I am sorry that this post is late, but I have a good excuse! I’ve only just back from the varsity team’s pre-match get-together. Yes, that means what you think it means - I made the team!!! I’m a sub so there’s no guarantee I’ll get to play but I am still ridiculously proud and happy =D So yeah, sorry for the late posting but I hope you’ll forgive me.
So it’s getting a little hectic at medical school, my first exam is a week tomorrow - eep. I’ve finally finished a couple of my modules but I still have a hospital visit, a couple of lectures and a dissection left to go. I’m a little annoyed that my first exam is on anatomy and is on the Monday (20th) but my last dissection isn’t until Thursday. My exam is literally 3 days after I finish being taught the content. Not cool. Hopefully I’ll be able to revise lots this week so that I only need to ‘top up’ my knowledge over the weekend. It’s not all bad news though, we had a mock OSCE this Wednesday and it didn’t go too badly for me =] I feel slightly less petrified of it now and even - dare I say it- a little more confident. I got pretty good feedback and basically got told that you pick up a good few marks just for starting right and fortunately it’s the same for each procedure: wash your hands, introduce yourself and explain what you’re going to do. You also sometimes get points just for being calm and confident. So hopefully I’ll be reasonably calm and confident on the day and then I’ll start off on the right foot.
I’ve also signed up for a ‘mock spotter’ (one of the anatomy exams) so hopefully that will also give me a confidence boost as the exam is pretty daunting what with the having to move round the room to the right question/chair/station and it’s all pretty tight time-wise so I’m glad I’ve got the chance to have a practice. So I’ve got that to look forward to as well - oh joy.
Anyways, I’m going to head of to bed and get a good night’s sleep ready for tomorrow’s game. I’m super excited and a little bit nervous too. It’s going to be awesome! Before I go, I just want to wish everyone who’s got exams this week good luck! Especially my little brother who’s got an A level exam tomorrow. Go ace your exams people =D
I am shattered right now. I’m tired and achy. To most people this would be a bad thing but to me this is a sign that I’ve had a great week =]
So lectures have been pretty good, this week we dissected the back of the upper leg and got to look at the biggest nerve in the body - the sciatic nerve - and it is huge! It’s at least as thick as my finger and is pretty impressive. We’re nearly at the end of lectures now but I still have a few spaced out over the next 2 weeks and then it’s straight into exams. There’s the usual type of multiple choice/short-answer exams but we also have a couple of different ones. There’s the ‘spotter’ exam for anatomy and the OSCE for the professional development module and they’re both pretty daunting as well as worth 50% of their respective module grades. Eep! Fortunately we’ll get to try a mock spotter and a mock OSCE as some point in the next couple of weeks so hopefully I’ll end up feeling a bit more confident. Although, we had a lecture called ‘OSCE preparation’ this week and I’m pretty sure I came out of it feeling more scared and less prepared!
Anyways, it’s not all bad. I have once again proved my science dorkiness by winning a textbook in a mini-competition run by our immunology lecturer =] At the start of each of his lectures he played a pop song and we had to try and work out how the song related to the lecture. All we then had to do was fill in a little worksheet naming the song and explaining why the connection and send it to him. So yeah, my entry won so I got an immunology textbook =D I really like immunology so I am super pleased and hopefully it will help me get an awesome result for at the least the immunology section of the module exam!
