Knitting Frenzy

I hate that it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, and when I do blog, I feel that I don’t have anything substantial to say.

That being said, I’ve been knitting a lot in the last year. Picked up crochet again. And today I googled what looms are all about and I’m curious to try  that out too.

 

I crocheted a throw recently. I’ll post about it later in more detail.

Work is work. I’m on call all week from tomorrow. Saturday I have vacation, so I’m going home for a little.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

New Year, Same Old Me

I don’t really have much to say at all. I just feel I should use this space more often.

So what’s happening lately?

  • I’m starting a set of nights today… Only they didn’t have cover from 17:00-21:00 tonight, so I’m doing a 17:00-9:00 shift today
  • Meeting my supervisor in the morning to go over the craptastic ePortfolio, which is a piece of shit way of documenting your work throughout training so that you can “graduate” when the time comes
  • Flying out in a week – to Canada – I can’t wait!
  • I’m getting close to reaching my personal goal of having reduced my educational debts to half. Yes, HALF! This is something else I can’t wait for!
  • I must work on my to-do list… it’s just so hard to get started
  • I’ve slowly created another locum wishlist… this is pretty and expensive toys I want but should not dip into my regular budget for, therefore I work extra shifts to afford extra things
  • Recently I’ve extended my domain name subscriptions and hosting… I can’t remember was I was paying before but I feel like prices have skyrocketed! And I didn’t have the lovely option of paying for a domain name for 10 years in advance like I have with others.

I think that’s it. I had started making a theme a few years ago… It’s still sitting on my desktop with a few PHP kinks I need to work out. At this rate, I don’t even know what’s new in the world of PHP so my theme may be completely outdated… I’ve got an exam coming up in April/May, but maybe after that I can start coding again.

Family Medicine to Emergency Medicine

So I’m due to start a family medicine residency in August – but I’m currently working in the emergency department and I LOVE this job. The hours are awful, other specialties can give me shit when referring patients, and patients often want more than what I can offer them, but I love the pace of the job and the work I do.

I’ve abandoned the thought of training in a surgical specialty because it requires a minimum of 5 more years of training (and most train for 7 years before becoming attendings). And speaking to my senior colleagues makes me realize that training is not as simple as keeping a surgical logbook and attaining specific surgical skills at different levels of training. In this country, it’s all about your tick-boxes: audits, audits, and more audits; research and publications, but not just in any journal – it must be a peer-reviewed journal; teaching, with “evidence” that you’ve taught; conference presentations and poster presentations. And you’re strewn all over the country at times. And they have almost the same requirements to get into the surgical training post as well – those who meet the tick-box requirements get in. There are no reference letters highlighting whether you’ve got the surgical skills to make it in the job. You don’t get “points” for being able to be a proficient first-assist in a laparotomy. The structure of the system is flawed.

I am now at the point where I’ll be entering general practice, and this also comes with its own set of requirements during training, one of which I’m particularly not looking forward to – reflections. Every week, a requirement is to two at least two reflections either about a patients encounter or on something you’ve learned from. Personally, I’m not one to reflect – in a blog, yes. But in a portfolio – no. Especially since I know it will be read and assessed by my supervisor. In that sense, I feel my reflections will be very superficial and I won’t be as honest as I truly feel. But, whatevs.

My other thought is what if I abandon general practice and try to jump into emergency medicine training. I’d be more satisfied with my job. But training would again be another  years. The option I’m set on now is to endure the three years of general practice and then get a fellowship in emergency medicine and remain there. The options are endless. My career path is not a fluid one. The only path that’s certain for me with work is my return to Canada. My aim: return in a maximum of 3 years, if not earlier.

Locuming

I’m on vacation this weekend. Only, last week, one of the residents from the old hospital informed us that the old hospital was looking for someone to locum for a week for £35/hour. I jumped on that as quickly as I could, especially since it was with my old surgical team. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the whole week, but Monday and Wednesday only – the two big non-surgical days.

It was nice to be back. I knew exactly where to go, I knew what to do, I knew where to find things, I knew who to call when I needed it. It felt great. Despite not being able to enjoy any actual surgery those two days, I felt on top of the world. Plus I didn’t mind staying late when I had to because I was getting paid hourly.

This is one of the perks of “graduating” from being a first year doctor to a second year doctor – you get full registration and are able to take up extra shifts anywhere else in the country. I believe you normally go about it via an agency, but if you know the managers at your old hospital, you can pick up shifts that way as well by being added onto the Staff Bank.

In a way, I’m glad I only worked two days, and not the entire week. Now I get to enjoy the next four days of sleeping in and lounging about.

This reminds me, I need to learn the entire head and neck anatomy by Tuesday so I’m ready for my grilling… And the boss loves his details too.

House On The Hill

The last four weeks have been chaotic. Moving out of one place, starting at a new hospital. New home. New city. I’ve been at my new home for a week now, and we’re still settling in and unpacking. Didn’t realize how much stuff we’ve accrued over the last year until we saw the moving van filled with out belongings.

I’ve also not been fully introduced to everyone I’ll be working with in ENT. All us newbie docs had an induction on the first day. On the second day, I was sent away to Brighton for a full day course on ENT. It proved to be very useful because we went over some medical emergencies and common problems, and how to manage them appropriately.

I started actual work on nights, having swapped my shifts in October. So I worked Saturday and Sunday night this past week. I was freaked out going in because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where to go. Apparently, there was another induction for all us ENT trainees last Friday, which I didn’t attend because I wasn’t emailed about it. I felt completely lost when starting. The other doctor who was finishing his on-call was nice enough to give me a brief run down as to what to expect.

My two first nights were manageable. I was the only ENT doctor in the hospital, so it was daunting when I was paged to go see patients for review, or patients who attended the emergency department with problems. But thanks to the course, it was fairly easy to get through the night. And it wasn’t awfully busy. And, as a bonus, I got a good amount of sleep in too.

Monday morning was good because that’s when I met more of the team, and that’s when I felt that there are actual senior doctors around that I can ask for help. Unfortunately, I don’t have any more day shifts until next Tuesday. I go for another weekend of nights this week.

Having so much time off is weird. I feel like I should be more productive, but I’ve been in this lull where I don’t want to do anything. Slowly coming out of it though. We’re renting a two bedroom house, so I’m using the extra room as my “man cave.” Finally got around to tidying it up. Still have things to put away, but I think I’ll prioritize with all the expenses I need to claim for the last month first. Then worry about setting up all my hospital accounts before work Friday night. Then whatever else comes my way.