Sunday, 27 February 2011

Save Our NHS

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who is aghast at the proposed NHS reforms. In fact most days it seems to be the topic du jour on twitter and has us all ranting...

Go to this website and sign the petition. It might make a difference...

Lily xXx

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Goodbye GPland

Tomorrow is my last day in GP land. I'll be a little sad to see it go, but I feel it's time.

I've learnt so much, not only information-wise, but also in communication skills. I'm so much more confident with history taking, bad news breaking and dealing with grumpy patients. It's also been the first time I've felt like I'm managing my own patients. I know that deep down, my GP has the final say, but as I get to present the management plan to him and get on with it, it's strengthening my confidence no end.

The bad thing is that I think I've had complete skill atrophy while in GPland. Someone came in needing bloods and I tried and didn't get it first time so the GP had a go, and he got it. He hasn't taken blood in 10 years. I am a failure. Oops.

On the plus side I passed my last special study module on Wednesday. Hurrah!

Lily xXx

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Selfish Post

I was going to make my next post about Ask Dr Clarke Surgery, but I've changed my mind because I need to exercise "le rantage", something that I save especially for blogging as my friends get fed up of all the real life rants.

Starting with good stuff... I found out my FY1 placements. I'm doing paeds/general (breast) surgery/geris. This is awesome as I get to do paeds. Even the idea of having to do geri's can't get me down. The hospital I'm at is pretty close to home, so I'll probably end up living with my Dad for a little while at least. I'm not sure my liver can handle that amount of vino.

My FY2 is in an obscure place I used to live as a young child. I'm going to embrace it and be happy as it gives me a chance to go somewhere were I know no-one any more and make lots of new friends. Deep down I think I'd rather be in London.

Because, hopefully, I wont be a student doctor anymore after this summer I've also been thinking about a new blog to start. @trufflethebendy on twitter suggested Scrubs and Pubs. I like this a lot. So this is what it will be. Struggling with making a good layout etc... so if anyone is computer-minded and wants to help, get in touch. If you're super organised you can start to follow it now at, but no actual posts will go up until July... when I graduate and actually become a doctor.

Also, as I'm no longer based in London I need to move. This is where "le rantage" will start.

Firstly this means a massive clean out of the flat. I'm a hoarder. I don't find clearing out easy. In fact I love living in clutter. The thought is stressing me out.

Secondly, estate agents. I probably don't need to say more than that for you to understand my pain, but I will. Talked to 2 estate agents. One says I won't be able to sell it but will be able to rent it, the other says I won't be able to rent it but will be able to sell it. This all makes my head hurt. I just want to sell the sodding flat and move "down saaauf". They're also really slimey. I'm being visited by 2 estate agents next Thursday... I'm going to suggest they strip to their boxers, wrestle each other in my living room while covered in jam, and the winner gets my custom.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Ask Dr Clarke: Medicine for Finals

Generally I'm a selfish blogger. I write what I want to write, because I can. Occasionally though I think about writing something useful. This is one of those moments.

When I was thinking about what revision weekends to go to for finals I was really stuck because not that many people have reviewed them. Luckily for me there are a host of helpful people on twitter who helped me out, but this is my attempt at helping others out with a little review of my own.

Ask Dr Clarke has a great reputation. In London it also has a great venue... BMA house. I arrived there nice and early, about 8.20 and was surprisingly faced by table after table of coffee and tea... free!! I know I paid a lot to go on the course so it wasn't strictly free, but still, I wasn't expecting it. As we registered we also got a book of revision notes and a hat pin with a red and white end to test visual fields. I never had one of these before. I was disproportionately excited.

As a little aside the book of notes is fantastic. It has lots of bullet point notes, diagrams and extra notes for things that aren't covered in the course. The course aims to cover the 3 types of learners; visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. I've always been a kinaesthetic learner, but I find that learning in all 3 ways really helps cement things in my mind.

The day is split into topics. Each starts with a little quiz, so you can identify the areas you have strengths or weaknesses. This is really useful as I always end up revising the topics I'm comfortable with as it makes me feel better, which isn't useful. This really showed me where I need to do more work (cardiology and renal!!) and where I could probably relax my revision a little (endocrinology is my mastermind subject!!).

Key ideas were reinforced through repetition, singing (for heart sounds) and doing dances. Sounds cheesy, but it was awesome. Dr Clarke himself is also a really engaging speaker.

As many of you know my tummy rules my mind, so the inclusion of lunch was also much appreciated. Everyone got a cute little lunch bag, with a choice of sandwich, bottle of water, apple, bag of crisps and kit kat. Om nom nom...

Kit-kats are my favourites (along with Toblerones, Choc Orange and Mini Rolls), just in case anyone ever fancies treating me...

I'll write about the surgery revision course soon.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Inspiring Kids

Inspiring might be going a little far, and I guess they were teenagers not kids... but I'd really like to tell you about the day I spent teaching local teenagers more about jobs in healthcare.

To set the scene, my university is based in an area with many inner city poorly achieving schools and lots of knife and gang crime. Because of this we teamed up with a local school and set about educating the children about jobs in healthcare. Hopefully this will open their eyes to some interesting jobs they may not have known about or considered.

