This website has been put together from a course handbook created by Dr Elizabeth Sinclair, Dr Predrag Bjelogrlic and Dr Ruth Cruickshank for the Applied Medical Sciences course at the Bute Medical School, St Andrews. With their kind permission, I have tried to bring this invaluable source of information to a wider audience - I hope other medical students reading this are able to get as much from their teaching as I have.
Good luck,
Will Watson

If you'd like to know more on any of these topics, I'd recommend the 'Made Easy' line of books - available here.


Basic guides to examination skills.


Understanding the electrophysiology behind the ECG, the rhythms it creates and how to recognise the pathologies it displays.

Acid-Base Balance

Interpreting an arterial blood-gas sample and the causes of acidoses and alkaloses .

Renal Function

Acute renal failure and kidney tests.

Lung Function

Testing and disease .

Fluid Balance

Fluid loss and replacement .