I am sorry guys, but exams really do take it out of you. After the first week I was barely keeping up with basic elements such as hairwashing or shopping. It takes it out of you! Anyway, Ill try and sum up the final block of first year here, I will try and keep it kind of short, but here goes!
Teaching did not start until Tuesday this week thanks to the glorious easter weekend. On Tuesday we had a lecture on consent in children which I actually found really interesting. Ethics is starting to grow on me here. We focused on things like Gillick competency which looks at how we decided if children under the legal age of becoming an adult (18 in the UK) can be treated without their parent’s permission. It is a vital piece of medical law as we will be faced with children coming into our clinics asking us to “not tell their parents” if they wanted treatment. Along with this came Frazers guidelines. These are a set of guidelines which advise doctors on giving contraceptive advice/ treatment to under 16s (the legal age of consent in the UK) and protects them from being accused of breaking the Sexual Offences Act. These two laws will shape how we treat those under the age of 18 which is going to be a certain in our future careers.
On Wednesday we has the first of our block revision sessions where we go through material taught throughout the block. This was the turn of Block 1, we covered metabolism and I believe haematopoiesis (as this came under the cell and tissue theme). I found this really useful and it turns out I don’t need to learn the entire Krebs cycle – RESULT! After it was time for solo study, I was desperately trying to keep up with both block 5 and revision, which is a lot harder than it sounds.
Thursday brought the arrival of our anatomy lecture on the placenta and my mind was blow at just how elegant the development of this structure is. I found out that the blood supply from mother and baby never mix! This blew my mind, I had always pictured this weird one circuit around mother and baby, instead everything is exchanged through a membrane barrier. We also had a reproductive imagining lecture from Prof.Tunstal. I really did like this as radiology is a career that is slowly growing on me, I love the puzzle solving nature of the profession , however, I know that I don’t want to just be trapped behind a computer all day so I would want to combine surgery and radiology in the emerging field of interventional radiology.
That evening I escaped the MTC and I went climbing for the first time. I love it! I needed to find something that totally keeps my mind busy as I struggle to completely switch it off sometimes. Looking around to see where I can put my feet takes my mind off anything else and I can escape for an hour.
We had our final 8am (sort of) lecture on the Friday and this was on clinical examination of the breast. It is important we get this right. Women and Men will be coming into our clinic feeling vulnerable and we need to make sure we treat patients with the dignity and the respect they deserve. It is also important we know how to do this because not only can it result in early detection but it means that we can identify those in lower risk groups such as males meaning care is equal across all.
On Thursday we had our final PPD session, we had to teach a skill. I saw this as an excuse to bring in my ukulele and taught my CBL friend Christina how to play four chords whilst she taught me (the most ungirliest girl ever) how to put on false eyelashes. I ended up putting my new skills to use on Isa who I have to say looked sporting in a set of false eyelashes!
On the Friday we had our student briefing on OSCE’s. This was scary and it finally hit how close we were to the summative and these weeks seemed to be going quicker than a cheetah on red bull. However, there is no use panicking about what I can’t control !
Week 4 kicked off with another bank holiday so teaching didn’t start until Tuesday. We had our introduction to AC1 lecture where we were informed about how Year 2 works. THERE IS SO MUCH FREE TIME !! I look at the timetable and saw massive blocks of…. Nothing. Wow. I need to get to second year now ! We were also introduced to CLO’s which are clinical learning opportunities in the hospitals. They are half a day each and we get to choose teams to shadow for half a day. We have to rank our choices so my first choices ended up being the Paediatric Play Specialists, Radiology department and Vascular access team.
Its scary. I’ve watched the second years all year and saw just how much they have got to do outside of their degrees, I can’t wait to take on the things they have done for us all year such as student seminars and being the proud medic parent of two new first years.
The fina week of block 5 and of year 1!
On Tuesday we had our final bedside teaching session with our incredible consultant Dr Burbridge Instead of trapping us in the hospital for hours, she took advantage of the weather and we sat in UHCW’s flower garden talking about the medicines we get from plants. I’ve not been having a good couple of weeks so I could only come up with St,Johns Wort, a herbal antidepressant but plays havoc with drug metabolism. However, we then moved on to talk about equality in the NHS. She was telling us about how she is constantly just assumed to be the nurse when her and a male colleague arrive at a call and how when she talks about her kids, she has to justify her childcare plans to others, but this is never the situation for her male colleagues. This was really thought provoking, why should a woman not pursue a career as challenging as medicine just because of her kids and why does she have to justify her decision. Whenever female surgeons come in to Warwick and talk about their careers, they ALWAYS mention about childcare and how she managed it, this has never once come up in a male surgeons talk. It was a thought-provoking conversation, but she is still one of the best doctors I have ever seen, and we always talk in medicine about how we need role models to look up to, well, she is mine. At the moment, I don’t want kids because of the demands of the career speciality I want to pursue. This could change though, I am only 22 at the moment (though if you compare this to some Love Island Cast opinions, I am middle age already). If it all changes, and one day I find myself in the position of starting a family, then at least I know it can be done, and you can still be an incredible physician as well as an incredible parent.
Anyway, rant over. After our chat in the flower garden we went inside and saw a young patient with pericarditis, and it was amazing to finally hear the association of a murmur with systole or diastole. We ended the day looking at pictures of x-rays and clinical signs and discussing how we love spot popping videos (I’m looking at you Dr PimplePopper). It was sad to finish off our time with Dr Burbridge but Ill be stuck to her like glue if we ever get placed in her department!
The anatomy department also ran a mock anatomy exam for us which was useful but I learnt one major thing. I NEED TO REMEMBER MY RIGHTS AND LEFTS. I was proud of how much I had been able to learn from Block 4 which is my worst block of the year.
We also had another scary lecture which happened to be our final lecture of 1st year. We had a two hour long session about SSC1. This is a module which we can chose what we do, I initially went in wanting to do the medical education module however, this changed when I heard what else was on offer. I like the idea of doing a medical humanities module with Prof.Patel and my second choice is the stats module because I feel I have no idea what is going on when it comes to statistics, plus the lecturer presented her module in a rhyme format, and who can resist a good rhyme?
On Thursday we had our final block round up sessions which was nice as we got to sit outside for some of it. I was a bit worried about how much I didn’t really know but I was not too fussed as I knew I stll had time. This was around the time of the mini-heatwave we were having so we walked down to main campus to have some icecream before heading back the MTC for the final sessions.
Friday was bittersweet, it was the last teaching day of year one which was a relief because it meant that no new information was heading our way, but also, the last day of year one meant exams were on top of us. We had a nice revision session for clinical skills and a revision session with the plastinates. I eventually made it out of UHCW, officially finished. Abi offered me a lift home and we headed to the MTC where revision began again.
And that is it! That’s my whistle stop tour of Block 5. I apologise for not being as active on here as I would want to be, but hopefully on the 24th of June, it will have all been worth it!