So I just got the results for this unit - I got 66%. I’m pretty happy with that, it’s just above average and I think it reflects the amount of work I put into it.
I was talking to some third and fourth years that told me I should do just the right amount of work in 1st and 2nd years and not go too far or else i’ll burn myself out for clinical years. I think i’ll try stick to that and go crazy in my last 3 years.
Hope it works out -but I’m happy with how it’s going so far!
Revision starts for the end of semester exams NOW!!
Throughout our time at the medical school we’re encouraged to foster and interest in a particular area of medicine. We’re currently doing a report which is the first step in this process. I chose the title “Viral Pandemics: Why do they happen and can they be prevented?”.
It’s so interesting! I feel like i’m essentially learning about the Zombie apocalypse! I learn about transmission from animals to humans, how it spreads the ethics of closing border etc.
I think infectious diseases is an area i’m becoming more and more interested in, it’s very clear cut - you stop the bad bugs. There’s none of this “oh this disease is self imposed because they smoke”, the person is infected, remove the infection etc. I’m going to try and score highly in this, it’s just such a good topic!
Last Thursday (as I’m sure you well know!) was Valentines. Well not for me - it was results day. So after a few hours of delayed deadlines (damned Medical school!) we got out results. Boom, two satisfactory marks, I pass, all is well. I ring Dr. Belfast, no answer, try again a little later, still no response, eventually I get through, and well the new isn’t good, she’s failed.
I can tell she’s upset, so I think to myself, I could brighten this up by going out with her tonight, by just being with her and showing her support. So I head down, we have a few drinks. I’m getting with her friend (classy, I know!) and I see Dr. B dancing with some guy, and well then she kisses him.
My stupid feelings for her decide to rear their heads up again and I decide I do not agree with this. Let’s not forget that the only reason she didn’t get with me in the first place was because she had a boyfriend - and here she is getting with someone when she has a boyfriend. I know I’m not that bothered, but for some reason it urks me. So I tell her how disappointed I am etc, and she understands.
But there’s a reason I’m like this, why I’m suddenly getting on my moral high horse, it’s not because I think she’s betraying her boyfriend etc - it’s because I wished it was me. I felt it should have been me. This isn’t a healthy thing to keep inside of you, this desire for your best friend. So I decided to tell her. We get back to her accommodation and I tell her everything.
I tell her that I still have feelings for her now, I don’t want them but I do. I just want to be her best friend, yet I can’t help how I feel. I also tell her how jealous I am. I just needed to say it.
She told me that it wasn’t how she felt, that she simply didn’t view me in that way anymore. I felt, really empty? Like all the stupid little ideas I’d had about my perfect [Scrubs] ending, somehow her realising I was the one for her, that wasn’t going to happen anymore, it was all a stupid little fantasy.
Once I’d got my thoughts together, I thought about all the positives of this. I could finally stop thinking ten years down the line when she would suddenly find feelings for me. I could focus on what I want, and I can finally try to put those feelings behind me, and become the friend I want to be with her.
I didn’t want to hear it - it’s the opposite of what I wanted, but it’s what i expected to hear. Sometimes hearing it from the person that completely encapsulates you, who makes your day, who holds all those feelings makes it so much easier to let go.
31st of December, 2012.
I think it’s about time to do that end of the year summary? But how do you summarise a year like 2012? How do you summarise the biggest year of your life? Well, I’m going to give it a shot!
This year has been the greatest year of my entire life. Everything I could have possibly hoped for happened this year, 2010 and 2011 were at times very difficult for me, I was mid A-levels, often not scoring high enough to get into medical school. This was devastating for me - I had no idea what to do with my life if I didn’t get into Medical school. So that brings two of the greatest dates of the year 8th March and 18th August;
These dates were both results days, and they were the days that booked my place in medical school. To open those brown envelopes and see that I had A’s, and that I had got into medical school, it made the difficulties of the last two years make sense, and I was proud of myself for everything I had achieved. I’d made it, and that was just everything for me.
