Friday, 20 March 2009

Clicking Into Place

Now that I'm feeling a little less run down, I've had a really enjoyable week. In fact I've had a couple of really great outpatient clinics I got to attend. They were with two totally different consultants, covering two very different aspects of medicine, but I really loved them both. Outpatients can be boring. It can end up with me as the student sitting at the back of the room in silence as the doctor talks to the patient. This is repeated for 3 hours until a little part of me dies inside. Thankfully this wasn't the case this week.

In both clinics I got to take histories from the new patients in my own little room before the consultant saw them. Thinking about it, it's actually amazing how in the space of just two rotations, which is 6 months, how much my history taking has improved. I remember when first being told about history taking, I thought "How hard can it be? I'm good at chatting. Ask a couple of questions... easy-pip." However I was proven wrong. Suddenly we had to ask all the right questions for their symptoms, not forgetting anything, remembering family history, social history, drug history... It all seemed a bit overwhelming. I noticed this week that it really has clicked in my mind. When I was taking histories I wasn't straining myself to remember what I had to ask when someone had a tummy ache, or rectal bleeding or excessive tiredness. It all seemed to come naturally. I didn't have to worry about remembering the SOCRATES mnemonic to ask about pain, the questions just seemed to flow logically in my mind. I wonder how long it's been like this, I haven't noticed a dramatic change in my history taking until I've really thought about it, and it definitely is a whole lot more comfortable.

These outpatient clinics also gave me the opportunity to practice a bit of neuro for next term. I got to do some visual field tests and on another occasion got asked some questions about upper and lower motor neurone lesions. Neuro is really hard!!! I have a lot of learning to do for next term.

Lily xXx

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