CCE Specialities Week 8


Peri-op week begins! That means early rises and long days of standing on my feet. I rolled out of bed at 5:30am and got in for 8:15am ready to begin. We had been assigned theatre 2 and so saw a lot of hernia repairs.

We had a short morning as we had teaching on otoscopy in the afternoon. Ears have been a fascination of mine since I seem to have so many problems with them. The doc was lovely and she was trying to prep talk me into not going off Neuro. To be honest, I stood in a theatre the other day and a little part of me lit up but I think the ship has firmly set sail on that one. It was nice to see a female clinician building up med students though. Come to think of it, this entire block, I’ve seen 5 female doctors in 10 weeks. Yes, I’m slightly biased because I’ve been on specialities meaning I’ve done a lot of work with midwives but I don’t know. Maybe, this will change next blocks when I am actually on a ward for more than 5 days.


The first full day in Peri-op! We spent the first 20 minutes working out that Warwick had actually scheduled us into a theatre instead of leaving us to wander like lost lambs which is a nice change. Today was a lot of urology meaning I saw a LOT of bladders. We went to take a history off one of our first patients and half-way through I became very aware that they were alarmingly on it with their meds and were telling us the exact things we wanted to hear. I asked what their jobs were and they are actually a health professional! Suppose that answers my questions about their amazingly in-depth knowledge!

We got to see each patient being put to sleep with the use of I-Gels today rather than tubing which we saw yesterday. They look oddly weird and like they shouldn’t work but are actually easier to work with:

Image result for I gel
The I-Gel is supraglottic meaning it sits above your glottis near your vocal chords.

We saw some botox injections for bladder problems particularly in those with MS to prevent the bladder contracting as much as it does enabling the patient to re-gain continence.

After lunch we went into another theatre as we were told that we would be watching the same operation 5 times in our theatre which isn’t exactly beneficial. This time I got to insert a cannula AND GOT IT IN (on the second attempt). We’ve been told techniques with the cannulas this week and encouraged to begin to develop doing them one handedly. I was worried about this procedure, as it is really fiddly and you could do with an extra set of hands really to do it. However, now I have done one, I know I’ll be able to help a bit more on the wards next block.

I was chatting to the anaesthetist running the op and asked if she could sign my cannula off for me. Here at Warwick we need a skill, a case based discussion and (a Warwick special) OSLER signed off every block. So far I have one CBD, and nothing else. The sign off’s also have to be done by a ST3 and above which is (to put it politely) annoying as hell. I figured she was a consultant and when I asked she said she would ask the consultant as she was not a doctor. I sat there confused. How were you running the anaesthetics if you were not a doctor? Turns out she was an anaesthetists associate. I have never heard of it before but it is like the physicians associate, just for anaesthetics! I was really interested and we were chatting about the training and why she chose to do it. The consultant eventually came in and he asked me to send him a ticket….. he still hasn’t done it. #medstudentproblems


Second to last GP day 😦 We decided to spend the morning sifting through our mini-needs health assessment which was becoming a pain. We weren’t entirely sure what we were doing (and to be honest to this day I am still not sure what had to be done) however, we managed to get a presentation together that somewhat resembled examples we had been given. At least I am an expert on Alcohol in Coventry now.

We had our student run clinic in the afternoon in which we got to do our GP OSCES (yes as well as the sign offs in hospital, we have to get them done in GP too!). I actually managed to manage an entire consultation by myself and the pride inside me was huge. IT was a simple case of overuse of a muscle which you normally grab the old ibuprofen but due to co-morbidities (a bunch of rapidly growing cells with its own protective bubble and blood supply), we couldn’t use this. I suggested heat and told them to put their feet up this evening and have their partner make all the teas. They seemed to like that treatment plan. I got amazing feedback from my GP. Apparently, I have a way of putting patients at ease, which surprises me as I am shaking with nerves inside. I love the consultations and developing the med student- patient relationship even in the short time we get. I had never thought GP would be my style, but I am becoming to love my Wednesday afternoons. Despite being on the spectrum, I am a weirdly chatty human. I don’t know. Knowing me, next week I love everything to do with oncology but we shall see.


I was meant to go into today but I woke up ill and dizzy. I think it may have to do with a certain examination coming up but, after having the day off. I felt amazing and re-energized rather than an exhausted wreck. Early mornings, late nights, long journeys AND my medication make every day seem like a 48-hour stretch. My clinical partner comments on how much I yawn but I honestly can’t help it. I am so looking forward to my week off in ……… 12 weeks.


Early morning again as we had the deans breakfast. It’s essentially free food for a chat with the dean of the medical school, the pro-dean of education and our lovely Deputy Head of the programme and Lead for Learning & Teaching (I had to google that). It’s great because we actually get to raise the issues affecting us directly and even bring things up that the med school are completely put in the dark about (like a certain nearby medical school’s students popping up in one of our hospitals despite the hospital telling WMS we were the only WMS students there). I also raised an issue about our formative. Weirdly, it got released 2 weeks before the end of the block and I was no where near done with my learning which I thought was a bit unfair. I asked if it could be moved and later that day it got extended to the end of the block – result!

I then went to CBL with a mountain of croissants from the breakfast and tried to pay as much attention as possible. It was slightly different today as instead of mountains of text (hell yas) we have four short videos. I actually enjoyed it (apart from me and one of my friends cracking up at the first one because it was meant to be a really patient but the actor kept bringing his script into the frame). It was good because it got a good discussion going and distracted me from the horror of what was coming.

At 12:08pm, I stepped into the car for my third driving test. I wasn’t expecting much. I had failed twice already AND there was a storm today. Rain and unfamiliar roads. A winning mix. At 12:50 I pulled back to the test centre and held my breath whilst the examiner put the GPS away in what seems like the LONGEST wait ever. He then looked at me and I HAD PASSED !!!!!!

I HAVE FINALLY PASSED MY DRIVING TEST !!! I WAS FREE !!! My driving instructor was laughing as he said it was the loudest celebration he had ever heard (did you expect anything less from me?). I was so happy, no more 5am starts, no more waiting 20 minutes for a bus not to turn up, no more rude bus drivers or stinky passengers, and the most important thing. No more being trapped on campus.

I headed back and joined in a VLE session looking at equality and equity. However, I quickly picked up that VLE debates don’t work well on Friday afternoons. There was some discussion but most of us were tired and keen to end the week. Even after my happy lunchtime, I kept zoning in and out of the debate. Not a good look 🙂

Finally, we were freed and I collapsed home to spend the next fours hours sorting out grown up car insurance. I got an ok deal, I wasn’t expecting much being a new driver but I am ok with the deal I got. Finally, something good has happened to me in 2020.

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