Tips for Fourth Year Medical Students

Hello and welcome to the honeymoon year of your medical career. Well, to be honest, there is no such thing. But come on, you already knew that. It gets more and more difficult every year.

This is your first experience with the round system. Unlike your previous years in medical school when you had to run all four subjects together, you will be divided into 4 groups and each will start with one subject for a round time of eight weeks. You will then rotate the subjects all through the four rounds. So let’s walk you along those rounds up to the final exam.


Your very first clinical experience: Hospital, patients, residents, etc. You’ll experience all aspects of the process starting from patient admission to the outpatient clinic to different operations.

You will need to grab your torch and get ready to start pointing it in patients’ and collegues’ eyes! The ophthalmology curriculum may seem comprehensive enough for undergraduates but it’ll give you insights on many endemic ophthalmological problems here in Egypt.

Some allege that ophthalmology can’t be done without a course especially for 1st round students, despite the availability of many high quality recordings of lectures given by a variety of brilliant doctors. Try different things out and see what works best for you!


ENT is yet another clinical subject and another round in our lovely hospital. The ENT round seems to be easy with a limited curriculum. ENT doctors put a great deal of importance into your research skills, comprehension and prioritizing your answers according to clinical importance.

ENT lectures are of high value but most students rely on recordings.

Forensics & Toxicology:

Russians say “Never trust the French,” and since “Torsades de points” is a major finding in several toxicological cases, I can fairly say that this applies here. The forensics book might be small and the toxicology one even smaller, but you must beware—the curriculum needs multiple-time readings to be palatable. The silver lining is that at the end you’ll build up a fair understanding of how to use a gun!

Community Medicine:

First of all, let’s agree to ignore the hype. Your 8 weeks in the community department will surely be the highlight of the year. The staff is very helpful, very delightful and super organized. Reading is the key to fair understanding of the books. Similar to ENT, community lectures are of very high yield and reliable enough to depend on. The activities system will help you understand your colleagues as well as promote your co-working abilities.

The unique thing about fourth year is the new experience you will have starting your clinical career. You should be sure to get the best out of it.

Author: Karim Al-Arby

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