Crossing Lines

December 2, 2012

It has been an emotionally draining week.

Our first hospital visit was on Monday, and another GP visit on Thursday, which was fascinating, and certainly will require a post of it’s own. But in short, our GP is very abrupt and was dealing with patients in a way that is very different to how we’d learnt to do it in class. After a particularly shocking consultation, the GP asked us what we thought of it. We were stumped. Who are mere medical students to question the consulting style of our GP tutor? We weren’t brave enough to cross that line. Perhaps we should have been, for the sake of the patients.

Some lines, however, should not be crossed.

After the GP placement I went back to campus to go and watch our university’s christmas comedy show with some friends. A nice way to unwind after what had been a very busy week. Unfortunately, what I witnessed was really quite far from what I’d classify as ‘comedy’. It was truly awful. Yes, there were parts which were amusing. But they were few and far between, and I was too outraged from the rest of it to appreciate those moments.

How do we live in a society where it’s acceptable to laugh at sexually abusing girls? I wish I were exaggerating, too. But one of the sketches involved a student drugging a girl’s drink, waiting for her to pass out before taking advantage of her. Or, as the medical student revising for OSCEs put it, “commencing the examination”.The audience thought it was hilarious. I, however, thought otherwise.

Distasteful, disgraceful, and quite frankly just awful.I’d have expected different from medics. Is that unfair? One would think (or hope) that from a group of people who are dedicating their lives to serving others, they would show a bit more sensitivity surrounding such issues.

What happened to doctors being empathic? In a lecture hall filled with people who are going to be future doctors, nurses, physios, I would have expected more. I would have expected better.

Maybe I should lighten up? Maybe. But at the end of the day, if health care professionals don’t take these things seriously, and with the gravity they deserve, what will the consequences be for the patients?


Moving On

November 5, 2012

It’s amazing how much has changed since that I wrote the ‘about me’ section when I first started this blog.

In fact, it’s amazing how much has changed since I wrote the last post… November 2010 seems like a lifetime ago. And when I look at how much has changed since then, I can see why.

No longer am I a high school student with the distant dream of becoming a doctor, but I am a second year medical student who will become a doctor in just over 4 years time (of course, if I ever stop procrastinating and do some work).

I’ve moved out, got my own flat, an amazing new group of friends, a new lifestyle… and I love it. I love the fact that with every new thing I learn, I know that is not just for the benefit of my own knowledge, but for the health of my future patients.

Last Thursday we finally had the opportunity to go out into the world and speak to patients. After a year of lectures and tutorials, it made a refreshing change. It was an important reminder of why we’re here – what we’re working towards.


November 2, 2010

I just finished watching an inspiring episode of Ugly Betty – its such a shame they cancelled that show. On the surface, it appears to be about fashion and trivial matters (albeit with some lovable characters) but there are some key underlying messages hidden beneath all the drama.

This was an episode called ‘back in her place’, and leaves us with a truly thought provoking message on saying goodbye:

“I’ve had to say good-bye more times than I may have liked, but everyone can say that. And no matter how many times we have to do it – even if it’s for the greater good, it still stings. And although we will never forget what we’ve given up, we owe it to ourselves to keep moving forward. What we can’t do is live our lives afraid of the next good-bye because chances are they are not going to stop. The trick is to recognize when a good-bye can be a good thing – when it’s a chance to start again.”

Because, yes, there are times when saying goodbye can lead to good things – but that doesn’t make it any less painful. Just go to an airport terminal – just at the point where it says ‘only ticket holders beyond this point’. That area is always filled with painful goodbyes – tears flowing freely and hugs which never seem to last for long enough.

But take a trip to the other end of the airport, and its quite a different story. Faces filled with anticipation, hope and wonder. And that moment – when their loved one walks out from behind the double doors – is beautiful. Its like in that moment all problems are forgotten and all that exists is that person who you’ve waited so long to see.

I suppose the two are complete contrasts, yet they seem to go hand in hand. Without our painful goodbyes we can never have our joyous reunions that make you realise just how important something is. That old phrase seems to be true ‘ “You don’t know what you’ve got until its gone”. So mourn your goodbyes, but don’t let it hold you back from the rest of your life. Besides, without goodbyes we would never truly appreciate what we have, and would never get to experience the joy of coming together once again with the ones we love, with a whole understanding of just how much our loved ones mean to us.

And remember – no goodbye is forever. Not if you don’t want it to be.

I feel like crap >.<

November 1, 2010

Urgh. So really long flight last night. And I actually still came to school straight after we landed.
The guy at immigration tried to give me a hard time by being like…. you’re technically still underaged and so shouldn’t be travelling alone. Who is picking you up? blahblah. I was just like… seriously? Do you know how many times I’ve done this? I managed to survive a month in Tanzania I think I can cope with landing in Heathrow solo.