So on came university, I moved in on the 14th September and met my flat, I’ve never met a cooler bunch of people, who are friendly, supportive and prepared to forgive my mistakes! I’m really thankful I met everyone of them, they’re just so much fun to live with. On the 21st September my medical course started, and I met my PBL group - in particular I met Dr. Belfast. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about chances and luck, how is it that I’ve been put into a PBL group and anatomy group with someone who I’ve never appreciated being with as much? I have been incredibly lucky to have met someone who I got on with so well from the start, and continue to have fun with now. Thank you fate, for that card.
The following 3 months have been the greatest of my life, I’ve learnt so much, I’ve laughed so much, I’ve drunk so much!
So here’s to 2013, your going to have a very tough time beating 2012 friendo, because I will never forget 2012, for it’s highs and lows, it’s pain and it’s love.
My resolution: Stop living in the future, now is the moment - stop looking so far into the future and planning your life out and missing what’s happening right now. Now is the time.
As Dr John Michael Dorian said: “I usually don’t like thinking about the future. I mean let’s face it, you can’t predict what’s going to happen.But sometimes, the thing you didn’t expect is what you really wanted after all. Maybe the best thing to do is stop trying to figure out where you’re going and just enjoy where you’re at.”
Have a happy new year, and an amazing 2013 - Lots of love, Dr. Britain.
Incorrect, this year I’m really going for it with revision - most of my days are spent revising the PBL cases of the last semester, interspersed with anatomy and occasionally evidence based medicine,
I think the best part of this revision is that for once I’m enjoying going over the material - prior to this I was doing three courses required for medicine where there where some topic I didn’t enjoy - I mean plant biology?!!?? DO NOT WANT.
So going through actual medical revision? It’s just amazing, i’m enjoying revision, and it’s great fun!
So while your enjoying the festivities, spare a thought for me - I’ll most likely be revising the bony landmarks of the scapulla!
It’s important to remember that this blog is primarily medical, but it’s also my journey through medicine. So not only do I post about the amazing medical things I get to do, see and learn - but also what it’s like to be the person going through it all - not just medicine, but my life.
With that, it’s time to summarise my first few months at medical school, and at this university. One thing that has struck me the most is complacency, the only way I can describe it is I’m here now, and subconsciously I must think that’s enough. I do work - don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I skip work out, but I’m not going above and beyond, and that disappoints me.
In fact a key part of this semester is how disappointed with myself I am, I thought I was a loving, caring guy - and for the most part I seem to be, I’m a person that others turn to in times of need, my simulated patients and patients alike all rate me highly, but I don’t have a grip on my own life. Last night I ruined my relationship with the linguist. I did it in a most awful way - no I didn’t cheat - but I said some stupid things while drunk and now not only have I lost that relationship, I’ve also lost the respect of my friends. Everyone loves me when I’m sober, no one likes me when I’m drunk, sometimes I just can’t tell why people want to be around me.
I’ve made some amazing friends; Dr Belfast, The Cool Physicist and the Biochemist, and I couldn’t be happier. This is the best time of my life, but I need to control myself.
This Christmas I’m going to revise the hardest I ever have - not because I need to, I want to -I want to be the top of the class. I’ve gone through so much, and worked so hard to get here, I’m not about to lose that drive.
Anatomy to hospital, HIV to pregnancy - this last few months have been amazing, and I can’t wait to get back here and work towards my life goal.
As part of my course we have to do a really large project on a topic of our interest. We’re given about 800 titles and we have to choose 8, and then we are assigned one of them. I went through the list choosing topics that seemed interesting, and I ended up with this list:
It seems to me I’ve unintentionally picked a list composed mainly of questions relating to immunology and infectious diseases. This got me to thinking, what were my favourite parts of the semester? You guessed it! Infectious diseases and immunology, the subtle interplay between components, and the clear cut nature of this area of medicine (pathogens are bad, they hurt the body, kill them!) really interests me.
I’m looking forward to a project on any of these, but maybe this shows i’m heading for a career in infectious diseases?
Today was my second clinical experience, and I headed to what will be my base hospital after year 2. I was really impressed by it and i’m really happy i’m going there - the education centre in particular is pretty spectacular.
