Friday, 19 September 2008

S320: TMA-3

The last TMA of this course, and its a big one. Its big because it counts double, so you can easily win or lose on this one. Its also big because there is not really a question to answer, but a paper to write.

So what you have to do is write 1500 words on a given topic, and include plenty of references and notes about it too (1500 again). There are also some constraints that you have to take care of.
  • First - the word limits are hard limits - in that you should not exceed them, and there are penalties if you do.
  • Second - you need a punchy attention grabbing title of up to 10 words. 10 words!!
  • Third - an abstract of 40 words. Again quite mean.
  • Then the usual introduction, conclusion, content, and some diagrams/tables/graphs.
There are several topics available, and this year its one of
  • The spread of West Nile virus in North America
  • Outbreaks of E. coli infection in the United Kingdom
  • The emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens
In this case, I picked the third one, and focused on MRSA and C. difficile as two pathogens that are resistant to drugs. It took a while to read up what was current and what the literature said and how medical professionals are dealing with the outbreaks.

Eventually it was all put together, and sent of, with not a little crossing of fingers. Now it's just revision - however there is one extra thing. The exam includes an essay to be written on a topic disclosed in the exam. However the general subject of the essay is given ahead of time for you to research. This year its something to do with C. difficile - so that was lucky!

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