Weekends always go so quickly. What's with that..?! I had a very bizarre experience this weekend. I did St John First Aid duty for the GAMSAT exam (Sydney Venue). It was so weird right. Last time I was there was four years ago when I was sitting the exam myself. It's funny how even the memory of a high-stress situation can provoke the same sympathetic response as the original event. I so vividly remember not being able to sleep the night before the GAMSAT - I kept dipping in and out of consciousness, checking the time on my mobile phone next to me every half an hour for fear of sleeping-in and missing the damn thing. Not to mention the drum-roll palpitations on entering the exam hall. It's such a b*tch of an exam and I honestly see no correlation between passing the exam and success in medical school. It really is just a high-attrition tactic to wipe out > half the med-school hopefuls so that the bureaucrats and admin people don't have to deal with the effort and paper-work of going through all the potential applications that would come through. Meh. Anyway, thing of the past, can comfortably put it behind me and was oh-so-very relieved to be there as a spectator at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern (venue where the exam is held) this time.
On the med-school front, I finished my rotation in Neurology last week. It was a really good rotation; made all the better by the team I was with and my supervisor. I definitely could have been more pro-active and involved, but I seemed to always find the temptation to go home after lunch too strong to resist. So basically I'd attend ward rounds in the morning; then tag along with the registrars on their consults (usually in ED); there would always be a meeting of some sort that was worth attending (especially the radiology ones where they go through scans of patients on the wards); some days there would be a clinic on in the morning or afternoon; and the rest of the time was spent seeing patients on my own or with another student. I tried to see at least one patient a day and do a long-case type assessment of them. Sometimes the interns would ask us to take bloods or put in cannulas which I'm a bit over doing now because the novelty has worn off, from doing so many last year. Anyway, there were four medical students on the team - one of whom was a bit annoying because she would always hang around until really late into the evening with the team. She's interested in pursuing Neurology as a speciality, so I understand that she wanted to get as much out of the placement as possible; but still, it made us all look unmotivated and less-than-keen. It was a bit frustrating too because she would never explicitly answer my questions on what she would get up to in the afternoon/evenings when we weren't there; so it was hard to gauge whether it was worthwhile staying behind or not. Of course we could've just stayed behind ourselves and found out, but I don't know that it would have really been useful as most of the activity seemed to happen during the day, and she would always slip off and do her own thing anyway. Meh. I'm sounding a bit like sour grapes now, so I'll stop. I am actually happy that she's thrown herself into Neurology. Two reasons: (1) every speciality and its patients deserves to have a keen-bean enthusiast who will throw themself into their work - these people turn out to be the movers and shakers of the specialy; (2) last year she was set on pursing O&G, so she would have made some very stiff competition if we were going for the same registrar-level training position. Okay, official freak of sour-grape I am today - will stop! So, um, yeah.. I always assumed I'd fall into a career Neurology myself, because I have a degree in neuroscience - so it seemed like a natural progression. I have to say though, the fascination and general awesomeness that drew me to the theory of neuroscience back in my undergrad days; is numbed by a sobering overtone of helplessness when it comes to the actual clinical practice of Neurology. There really isn't much that can be done for a lot of patients under the Neuro or Stroke-Unit teams, curatively - with the majority of management aimed at stopping disease progression or rehabilitating the body back to a functional state, post-event. The true hero(es) in my eyes, are the clinical research teams that are working on preventing and/or curing neurological diseases. I hope that I can see their effect of their studies in my life-time. It really would be an amazing contribution to society.
Tomorrow I start the last of my medical/surgical "selective" terms - Gynae Surgery. I had initially been timetabled for Haem Oncology, but I heard it was a fairly average term to do as a med student, so I swapped out of it. The person who was assigned to Gynae Surg has no interest in this area at all, so she was happy to take anything else. I'm thinking again about going into O&G, so I guess it was a win-win situation. I've heard the supervisor for this term is really nice, but he grills his students on their knowledge of the anatomy of female reproductive organs. So I spent like maybe half an hour (if that) trying to memorise the ligaments that hold various different things up and stop them from falling, if you get my drift. I think I'm okay getting grilled for the first week, and then getting the swing of things by the second week, because I'm honestly finding it too hard to just stare at diagrams of the uterus and ovaries without a clinical situation to slot things into context.
Anyway, it's now midnight and I'm wishing I had more weekend time to catch up on sleep, chillax, watch some DVDs and do some uni work. Meh.
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