Oh, I should probably explain why I’m achy right now. Yesterday I played my first rugby match as a forward and it was so freaking awesome for so many reasons! Firstly, I didn’t die =D It was so much fun. It was just a friendly so it was reasonably laid back, but our team was well aware that this was another trial session for the varsity team so we were all out there to do our best and we did! We won 51-0 which was a great confidence boost, and we played some excellent rugby. The forwards (including me!) managed a textbook catch and drive which led to a try. I’ll try and explain what that is for anyone who isn’t sure. Basically we got a line-out because the ball went out of play and it was really close to the try-line so we decided that we were going to catch the ball and the use our strength to push the player with the ball over the line and we did! I was really pleased because I was the one who was throwing the ball in and I didn’t screw up! I also didn’t mess up any of our other line-outs and I also didn’t lose the ball in any of our scrums. In fact I even managed to steal one from the other team - something I am incredibly proud of =D I only played for half the match (most people only played for half) but I got to do so much, I was diving in rucks, making tackles, running as a support player and I even made a few runs with ball myself. I had the time of my life and I was still hyper for hours after. Oh, and I also got named as forward of the match for our team - I still can’t believe it! To sum up my Saturday: it kicked ass.
So yeah, things are going pretty well despite imminent exams. I just hope that my exams go as well as rugby is for me at the moment!
Anyways, that’s all for this week. Have a great week guys and good luck to all my fellow exam-takers (especially the poor IB students whose exams have already started)!
So it has been a very good week for me =] First of all spring seems to have finally arrived (hopefully I haven’t jinxed it) and I have been able to spend whole days without donning my winter coat! Dare I say it, I’ve even been warm on some days =O
Another reason this week has been great is because I had an awesome rugby training session for varsity on Wednesday. It was a full-on 2.5 hour session which involved nearly a full-length game of full contact rugby and then scrum practice. Yes guys and girls, I was in scrums this week! The manager/coach told me he wanted to try me out as hooker so I played as forward properly for the first time and it was amazing! Being a forward is really tiring but it’s great fun. I felt a bit like a headless chicken to start with running across the pitch and I wasn’t really 100% sure what I was doing and I felt a bit intimidated because all the forwards are bigger and stronger than me but I soon got stuck into rucks and mauls. I made some tackles and even did a couple of good runs. Being hooker also meant I had to take part in full contested scrums for the first time and I’m not going to lie, it was a little scary at first as you literally get smashed into the middle of a 16-person pushing competition but I soon got used to it. Fortunately we had a quick session on the scrum machine so I know what I’m doing and how to do it properly. Anyways, it was a really good session and I came away feeling like I’d given the trials my best. And guess what? I MADE IT PAST THE FIRST CUT!!!! I feel ridiculously proud and I can now say I’m part of the varsity training squad! I’m not in the team yet, but I do get 3 more chances (including a game next weekend) to try and make the final cut. Of course I’m going to try my hardest, but I don’t really mind if I don’t make it - there are a lot of excellent players in the squad and I’m over the moon just to have made this far. I’m also really happy because I’ve been told to officially consider myself front row now! I’m excited about what the next few varsity sessions and the next season are going to bring my way.
Slightly less awesome was the daunting lecture I had this week about the upcoming spotter exam for anatomy. It’s 16 questions (each with 2 parts so technically it’s 32 and just over a minute for each) based on prosections, x-rays, MRIs and surface anatomy. Basically you have to work your way through the room and the questions which are on stuff like “1a) identify A” and “1b) what does A innervate?” so it’s going to be tough. Hopefully I’ll be alright, I’m enjoying anatomy and so far I’ve been doing well in the dissection sessions (we did the front of the thigh this week and I got my question right again) so I should be fine as long as I keep working hard, revise and don’t panic =]
This week we also had a lab session on the respiratory system which involved doing an experiment based around whole long a person can hold their breath and how the amount of air in their lungs and the amount of carbon dioxide they breathe in can affect this. It was pretty cool! (by the way, the more air there is in your lungs and the less carbon dioxide, the longer you can hold your breath). So it’s been a pretty cool week at medical school =]
Anyways, that’s all folks! I hope you all have had as good a week as me and I hope this next week rocks as well =D
P.s. this post is a day early because tomorrow evening I’m out getting free cake because it’s one of the rugby girl’s birthday! =D
So I’m back at Florence Boot! It’s the start of another term and once again the medical school is throwing us medics straight into the deep end. Tomorrow I have 7 lectures. That’s 7 hours of concentration I’ll have to tackle and I’m not sure I’ll have the brain power ready to go on the first day of term. Still, I love it just as much as I hate it =P Like I’ve said before, I love being busy and I love learning. Unfortunately I’m not so enamoured with exams. I’m a little nervous about my upcoming end of year exams especially as I’ll have nearly no ‘study leave’ for them. Many of my friends on other courses now have 2 weeks of lectures then 2 weeks of time off to revise before the exam period. I however have 4 weeks of lectures and then have the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of to revise before my first exam on the Monday…at 10am. Still, I guess it’s tough for a reason.
