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!
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.
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.
Today was my first day in a hospital meeting real live, ill patients. I met my first ever patient, obviously for the purposes of confidentiality and such I won’t be telling anyone where they are staying or who they are, but they were a very interesting patient.
The idea of our first day is to give us an easy patient, unfortunately our patient was not easy, they were very confused and believed they were in a school, the name of their spouse changed multiple times, and in general we found conversation difficult to continue.
They were lovely though, a nice person who was happy to be talking to us and for someone to give them time to talk.
And this is why I felt so bad, I found it so difficult to hold conversation- they were simply so confused, there were no leads to pick up on and continue on, and I didn’t want to start a conversation that they would find uncomfortable, such as why they believed she weren’t in the hospital.
It was an interesting and probably very useful experience.
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.
Medical school is so much fun, i’ve met some amazing people, i’m learning amazing things and i’m doing something I particularly love - Anatomy. Essentially once a week i learn a ridiculous amount of knowledge about something, be it the brain and nervous system, or muscular tissue, by the end of a hour session I am bursting at the seams with knowledge.
But it can get weird, each anatomy session is couple with dissection, the dissection of cadavers - human bodies donated to medical science. The only dead person I’ve ever seen looked peaceful and perfect, these bodies on the other hand do not. For the purposes of our education they are preserved and they look dried. I cannot thank them enough for what they’ve done for us, but they just constantly remind you that they where once human, whether its a partially open eye, or a little goatee, or even their fingernails. These people were once human, and now i’m looking at one part of them, be it half their head, with their brain on show, or their reproductive system.
How much respect can I give these people? Do i have to respect an arm? It’s weird, if I could meet them I’d just say how thankful I was to them, and it’s so nice to see how the anatomy is actually arranged in real life, as opposed to in a book. But my god it’s weird.