Friday, November 03, 2006


We have power!

I feel like a whole person once again, reattached to my precious laptop. And so here is my update:

I can hardly believe it, but my 6 week block in anaesthetics, respiratory and intensive care mdeicine ends tomorrow. Where does time go? I’ve really enjoyed the practical aspects of anaesthetics and intensive care – cannulating, intubating, even bagging! I haven’t enjoyed dredging the dark depths of my mind to find (to attempt to find…) important bits of physiology and put them together to make sense of a patient’s situation and treatment. Hard, but intellectually challenging, and I love a challenge. However, I did not love today’s final tutorial, lasting 3 hours and 30 minutes. That’s 6 of us being grilled by a consultant anaesthetist on renal support, 2 ‘virtual’ cases and a formative MCQ. My brain was melting out of my ears by the time we finished!

I’ve also made a really good friend on this block, a girl named Lily. We get on like a house on fire, and she’s even joined the choir!

2. Halloween
I finished the costume. Wire frame, paper mache, primer, acrylics. It was so much fun and was definitely the most infamous costume in Birmingham. Everyone seemed to have heard about my pumpkin. And it was pretty damn cool, even if I say so myself! I took him (I named the pumpkin Algernon, Algy to his friends) to the Lickey Hills on Tuesday night, with the wilderness medicine society. They’re all terribly outdoorsy, and Lily had persuaded me to go. She was then a very rubbish no show (apparently, having your shoulder ligaments arthroscopically screwed back to your bones and a rotator cuff repair at the same time 10 days ago means you shouldn’t go out running around the woods in the dark. Whatever). I dragged my housemates Sylvia and Di out too, and we headed off, thinking it would be light hearted fun.

But when we stepped off the train, we were handed a map and a compass and told to set off… I don’t know how to use a compass…

I discovered that 1) paper mache pumpkins with lights inside make good torches to read maps by 2) my night vision is pretty good 3) my sense of direction is even better, as well as my memory for places I’ve been once before, about 2 months ago, in daylight.

In the end, I had a spiffing time, but it was a bit dodgy in places!

3. Speed dating…
No joke, me and a bunch of friends (including Lily and my housemate Di) are actually going speed dating next week. I think it’s going to be hilarious – probably in a really excruciating way, but never mind eh, will provide me with good fodder for diner party stories! Expect a full post on it after the event…

Currently listening to: The Gift of Music, by John Rutter. I love his version of ‘Be thou my vision’. It’s already one of my favourite hymns, and that arrangement is particularly lovely.

PS Does anyone have any good ideas for interesting conversation starters for speed dating? I have four minutes with each guy. Eeeeek!


Tall Medstudent said...

Try using your template for a medical history. "What brings you in today?" "Have you ever been admitted to hospital?" "Would you say that you are happy with your social supports?" "Do you ever see little green men in your kitchen sink?"

Anna said...


Do you think I should examine them too?

med neophyte said...

In my past life I interviewed students for summer jobs at our company. One year we would come up with some creative task for the applicants; tell us a joke, tell us a ghost story; draw us a picture. I am not sure if it a good way to discriminate between potential dates but it an excellent way to see how spontaneous and confident people are. And it is hugely entertaining.