February 04, 2019

Second Community day and Conferencing

Block three has been chugging along and it is my favourite block of the year. The anatomy content has been sticking in my head and I am enjoying learning more about the anatomy and physiology of neuroscience, building on what I had been taught in my undergraduate degree. A couple of us have also been contacting a neurosurgeon up at UHCW with the possibility of observing/ working on projects with them.

We also had our second community day. This time we had a paediatric patient which I was excited about as I know I want to go into paediatrics when I specialise. We had some problems initially as the area we were visiting had no signal and all we had was a rough map of the area to find the house, so we were touring the area before we finally found it. It was a different experience to last time as we were not talking to the patient but rather to the parent. It was slightly hard as we only found out about the condition 5 minutes before we arrived, so we were doing some quick thinking as we walked up to the house. The parent was knowledgeable about the condition, so it was easier for us to interview them and we got a lot of information out of the day. The child was also sweet and shy at first but, after lapping the living room on their toy car several times, they gained the confidence to come up to us and show us their hands as they related to the condition they had. It’s difficult to describe this case as it is rare so could be easily identifiable.

We must present our cases next week, so this is going to be something we must keep an eye on. We also visited the local primary school and we all had flashbacks to when the only stress in life was who you were going to line up with to go to assembly. The school was fantastic, and we were told about the adjustments that schools make for children with needs and policies regarding the safeguarding of vulnerable children. The teachers were lovely and the headmaster offered us the opportunity to go back for some experience or to work with the school. I was excited about this as I want to run a STEM outreach day at some point and it would be interesting to look at the affect of outreach days on children’s wellbeing.

We also visited the hospital to talk to a nurse about pre-natal screening in which we were told about the pathways used when a mother is identified as Hep-B / HIV positive. They also highlighted a new test coming into the NHS which will screen the baby’s DNA that is circulating in the mother’s blood which is safer than taking a sample of the amniotic fluid and more accurate than taking measurements from a scan. We finished at 3.00pm and due to some problems with the roads we could go straight to campus, so I was able to get some work done before my student seminar in the evening.

This term has given me a bit more breathing room to start thinking about how to build up my portfolio and as someone who wants to go into surgery, I want to make sure I stand out from the crowd. The surgical society put on a “Women in surgery” evening where some surgeons from the local trusts came and talked to us about their careers. They were very keen to highlight the point of finding a good mentor and not letting a career in surgery become a choice between being a surgeon or having a family.

This weekend I also took a trip down to London along with a couple of other Warwick Meds to a conference on Careers in Neurosurgery. This is a field I have dreamt of going into after reading Henry Marsh’s book in Year 13. Henry Marsh was meant to be at the event, but he was ill on the day so could not attend. However, it was still a great day and I picked up a lot of tips and information about how to build up my portfolio to stand a good chance of getting an interview. There were some other presentations about the tools used in Neurosurgery and the ones that are being developed. One memorable one was the AI camera which could analyse the procedure and tell the surgeon when it was time to move onto the next step. It wasn’t perfect but it could help to train new surgeons and I am watching the world of AI as this is going to become a more commonplace in hospitals as we progress through our career.


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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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