharma 3, perhaps with some mixing around. In other words, both mine and Anne’s notes should cover all current pharma topics.
I tried to keep my notes short and concise, including only the most important drugs and the most important details. Of course, I can be wrong about what’s important and not, but I highly doubt I’ve forgotten anything which could fail you on the exam. On the other hand, Anne’s notes definitely contain virtually everything you need to know. Use whichever you prefer.
One thing I wish I had when I studied pharma was good Anki cards. Anki is an amazing free program based on the concept of spaced repetition, which is widely used by medical students across the world. Anki gives you a certain number of new flashcards every day, and when you do the flashcards you tell the program whether you knew the answer or not, and if you knew it, how “easy” it was. Flashcards which you find difficult are repeated more often and flashcards you find easy are only seldom repeated.
Anki is by far the best way to memorize many details. Me and ms. worldwide made Anki cards for all semesters of pharmacology, and you can find them together with the notes.
Most lectures in pharma aren’t half-bad, so they’re worth attending. The seminars are probably less so, but for them attendance is obligatory anyway. The examiners in pharmacology are probably the nicest of all major subjects. They’re very understanding, calm, and helpful.
A lot of clinical biochemistry is just real-world application of knowledge from pathophysiology and pathology. Contrary to what the name would want you to think, the subject has nothing to do with biochemistry. The subject should be called laboratory medicine.
There are some handwritten notes circulating around, which are probably as good as mine, so use whichever you want. With those and your knowledge of basic pathophysiology and pathology, you’ll pass without problem. I had three days for my exam.
Haematology is a subject I’ve noticed many people are worried about, but it’s actually one of the easiest exams of this semester. The exam is written.
I began writing notes but didn’t get far, and the notes I wrote didn’t particularly cover exam material anyway, so I wouldn’t care about them. On the exam they ask most about lymphomas and leukaemias, and less about stuff like thalassaemias.
There aren’t any particularly good sources for haematology, but something everyone does is to go through the multiple choice questions belong to the book recommended by the department, which you can find here. Only do those chapters which are related to topics in the topic list. These questions are good exercise for the exam and teaches you the most important stuff.
Some people use lecturio for haematology. I used mostly Amboss and the questions mentioned above. Don’t waste time studying it during the semester; you only need a handful of days in the exam period. I had two days before my exam.
In dermatology you have the choice between mine and Anne’s notes. I’d recommend Anne’s over mine to be honest. You don’t need many days for it. I had a whole week but that was just because it was my last exam and I was super tired.
Public health 5
Public health is another relatively easy exam. I’d recommend my notes. I had two days for it.
ENT is an okay exam. The professor which is usually the examiner can be quite nice or quite the opposite, but people usually pass their A chance anyway.
Both me and my good friend Hatem have notes for ENT; you can use whichever you prefer. Both are good notes and enough for the exam.
Radiology is probably one of the less easy exams of this semester, but most people pass on A chance anyway. The B chance is oral and everyone passes it if needed. There’s no need to study it during the semester. I’d say you need 3 – 5 days.
I’m not aware of any other notes than my own, so you should use those. You should also use radiopaedia, a website I’ve linked to in my notes.
Basics of blood transfusion
This is a very small subject with a pass/fail written exam during the semester. If you use 1-2 days before the exams with my notes, you’ll be more than fine.
With pharma final moved to this semester, it should be your only priority during the semester, and you should take the exam in the first week of the exam period, preferably day 1.
Public health 6 is the final exam in public health and is therefore quite large. I’d recommend taking it after pharma.
When I was in fourth, the only subject which you had to pass in this semester to not lose a year was surgery 1. I don’t know if that still goes; check the curriculum for your admission year. I’m pretty sure you must pass pharma final, too. Anyway, you should probably do surgery 1 after public health. I don’t think the order of the other exams matters.
When I was in this year, both oncology and oral medicine (stomatology?) had a “competition” in week 14, and if you “passed” it you’d get exempted from the exam, basically allowing you to finish the exam before the exam period.
For this semester my experiences are less useful, because we had surgery 1, trauma and rheuma written due to COVID, but they’re usually oral.
My exam period
- Rheumatology Wednesday week 1 at 09:00
- Cardiology Wednesday week 1 at 14:00
- Public health 6 Wednesday week 2 (failed)
- Surgery 1 Thursday week 2
- Traumatology Monday week 3
- — travelled back to Norway Wednesday week 3 –
- Orthopaedics Wednesday week 4
- Urology Monday week 5
- Public health 6 Monday week 6
Same story as for pharma 1: choose either mine or Anne’s notes (or both), study the whole semester and pass it early. Pharma final is much easier and nicer than even patho and pathophys final, so don’t worry.
Public health 6
Public health final is quite large, but not super difficult. I have notes for all public health subjects, so I’d recommend you to use those. You should use approx. 7 days.
Both me and Hatem have made Cardio notes. Both are good and you can use whichever you want. I’d use 5 – 6 days.
I’m not much help regarding rheumatology. I didn’t study it well enough but passed by pure luck. Anne has good notes and you should use those.
This is another subject I’m not very helpful for, as I passed by luck. A fellow year mate by the name of Hussain made some very good notes which people used. They’re quite long but you don’t have to know all the details, only the big picture. Apparently they don’t expect much on the oral.
I never had surgery 1 oral, so I don’t know how the exam is, but from what I’ve heard they expect very little. Hussain has made notes for this too, so you can use them or mine. I’d use 2 – 3 days.
The oncology exam is a bitch, because they ask very specific details. I don’t think many people fail, though, so don’t worry.
I’d recommend you to use my notes. You need 3 – 5 days or so.
There is only one examiner in orthopaedics, and he is literally one of the nicest examiners and persons you’ll meet. He understands that not everyone of us is going to be an orthopaedic surgeon, and only asks general questions which all doctors should know.
Both me and Anne have notes. Use whichever you prefer.
Urology is an okay exam. Certain examiners are much worse than the rest.
Both me and Anne have notes: hers are probably better. You need 3 – 5 days or so.
Oral medicine (stomatology)
This is one of the less serious subjects at POTE. The lectures are impossible to follow, and the exam questions are very difficult. Luckily for us, some students have made notes, but I didn’t get permission to upload them here. Contact a friendly upper year student for them. With these notes nobody fails this exam.