And I ahve so much work to do. And I just wanna sleep.
So things are pretty crap at the moment.
SO dreading this bio presentation.
I am a dreadful public speaker.


October 28, 2010

Well, I haven’t updated THIS in a while. To be fair, there has been a lot going on since march – mainly: exams, travelling, uni applications and project trust selection courses. BUT its all over for now, as my next exams are in january, uni applications have been sent off, project trust stuff is SORTED and as for the travelling… well I’m in NYC at the moment and it is AWESOME.

But before I get onto now, I feel like I owe it to this blog to talk about everything thats happened since I last blogged. So below is a summary of all of the months up till now!

This was the month that I spent most of in Vegas. I was only meant to spend two weeks, because of exams, but then the volcano exploded and I got stuck for an extra week. LOL. I ended up missing out on most of my practicals, so had to do them by myself later 😦 sad times.

The month of the practicals! And first bunch of exams. fun times.

Last few exams! OH and I flew up to Glasgow, took two buses to Oban and a ferry across to the Isle of Coll where I spend a week writing essays, teaching, and doing team building type games. It was… an interesting experience. I got my first flight on a seven seater plane after the ferry broke down (I almost thought I’d never leave that island. Reminded me a bit of lost). But I learnt a lot from that week up there. And was selected to go abroad with them for a year, which is awesome 😀

Suuuummmmmerrr time! Didn’t really do much in this month – a bit of work experience at a psychiartic clinic for child and adolescent mental health. And then flew off to Tanzania!

Spend entirely in Tanzania! Did loads of crazy stuff (ate things I swore I would never eat. Hartebeast. Goat. Goat TESTICLE). Had bucked showers and lived off pretty much rice and beans for an entire month. Saw animals, tracked animals, stepped in elephan crap three times on the same walk, had baboons in the long drop, USED the long drop, and sat eating cold rice and beans in the eating banda at midnight in my underwear, after having a bit too much Konyagi. At times I went a little bit crazy, which, after being with the same people 24/7 in the middle of nowhere, is understandable. But I loved it really.

Got back from Tanzania feeling exhausted, and had school the next week. This is pretty much the month of uni applications. Personal statement writing took up a lot of time, and getting back into the swingg of A levels took a bit of time, but I think the realisation hit that our entire futures rest on the outcome of these exams.

UNI APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED! Felt so good to get rid of it. But now its a very long wait to get responses, so I’m just kind of freaking out :/ I WANT TO KNOW NOWW. It’ll be okay though. It will be. There’s always clearing, right? I kid. Im taking a gap year so it should be easy enough to reapply next year. Also in October, my sister came out earlier this month which was awesome (: how I have missed her and baby izzy! Of course, it wasnt exactly the best timing as I was busy working and uni application submitting, but nonetheless it was really REALLY good seeing them again. And now my mother and I are in New York! We’ve been here for a couple of days now and I’m really loving it. More later!


March 17, 2010

So I had my chemistry practical today. It was pretty bad. I mean, I left the funnel in my biurrette (which I cant even spell). And… I dropped the UI paper into the test tube! And having spilt HCl on the actual test paper, I nearly fell off my chair in the middle of the exam.

On the plus side… my iphone case came today. yay. Its purple. And shall hopefully protect it from all of the times I drop it. Clumsy people should not be allowed to carry / use iphones. period. My screen has a massive scratch on it already 😦

polyspaston, from the Latin word ‘Polyspaston, polyspasti’ – a neuter noun, which, according to the Cambridge Latin Course, translates as ‘Crane’ or as my dictionary puts it ‘a hoisting- tackle with many pulleys’.

You’re probably wondering why I used the name polyspaston, but I remember the joy it brought to my latin class back when it consisted of more than four people sitting in a stuffy classroom with an actual teacher. Back in the good old days. When sentences used to consist of ‘Cerberus est in via’.

One thing that puzzles me about latin is the grammar rules, which I used to love before I started reading actual latin written by Roman Authors, none of whom seem to follow the rules that we learnt so lovingly. Which makes me wonder… whats the point of having rules if you don’t abide by them? Are these latin authors just trying to make our lives miserable? OR was it some prof somewhere who thought “I know… let me make some grammar rules that don’t actually exist, but when I write in latin I’ll abide by them to fool younger students into a false sense of security that latin is easy’.
Like remember the days of “how do you know its accusative?”
“because it ends in ‘m’ ALL accusatives end in m!” *big cheesy self-satisfied smile*
… good times.

I mean really, they do this to us in pretty much all subjects at school. I remember getting really annoyed at my gcse teachers (the science ones in particular) telling us things like ‘Neutrons hold the nucleus together in an atom’ or that electron shells can hold 8 atoms each.

So my parting words of wisdom?

When reading Latin, one thing never fails. FIND THE VERB. Unless, of course, you’re reading a latin poem where the author decided to miss it out for dramatic effect.
And question everything your teachers tell you.