Thursday, 4 February 2010

No Excuses

I don't really have an excuse for not posting for a while, but I'm going to try to justify myself anyway...

I've been so busy at uni and haven't been too well. I seem to keep catching little bugs at the moment, or maybe I just don't let myself get properly better before I plough into things.

A list of my maladies this week includes an awful migrane, sore tum-tum and the return of my cold. As well as that yesterday a fat person (like HUGE) knocked into me on the bus and squished my finger against a metal bar so hard that it started bleeding everywhere. What's worse is that they saw all the blood and didn't even apologise. I know it was an accident, but they could have said sorry!!! It's one of my "examining" fingers, and since I'm doing gynae it's made things pretty uncomfortable for me.

This week I've done so much in uni that I'm not really sure what to talk about. The two things which have really stood out are GTA and sexual health clinics.

On Tuesday I spent the afternoon at a very busy London sexual health clinic, in an area which has the highest teenage pregnancy/chlamydia/gonnorhoea/HIV rates in the country. It was so interesting. I got to see herpes, gonnorhoea dischage, do swabs and then look at slides. On one of the slides I even got to see amazingly cool but also gross trichomonas, with their little flagellae propelling them around the slide.

All the GUM doctors I talked to loved the speciality for both it's content and the quality of life. I had some good advice off of them in that I need to think what I want from life before I pick a speciality. It's all very well loving obs and gynae, but if I don't want a job with much on call I'll need to think which would make me happier... the speciality or having less on call?

Yesterday I went to a GTA session. I'm not sure how many medical schools do this, but I know a lot of them don't. GTA stands for gynae teaching associates. These are women who teach us how to perform intimate examinations on themselves. I think this is brilliant. OK... It's a little weird at first talking to someone with your hand up their mooey but it's such a good experience.

Firstly you get to practice explaining what you're going to do, with a chance to work out the best way of saying things. It's nice because it means you learn much nicer alternatives to "go behind the curtain and strip..." or "spread your legs..." and other things which make women feel uncomfortable.

Then when it gets to the actual examination, these ladies really prove how helpful they are. Not only do you get to practice the actual speculum and bimanual exams, but they give great tips. Everything from the best way to position the speculum or your fingers, to how hard to press the abdomen. You can also take longer over the examination and have a couple of practices, which isn't possible on patients as most don't like being intimately examined in the first place.

So although I've felt like poo this week, it's been so productive and great fun.

On another note I've lost 3lbs so far on my wedding diet! Woo!

Lily xXx


The Manchester Medic said...

Wow those GTA sessions sound like a great idea. I'm presuming the volunteers get paid? I may have to suggest this to our medical school. Perhaps they could replace one of the pointless communication skills sessions with something similar?

I have had very limited experience with gynae exams. Like you said, most patients aren't too keen on having students practise exams on them, even less so once they find out that the student is male. Some of the foundation programmes I have applied to include O+G, and I pity any poor patient who ends up with me as their doctor!

Lily said...

Yeah, these women get paid and properly trained. As well as running the sessions practicing on themselves, they also run workshops practicing on models and in communications skills related to gynae.