All entries for Tuesday 14 January 2020

January 14, 2020

Transition weeks conquered!

So, the weeks have arrived, officially no longer hiding in the lecture theatre and instead thrown onto the wards. Transition weeks are here. We had an induction on the Tuesday of the first week essentially giving us some of the ropes and then it was up to us. Kaludio and I decided to wander over to the anaesthetics department in search of our consultants who weren’t around meaning we were slightly adrift as we didn’t have anything to do. However, I remembered that the staff on Ward 1 are lovely and we decided to go down and do some bloods if we could. We bumped into an F1 who was also a Warwick Grad! It is so nice to find people who know what you are doing and what you need as they have been there themselves. We asked if it was ok to hang around and Dr Stroud was more than happy! He took us on some junior doctor ward rounds, essentially checking up on patients and chatting to them about how they were feeling. He asked us to listen to the lungs and do a quick abdominal exam and as we repeated back to him, he wrote our findings into the patients notes. Kaludio and I were slightly terrified at this, and I think we were double checking ourselves on every patient. However, it felt amazing that we could contribute something to the ward, and I think we started to feel a little like doctors in that instance.

We then got invited to endocrinology teaching which meant FREE SANDWICHES! We were also taught more about delirium in patients, a topic we had covered in AC1 but it was good to get a refresher and talk through an actual case of delirium in the hospital. We had to sneak out early though as we had to meet Klaudio’s consultant. I was nervous as I had pictured consultant as not wanting to have anything to do with their students, but he was lovely and knew what he wanted out of us. He told us his clinic and days he was the anaesthetist in surgery. He does cardiac and neuro cases of which I was excited about as well, you know about my obsession with Neurosurgery.

I then decided to head back down to Ward 1 to try and get some blood taking done, there was also a cannula to do but I didn’t feel confident enough to do one. I ended up taking a couple of blood sample off a lovely gent and we got talking about student life and what my favourite tipple was. I mentioned that it was cider and then because I’m from Kent, we went on a tangent about Kentish apples and strawberries. The blood taking took me 20 minutes and even Dr Stroud popped his head around the curtain to check I was ok, I need to stop having a good old gossip with my patients. I got the blood sample and as I was pulling back the curtain, I ended up in a whole ward chat about northern drink prices and how “ I really don’t sound northern” despite having spent the past three years living in Preston, good to know my southerner roots are still in tact !

I also went back the next day and ended up chatting with the gent again but halfway through our conversation paramedics turned up and took him away to rugby. Inside I was a bit heartbroken as I think I’ll always remember that patient as the one who taught me how much I love patient contact. However, there was also another patient on that ward who needed a friendly face just to chat to, so I ended up comforting them for most of that afternoon.

I have loved my time in transition weeks. I didn’t get to meet my consultant as I was Ill on the day, we were supposed to meet but I have a whole 10 weeks to find him during CCE so I am not too worried about that fact. I had been feeling a bit down about medicine but finally going onto the wards, feeling like we were being of use and putting some of my knowledge into use felt amazing and I now feel just a little more like a doctor. I am excited for the next block as it’s all the specialties we cover in year 2. It’s a packed block but I would rather have it in January off the back of a rest rather than as the last block before exams. So, I guess I can now call myself a clinical medical student, and that’s not terrifying at all !


Christmas holidays and Warwick Traditions

The Christmas holidays have finally arrived! I don’t think we have ever been so grateful for December to show its face as we are all pretty tired and in need of a rest. However, there has been a lot going on over the last few weeks of term that have been exciting to be involved in.

We had Revue 2019 which is an evening where we put on a comedy sketch night evening for the rest of the med school and staff. It is my favourite evening of the year and the final week of preparation is my favourite as it’s just lots of pizza and team spirit as we push to the end of the 4-week rehearsal slot. I decided to just throw myself in this year and I was dancing (something I haven’t done since I was 14) and acting and singing in the end of act songs. Our normal sketch of Warwick V Buckingham (the only medical school we share a hospital with) went down well and I got to play a Warwick student. There was a point where I was crying dramatically which was snapped and is the most memorable picture of me I have ever seen. It was such an amazing night and we managed to raise a lot for a local sexual violence survivors’ charity, so it was all for a good cause.

I also made my debut as a Keynote speaker which felt weird to be standing at the front of the lecture theatre instead of sitting on the seats. It was for the MMI day run by a group of WMS medical students targeting widening participation students in the local area. Ollie had messaged me before asking if I was Miss or Ms, I asked if neither was an option, apparently it wasn’t. I don’t do formality! I was talking about medical school interviews and one thing I wanted to do was to avoid just regurgitating what is already out there on websites, instead focusing on aspects often missed such as supporting each other in teamwork. Normally, you just show off about being a leader and follower, but I believe that the aspect of comradery and support is just as important. One point I hammered on about was resilience. As grad entry students, most of us have seen our fare share of downfalls and built up that resilience which is so important in the tough world of medicine. I was given a huge box of chocolates to say thank you and as much pizza from lunch as I wanted, of which I was more than happy about!

I also got to finally partake in the long-held Warwick tradition of peer teaching. I taught in the anatomy and physiology days for block two and I found that I enjoyed it! Going back over my notes from first year was a bit surreal as it only hit me then how much work I had done over the Easter holiday last year but it was useful for making my sheets for the first years. It also meant I was refreshed on topics we had covered more than a year ago which considering one of my topics was drug metabolism, was actually a good thing! The physiology day brought its own challenge of having 12-minute slots to deliver topics normally taught in 60-minute lecture slots. It was hard but I decided worksheets were the best way to go here. I really did enjoy my weekend of teaching, it was a bit surreal to be teaching as I was always in awe of the second years last year who had passed the first year exams so to be able to be in that position myself this year, is amazing.

Teaching has also given me a bit of food for thought over my future career. I had never really considered the AFP programme, but I recently found out it also involves medical education as your “academic rotation” and now it’s something I am looking into. I am interested in medical education and developing my teaching and presenting skills so I can see myself applying to AFP come fourth year now!

So, now it’s Christmas. I am so grateful to be able to have 4 weeks off just sleeping and relaxing. I know next year is going to be a slog so I want to re-charge as much as possible. It also means I get to have a cuddle with my dog, something which I really need!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and I’ll be writing again after the 25th!


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Our Med Life blogs are all written by current WMS MB ChB students. Although these students are paid to blog, we don’t tell our bloggers what to say. All these posts are their thoughts, opinions and insights. We hope these posts help you discover a little more about what life as a med student at Warwick is really like.

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