Block 4, Week 2


It’s crazy how quick these weeks are going. You start on Monday and within a blink of an eye, you are looking at 5pm on Friday. We have switched over sessions now which means we have CBL at which isn’t popular with my group. Our brains are conditioned to shut down after the last anatomy session which normally ends at 5 so our afternoon CBL session tends to be a bit of a push through to get to the end. The cases are becoming a bit easier to manage as we only have 5 pages to get through rather than 15 so we are less stressed and can explore basic concepts a bit more. I still miss block three as I am struggling with the anatomy this block but I just need a day where I can stick stuff to a skeleton and I will be ok ….. hopefully.


We had another bedside teaching today and it proved to be the best one yet! Our first patient had their family with them and it was a multimorbidity case meaning he had lots of things wrong with him. We were taking a history and one of the questions is “Do you take any recreational drugs?”. It’s a standardised question to which he replied no. The wife started laughing and added in “No, but I could bloody use some”. We all cracked up at this and I didn’t actually want to leave the room as we had learnt so much from this one patient alone.

Our second patient was someone our consultant managed to catch before he was discharged and it was one of the cases I will always remember. We were not told his main illness, all that we were told was that it was a cardiac exam. I was chosen to do it and all was normal until I felt his chest. This is testing for heaves and thrills and I immediately felt a bubbling under my hand, like someone was tapping their fingers to my hand. This was incredible as we are taught about them but it is hard to actually know what to look for so when I felt it , so much fell into place. I also heard my first mitral stenosis which was incredible to hear !

I had my final Neuroanatomy teaching in the evening being taught two hours on the cerebellum. We had a chat afterwards and were giggling about how the competition is going to go this week. One of my friends was talking about an article she read about neurosurgeons and how it helps if they are A: Border Line Autistic and B: Can be obsessive about one thing. I cheered as I checked both of these boxes much to everyone’s suprise. Most people didn’t know I was autistic so that was a nice thing to realise that I am considered “normal” …. if a bit quirky 😀


This morning started off with an interesting project. The med school are doing some research into the use of VR to learn anatomy. I was lucky enough to be in the experimental group and the kit was incredible. I could manipulate the limb in front of me anyway I wanted to and I gained some knowledge from it. We had to take some tests afterwards and I quickly learnt that I really did not take as much away as I thought I would 😀 However, given more time and the ability to take notes throughout it I think I would have gained a lot more from it.


Pretty normal day today. CBL at 11 meaning I could have a lie in and a tutor meeting just to check in with her. She was happy that I had finally found something outside medicine in the form of my blog and playing my guitar/ ukulele which is proving to be a welcome break from medicine on days where I just want to be doing anything else.

I sat outside to eat my lunch as it was such a beautiful day and its easy to not see any sun when you are constantly working in doors ! I always joke with my grandad that I am a human solar panel as I do and feel a lot better when I have had a bit of sun !


Normal Friday again today. We had the follow up the VR experiment we did on Wednesday. I think I may have actually learnt something the other day as the terms seemed more familiar and I may have got a few more of the questions right. We also had a lovely half day today as clinical skills finished early !

I managed to get a lift back to campus and cycled over to the post room to pick up my new Ipad (which I could afford thanks to friends and family discount) and basically spent the rest of the evening playing with my new toy and cramming some Neuroanatomy for the competition tomorrow. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen me geeking out over it!


Finally , the day had arrived ! The neuroanatomy competition day !!! One of the second years had offered to take a couple of us down in her car so it was an early start. However, we made the time by revising the brain stem in hope that it would come up 🙂

We got there early and tucked into the biggest pastries you have ever seen and me and a 3rd year managed to score a few freebies of the BMA – I do like a good freebie. We also managed to secure a mug for one of the third years who could not make it.

We started with the spotter task of the competition which was basically like a harder version of what we have on Friday anatomy sessions. I mean, the pins were placed in things like a tiny artery or a tiny portion of white matter and you had to name the specific white matter tract or the specific part of the nucleus. There were a few bits that were taught in block three and a station all about the brainstem so our cramming had worked! despite it being challenging, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it!

We also had a MCQ paper which was ridiculously hard but one magical question did come up. The question was about Tolosa-Hunt syndrome which essentially is characterized by severe periorbital headaches, along with decreased and painful eye movements. I would have never had heard of it having not been for my consultant setting us homework to find a rare disease and I just so happened to pick this one – I think I have powers.

We had a couple of lectures in the afternoon followed by the prize giving. No one from Warwick was in the Top 10 but I don’t think many of use expected to be there. I went to get a feel for the competition and to see how much I had retained from block three but I was surprised at how much I do know! I can’t wait for next year when I can go back, more prepared and determined to get into that Top 10 – bring on 2020!

