Arrgh, sorry again for my recent lack of posting! Unfortunately, my summer has ended way too prematurely for my liking (I mean, it’s early September! September! The last few years I’ve had the luxury of my academic year beginning in October. And trust me, a whole month makes a hell of a lot of difference…) and I’ve had to uproot and move back to university to begin my third (but not final) year of Med School, so it’s been pretty crazy, as I’m sure you can imagine, with lots of induction, reunions, alcohol and mucho partying.
So for those of you who don’t know, going into third year is a BIG DEAL. And nope, unlike most of my friends on a standard 3-year long course, it’s not because I have to start writing my dissertation. It’s not because I graduate (because I don’t, and won’t until 2018…). Nope, it’s because I have finally FINALLY made that extra special 3-letter transition from Pre-Clinical to Clinical Med Student. CLINICAL!!!
In other words, I’m being let loose in hospitals this year. Let loose on patients, taking histories, examining people, stealing their blood.*
*With consent, of course.
All the hours of lectures I spent writing up during first and second year have now become quintessential ingredients to impress my teaching fellows, the consultants, my colleagues. I somehow have to memorise the entire Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine (which is not easy, let me tell you), and Kumar and Clark, and god-only-knows how much physiology and pharmacology and pyschology and lots and lots and lots of other ‘ologies’.
I somehow have to swallow my discomfort at being thrown onto a ward and expected to “get on with it” and make use of my time. I somehow have to learn to not be scared to ask for help, to bother important doctors, to not feel bad for it, and somehow accept that I have as much right to be there as anyone else.
Sometimes, it’s just difficult. I hate being in the way, or being made to feel like a waste of space, though essentially that is what this coming year will be like for me. It’s a long-standing joke; the green badges we wear declaring us ‘medical students’ are also deemed to make us invisible. They make us blend in. Just like Harry’s invisibility cloak (but not quite as useful).
I’m currently based at a hospital in the Midlands, where I’m spending half of my week with a small group of other medical students from Birmingham, trying to decipher patient notes and medicine charts and funny-looking machines that keep bleeping at me for whatever reason (I have yet to become fluent in the language of technological bleeps…)
It’s a steep learning curve, undeniably the hugest leap I’ve taken in my education so far, if not for the pure fact that I can’t hide behind books anymore. I have to actually rely on myself, and my friends, to get through this. But I guess being out of lecture theatres and in the real world, exposed to a profession I’m going to be in for the rest of my life, one step closer to being where I want to be, I guess that’s what makes it fun, and worthwhile, and exciting.
So yep, just thought I’d fill you in on where I’m at and what I’m doing, in case you were interested.
Lots of love from one very exhausted med student,