Block 4, Week 2


Monday

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.

Tuesday

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 šŸ˜€

Wednesday

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 šŸ˜€ However, given more time and the ability to take notes throughout it I think I would have gained a lot more from it.

Thursday

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 !

Friday

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!

Saturday

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 šŸ™‚

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!

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