Block 3 , Week 5 and Block 4, Week 1

Haha so I have been struggling to keep up with this blog so I am exploring other ways how to do this so please bear with!

Monday (Last Week)

Last Monday of block 3. Sigh. Did not want this week to come but this block has flown by! The last block of the week is always a slow one with regards to new content but it is by no means any sort of rest (though I should have really given myself the weekend off at the end). We had our final anatomy and CBL cases of the block which has been nice this block as I have understood what is going on. I also have recognised I need to approach CBL in a new way as I have found that I do not pay attention f I am not chairing or scribing a case which isn’t really what should be happening. We also had a really cute girly evening in the flats where we just all crowded into one room and talked about everything and everything. It was really nice to actually see people outside the MTC and we have made it tradition to do every month 🙂

Tuesday (Last week)

We had our normal day in the hospital today of which I got really excited over a leg as I thought I had found a bite mark which could have been causing the redness on the leg of the patients ……. turns out it was just eczema…

Wednesday (last week)

I believe the offers have started coming out for the next year today and I have received a couple of messages from people I was giving advice too on the run-up to interviews! I got massive throwbacks to my offer last year so I was happy to see that my advice potentially helped someone!


We had a mock formative today which proved to be very good for my self-esteem as I did better than I thought. I really needed that pick me up as I had been feeling awful about myself for the past couple of weeks questioning why I ever got in in the first place.

It was also our flatmate Alex’s birthday that evening in which we kidnapped him (literally) to give him a birthday cake and a sodden birthday card due to an unfortunate leak in our hallway and the placement of the letterbox…

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Friday (Last Week)

Final time with the neuro plastinates so I was trying to name as many structures as I physically could in prep for the neuroanatomy comp in a couple of weeks time.

Dr Gill was also running the Instagram account for Warwick today which resulted in a creepy voice first thing in the morning. I was walking up the stairs and heard something but thought it was someone else talking to someone else. I carried on up the stairs and heard it again so I looked round to try and find where this voice was coming from, again… no one there. I then heard a voice saying “up here” and Dr Gill was stood on top of the massive staircase watching us all get to lecture from above……. felt slightly under pressure to make sure I didn’t push the pull door as I went in.

Saturday (Last week)

Another early morning as there was a surgical symposium put on by the surgical soc at WMS. It was a good day except when one of my anatomy lecturers started quizzing the first years in the audience of which I had totally forgotten all the answers (this was in September in my defence) and I was straight in her eye line… Awkward.

We also got to see an anatomise table which I was excited about as they had them at UCLan (not that I ever got to see them). However, it turned out to be a “watch me” kind of demonstration so as interesting as it was….. people started to glaze over which was disappointing as it was an incredible piece of kit.

It was also nice to catch up with my medic mum for the day as I don’t get to see her much so we just had a laugh about everything and anything in the breaks.

Sunday (last week)

Anatomy day! There were very few members from our year there as I think most people had gone home for the weekend. It was a good (if tiring) day and I am starting to think the pizza at lunch is a huge reason as to why I go to these things:,D.

I also had a bit of a late night as I needed to go to the walk-in centre as surprise surprise I have developed yet another ear infection and I would rather not end up in the hospital this time:,D.

Monday (this week)

Decided to take the morning off as I needed it. Having a bath at half-past 9 in the morning felt a bit odd but I rather like starting the day that way! We had the start of block 4 and I immediately re-understood why people hated block three. I was lost in the 2nd lecture of the day and not even three and a half hours in the med school sorted out.

I also had a delightful 5 minutes of trying to wrestle a flapjack from the vending machine whilst my anatomy professor cheered from the sidelines ….. It wasn’t even a good flapjack.


If you have been following my Instagram you would have seen my post about this where I went onto the ward unsupervised for the first time! Not a huge thing but it felt amazing to feel independent as a student. I was really nervous so thankfully maariyha did most of the talking but we managed to get an awful lot just from the patient’s notes and we successfully took a history and did a cardiac and resp exam. We came off the ward on a bit of a high and I can’t wait to do it again 😀



Went round to my medic mum, dad and uncle’s in the evening with Emily and Emily to have an evening off medicine. It was a student seminar night and we had pizza (thank you guys!). It was nice just to have a laugh and muck around for an evening instead of working on the block and I now have a half-sister Jamie (Medic Dad) and Emily (Student Sem Teacher) adopted – introducing my new sibling, Emily!


Valentine’s day! Street doctors had organised a “secret valentines” sweet delivery in which you could send a message with some sweets to someone annomously. I didn’t send any or get any but it was hilarious to see them being chucked around the lecture theatre. Instead, I was running around making sure people had signed some cards I had bought for someone we all know that’s not feeling too well – I think it was mostly successful as we filled 4 cards completely with signatures! Spent the evening on a date with Greys Anatomy finishing my workbook before collapsing in bed.


