Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Best Pet Hair Remover
Well as promised here is today’s diary entry. For some reason I seem to struggle with parasites, I find the diseases they cause relatively easy, its just the species names, life cycles and vectors that just get so jumbled up in my brain that I am absolutely useless at them. Here is what I am talking about, and this is a pretty easy example to spot, I would guess that because of the size it is of the Eimeria spp. But everything else is just a jumble…
So today I turned to my twitter followers for help, with some amazing advice coming back at me. Sadly the way parasites is taught here is by the taxonomy. So we start with protozoa (single cell parasites) with the sarcomastigophora and work from there. It makes it difficult as different members of the same phylum have different hosts, different body systems and different vectors which to me just causes my mindjumble.
Especially when looking at textbooks such as standard parasitology textbook for vet students Veterinary Parasitology which is organised by species, then by body system. This means that for a single family I am jumping backwards and forwards over 5 – 10 different pages in different chapters of the book to get all the species information. Then there are other parasitology books, that seem to really lack when it comes to protozoa.
Now I understand that protozoa are important, they include the diseases such as african sleeping sickness, babesiosis, and the very well known one, malaria. I just wish that there was a single guide to learning all this in an easy way (just imagine protozoa for dummies).
However here are some of the ideas that I have got (and will be trying) from twitter (other than learning by body system/disease/species)
- Turn it into a game called “build a life cycle” with flashcards (via
- Repeatedly shout expletives at my notes (via
- Stick notes everywhere and anywhere (via
- Use mnemonics, colors, nicknames and bizzare associations (via
- Mindfulness meditation exercises to improve memory (via
- Associations with pathology (via
So I guess I should get onto the really big kicker – I’ve got until the 31st January to pass this exam, have failed it twice already and only have 1 attempt remaining. Failing means that I fail this year…
Hours up, back to parasites I go!