After changing into scrub tops and listening to a talk on knife crime the excitement started. During the morning they split into groups and rotated around stations run by different people. There was BLS, ultrasound, occupational therapy and cannulation/blood taking. I got to teach the cannulation station which was awesome practice for me on the fake arms. It was also one-on-one so as well as being encouraging and fun for the kids it gave me a chance to answer lots of questions on hospitals and medical school.

The afternoon got a little more complex. We moved onto high tech simulations of emergency situations, which got all the kids very very excited. As well as this we had laprascopic surgery simulation, which even I was excited to have a play with.

During the afternoon I had to teach suturing. I'm not very good. Not only was I panicing as half the kids didn't listen and looked as if they were going to gouge each others eyes out with needles, I really don't have much skill myself. Luckily a very nice surgeon saw my struggle and sat down and taught me properly. He even went as far as teaching me a mattress stitch. I was so surprised that he didn't shout at me for holding my forceps like some kind of backwards monkey. Apparently there is such a thing as a nice surgeon.

Overall it was a really fun day for me, I just hope the kids found it as fun. I have to admit I was exhausted afterwards though... I envy their energy.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Riding The Wave

The wave of motivation is approaching the shore, and I am riding high upon it.

Not only have I finished my SSM essay, started the presentation and attended 10+ hr days at placement but I'm getting on top of the extracurriculars. I've finished my fastbleep article (but failed to submit it because basic technology is clearly beyond me), I've read 2 books, bought and read some of a surgery textbook.

As well as all the stuff I've already done, since I'm on a roll, I'm going to keep up the momentum.

Tomorrow I'm spending all day at a simulation/lecture day introducing secondary school children to jobs in healthcare. I'm only a little bit scared by the fact it starts with a lecture on knife crime and then I'm left with them and sharps.

Friday I have another full day at placement. At lunch I'm going to look at what I have left of the prep work for Ask Dr Clarke's revision weekend and finish that off. Friday night will be early to bed because then I'm off to spend 2 days asking Dr Clarke (so to speak) and learning lots (hopefully). I then have 2 days of GP, and on Wednesday a course on travel health with some practice nurses. It all sounds like good fun and I'm excited.

... I will admit that I'm looking forward to my day off next Thursday though!!

Ooooh, and before I forget... I find out my FY1 job on the 15th. Exciting stuff too. I guess it's good to keep busy beforehand to make the time pass quickly.

Lily xXx

Monday, 7 February 2011

Searching for Blogs

I've just finished my essay... hurrah!! Although I still have an awful lot to do, as work never seems to end, I've earned the right to a little more procrastination before I begin my next project.

Procrastination comes in no better form than reading blogs...

I follow lots of awesome blogs, but I think now is time to start following a few more.

If you write a blog I don't follow, or know a blog I might like please leave me the address as a comment

Thanks everyone!

Lily xXx

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Tik Tok...

I can't get the song Tik Tok by Ke$ha out of my head. I don't particularly like it, although I do LOVE her hair in the video. I also don't see why she has to use a silly $ sign in her name. Madness. I thought writing this down would help get the song out of my head... but its not really working.

The reason I have this song in my head is a little abstract.

I can't stop thinking about how quickly time is ticking by.

I've only got 3 weeks of this placement left. I feel like I've hardly begun.

I'm well over half way through the year.

4 months until exams are over.

6 months until jobs start.


Lily xXx

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Motivation Vs Procrastination

As always procrastination is winning. I think it helps that I have a very untidy flat and as soon as I tidy something up, I get it messy again. Means I always have cleaning to do. I'm also thinking of using a supermarket trip as a big procrastination idea... and if I can get my car started I can drive to the big supermarket next to the cinema and then I can go and see a film too.

I really do need to get some motivation this weekend though. The plan is to have a 1st draft of my 1000 word special study module essay by Sunday, as well as typing up the notes I've made for my Fastbleep article.

If I do that I know I'll feel really good about myself.

So why can't I get started?

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Every now and then it dawns on me how lucky I am.

I turn up at clinics, on the wards and on house visits and time and time again patients allow me to be part of massive emotional times in their lives. They most of the time the patients gain nothing extra from me being there. I'm sure for some people it even makes things more difficult, uncomfortable or embarrassing... but still they let me stay so I can learn.

Although I always thank patients I'm not sure they realise how seriously I mean it.

So thank you everyone for letting me be part of your lives. Thank you for helping me learn.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Little Miss Extracurricular

They say it's never too late to start something... So I'm picking my penultimate term at medical school to start really getting involved in things that will not only sound impressive, but that I really think I'll enjoy.

I'm writing an article for Fastbleep, an amazing new resource for notes for medical students. I'm excited because not only is it a chance to help add to a brilliant website, but it's going to be a great way for me to revise a topic.

As well as writing some notes for a website I'm also helping teach some med students face to face. It's nothing too taxing... I'm going to be helping teach some OSCE stations to 3rd years. Again a chance for me to give something back while giving myself a chance to revise.

To top it all off I'm also taking part in a day at our new simulation suite teaching school kids some healthcare skills and getting them interested in careers within the NHS.

In fact just reading all this bits gets me excited, but also exhausted. It feels kind of nice to be giving something back... maybe I'll do it more often.

Lily xXx