It’s really good to back at Nottingham, I love being here at med school with all my friends and I quite like being an independent ‘adult’ (I use the term adult loosely - I certainly don’t always act it =P). However, I do also miss home a bit already - I loved being at home with my friends and family and they always look after me so well =] Anyways, I’ve got all my stuff back into my room now and I just need to connect up my speakers, play some music and properly unpack it all! Let the fun begin…….
One last thing (sorry this post is going to be quite a short one this week), yesterday was the first training session/trial for the all-important varsity game in May. We’ve been told that after the first 2 sessions the squad will get cut to 30, then a couple of sessions later the team of 24 (22 + 2 travelling subs) will be announced. Now I’m not expected to make the team even as a sub and I’m don’t really think I’ll make it past the first cut but I do want to give it a really good go, do my best and put up a decent fight. I don’t want to be the ‘obvious’ person to cut - if that makes sense. I want to feel I at least provided a bit of competition for some of the others. Anyways, I though the session yesterday went okay, it definitely wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be (I could still catch, pass and tackle) and I did some good runs etc. So maybe at the next session I’ll be able to make a couple of people think “I better up my game”.
So I guess I better stop putting it off and go unpack. I hope you all have a good week =D
Today has been pretty productive =] I somehow managed - despite my brain being in procrastination mode for most of the day - to revise another module (24 lectures) and made 45 diagrams to aid my future revision. It wasn’t easy, I just didn’t feel like focusing on genetics, microbiology or immunology today but at least it will save me time in the future. I am, as per usual, setting myself some pretty high targets for my next set of exams.
I haven’t just worked today, I also took part in a 5km fun run to help raise some money for my local church which is trying to scrape together enough money for the organ to be restored. It lived up to its name and was really fun, the weather was great. I’m so glad we finally got some sun and some warmth! Anyways, it was cool seeing so many people turn up and I was really pleased with my time. Plus it was nice to get away from my lecture notes for a bit =]
This week has been my usual busy mix of working hard and having fun. Revision is going well so far and I’ve now revised 4 out of 5 modules and made lots of diagrams for them as well. I’ve also ventured outside plenty as well. I got to go climbing again which was awesome and I did some really good routes and I felt I’d already improved from last week. I’m hoping to get to go again next week too =D I was also persuaded to try out ‘training’ which a couple of my more hardcore friends go to. It involves a tough ‘warm-up’ which was exhausting in itself followed by learning some cool martial arts stuff (I don’t actually know what discipline it was, but it was fun) so I’ve been taught how to punch and block properly as well as some other cool moves.
So yeah, my week’s been pretty good. I can’t believe I’ve only got one week of holiday left - it goes so quick. I booked my train ticket back to Nottingham this morning and I’m both really excited about heading back, and kinda sad that I’m going to have to leave home again. I love being back home but I also love being at university! I’ve got a lot to look forward to this term (not including exams of course) especially the upcoming varsity game against Nottingham Trent. I’m really excited about it, but I’m also a little nervous. It’s going to be a tough few training sessions and the team gets cut down pretty quickly so I hope I can give it a really good go. I’m not expecting to make the team (there are so many amazing players in the club) but I do want to do well and maybe even make it past the first cut - that would be awesome.
