Friday, 7 December 2012

Last week of term

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

This is my last week of term! It's gone so unbelievably fast - it seems like last week that I was just starting Med school. I've really enjoyed it, but I've also realised that there's a lot more stuff to learn as a Doctor than I previously (naively) believed.
Since the first week of term we've had it drilled into us that we need to work solidly throughout the term, and if we just cram for exams WE WILL FAIL. Although I have been doing this to a certain extent, I have by no means gone over and made revision notes for every lecture yet, as recommended. Luckily we have all of December off before our formative (don't count towards anything) exams so for these exams I should be fine with a month off to revise. However, for our summer exams (which do count; fail and you either get chucked out of med school or have to re-sit the year (SCARY)), we only get 2 weeks off beforehand. Plus, next term is reputably more intense, with harder modules and less free time. Therefore, next term I have to be a much better student and ensure I do each week's work as I go along. It's taken a while to settle into going back to uni after being out of uni for a year, and sorting out my new flat etc. but I think I am back into the swing of things now, so hopefully I'll be able to be a bit more organised and have dedicated revision timetabled each week.
I remember in the first week the head of the Med school telling us that's up until now we've likely been used to being top of our year/the best at what we're doing, but as everyone they've taken is of this calibre, that now in Med school, we can't all be the best and there will have to be some people at the bottom of the year. Considering that I only got a low 2.1 in my degree (the minimum grade to get onto this degree is a 2.1), purely looking at degree grades I'm already placed at the bottom of the year. I don't think that my degree grade is totally representative of my abilities as I had extenuating circumstances for one set of exams, and I just really wasn't that engaged in my degree and therefore I didn't work as hard as I should. Therefore I think that I can do well in Medicine, but I really have to buckle down and work hard. A realistic aim that I'm working towards is come in the top 4 deciles of our year.
The second years are currently revising for their big end of Phase 1 (pre-clinical) exams before moving into Phase 2 (clinical years), and they're all very stressed about this. The other day I also saw on the noticeboard the exams results for what I presume was the final year exam re-sits (although I was under the impression that you couldn't re-sit finals? Maybe they had extenuating circumstances or something), and 2 people had apparently failed these and had just been issued a Bachelors in Medicine, as opposed to the full MBChB degree you need to be a doctor. This is an extremely scary outcome, and one which I really don't want to happen to me. As graduates, we already have a Bachelors or higher degree, so to do 4 years of uni just to be issued another Bachelors would effectively be a waste of 4 years. I don't know what I'd do if that happened to me. The thought of this is enough to scare me into doing hard-core revision, and yesterday I went to the library to take out many (very heavy) textbooks to use for revision over the Christmas holiday.
I FINALLY got my Occupational Health blood results back yesterday. All of my friends who had their bloods taken on the same day as me got their results back weeks ago so I was starting to stress that one of my results was positive for something. I have no reason to think I have HIV, but I was really starting to get paranoid that I did and that I'd be chucked out of Med school! But they all came back negative, yay!
This week was our last presentation for our community placements. I used to be terrible at presentations - really nervous and losing the capabilities of speech, but after doing so many in my last degree I think I'm ok at them now. Our small group got really positive feedback which was gratifying as we did put a lot of work into it. The tutors also commended us on our positivity and professionalism throughout the placement, as they'd had a few issues with quite a few members of our larger group, and one of the tutors ended by saying that in after we're qualified, if she walked into a clinic and we were her doctor, she'd be very happy to have us treat her! This was really nice to hear.
This evening I'm hosting a Christmas dinner with some friends from uni which hopefully will be nice. I've never cooked a turkey before so I had to get some advice from my Mum over the phone, but hopefully it won't be dry and I won't give us food poisoning!

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