Tuesday, March 21, 2006


While on hospital placement, we’re all put into ‘firms’. A hospital firm is composed of a Consultant (top brass doc), his Registrar (nearly top brass, dong lots of exams ready to be a consultant), at least one Senior House Officer, and at least one House Officer (baby docs, just out of Medschool). The firm then has various students attached depending on the time of year and the sort of firm they are. The firms I’m attached to have 3rd years because they’re general medicine types, plus a general surgery one. My consultants are Dr Smooth, general medicine/endocrinology (read ‘old diabetic patients’), Dr Dull, whose firm is conjoined to Dr Smooth’s, and Mr Dude, who’s an upper GI surgeon, specialising in gastric bands. The 3rd year students in my firm are me, Mike, Laura and Lynette. I didn’t know any of them before starting this placement, and as a firm basically were pushed together to do everything as a group.

And it’s worked wonderfully well. We have become great friends over the last 10 weeks, as most firms do. Some don’t, of course, because people sometimes just don’t get on, but I really like my firm.

We’re all very different… Mike is married with two kids, Laura likes hardcore clubbing and her boyfriend is incredibly clever – at Cambridge! – and Lynette is very sweet and a little naïve, and has an obsession with minis. The cars, that is.

But somehow it just works. We get on, despite wildly differing tastes in music (Lynette likes G4, Mike is into death metal, Laura and I fall in between, but still differently). And we have a laugh! There’s lots of piss taking and banter, and it makes the drudgery worth it.

That said, the last two days in hospital have been a good experience. We went on a very informal and very informative surgical ward round on Monday morning, and today saw 2 very interesting, helpful and nice patients, with some great teaching thrown in. It helps me to remember why I’m doing this.

This was going to be a post about religion, because we had a really interesting discussion about beliefs today. But it seems to have ended up being about us, my lovely firm. And that will have to do.

PS Yes, I am eating shrimp and banana sweeties.


Tall Medstudent said...

What are shrimp and banana sweeties? I'm intrigued.

Anna said...

well, they're small 'foam' sweets. penny sweets we call em, cos back in the good old days (ie the 80s, when the grass was greener and the sky bluer) they cost a penny each. there are pink ones shaped like shrimps, that taste of pink (NOT shrimp co that'd be sooooo wrong), and yellow banana shaped ones that taste of banana. well, banana-ish. the one's i'm addicted to are made by sainsburys, a supermarket chain. but
these are pretty similar.

yeah, i'll probably have dentures by the time I'm 30.