Normal hospital day today except we have had one poor lecturer three times in a row so we were making jokes about what he had done to be punished for …. Poor Jeremy 😀

Block Three, Week 4


The second Monday of the block without my lie in! I miss it already 😦   We started off with an interesting lecture about CNS infections and how they present in A&E. This was interesting as this linked to our CBL case of the week so we could gain some understanding of what was going on. We also had a lecture on the treatment of a patient in the emergency room which lead to discussions about patient autonomy and when consent needed to be gained or what could be done when the patient was unconscious. If I could sum up that lecture, it was like studying for medical school interviews all over again, respect patients autonomy.


I got unnecessarily excited today as I thought I was going to have to battle through the snow but it turns out that the snow was sue to Tuesday evening, not the morning.  We had part two of our community day where we presented our patient cases. This week we didn’t get pulled up on anonymity and we were praised for our slides which felt good as we had improved since last time. I had to leave early today as I had to get to UHCW for the first session of the advanced neuroanatomy course that I had signed myself up to in preparation for the undergraduate neuroanatomy competition in November. It was a stressful journey as I was meant to arrive at UHCW at 5:15 in time for the teaching at 6. That did not happen. At 5:30 I was still on bus 1/2 and nowhere near getting onto the second. I ended up getting off the bus early and getting an uber over there.

It was so worth it though as sitting in a room with people loving the brain as much as I did gave me a lot of self-confidence as it meant I was not weird and I began to enjoy the fact I have loved this block to pieces. Something which I know is not shared amongst my fellow coursemates.


We had our final labs of the block today which involved me sticking EEG electrodes onto my head and having a nap on the floor. Hard morning for me! However, this forced nap meant I struggled to work the rest of the day so I hung around for my mentor and my student seminar. They had been amazing and shifted the day so I could still attend as the neuro teaching has ended up on Tuesday.

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We had a CBL session today about a lady with dementia but it was hard to get through it as the lecture we needed was happening straight after the CBL session. It was enjoyable but for some reason, I could not lock into the session and my mind wandered around for the whole time. I was in a pretty bad mood by the time I got into the lecture but our block lead came up and said: “Dr__ said thank you”.

I was confused. Dr ___ was the consultant surgeon who came and gave us a lecture the other week, I had done nothing bar email his secretary about the projects and I was pretty sure he was not thanking me for that. However, our block lead mentioned the blog. And it all made sense. I had mentioned about being happy that we were being taught by a consultant and that he was pretty funny and that I enjoyed the lecture. My lecturer joked about him mentioning it about putting it in his next appraisal so I jokingly said: “only if he will let me into the operating room”. However, I had turned to my friend who had the blog up and was reading it and commented: “how brown nose can you get?!”….. Safe to say the good mood was over.

I decided to go home after that lecture and not go to PPD. They are sign in sessions but I was not feeling in the mind to sit around and talk about teamwork. I ended up in my bed tossing and turning in a bit of a black cloud.

I also took some pictures of the confused ducks who were lacking their normal activity source as the lake had frozen completely solid!

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I didn’t go in today. I needed a break away from medicine, I needed to get away from the thing that was causing me to lose it. Looking back, it was the correct thing to do. I would not have got anything from the day and I was completely not in my right mind. I spent the majority of the day sleeping and sorting out things in my room that needed doing. Essentially, avoiding the whole medicine thing. I still was in a weird space come 7pm, I needed shopping so I went over to Aldi and pushed the trolley round for a good hour. The only way I can describe this mood was similar to when you are drunk and are happy to be pulled everywhere because you can’t think for yourself (no, of course, this isn’t speaking from first-hand memories!)

I got back and slowly, my head began to clear. I began to feel like me again and I managed to do some work. It was such a hard week but I am glad I seem to have got over that hurdle.


No lie in again! We had physiology day and it has been one of the first that I have actually known what is going on! I am in no way shape or form to actually do the exam now but it was the confidence boost I needed. A couple of us headed to the duck after to have a drink before I came back to my room and did my CBL assignment.


These past couple of weeks has seen my social network fall, me loose a lot of trust in people and my mental health decline but I think I am getting back on the horse. I suppose I am thankful that this occured when I was enjoying the academics rather than when I was struggling. I am a lot better now, partly due to the antidepressants I have been on for the past 4 years and I am going to try and cut caffeine out of my diet as I think this is making me worse (she says having bought a massive pack of caffeine tablets this week).

I have also been expanding my blog to cover twitter, facebook and as of today… Youtube… God help me.