The purpose of this site is to share some of the approaches I adopted, adapted or developed when studying for medical finals.
One of the first subjects I’m going to tackle is gynaecology, because (i) gynaecology has a discrete number of presenting complaints; (ii) I find gynaecology interesting and (iii) I had my O&G finals recently, so the information is fresh in my mind.
Gynaecology is amenable to a presentation-based approach:
- Bleeding (non-pregnant – I will cover pregnant bleeding in obstetrics)
- Abnormal bleeding within reproductive years (this is what ‘Abnormal Uterine Bleeding’ refers to)
- Bleeding outside of reproductive years
- Painful periods
- Painful intercourse
- Pelvic pain unrelated or loosely related to menstruation or intercourse
- Discharge (as a medical student, you only need to worry about infective causes here)
- Inability to conceive
- Menopause and menopausal symptoms (defined as 12 months of amenorrhoea – I include this here as the climacteric [period leading to menopause] and post-menopause are times of reduced fertility)
- (Contraceptive decisions)
- Urinary incontinence Leakage during coughing/sneezing (raised intra-abdominal pressure)
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Continuous leakage of urine
- ‘Dragging’ sensations and prolapse
- Ovarian cancer symptoms – this breaks the mould, but it is crucially important so I include it in the map as its own entity
So the overall schema for gynaecology is relatively straight-forward. My medical map for gynaecology is shown below:
I hope this map provides you with a useful framework to navigate gynaecology. The symptom I am going to explore in the next post is bleeding.