Friday, 7 December 2012


Saturday, 6 October 2012

I'm sorry for the lack of posts so far. I'm not planning for this to be a continuing trend though!

It's takes a while to settle down into a new place, especially in a new city which you don't know. I think I'm finally mostly settled in now though. I've still got some stuff to move here from home, but everything here is now sorted. I've unpacked everything, finally got internet(!), put pictures on the wall, sorted out my desk and got folders for all my different modules. The flat's in a really nice location which I'm enjoying. It's on a quiet road in a family/student area with a row of nice shops at the end of the road with everything I could want and a nice community library around the corner which is open 7 days a week!

So far the course is going well. It's not as intense as I was expecting (I think they're easing us in gently though, and next term is reputed to be a lot more full-on), especially coming from a full time demanding job with an extensive commute. The material that we're covering doesn't seem too difficult, it's more the amount of things we need to learn. It's a bit daunting thinking about all the information I'll need to know before finals!

In the first part of the course we mostly learn the essential medical sciences, which is obviously important but occasionally feels as though I'm just studying another science degree rather than Medicine. We do do some "proper doctor" stuff though which motivates me to work hard on the science aspects. This week we met our first patient in the community. We were looking more at the social aspects of their condition rather than the medical aspects, but it was still exciting! Additionally, I've also done courses learning the basics of venepuncture (taking blood) and suturing. These were really exciting things to do! For the suturing we practiced on a pig's leg, which started to smell bad by the end of the session and was slightly gross, but also really cool! I'd just presumed we'd be learning on bits of foam or a banana or something, but I think it was a lot more realistic learning on the pig's leg. Also these last few weeks I've learnt the techniques of taking a history from a patient and how to do a general examination of a patient (which was a lot more involved than I thought it'd be!). I think my favourite bit was reciting all the names of the lymph nodes in the neck whilst examining them on a classmate as this tied together the things we've been learning in anatomy and clinical skills really well.

This week we had "parent's meal" - this was where the second years we've had assigned to us as a buddy either cooked us a meal or took us out to a restaurant. My "parent" and her housemates had me and some of my classmates round to their house where they fed us home-made lasagne and scared us all with stories of second year! It was a really nice night though, and it was nice of them to go to so much effort to host such a lovely evening for us :).

I feel for all the people applying for Medicine with the UCAS application deadline coming up. I remember how intense and nerve racking the whole application process is. Next week I'm helping do mock interviews for students applying for Medicine as part of my uni's widening access to medicine scheme. I'm quite passionate about this as I know from experience that it can be hard applying for Medicine if you're from a working class background without parents/ friends of family who are doctors and not from a school with the resources of many private schools to help you get work experience and advise on personal statements, interview technique etc. I can't remember the exact figure, but only around 10% or medical students are from a working class background, which is pretty disproportionate!

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