Anyways, I’m going to move away from my laptop now and reward my hard work today by hanging out with my friends. I hope you all have a great week (even if you’re having to head back to work/school/college tomorrow morning) =D
Allow me to be melodramatic for a second: I think my brain is fried. I’ve been typing up lecture notes and condensing them and it is a painful process when the are ridiculous number of lectures to do and I still have 3 left. I wanted to try and get them all finished by tonight, but I’m going to call it quits for today and head of to see my friend who is finally back from university! I’m already late >.<
I’ve come to realise that I’m a bit of a workaholic and that I have a love-hate relationship with that part of me. On the one hand I love it. I get lots done and do well at school and feel productive. On the other hand it means I work myself hard, have less free time and set myself difficult targets. I feel like it contributes a lot to my academic success, but it also probably means I don’t relax as much as I should.
Another thing I’ve realised about myself is that I love to learn. I love finding out more about medicine and the human body. I always want to stuff more knowledge into my brain. This isn’t restricted to science either, I would love to learn more about history and politics, I’d even like to learn more trivia like the names of all the counties. I definitely need to improve my knowledge of cities and their locations - that’s for sure! There’s so much I’ve yet to discover like the stars and their constellations, the numerous important theories in physics and the key events in history both in Britain and abroad. There’s so much I know I don’t know, and even more things that I don’t even know I don’t know. It’s incredible. I wish I had enough time and brain capacity to store it all but I know I never will. So for know I’m focusing on sciency things, especially medicine, but that won’t stop me occasionally branching out.
Despite being a workaholic, I have managed to have some fun. This week I got to go to the London Museum with my family to see the ‘Doctors, dissection and Resurrection men’ exhibition. It was really cool! It told you about the history of dissection and how people started robbing graves and even murdering innocents to sell bodies to medical schools. It also had a looked at why dissection was important for medical training and other ethical issues like organ donation. I thought it was all very interesting and spent a long time reading over everything, I’m thankful that my family were so patient with me! There were some amazingly detailed wax models on display as well - the level of detail was astounding. I also found it reassuring that I was able to recognise and name some of the items on display like the features of the humerus and the muscles of the arm so it looks like I have been learning something while at medical school =] We also had a look at some galleries about London though the ages and a photo gallery of Sir Michael Caine.
I’ve also had fun getting to see all my friends from home again, I’d missed them while I was away so it’s great to see their friendly faces and to spend time with them. I particularly enjoyed getting to go climbing on Friday even though my hands were really sore afterwards!
So it’s been another busy work and fun-filled week for me. I hope you are all having a good time as well =D Anyways, I’ve got to head off now so have a great week guys!
Firstly I must apologise for complete lack of post last week. Hopefully you’ll agree that my excuse is a good one, I think it’s pretty good. You see, I couldn’t update last week because I had no Internet access all week…because I was in Spain!!!
Right, I’ll tell quickly about my last week of term (it pales in comparison to this week). In dissection we started dissecting part if the back and did the whole of the back of the arm which contains the muscle which straighten your arm, e.g. the well known triceps brachii muscle. I found this weeks dissection a little tougher than the previous one because it was a little more tricky to get to the important structures. Fortunately my group successfully answered our questions so that was a really positive to the end the term. The week also involved a cool little workshop session where we solved some basic clinical problems involving the main nerves of the brachial plexus, going bouldering with my friends and a not so fun or exciting packing session. Although I had to once again pack up all my stuff into boxes and move them out until my room was completely bare, packing for tour was marginally better.
So, I guess I should tell you guys about about my awesome holiday to Spain! I spent the last week on tour with the rugby girls and I haven’t laughed so much in ages. I can’t tell you everything (what goes on tour stays on tour :P) but basically there was lots of laughs, dancing, sunbathing and even a little bit of rugby! It was an entirely new experience for me and I loved it. It was the first time I’d been on holiday without ‘adults’ and also the first time I’d paid for a holiday entirely by myself. So that was cool in itself.
