So you have passed the entrance exam and are looking forward to your first semester at Semmelweis, Congratulations!
Please do not go to the book fair and buy too many books you will need for the year, this will probably be the most expensive price you will ever find them, which you'll regret later on when you find its price is super high. There is also a Facebook page that has students selling books and notes so look for that as well, which is much cheaper than the students who sell at extremely high price in book fair. Plus since it is students selling you their old books you can talk to them about their experiences and ask about anything that you are worried about. Be warned though, you will get a lot of different pieces of advice, some that completely counter to each other.
In my opinion most of the books here are not necessary but some are essential to certain subjects.
Here is a list of the essential books:
- Chemistry Lab Manual (You can survive without)
- Selected Collection of chemical calculation and biochemical exercises
- Physics Lab Manual (Everything you need for Biostats is also included here)
- Jo Reggelt (Hungarian 1st semester)
- Jo Napot (Hungarian 2nd semester)
!See subject page
If you cannot find them at the fair they can be bought at the bookshop in the Basic Science Building with the exception of the Hungarian books. They can be bought in bookshops in the city, ASK YOUR HUNGARIAN TEACHER).
Here is a list of recommended books that I used:
- Human Histology Basic Tissues
- Human Histology Organ Systems
- Histology A Colour Guide
- Netter Atlas of Human Anatomy
- Thieme Color Atlas of Human Anatomy Locomotor System (The trio of small Thieme books is almost essential, recommended by everyone, although they are not enough! But bring these to class)
- Thieme Color Atlas of Human Anatomy Internal Organs
- Thieme Color Atlas of Human Anatomy Nervous system (This last book of the Thieme trio is mostly used in 2nd year)
The histology books can be bought in the anatomy building.
However if you are not bothered about getting the actual book then there are two cheaper options:
- Go to the copy shops across the street from the Basic Science Building and ask if they have the copies on file to print out.
- Group together, buy one book and copy it
There are some great student made materials around if you can find them, they are not always accurate and can contain mistakes but they do condense a vast amount of material into exam friendly chucks.
- Molecular biology topics pdf (Needed for 1st semester anatomy exam)
- Lehninger - mother of them all bank (Needed for 2nd semester Biochem I exam)
- Coon and friends - Biochemistry (Needed for Biochem I 1st midterm)
- Anatomy notes collection (A godsend for anatomy, theres a metric shitton of anatomy notes out there, look and ask around to find something that'll help you
- Physics Final Mathafacka (This pdf is not very good at explaining things, but is mandatory for repetition before exams, it has everything you need except labs)
Advice for the first year
Your first major challenge will be to pass the first semester. You will have to get used to the Hungarian system, the volume of work and the course expectations of you very quickly. This semester is where most people fail and if you pass first time then things will look brighter for you, if you struggle you are more likely to keep struggling throughout the next 2-3 years. I suggest putting too much time into everything to start and when you get an idea of how the course works you can scale down to a level that works for you. You will have lots of midterms, one or more a week for almost the entire year, it is always better putting too much effort than necessary into a an exam and passing than realising you have not done enough and having to redo an exam.
While the three core subject of Anatomy, Chemistry and Physics are interesting, useful and sometimes fun this cannot be said for all the others. With the exception of Hungarian, which will be useful for the clinical years, the rest of the subjects are there to mainly serve 2 purposes:
- Limit your time studying the 3 big subjects
- Act as a barrier that stops students that don't want to work hard from progressing
The university knows that lots of the students who start this course will struggle and fail, only the most hard working and persistent students will past this year. To get to the clinical years you must prove to the university that you are worthy of it. This means however that you will get little help or sympathy for the first year and at times things will seem very unfair. Students can either try to fight the system or (in my opinion the better option) accept it and do your best regardless.
I found that working hard and showing willingness to learn and do the best you can will make you stand out to your teachers to your advantage. An examiner will be more likely to recognise you if you go to all the lectures and this could help you get that extra point needed to pass or bump up a grade.
- Basics of Biostatistics and Informatics
- Medical Biophysics
- Medical Chemistry
- Medical Communication (Now known as Behavioural Sciences I)
- Anatomy, Histology, Embryology I
- Hungarian Medical Terminology
- Medical Terminology (Latin)
- Physical Education I