We now return to normal programming! I decided to take a break last week just from exhaustion and not wanting to have to relive the week again. Block three is still proving to be my favourite block and I am loving everything to do with the brain, especially the anatomy.
Monday also happened to be “Blue Monday”, the unhappiest day of the year….supposedly. In keeping with the spirit of the day we had a double whammy of lectures on depression including the pharmacology and physiology of it.
Today we had our second community day which meant leaving the uni at 8 to make the hour drive to the Cotswolds to see our patient. Eventually, we got to the place and due to the strict confidentiality surrounding patient data, we were given a badly drawn map to find to the home of our next patient. However, we eventually got there despite having no mobile data and still being half asleep.
I loved the placement this week as we had a paediatric patient and this is a field I want to go into. I can’t say too much because what our patient has is rare so can be more easily identified than our last patient but they were lovely and after 40 minutes they eventually worked up the courage to show us their hands as these were part of the reason we were finding out about them,
We also visited the local primary school and we all had flashbacks to when the only stress in life was who you were going to line up with to go to assembly. The school was fantastic, and we were told about the adjustments that schools make for children with needs and policies regarding the safeguarding of vulnerable children. The teachers were lovely, and the headmaster offered us to go back there for some experience or if we wanted to work with the school. I was excited about this as I want to run a STEM outreach day at some point, and it would be interesting to look at the effect of outreach days on children’s wellbeing.
We also visited the hospital to talk to a nurse about pre-natal screening in which we were told about the pathways used when a mother is identified as Hep-B / HIV positive. They also highlighted a new test coming into the NHS which will screen the baby’s DNA that is circulating in the mother’s blood which is safer than taking a sample of the amniotic fluid and more accurate than taking measurements from a scan. We finished at three and due to some problems with the roads we could go straight to campus, so I was able to get some work done before my student seminar in the evening.
I woke up early in the morning to a beautiful scene as it had snowed overnight so campus looked beautiful, however, I had to cycle over to the other side of campus so I was slightly nervous about having to negotiate the roads at this point.
After my appointment, I legged it back over to Gibbett hill to catch the last of the physiology labs that were running. This was a fun week as we were basically shocking ourselves to see our muscles moving. We quickly finished the work set and moved onto shocking further up the arm and producing some PG hand gestures to each other (Lesson of the day: Don’t let us loose with electrodes).
We started the day with our new CBL case and I put myself forward to chair to get it over and done with as I have decided I hate chairing. We had a complicated case of what I suspect is meningitis meaning we didn’t finish all of the case but we are still functioning well as a group.
We then had a 2-hour lecture on ageing and I realised just how long it had been since I had had a lecture lasting more than 60 minutes so it felt a bit “throwbacky” to my undergraduate when we had a break halfway through.
I had to leave before the last lecture in the afternoon due to having the beginnings of another ear infection and I would rather stay out of the hospital this time so I decided to tackle the walk-in centre whilst I could still cope with the pain.
However, before that, we had a lecture given by Mr Dardis again who is a neurosurgeon up at UHCW. He had mentioned about projects so I and another guy ended up chasing after him at the end of lectures as he has a tendency to run out of the med school. Whilst we were talking to him a couple of our year joined and whilst I am all up for everyone bettering their careers, what I did get annoyed about was being pushed into from behind from someone trying to get to the front of the crowd we had formed. I guess this is just a form of competitiveness but it was not something I appreciated considering I am the one being the communication between Mr Dardis and the rest of my year who signed up.
We have finaly managed as an accomodation to secure enough transport meaning we no longer have to get the 6:20 bus from campus ! I get to wake up at 6 rather than 5 which is heaven !
After anatomy, I received a call from Raj who set up a programme called “Becoming a Doctor” which is an outreach project for Pre-meds and Medical students. I have followed these guys throughout my medical journey so I was honoured when Raj asked me if I wanted to join the team. We had a chat about the conference this year and blogging for the website so I am really excited for it all to start !
We also finished clinical skills early (thanks to the winter ball and a lovely clinical skills teacher) so I got to head home at three instead of 5 meaning I could have a nap before heading out in the evening for our flatmates birthdays. It was nice as I had been feeling isolated from the rest of my block so I got to actually sit down and chat to people for once. We also had a punishment system for anyone mentioning the M word so we had an entire evening free of medicine ….. bliss.
I left the evening early feeling lie a complete party pooper but I had a 6:20 bus to catch the next day for….
NANSIG ! This was a neurosurgical careers day held at imperial in which neurosurgeons talked to us about their careers and gave us tips for our own. This is a field I have dreamt of going into after reading Henry Marsh’s book in year 13. Henry Marsh was meant to be at the event, but he was ill on the day so could not attend. However, it was still a great day and I picked up a lot of tips and information about how to build up my portfolio to stand a good chance of getting an interview. There were some other presentations about the tools used in Neurosurgery and the ones that are being developed. One memorable one was the AI camera which could analyse the procedure and tell the surgeon when it was time to move onto the next step. It wasn’t perfect but it could help to train new surgeons and I am watching the world of AI as this is going to become a more common place in hospitals as we progress through our career.
It was also nice to chat to my fellow warwicks who had come down for the day too. I met Ollie from the year above before and we spotted a couple of people in the third year after the conference had started. We rarely get to see the other years because they are at hospitals whilst we are in the MTC so it was nice to actually sit down and talk to them instead of doing the old “smile and nodd”.
We had to battle the tube after since we managed to exit at the same time as the science museum kick out and spent 15 minutes trying to navigate the turnstiles but in the end we got onto the trains. I walked into M&S after as I wanted a snack for the train and my bag ended up looking like a 4 year old had raided the shop with sweets, yum yums and sausage rolls but , it had been a long day.
MOST UNPRODUCTIVE DAY EVER. I seriously have spent half of it on my bed binge watching “How I met your Mother” and trying not to eat my body weight in snacks. However, its ok. Med students dont need to be on the game everyday, you don’t need to be constantly studying , sometimes its ok….. to just do nothing.