Unfortunately, the sole week wasn’t all fantastic - to get to Spain we had to travel by coach… We had to drive from Nottingham to Dover then throughout the euro tunnel and then across the whole of France before getting to Lloret de mar just inside Spain. It took 27 hours and it felt like a veeeeeerrrrryyy loooooooonnnng journey. Good news is, the 2 days of travelling was totally worth it. For a start I got to go outside without a coat for the first time in months! There was actual sunshine! Other highlights included dancing the night away with my friends, getting to jump of the side of a boat into the Mediterranean and playing some rugby sevens! I can now say I’ve scored a try in a proper game and managed to make someone fall over while trying to tackle me without touching me, I’ve got a bit of a side-step developing =D
Anyways, my week away was great but I am so glad to finally be home again, it’s lovely to be with my family even if the weather is ridiculously cold (seriously, it’s April, where’s the sun?) and I look forward to spending more time with them :)
I hope you’re all having as good an Easter as me. Take care guys and hope this post makes up for the missing one!
So another week is over and there is only one week left of term. Wow, where has all the time gone? It’s actually a little scary how fast it’s going What’s even scarier is that it means I only have just over 2 months until my next set of exams….awesome =S There is some good news though, this time tomorrow I will have handed in my final piece of coursework of the year and I will be very glad to see it go!
Fortunately my week has not just been spent doing coursework (I think I would have gone insane otherwise) and there’s been some cool stuff going on a the medical school! This week in anatomy we dissected the hand. I know I say this pretty much every week, but the human body is really freaking amazing. Think of all the things you can do with your hands: writing, typing, throwing, catching, gripping, pulling, clicking… the list is endless. Then think of what’s actually in you hand. It’s literally just a few tiny muscles and long tendons which allow you to do all these incredible movements. A couple of nerves allow you to move these muscles and two arteries supply the blood that keeps your hand alive and functioning. Yes, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but when you think of how much you hands can do it really doesn’t seem all the much. Anatomy is really cool!
This week we also did some practical sessions. One was based on examining the cardiovascular system so we learnt to take blood pressure (mine was low =D) and to check peripheral pulses (including ones in the feet). We also learnt about measuring jugular venous pulses (which basically gives and indication of how much pressure is in the right side of your heart and can tell your doctor if you have heart problems) so that was all pretty cool, but I definitely need some practice before the exam! We also got to and electrocardiogram (ECG) practical. I’m sure you’ve all seen the classic ECG trace - it’s the cool squiggly/up-down line that often pops up in the title credits of medical shows. Basically, it’s a measurement of the electrical activity of the heart (which is what causes your heart to contract and pump your blood). So we got to stick loads of electrodes on our willing volunteers and have a look at their hearts. It’s pretty cool what you can learn about a person’s heart from a few squiggly lines. I won’t bore you with the details of what and ECG is and how it works and what it means etc, but I will tell you that it’s a really good diagnostic tool and it’s awesome =]
Anyways, I realised that I’ve said ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’ etc a lot this post, but that basically sums up my week. I’ve also had fun climbing, playing rugby and seeing a friend in a musical cabaret. It’s been a really good week indeed!
