In the UK we do a test called OSCEs, they’re clinical exams designed to test our ability to talk and work with patients. Today was my first one.
We had stations which tested actual clinical skills, communication skills and anatomy.
I had always hoped I would excel in this area, I am confident, and love talking and working with patience.
Ah, sweet complacency!
It went well, i must admit. It went better than some peoples but it wasn’t at the level I want my clinical skills to be. I want to be perfectly calm and confident - the truth was my nerves showed in some stations, making me forget simple things.
I’m hoping each time I do these exams I get better, and show them how I am in the hospitals.
I guess this effects everyone who is revising, my brain is officially mush.
On the plus side I’m getting a lot of work done. Library in 8 hours! Yay?
Exam is in 13 days.
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!
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?
Read out by me and about 400 other medical students:
I affirm that I will:
• Strive to equip myself with the academic knowledge, skills and attributes to be an excellent doctor;
• Treat every patient politely and considerately;
• Respect patients’ dignity and privacy;
• Listen to patients and respect their views;
• Treat all colleagues as I would wish to be treated;
• Accept that trained professionals will place the needs of patients before mine;
• Be honest and trustworthy;
• Recognise the limits of both my own education and training at every stage and proactively seek the means to address this,
• Respect and protect all confidential information;
• Make sure my personal beliefs do not prejudice my interactions with patients and others;
• Avoid abuse of my position as a student of medicine;
• Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests;
In all these matters I will never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues. I will always be prepared to justify my actions to them.
I am most certainly a medical student now.
Today I chaired my very first PBL session (okay - definition PBL or “Problem based learning” is the way my medical school works, we are given a case for the week, select cues from that case and learn from them over the following week). I was in charge - I was the “baws”. It went really well, the role of a chair is to “facilitate” the learning rather than to talk the most, which means I spent a lot of the time leaning back and letting debate continue, before stepping in and moving it on. We got the learning agenda (the stuff we have to learn over the week) done before time (which was a first) and we even had a few minutes to spare.
The high point was that afterwards everyone said I did it well, including Dr.Belfast… My “feels” were soaring at that point. I know one of the things that medical schools look for is leadership quality, and I thought I kind of cheated on that point - ergo I didn’t really think I was that good of a leader, I tended to think I was kind of better as a second-in-command role but today proved that a) I wasn’t cheating - I may actually be a good leader and b) my PBL group like and respect me, and seeing as there guys might be with me for the rest of my medical career is a very, very nice feeling.