So we sit down, have yet another session on how to talk to patients:
On a side note i’m getting sick of these, yes I understand the need to get consent, to explain about confidentiality etc but it really seems to take the personality out of medicine - instead of being “Hi, I’m Britain I’m on of the medical students, is it okay if I have a chat with you?” it becomes “Hi, I’m Forename Surname a first year medical student from the University of Secret is it okay if I talk to you about your treatment here - anything you say to me remains confidential between me and your medical team” - it’s too structured, and then we’re told how to summarise and talk and it all seems so fake - I’m not going to lie I just talk to them as I always would.
Anyway - sorry for the rant - after our little session we move on to the wards, we’re on a respiratory ward and I’m introduced to the patient I’m going to talk to. He is about 50/60 and has been pretty ill - he’s looking a little thin. This guy however, is the best patient a medical student could ever ask for, he is open, he’s honest, he’ll answer any of my stuttering questions, he tells me how to be a good doctor, how to follow up information, how to be friendly, how to never hide anything from the patient. This man just gave me a crash course on how to be a doctor from the patient’s prospective.
Thanks a lot, meeting you was an absolute pleasure, your a great guy and I wish you the best of luck in your recovery.
There are certain things that I think will stay with me for the rest of my life, today was one of those events. As with every Friday it was time for anatomy, and after the rush to get through my booklet to at least sound like I knew what I was talking about me and Dr.Belfast headed to the DR (Dissecting room) for our first ever actual dissection - we had previously only been looking at prosections.
We were the first ones to arrive, and the previous anatomy group had just left, we lab coated up and thought we’d head to the resource room - on the other side of the DR to the cloakroom, the familiar smell of formaldehyde hit us (I associate it with a Friday now - don’t know if that’s a good thing!?) and we stepped through the door, the technicians were there and BOOM, there were the cadavers, on the slabs.
FUCK, wow. There’s like 8 bodies, just sat there, women, men, all of them so willing to give up everything about themselves to us naive medical students. They were lying, mouths slightly ajar, held off the table by a stand, so dead, yet so real. They looked human, unlike prosections - some of them were large, some of them small, me and Dr.Belfast walked through to the resource room, I think we tried to pretend we were going in there to brush up on the scapulla, really we were trying to get out of that room.
I’m glad she was there, I was pretty shook up - something about seeing the whole body, as opposed to just parts made it seem so real. These were people who had families, lived, laughed, fell ill and passed - and now I was going to cut into them.
We regained our composure and then headed back into the DR where our anatomy group and demonstrator were waiting. We were introduced to our cadaver. I like our cadaver (I hope that doesn’t sound weird) he is a 77 year old male who died of metastatic gastric carcinoma (a cancer of the stomach that spread), he’s thin, probably because of his illness, but seems - I can’t really put it in words - like , he’s dead, yet he’s alive, I don’t really know, I can’t see him as just a tool - he is a he not an it.
Anyway, we started stripping away the skin of the arm to look at the muscles underneath, and the angle I was standing at watching our demonstrator made it look like he was in pain, it was just surreal. Then it came to my turn, after Dr. Belfast had her turn. I cut my square being careful to not go too deep and damage the muscle and started stripping it back, cutting away the connective tissue as I did so, my anatomy demonstrator said: “Bit of a natural!” - my ego couldn’t really take it.
Some of the group were apprehensive to pull on the skin hard - which would have made it easier for them and then the demonstrator said exactly what I needed to hear:
“It’s okay, you can’t hurt him now”.
That made it okay, and so much easier.
Why can’t I handle my feelings of insecurity? I don’t particularly feel insecure about myself, I’m generally happy with how I am. But I worry A LOT about what others think and I can’t get a grip on it, I don’t know what caused it but it’s really annoying.
Take any normal everyday example of me and a girl I like, if they ignore my text message suddenly it’s like I’m in a whirlpool of worry, I don’t want to appear too needy by like texting them loads but if they don’t reply I will worry.
Yeah this will probably effect my medical career at some stage too, where I dare not do a procedure in case I mess it up in front of a superior, but it hurts me more. I should be doing PBL work right now but instead my head is all messed up and it’s sucks, and if I don’t do PBL I mess up my career anyway so that’s a WIN.
I just wish everything was a lot more simpler.