I hope you guys are all having as a good a time as me and I hope you have a good week. Oh, and at least it’s Easter soon! =D
So today has been pretty busy for me. Actually, this morning was really busy and I spent most of the afternoon doing pretty much nothing. In my defence, this morning was very tiring - I did a charity run for the Nottingham Marrow society (which is part of the Anthony Nolan blood cancer charity)! I was accompanied by one of my friends from halls and stupidly we both decided to do the longer 10k run. In the end I’m glad we did, I know I can run 5k reasonably easily so I’m glad I decided to give myself a challenge. Anyways, in short the weather was abysmal and as we were walking to the starting point in started hailing. So basically we ran in sleet. Form,e, the morning was a huge win. I managed to run 10k for the first time and it was in freezing sleet and I was very pleased with my time of an hour =]
This week has involved some other fun events including the Rugby AGM which involved voting in a new committee, giving out some awards and eating a lot of junk food! I am very pleased to announce that I have been voted in as treasurer (just as we’ll since I was the only candidate!) and I was given the award for best fresher!!! =D
This week I also finally got my first hospital visit! Since I’ve been allocated to a hospital in a different county, instead of having 3 half-day visits my group gets 2 full-day visits. Anyways, the day was ally good and well worth the 75 minute journey each way. In the morning we got to practise taking patient histories (we ask the patient questions to try and work out what’s wrong) and in the afternoon we got to try giving a real patient a respiratory exam. I got to speak to the loveliest man in the morning and I learnt a lot about how much patients can vary from one another and how it can affect the history-taking process. Finally examine a real patient in the afternoon was also an invaluable experience, it’s completely different from examine a healthy friend or fellow med student. So all in all the day was worth the wait. Plus the free lunch was delicious =P
It was also a really good week because the dissection this week was awesome. We were dissecting the flexor compartment of the arm and forearm so we were look at all the muscles in the front half the arm and forearm that allow you to bend your elbow and wrist. So that was pretty cool but what was even better was that I felt I actually knew what I was doing while I was dissecting - I knew which tools to use and I felt more confident when deciding whether the stuff I was finding were important nerves and blood vessels or just bits of fat and connective tissue. I think I’m starting to get the hang of this dissection thing =D
And to top off a fantastic week I got to Skype with my amazing family back home. I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of my second term at uni already! I’m having tonnes of fun here, but I’m also looking forward to being back home.
Anyways I’ve had a brilliant week and I hope you all have as well =D
Where is all the time going? I can’t believe it’s already been another week and that there’s only 3 weeks left of term! It’s flying by! It’s been another 7 days packed full of activity for me. I’ve done another super complicated dissection - this time on the shoulder - which involved the mess of nerves that is the brachial plexus and a lot of muscles. I think I’ve had to try and learn the attachments, innervation and action of around 20 muscles and it’s safe to say I’m not quite there yet but I’m definitely getting there. Do give you an idea of how time consuming it is, it took me and hour and a half in the library to write up my notes properly from the dissection. Now don’t let me give you the wrong impression - I still love anatomy. Yes, I get a little anxious when it comes to the actual dissection session but afterwards the sense of wonderment is still there. Some of it is just mind-blowing. This week I was literally look at the little bundles that allow us to move our arms and to feel. I was looking at the bones that make us. It’s really weird and incredible all at the same time. It’s a lot of hard work but it is 100% worth it.
This week I also had my last GP visit. I’m not going to miss having to get up at stupid o’clock (6:30am is way to early for anyone - especially a student!) but I am going to miss the people. The staff at the little practice I was at were lovely and really helpful. My GP tutor and I ended up having a little discussion about the reform before I left and it was really interesting to hear a Doctor’s point of view first hand. I feel I’ve learnt quite a lot from my visits, not necessarily about actual medical conditions but more about actual patient interaction and how illness affects the patient. I’ve learnt how little things like just listening to a patient or a simple reassurance that you’ll try to help them can make a world of difference. I’ve also improved my own ability to talk to patients and take a history from them (that is find out why they’ve come to the doctor and other relevant information about their family and social life). Overall it’s been a great opportunity and I look forward to getting to do it again next year.
Fortunately that’s not it in terms of clinical visits. This Wednesday I will finally get to go on my first hospital visit. I have no idea what it’s going to be like so I’m both excited and a little nervous. I think we’re going to get to have a go at doing a respiratory exam so I better get my stethoscope ready!
Unfortunately I’m probably going to also have to start working on my next piece of coursework that’s due on the 19th but hopefully this one won’t be as much work. I have to type up a transcipt of a patient interview I’ve done and then evaluate it so it shouldn’t be too bad (famous last words….)
Anyways, I’m going to go watch some rubbish TV and relax for a bit so I’m ready for another busy busy week at uni =D Hope you have a great week guys!!