Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some reflections on psych and surgery

Wow, I haven't posted on here in ages. It saddens me to think that I'm losing the ability to reflect constructively. I don't want to write about my trivialities just for the sake of it; so I guess I could also put my absence down to not having anything to reflect about. But here's a thought or two anyway, to fill the silence, if anything. So, of late, I finished my psych rotation and have started on surgery.

Psych was interesting, I learnt a lot, especially from my mentor who helped me see things with a bit more clarity, in a compassionate and pragmatic light, when all I could see before me was a damaged-beyond-repair, dysfunctional individual. It takes a very special group of people to be able to care about others in that way; and of that, I am quite envious. One of the things I didn't like about the psych rotation though was a particularly territorial (and often just downright rude) RMO - she didn't want students doing anything and would even tell us off for writing on hospital paper/progress notes! I hope her attitude damages her reputation when it comes time to apply for a training program. And that's all I have to say about that.

After psych I went back to my secondary home-base hospital to start on my surgery rotation. I did three weeks of plastic surgery there - which was everything I could have wished for in a rotation. The team I was attached to were amazing clinicians and teachers; and the RMO was just wonderful (*so* different to the psych RMO bitch). She was happy for us to get right in there and help out as vital members of the team. I got lots of practice in doing speedy histories and examinations when a plastics consult was called for in ED; interpreting hand x-rays (most of the cases where hand injuries); ward management of plastics patients; scrubbing and suturing; removing K-wires; as well as the usual cannulas, bloods and plaster casts. It was actually quite a refreshing change to go from the long-winded and twisted complexities of a psych patient to the straight-forward flow-chart style management of a plastics patient. Plus I loved being back in my home-base hospital: everyone is so friendly and there's this lovely feeling of comradery among all the staff. I have to say, these experiences are definitely steering my preferences towards internship at a smaller hospital in a couple of years (still too early to think about that though, so I shan't get ahead of myself).

Now I'm back in BTH to do two weeks of orthopaedics surgery (currently in my first week). It's been okay; I feel depressed about leaving my lovely plastics team, but that's not to say that I'm not getting along with the orthopods either. The consultants are very friendly and welcoming (one of them bought us coffee this morning before rounds) and are very happy for us to scrub in on their surgeries and attend their clinics. I scrubbed in on a total knee replacement today, which was tres cool and neat! I guess I don't really have a sensible explanation as to why I think it's "okay" rather than "great"; maybe it's just a relative thing, like, it's "okay" relative to plastics. The teaching has been pretty good though, especially from one of the registrars who (despite my annoyance at him calling me random names like "Billy" and "Med student no. 2" instead of my own name - wtf?!!) is kind enough to explain every process of whatever operation we're doing and talk to us about the presenting disease process. Anyway, I'm glad there's a long weekend coming up, I need sleep!! Will update again soon, tootle-pip!