Tuesday, 26 April 2011

All Engines Are Go

It's finally happened. I've got that pre-exam burst of energy that leads to serious progress.

Today was unbelievably productive.

I was in the hospital by 8am this morning, for my first day on ITU. Ward round was much more interesting than most as the other student and I had to examine EVERY patient on the ward round. Brilliant practice for OSCEs as well as being a sure fire way to make sure we weren't sleep walking the round.

I got my final 2 clinical skills sign ups on ITU too. What a relief. I now just need my attendance sign ups and some of the junior doctor's signatures co-signed by a more senior doctor.

As well as getting those bits done I got to watch an FY1 put in a perfect central line (under supervision obviously). I have no idea how she stayed so calm with 2 medical students watching her. She insists she was nervous and sweaty, but as far as any of us could she, she was awesome. I just hope I can have the same level of calm next year.

I left the hospital just before 6pm. To be honest there was a fair bit of waiting around to get those sign ups I needed, but it was worth it.

When I got home I threw a lasagne in the oven (judge me for eating a ready meal only when you see how rubbish our little hosp accom kitchen is...), had a bit of a gossip and then decided to continue the productivity.

I spent 20 mins reading some dermatology notes, something I've not covered much so far in revision. Then I got bored of reading (short attention span), so I did a mock written exam the university has made available on our intranet.

Much to my surprise I got 76% overall in the exam. This has made me so happy. I'm clearly learning something. It also means I can tone down the writtens revision a tad and really get onto the OSCE revision.

Tonight I'm going to continue to ride this wave of productivity by reading some communications OSCE stations notes. I'm also going to keep my fingers crossed that tomorrow will be as productive.

Lily xXx

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Something I always lack in exams is focus. I just can't concentrate on one particular thing for any length of time. Even if I'm revising it's in little bursts flitting from one topic to another.

This weekend has been so beautiful that it has been particularly hard to focus on revision. The glorious weather has meant lots of sitting over looking the sea with my Dad and my friends from home. In fact saying no to a trip to the beach today was one of the hardest things I've had to do in some time. Although I'm a firm believer in time off from revision, I would have got nervous taking a second day in a row off. I did have yesterday off though, but wasted most of it asleep in the sunshine.

I did get a bit of practical revision however, when my friend came off his bicycle and managed to tear through the skin on his calf with the gear wheel thingy. I put my 6 years of medical education to the test with a pile of gauze, some warm water and some TCP. I learnt that oil is particularly hard to get out of wounds.

Today's revision has been on testicular cancers and leukaemia. Hope fully before bedtime I'll have revised myelomas and lymphomas too. Then if I cover anaemias and clotting issues tomorrow I should pretty much have haematology for finals covered. I do worry that I'll have just forgotten it all in a month though. I also worry that all this worrying is taking up valuable brain power.

My other worry is my revision belly. I have really piled on the pounds over this revision period so far. I must remember that preparing and eating snacks is not the best form of procrastination.

Also kit kats are not a food group apparently. This is upsetting.

One more worry... I smashed a mirror by accident. EEK!! Does this mean I'll get 7 years bad luck?! How could I do this just before finals?! HOW?!

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Slip, Slap, Slop

It's that time of year again...

Summer time!!

Which means revision time too unfortunately, although who can deny that revision is much more fun when you can sit in the sunshine and do some reading?

I have spent this morning in the sunshine, smothered in suntan lotion, reading some revision books and even having a sneaky nap. I feel pretty good for it. However I am getting to that point where I am in intense panic about finals.

I don't feel like I'm doing enough work. I also don't think I'm learning the right stuff. I wish I was psychic and could guess what was going to come up in the exams.

I guess all I can do for now is plod along with reading stuff, and enjoy sitting in the sunshine.

Although I'm in a state of inner panic I'm not going to let it send me insane. I'm going to follow the advice of Dr Dark from the MDU revision course and remember that if I don't chill out, that will affect my marks as badly as if I wasn't doing any work. Everything in moderation.

Part of this moderation is cocktails this evening. Mmmmm...

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

1 Month to Go

The last 6 years have flown by. It honestly seems like only the other day when I was starting university, and now the end of it is staring me in the face.

I can't believe I only have a month until written exams start. It's scary scary stuff. I feel nowhere near ready enough, but I'm worried that I'm not doing enough and the right type of revision. Every time I learn something a little niggly bit in the back of my head tells me that I'm learning the wrong stuff.

In fact this finals obsession is completely taking over my mind. I'm even having nightmares.

In a strange way I wish that finals were next week and that I could just get them out of the way.

On the plus side I've not allowed my social life to go completely to shreds. I'm still trying to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine in the sunshine every now and then. It always seems to cruel the way exams always seem to be when the weather is at it's best.

Lily xXx

Saturday, 16 April 2011


I never thought there would come a day where I actively volunteered to do extra exams. I didn't bank on finals scaring me quite so much. As soon as I was offered the opportunity I signed up for a mock OSCE, or a mosce... which I think just trips off the tongue beautifully.

It was weird doing communication skills stations with the junior doctors we work with, but also very useful. They also went to the trouble of finding us proper patients to examine, with signs and everything. I was baffled by Mr Dexotracardia as I couldn't feel an apex beat on either side. At one point I was just considering saying that he didn't have a heart.

