MSK Week One

And we are back! First day back after our two-week break and the first day of my final year. It does sort of feel like I cheated Med school considering I spent all of 6 months in the third year and will complete the clinical part of my fourth year in 5 months.

I spent the two weeks at home re-decorating my bedroom and also visiting my friend from Wales whom I have been chatting to for weeks. Sophie is a friend I made through Twitter, and we have become actually quite close over the past year. What is funny is that we have never met in person. So we decided to correct that by meeting half way:

I never thought I would be meeting some of my best friends at med school through social media.

I also had the first meeting of my internship with ASME. I signed up for this because I wanted the chance to complete my SSC2 project looking at the use of social media in medical students and healthcare professionals in the UK. I am interested in social media, especially using it in the context of medical education.

Ironically, we created a bingo card during this meeting that, well, blew up twitter :

Right, that’s my break, back to it.

This photo took four years to take

I started my first official day of final year, you guessed it, running around a hospital. We were made to come in at 08:15am for introduction and then didn’t have teaching till 1pm that day. I know I moaned about teams teaching before, but I miss the convenience of it.

Instead of wasting away the hours, K and I decided to run around the hospital booking clinics. We were instructed we had to attend a clinic for every joint, and helpfully we had only been scheduled clinics with our consultant who was a trauma surgeon and a knee clinic.

So, there we were darting between secretaries trying to get these clinics booked. (Please remember this for later). Only managed to get a shoulder done, so we went to the library and sat there emailing all the secretaries we could, all the actual emails of the surgeons we could.

This took us a good three hours, but we managed to send an email out to everyone by the time teaching came around, which was worth it so much. We had Dr P who was incredible. OK, yes, I didn’t take an awful amount away from teaching, but just being engaged with the topics helps to make things stick.

I hate Rheumatology and endocrinology. I just don’t get where everything connects and suddenly words have just appeared, and I feel ridiculous that I don’t know what they mean. Especially when everyone else is using them with ease.

Anyway, back to teaching. I just enjoyed having the face to face again. It also helped that Dr P brought in penguin bars and satsumas to help our concentration…..

Tuesday (Disclaimer – I’m writing this nearly 6 months later with my calendar to jog my memory).

The first day in surgery today. I wasn’t anticipating much, but our consultant got us scrubbed in straight away. Almost made up for the 7:30am start. I was in AWE. Never have we ever been scrubbed in this quickly before. I really enjoyed my morning and we got to see hip and ankle surgeries, with K and I swapped out in between surgery.

We found snazzy lead aprons, of which I had to wear because of the cows…

I have never felt so included by the team, who spent time teaching us before each case and chatting about our career plans. I thought T&O was meant to be full of rugby lads? This is the complete opposite.

We then had Rheumatology teaching with Dr P who turns out to be the best teacher I have ever had at medical school. He is a retired Rheumatologist who still keeps teaching us medical students and is hugely popular, and not just because he brings penguins and oranges to teaching.

He is eccentric (I’m sure he would agree) and for the TWO hours, I was engaged. He didn’t just read from a PowerPoint, but actually challenged us to use our brains. He goes around the room and although you can sometimes feel put on the spot, he doesn’t care if you get the answer wrong, it’s about the learning.

When I say Dr P’s teaching is amazing, I really am not exaggerating.

That evening, I had a mock interview. I am applying for the academic foundation programme and Warwick put on a programme of mock interviews, so we could have some practise before the real things.


Today I went a bit off my timetable and got to shadow the boss of a surgeon who is Ms W. She is a trauma surgeon and someone who I have sort of become to look up to since her talk at an event. One quote was “you aren’t a female surgical trainee, you are a surgical trainee”. It’s not the most difficult thing to unravel, but did say to me don’t let the fact you are female stand in the way of anything.

I really did enjoy this day as I got to get right involved in the surgery, putting traction on the leg (more difficult and energy consuming than I thought) and using the suctioning. Ms W was the most relaxed surgeon I had ever met, who encouraged everyone to scrub in, no matter who they were or what role they had. In the afternoon I was mainly stood watching as there were three trainees plus Ms Ward. This didn’t matter too much, as I could still see everything going on and ask questions. At one point there were 6 of us stood scrubbed in, which was a bit too much but did resemble the weirdest alien meet up ever.

I had to leave slightly early as I wanted to prepare for:


Mock OSCEs. The last time we did OSCEs was in our first year. We would now be doing our next set of OSCES as our final exams. It’s safe to say there is a big leap between the first and final year OSCE. From” Just follow the dance routine” to “be a mini doctor” is a bit of a leap to make, so Warwick put on a mini circuit.

It was a formative OSCE, purely for our own benefit and wouldn’t add anything to our marks, so the pressure was off. I didn’t do much revision for this. I wanted to see where my baseline was and where I needed to improve.

The actual circuit was ok. I’d forgotten what the time pressure was like, and on some stations, I felt like there was too much to do in 7 minutes. However, despite a dermatology station in which I had not a clue what went on, it was ok! I ended up passing all the stations (despite missing a STEMI – it’s ok , I know what they look like now). In the evening I went to the pub to finish a project I was working on and treated myself to a pint and food – after all I had just done an exam…

The Weekend

That weekend was a bank holiday. The last one of the year before December. I decided to go and visit my medic mum in Cambridge. She had just started work as an FY1 there, so I was super excited to go and see her. We got to explore the town a little by foot and boat, and I got to pretend I was a Cambridge student for the day—something I had always sorta wanted to be. She who will not be named went to Cambridge, so there was a Harry Potter vibe around the town, and I got to see buildings where Stephen Hawking worked and studied. They also have the original copies of Winnie The Pooh books which I didn’t know and sort of geeked out over – I love Tigger.

We had dinner in the Pub where Watson and Crick used to frequent and chat about their (stolen) DNA work. #TeamRosalind

I loved Cambridge. I really did. I knew this could be somewhere I worked one day, so I guess that made my decision about the applications coming up even harder.

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