Studying for the Future

The time has come: I’ve decided that I will be writing both the MRSC for UK surgical specialty training, as well as the MCCEE for Canadian residency. My first year of training is almost at an end, and then I’ve got one more year before the world opens up and I take a dive.

I’ve already planned to locum for the year after foundation training, which has its ups and downs. The pros include being able to work anywhere I’d like. Plus the pay will be slightly better than if I were in a regular training program. The cons include the fact that I won’t be actually progressing towards getting specialized. But this will be my time to complete all the exams I need, to attend all the courses and obtain all the certificates that are required, and it will give me time to properly apply to whatever field I choose to in the end.

But for the rest of today, I’m grabbing my picnic blanket and enjoying the sunshine with my husband.

Back to Basics

There are times when it feels so good to review the sheer basics of medicine when you know there’s no upcoming quiz or assessment. 

Lately, I’ve gone back to basics  and I’m reviewing the simplest concepts of all. It’s amusing how much I never really understood in med school. I guess I understood enough to get by, but not enough to be able to apply the basics to the big clinical picture. 

All with time I guess. 

Sign Offs

The end of the year is nearing. One year almost done as a practicing physician! My training program has an online portfolio we need to complete by the end of the year.

Initially, when I started the year, I thought it was a great idea. It seemed like a great way to keep track of all the work experience I was getting. Plus there were plenty of work-based assessments to do as well. It was when it actually started to get busy, that I realized that the online portfolio really was a pain in the ass like everyone said it was. “Just a tick box exercise.” “Waste of time.” “No one looks at it during core training.” And they were right!

I managed to complete all my necessary assessments. Still need two more meetings with my supervisors (which may not get done this week because one of my supervisors is away). And I spent most of today redundantly clicking away to link all my assessments to the curriculum. Such a waste of time.

On the bright side, I am on vacation this week. And when I get back, it’ll be two more months until I am done as a first year trainee. Then it’ll be time to start year two – new hospital, new home, new adventures.

Acute Medicine

Despite the fact that I don’t particular have an interest in internal medicine, I do have to say that I am learning a lot already on my placement. Everyone is nice and eager to teach. And there is a lot to learn as well.

I do need to brush up on some of my internal medicine knowledge, as well as on interpreting ECGs. But the registrars and consultants actually take the time to teach in a way where you’re able to connect the patient’s complaints with the investigations that were carried out, and the rationale behind them.

I might actually have something educational to blog about eventually. Don’t get me wrong, I do love surgery, but my breast and endocrine surgery placement was very heavy with administrative duties. Now I feel like I’m doing a lot more clinical tasks, and I feel like for the first time in 8 months, I need to use my brain again.


Goodbye Surgery, Hello Medicine!

I am now officially done with surgery for the next four months. Coming up is nothing but medicine. There are two months of being in the AMU, which is basically a gateway between A&E (the ER) and being placed on an appropriate ward (or getting discharged back to the community). Finally, my last two months will be ward based. I haven’t been ward-based all year, so it’ll definitely be an experience for me.

Luckily, I’ve only got two weeks of nights – first one in coming up! And I’m only on for two weekends, having the rest off.

What I do need to do is brush up on is my general internal medical knowledge. So I will try to throw up some useful bits of information in a way that memorable to remember for other doctors and medical students.

And now that I’m officially done with surgery and done for the day, I’m off to attend the mess pay-day party and get my share of the free booze.