Monday, October 27, 2008

Ah, how things change

This time last year, I was a medical student. And not even a very good one at that!

This year, I'm a doctor, and I'm teaching the medical students, and really enjoying it too. I did an hour session on the hip today, for the 3rd years. I took their base knowledge as zero, and managed to cover (very briefly!) the lot. Anatomy, pathology, radiology, history and examination. They seemed to enjoy it, but maybe it was just show for my benefit, I don't know! I got them doing the examination on each other, which was comedy! Especially Trendelenburg and Thomas's tests...

Anyway, doing this session has really enthused me to do other sessions, including practical things such as cannulation. I'm going to do an hour on knees next, and throw my chest x-ray presentation (which is SUPER SPANGLY even if I do say so myself) at them at some point soon too.

Really, this is just a post to point out the good things about being a doctor, since I'm having a good week :) Probably linked to my evil consultant being away this week, and the fact it's still only Monday!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So September has come and gone, and we're well into October. Wortk is hard, and I don't seem to have very much time for anything else.

Sometimes being a doctor is brilliant, and I feel like I'm really making a difference. Most of the time it's ok, I get on with it. Sometimes, it's stressful and time-consuming and I don't enjoy it, but just keep plodding on through.

And then there are the days like yesterday, when I had to lock myself in the toilet after the ward round to cry, after my consultant called me a 'bad doctor' in front of oner of my patients.

That's when I hate it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Do you know, all my friends are coupled up? That’s right, every good friend I have is happily involved with a lovely boy. Some are living with said boy, some are even engaged. I dread and delight in equal parts the first marriage.

I will never be that girl. I am destined to be Anna all alone all my life. There is nothing that can be done to change that (I’ve heard the ‘you just wait for the right guy’ line a million times – it’s rubbish) and I just have to learn to live with it. It hurts. Truly, deeply, absolutely, it hurts. I want to be loved, but I except that true love can not be everyone’s fate. Some of us have to learn to be happy alone. I am finding that very hard. I am thoroughly pissed off that all the rest of my friends have fun – I don’t even have that. I am just ignored, alone and unloved

I know, I am wallowing. But sometimes I just have to, to keep some semblance of sanity. I wish there was a palpable reason for my lot in life, something I could put my finger on, that I could change, Sadly, there just bloodly isn’ t. It’s one of those things you just have to live with. You know, I’m blonde, blue eyed, artistic, alone. Just part of my character, something that will last til the end.

And everytime it breaks my heart again. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Working is turning me into a zombie who goes to hospital, comes home from hospital, eats, sleeps, goes back to hospital. I feel like I have no life except the one I have there. Especially on days like Wednesday, when I did a 14 hour shift: 8am-5pm as my day job, T&O F1 and then 5pm-9.30pm as Medical F1 on call (I know thats only 13.5 hours, but I was there til 10pm finishing off clerking a patient and handing him over). I think that may not be entirely legal, and I shall be looking into this for further discussion with medical staffing...

The on-call was pretty hard. I've been arsing about in T&O with no real patients of my own for a week, and it was big shock to have to actually see patients with real medical problems and have to use my brain for more than working out whether that x-ray shows an intra or extracapsular fractured neck of femur. I feel I am going to do most of my learning on MAU this block!

I am averaging about 2 episodes of panic a day currently, a major reduction from the first day, where I was completing 2 full episodes of panic every 10 minutes, but still enough to be causing high stress levels. I haven't cried yet - nearly did in pre-op but managed to hold it together AND sort the problem out too. I know, that's just like a real doctor.

My brain is also pretty scrambled by it all, which is of course the reason this post is so ridiculously jumbled and flighty. Being a doctor is hard.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So, it's been a week. I'm beginning to get used to being called 'Doctor' both as a title and as a generic name from nursing staff I don't know. They usually want me to sign something. Quite often it's a warfarin or insulin chart. Joys.

This first week has been challenging, terrifying, exciting, boring, fast, slow, everything. Not all at once, but I've been through many permutations each day! My team has had no patients since Friday, as my consultant is away, but I've been pimping myself out to help the other T&O teams. I've kept myself busy - mostly anyway!

The whole doctor thing is slowly sinking in. I think I've learnt a goodly amount this week, even if most of it is organisational rather than clinical. My SHO is an absolute sweetheart, and we get on very well, so that's helping. She has a great manner with patients, and it's nice to have a good role model so close in age and career path. Saying that, apart from one bad egg, all the orthopod juniors are really nice.

Although in general, it's going well, there are still moments of soul crushing doubt and fear. At least once a day I get turned into a quivering wreck of insecurity, mainly if I have to prescribe something I've never heard of or if someone needs blood! I'm getting better at faking it though, and everyone (so far!) has been happy to help. I'm wondering how long it will be before their patience runs out...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The first day

I have to say, I have never run around so much in my life, or been so stressed and scared, as I have today. Today, all the SHOs and Registrars (bar one!) were in induction ALL DAY. This left me, and only me, on the wards, and so I covered all the in-patients for T&O, and carried the on-call T&O SHO bleep.

It was terrifying - especially the first time it went off. I believe my exact words were 'O crap' which the elective orthopaedic nurses thought was hilarious. It wasn't. Thankfully, only 3 (!) patients were admitted as emergencies, who I clerked and sorted for theatre, with the help of my absolute star of a reg. He was so helpful, even when I bleeped for the millionth time to ask another inane question!

To be completely truthful, this morning I felt totally out of my depth and utterly confused. I couldn't believe the position I'd been put in, or the things I was being asked to do. By lunchtime, it had started to feel ok, as I realised I could do the job, and when I wasn't sure there were many people willing to help. I can't believe the difference being a doctor makes to nursing staff's attitudes towards you - you suddenly have a use to them and so they want to be nice to you. It's a revelation!

Today has been long and frightening, but I've achieved so much, in such a short space of time. I finally feel I might have it in me to be a doctor - I still have a very very long way to go, but I also know I'm going to get there one day.

You know, sitting here thinking about it now, I'm quite looking forward to tomorrow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

So far, so good

One day in, and it's all going well. Mostly because all I did today was listen to lectures on bleep procedures and how to contact out-reach (very important for when a patient goes off and all your seniors are stuck in theatre doing a million hip replacements). And I got a free lunch. Always a fine perk.

I also met some very lovely new people, who I hope will become very lovely new friends shortly. I think the social side of working this year will be fun. Yay!

Still not sure about the work. Especially as I'm on both medical and surgical on-call rotas for the next 8 months. Yes, for both T&O and A&E I have to do medical and surgical on-calls. Not cool. Definitely not cool.