Company’s Coming! 

Last week, I finally wrote the MCCEE. Results coming out in about 8 weeks.

Coming up next week is the tortuous deadline for having all my work -related tick boxes filled in and completed by the appropriate people. This is one of the worst and most useless things of the Foundation Program – the dreaded ePortfolio. In theory, it’s a great concept; but in reality, there’s so much useless shit associated with it that it really does end up being just a tick box exercise at the end of the year. But enough about that.

My good news this week came from one of my closest friends who lives in Scotland – she got accepted into the same GP program as me and we’ll be spending the next three years working together!!! She started looking for a place to live and she’ll be coming down to visit in a few weeks to check out the area. Can’t wait 😉

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. 

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.


In With the New

I was really nervous about leaving the comforting walls of psychiatry and venturing off into general surgery, but I was pleasantly surprised when I took a morning off from psych to shadow the doctors I would be taking over for.

My day involved a free coffee from one doctor, another free drink from a consultant, and a fresh panettone that was bought in Milan the night before from another doctor that came back from vacation.

Everyone was pleasant.

I was able to pay attention enough so that I understood the process of things. After all, it’s not the medicine and the theory that scares me – it’s the process of how the team functions and runs on a day to day basis.

I did get overwhelmed with a whole load of information, hopefully most of which I will be able to recall when I need it. But there are two others that will be starting with me as well. So at least we’ll have each other to rely on.

With that, it’s officially goodbye to psych and hello to surgery!

Why I Love Pediatrics

I have been surprised! Caught off guard! Taken aback! Me – the girl who always assumed that I didn’t like kids – actually ended up loving pediatrics! It started in my third year rotations. I thought, “Hey, kids are OK, I guess.” And it turned out that I really enjoyed my time at the children’s hospital. To be more specific, it was my fourth year pediatric surgery elective that did me in. And here are a few of the reasons why:

  • Kids often have diseases/illnesses/defects that are 100% treatable. The scars left on their bodies after surgery often (but not always) are able to heal really well, to the point where you won’t be able to notice them as they age.
  • They’re innocent. You can’t often blame the little ones for something they were born with or caught, unlike the obese patient with debilitating chronic diabetes, or the 40-pack-year smoker coming in with an exacerbation of his COPD.
  • Kids are fighters! They’re very resilient. And I guess the same could be said for adolescents and adults.
  • The staff is amazing! Everyone from the doctors and nurses to the parents are all so supportive. I was in an environment where I thrived on knowledge and education; where there were staff and colleagues around that were willing to provide help. It was an atmosphere of awesome teamwork.
  • Surgery on the little ones is so intricate and delicate. Everything is so small – their healthy little organs, the instruments we use, the sutures we put in. You need really caring and delicate hands to work on such small patients.

So maybe pediatrics, especially pediatric surgery is something I should consider in my future. I really enjoyed my time, enjoyed the atmosphere, and I felt like I was really making a difference. I felt like I fit in. It might have something to do with still being a kid at heart =)