Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A week in the life of a second year med student - MONDAY

This week is my second week back as a second year! The first week back went really fast. It was good, but it looks as though there's going to be a LOT of work this term. I thought that I'd document a week in my life as a pre-clinical med student for anyone who's interested in what med school might be like and how much work is involved.

6.30 – I wake up, get breakfast, shower and get dressed. I’m in smart clothes today as I’m in the hospital seeing patients this morning. I also put together a quick lunch of leftovers as I'm not sure if I'm going to get an opportunity to buy lunch.

7.30 – I leave the house and walk to meet 2 friends. We then walk 20 minutes to the nearest bus stop that will take us to the hospital.

8.00 – We get on the bus and travel for 1 hour 20 mins in rush hour traffic to the hospital. Normally I’d get a lift to the hospital, which would decrease the travel time, but my friend’s car is in the garage getting fixed this week, so the bus it is.

9.30 – At the hospital. Our small groups spilt up and we sit with our clinical tutor and talk about what’s expected of us over this next term. We then go up to the ward to see a patient, take a history and do whatever examination is appropriate, as for this week there isn't one specific clinical examination we're focussing on.

10.30 – Our group went and talked to a young lady with Crohn’s disease who had come into hospital with bad colicky pain and other symptoms, and who was probably going to end up having an operation. I took the history, and it was really nice to be able to introduce myself as a second year medical student. Second year sounds so much better than first year! My partner then performed a general and abdominal examination. The patient was really co-operative and didn’t mind us practicing on her, even though the examination probably didn’t help her pain and she wasn’t benefitting from us seeing her at all. I’m really grateful when we get nice obliging patients like her! It’s so much better practice to take histories and do examinations on real patients, rather than on other med students.

12pm – We all go back to meet our clinical tutor and fed back about the cases that we’d seen before finishing.

12.30 – We luckily don’t have to wait long for a bus, and at midday it only takes us 1 hour to get back to the university. This gives me just enough time to quickly eat my lunch before my afternoon lecture!

1.45 – We have a lecture on medical law from a really engaging lecturer who used to be a barrister.

3.00 – We then have small groupwork which involves discussing some case studies involving ethical dilemmas with a clinical tutor.

4.00 – Another lecture, this time looking at ethics and consent

4.45 – Home time! I walk to the bus stop and get the bus home

5.30 – I arrive home and do a bit of housework, prepare dinner and quickly look over the lecture notes for tomorrow.

8.00 – My boyfriend gets home from work. He doesn’t work a 9-5 day, so sometimes he’s home early, but other times he doesn’t arrive home until later. He helps me finish making dinner (sausage, beans and mashed potato) and then we eat whilst watching a bit of TV.

9.30 – After cleaning up after dinner we just watch a bit more TV and faff around a bit. I get my notes and things ready for tomorrow and then get ready for bed.

10.30 – I go to bed. I normally go to bed at around 11pm, but after a busy weekend and an early start I’m tired and want to get a good night’s sleep before another early start tomorrow.

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