In a way it's made me relax a little more. I now know that I can take a history, examine and explain things. In fact I could probably scrape a pass, so over the next 6 weeks I can work on boosting my confidence and fine tuning things so I go from being OK to being good. It also means I'll feel less bad about taking my birthday off in the run up to exams.

Now I just have to motivate to revise over this week off!

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Apparently prescribing is something that junior doctors do very badly.

I guess there are lots of reasons for this, but a lot of it boils down to teaching. At my medical school we're lucky to have some formal teaching, although not much. When learning it on the wards, it's all too easy to pick up bad habits of older colleagues, without even realising it's not good practice.

On the weekend I was told that in one Foundation School over 40% of Foundation Doctors are on remedial supervision due to prescribing errors. I'm not sure how accurate that is as it seems like a pretty high number, but it's scary. The GMC published information that said when they investigated, prescription errors were at around 10% in junior doctors, luckily most of these were intercepted by pharmacists.

It's also really confusing that prescription charts vary from trust to trust. My favourite ones so far had a really nice special prescription sheet for infusions, allowing you to write any extra special instructions.

I've also heard the rumour that a national prescribing exam could be appearing soon. Even though it's an extra hoop to jump through surely it can only be a good thing.

Anyway, today I'm frantically revising for my mock OSCE. There are prescribing stations in our OSCEs. We have 7 minutes and we're given a BNF, but there's not really enough time to look things up, so instead I'm memorising treatment regimes for common things. I'm pretty good at knowing which drugs to give, but I've never really paid that much attention to all the doses... I've always taken it for granted that I can look it up in the BNF. Tomorrow however, I am going to be a walking BNF.

Looking forward to having a week off for Easter next week. Granted I'll be revising and stuff, but it'll be nice to not have the hospital looming over me. Fingers crossed the weather will perk up again so that I can spend the week revising in the sunshine and eating ice creams... Mmmmm!

Lily xXx

Monday, 11 April 2011

Relaxation, Revision... Blah blah blah..

So I've been a bit naughty this weekend.

Don't worry I'm not about to go into some epic overshare, I mean about revision. I went to the MDU medicine revision weekend, which was awesome. Otherwise, I've taken a long weekend off and not really done much else work-wise.

I'm placating myself with something the lecturer said.

"If you guys just went on a 4 week holiday before your exams and didn't pick up another textbook, you'd probably do better"

Such is the power of relaxing.

I'm hoping that he's not pulling my leg. I really really needed this chilled out weekend though. It was completely lovely, even if I did spend Sunday morning more than a little hungover.

I need to start hardcore OSCE revision this week. I have a mock OSCE on Thursday, which should be interesting and exhausting...

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Everyone who knows me, knows that I''m not the most active of people. I must have been the only child at school who hated PE and would have always rather read a book than run around. In fact the only exercise I ever enjoyed was dancing, cycling and horse riding.

As it's getting closer and closer to exams I'm spending more of my time sat on my ample bottom, and less of my time standing up and walking around. I reckoned that this might be why I've been feeling so stressed out... pent up energy perhaps?!

I decided to remedy this, I was going to go for a run. I've been putting off this run for a couple of days, but today the sun was out and someone told me about a lovely trail through the forest. I tugged on my trainers, squeezed into some lycra and I was off...

The trail was lovely. I enjoyed about the first 500m of it. Then the pain set in. Not chest pain, which I often get if I forget my inhaler, not calf pain from weak oxygen-hungry muscles but hip pain?!

I've officially turned into a Granny.

I somehow developed what felt like a trapped nerve in my hip. It was excruciating.

I've decided this is all some higher sign that cross country is not the sport for me. I wish there was a fun, painless and cheap way to get fit! *sigh*

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


I've given up alcohol for lent, in fact as I hadn't drunk for a bit before lent it's now been over 5 weeks since I had an alcoholic drink. It really hasn't bothered me as much as I thought it would. After a week or two, when everyone stopped taking the piss out of me, having a diet coke or a lemonade in the pub has just been normal for me. Luckily it's also proven that I'm as much fun sober as when drunk... I just get all the giggles and none of the hangovers. Bliss.

So yeah, this post isn't about me boozing, its about other people boozing.

I recently spend a weekend night shift with the London Ambulance Service on one of their booze buses. It was eye opening. For a start I knew people got so drunk they peed themselves (yes... that is you rugby boys...), but I didn't realise people got so drunk they shat themselves. That is a whole lot of drunk.

I saw three amazing things...

1. Inco pads on the seats of the bus. Why don't people do this for their children in cars too?!
2. Making a wearable sick-bag out of a clinical waste bag. I might have to adopt this again for children getting car sick in cars.
3. A paramedic getting a grey cannula in, it took her about 5 seconds and was completely perfect. It makes me ashamed of my faffing to get a blue in.

It's also really put me off binge drinking. I, like most people of my generation, have spent more than the occasional Saturday downing jaegerbombs and then spending the next morning cuddling the loo, vomming it all up. I'm now petrified that one day I'll end up so drunk I'll have to be picked up by a booze bus, very embarassing.

As a completely unrelated aside... the estate agent stood me up on Thursday. He just didn't turn up with the clients, so I almost went into renal failure for no good reason. I was not impressed. He also always gets my name wrong. Stupid man.

Another unrelated little ramble... revision. I no likey. I'm finding it hard to concentrate and nothing is going in. Short of doing onexamination questions I just can't focus on anything else long enough. I think I'm going to have to hide my very distracting Kindle.

Lily xXx