Monday, 22 November 2010

scared already

I am shot scared about tomorrow. It's a teaching ward round, which involves arriving an hour before the consultant, "clerking" a patient (taking their entire life history, expertly of course), presenting this to the consultant and hoping you did ok. That sounds scary enough, but the bit I'm petrified about is the clerking bit. It essentially involves harangueing (sp?) a sick person for an hour at 8 o'clock in the morning. I have no desire to be a nuisance. Although I've only ever stayed in hospital one night at a time, I wouldn't want to be woken up to be harassed by some idiot pretending to be a doctor.
My mother says I should put it as they're doing me a favour and helping me learn, so I just have to hope for some old dear who says "you've got to learn somehow, haven't you dear" and does all the talking and therefore all the work. Or that the other students might be happy to pair up, so someone can remind me what I've forgotten, and explain what a Systems Review is supposed to comprise. I'll cram up on the history taking section of my book on the bus tomorrow morning...if I can stay awake.
I have not sufficiently reminded myself that patients don't bite, and that a consultant's bark is likely worse than their bite, though I don't fancy either. Starting to wish my sister had read me the orthopaedic exam questions yesterday as well as the rheumatology ones.

On the plus side, if I can survive tomorrow it means the rest of the rotation should be survivable (possibly not including the on-call session which I already avoided in the first week in the interest of gaining more experience). Now for another night of 6 hours sleep first - priorities!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

the obligatory introductory post

"Hello, I'm a 4th year medical student, would you mind if I... Actually, no, sorry, I don't know what I'm doing"

I am, apparently a medical student. After two years ignoring medicine, I find myself back in the fourth year of a medical degree, only 20 months away from being a qualified doctor. This is where I'll document some of the trials and tribulations of re-learning everything I previously knew plus learning everything I'm meant to know, whilst persuading myself that a doctor is a great thing to be, really. All in a new year where I know virtually no one and they all know each other (well, half the year all know each other, and the other half all know each other).

It's not all doom and gloom though, since I was last in medical school 28 months ago, I am now one BSc, some German lessons, an extensive understanding of endometriosis and a medication unavailable in the UK, a thorough memory of the Berlin public transport network, some photos of New Zealand and an unhealthy obsession with children's cancer better off.

So far, so not particularly useful for trying to be a medical student or, therefore, trying to be doctor. We'll see how it goes.

And so I have a blog. I had one in London, but it was all angsty and I only let one person see it, I also can't remember what it was called... So let's have a fresh start. I was going to call it "trying to be a doctor" but firstly that was already taken (by someone who's clearly not great at English, they must be trying very hard so I won't resent them their blog name) and secondly I realised I should take a step backwards and go back to basics. So here I am, trying to be a medical student. I'm also trying to maintain/establish a social life, having lived abroad for 11m months of the last 12. So there will be ramblings on that, and gender, disability, endometriosis and other obscure topics alongside the medical trying.

Wish me luck. Here goes...

EDIT: I should explain, the blog title is adapted from a quote from my sister a few years ago. She said that I was "trying to be a doctor" when she in fact meant "training to be a doctor". We all found it very funny but I've found it coming back to haunt me.