Friday, 7 December 2012

First week as a MEDICAL STUDENT!

Saturday, 8 September 2012


Yay, I’m finally a medical student! After so many years working towards this, at the time seemingly unreachable, dream I’m finally here! It still feels a bit surreal.
I’ve just finished my first week. The first two days was mostly just induction, but then we were straight into proper lectures! I was hoping that this week was quite full on in order to scare us into doing lots of outside work for the term, but apparently the work just gets harder after this week :s. It wasn’t the complexity of the work this week that I’ve struggled with though, more just the quanity, so hopefully if I just get into a good work routine I’ll be able to keep up. One thing they’ve really emphasised (both staff and the second years) is that we need to be keeping on top of our work and reviewing it as we cover it, rather than leaving it to the last minute, or we WILL fail and die... I do understand the importance of this though and I have very good intentions to aim to review all my work and make revision notes weekly. This is a lot more full on than my last degree!
The University seems pretty good and all the staff so far have been lovely. They’ve all encouraged us to go to them if we ever need any extra help with anything. I also met my personal tutor who’s pretty eccentric but who also seems nice! The other students also seem nice and I’ve made friends with a few people. I wish I could have received a pound for every time I’ve asked/answered the four basic questions:
  • What’s your name?
  • What was your previous degree?
  • Where did you study?
  • Where are you from?
It would have been a lot easier if we’d just been given signs with this information on to wear around our necks for the week! It’s a good way to start a conversation with someone, but after finding out the same answers from so many people you start to forget most people’s answers and also who you’ve asked, but by then it’s too awkward to ask them again! There’s this one guy who I’ve hung out with a bit this week who told me his name on Monday, which I promptly forgot, so for the rest of the week I’ve just been avoiding using his name and saved his number on my phone as “boy who’s name I forgot”. Oops! I’ll have to resort to some sneaky tactics to rediscover it.
So far I’ve learnt how to take basic observations from people (temperature, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation etc.), including how to talk blood pressure the old fashioned way using a stethoscope(!), and also got to play/learn from models of the heart and abdomen. I’ve really enjoyed doing this, even though they’re pretty basic things, as I really like the hands on aspect of being a doctor and this makes me really feel that I’m a medical student, rather than just having lectures on the physiology basics etc.
I’ve attended the Medical Fresher’s Fayre and signed up for pretty much every charity and speciality society! I don’t know which speciality I want to persue yet (evidenced here), but joining all the speciality societies might help me decide, and they seem to put on interesting talks etc. I also know that I want to take part in something charity related, but I’m not sure what, so if I just go along to all the societies then I can decide which ones I like and then just go to those. Though looking at the workload it’s dubious if I’ll even have any free time left to attend any society events, and I’m only half-joking... There were also several businesses/organisations at the Fayre which were giving out freebies if you joined up! I love freebies so I was very happy. In total I got 2 textbooks, a laptop case, an iphone case, a tote bag, a magazine, a torch/bottle opener keyring, a pendrive, sweets, LOTS of pens, money off vouchers and one of those fuzzy ball things with googly eyes! For some reason I often prefer writing with promotional pens than with normal shop bought pens (my hand writing seems neater with them!) so I was very happy with the pens.
As can be imagined, there’s also been lots of social events organised this first week. I’ve attended nearly all of them, but I chose not to go to the 2 big drinking nights out. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have a drink and partied quite a lot in my undergraduate degree, but I chose not to go out as they didn’t start till late and we’ve had 9-5 lectures/ group work all this week. I’m trying to start this degree well and I didn’t feel that being tired and hungover would help me get to grips with all the material being covered in the lectures for each module (which was mostly the basic knowledge which will underpin the rest of the modules and therefore really important to have a good grasp on!). A lot of the people I’ve become friendly with so far also chose not to go out and people who did go said that I didn’t really miss out on much. Other people however, took the partying to extremes which resulted in people turning up late/not turning up at all for
lectures, leaving in the middle of lectures to vomit and not really doing anything in the group work. Considering that our attendance is registered and closely monitored I wouldn’t have personally felt comfortable missing lectures in our first week! One guy turned up looking a state, with big cuts all over his face and didn’t have any idea how he’d got them!
My boyfriend’s not been able to transfer his job here yet so we’re living apart at the moment. I feel a bit bad, but I’ve not missed him that much over the last week purely just because it’s been so busy that I’ve not really had time to miss him! I hope he manages to transfer his job soon though as I know I will really start to miss him if we’re apart for too long. We’ve lived together, spending all our free time together, for so long that it’s really weird to be apart for too long!
I’m currently staying in university temporary accommodation until I move into my flat next week. It’s very handy as the location is close to the med school, but I’m glad I won’t be here for the whole year. I dislike using the shared kitchen which is badly equipped, often dirty and with no free space in the fridge/freezer and the bathroom’s just really dirty and smelly! Maybe it’s because it’s a mixed sex bathroom, because I swear that when I was sharing with TEN girls in halls in the first year of my last degree that the bathroom was nowhere near as disgusting as this one is! It’s also incredibly noisy here, despite the hall being only about half full at the moment. The walls are so thin that all the door banging and people talking and listening to music (not even very loudly) is really disturbing.
On a more positive note, it’s such a nice day here today! I’m going to take a nice walk to the shop and the library to take advantage of the sun, and also to get some textbooks out in preparation for the coming week (trying to get into a good work ethic and all!).
I thought I'd end with this cartoon which I thought was pretty funny and probably pretty accurate!

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