It’s flown by and it only feels like 5 seconds ago I was walking in through the doors of WMS and collecting my orange lanyard. I still can’t believe that I’ve managed to learn as much as I have learnt and got through the exams. If you had shown to me all the work I would be doing over this year and how much I would have to learn back in September, I probably would have frozen to the spot with fear.
Apart from the academia, I have learnt so much about how I need to approach next year. For starters, I need to take time out. I’ve spent too much time glued to my desk in the MTC before exams and I was most certainly burnt out by the time we reached the end of OSCEs. I want to get involved in running student seminars, anatomy days, physiology days and take time out for climbing and friends. I also want to get involved in research up at UHCW and start to build on my CV and surgical experience in the field I want to follow.
Second year also brings about the arrival of SSC1 which is a module we get to pick. There were a couple of options that took my interest, but I decided to go for Middlemarch (medical humanities) as my first choice and medical ethics as my second. This morning I found out I got my first choice of Middlemarch and I can’t wait to get into the book when it arrives tomorrow. I was surprised that I got my first choice because this is normally the most popular one so I was pretty happy when it came through. I am looking forward to it because I can potentially bring my favourite book into the coursework element of it, and I don’t need telling twice to be able to talk about “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time”.
I am also looking forward to maintaining my links with GOSH over the next year. I have been privileged enough to be invited back to sit on their summer school de-brief to discuss how to promote GOSH educational events, and hopefully be able to volunteer at their conferences in the future. This is the hospital I have always dreamed of working in. The recent separation of the twins conjoined at the cranium was just the extra motivation I need to keep going. I want to be there, at the front line of developing technologies helping to make critically ill children’s lives better. I knew I always wanted to work in the field of paediatrics, but having experienced and talked to the clinicians at GOSH, I know that’s where I need to be and where my personality and enthusiasm fits in the best.
GOSH seems to be a repeating theme with me and during the past couple of weeks, I have also been to Brain School which has been set up by a GOSH neurosurgeon. I’ve wanted to attend this event for a while but it’s difficult to get down to London with the first-year timetable so now I am back in Kent, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to go. The lecture was given by Prof. Mark Wilson (who is also running trials at Warwick!) and he talked about Neuro trauma and how these patients need to be treated more specifically in the field. I also learnt a few “pub quiz” facts such as “the cranium will always contain the same amount of blood when you die no matter if you have died from haemorrhage or asphyxiation” and “the brain is the only organ that is protected against atmospheric pressure”. We were also introduced to the Good Sam app which allows a by-stander to activate an alert for a cardiac arrest to near responders and for remote responders to see the patient’s stats, just by the camera. It uses some AI technology but just by holding the camera to the patients face, it shows blood oxygen saturation and heart rate with complete accuracy. This was incredible and I can imagine how critical it will be for incidents in remote areas where it may take responders more time to arrive at the scene in comparison to an inner-city cardiac arrest.
I am now signing off for the summer. I’ve got some work with Medify to try and give me a bit of pocket money but I want this summer to be a break. This has been a hard year. I am slightly nervous abut adapting to the change of learning style in January next year from lectures to bedside teaching. I don’t deal hugely well with dramatic changes and it will be weird coming out of 4 straight years of lectures to an academic day once every two weeks. However, I am looking forward to it. There’s only so much lecture hall you can put up with! I’ll see you in September!
Good luck to the second years who are currently revising for their exams!