Sunday, 29 May 2011

Birthday Girl

If there's something which is going to ruin a birthday, it's having finals looming just ahead.

Yesterday was my birthday, and instead of waking up with a bit of a headache after a night enjoying myself, I was in bed by midnight. I've woken up with a huge sense of panic instead. I didn't do ANY work yesterday and my OSCE is on Thursday.

Until now I've been calm about OCSE. I've had the view that as long as I turned up during the year I'd be fine. I know how to examine, I know how to take histories and I can do most skills (just about...). I always said the only think that buggered people up was nerves and panic. Now I have nerves and panic.

I'm also really worried about our prescribing stations. The nice thing about them is that they don't have an examiner, but there's so much to remember to prescribe.

My OSCE is 21 stations long and each station is 7.5 minutes. This makes the whole thing like some kind of marathon. I'll probably die of exhaustion before I get to the end.

On a lighter note today I'm going to Ping Pong for FREE dim sum. They have an offer that if you turn up in your PJs with a teddy you get a free meal and a free cocktail. Hurrah!!

Lily xXx

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Written Finals.

I wanted to write a post about my written finals, but they were so traumatic that part of me thinks that I'd be better just blocking them out of my memory completely.

The first exam was as I expected. The single best answer questions were pretty tough. It's always hard to pick the "best" answer, when more than 1 may be right. The second part, which was extended matching was pretty easy... and I'm hoping I'll have made up marks on this part.

After the exam I thought about revising more, but the thought of going over all the stuff I'd got wrong in that exam wasn't a happy thought, so I trotted off to Selfridge's and bought myself a lovely carrot cupcake. I then spent the evening chilling out.

The second exam was HORRID!! I thought the single best answer questions were a bit easier than the day before, but the extended matching were soooo hard. One question asked us the life expectancy of a boy born in Zambia in 2000. No idea. There was also a huge question on antibiotics and another haematology one, both of which left me so muddled. Blergh.

Fingers crossed I'll have done enough to scrape a pass.

As most people who know me would expect I went out after the exam and got completely sloshed. Apparently a bottle of wine is not a substitute for dinner. Who'd have thought?! I spent the next day in bed recovering, except for a little outing to get breakfast. Today was spent having lunch and coffee with a really good friend I haven't seen in ages... and then tomorrow OSCE revision starts in earnest.

Also... it's my birthday in 6 days!

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Calm Before The Storm

This time in 48 hrs I'll have finished my written finals and will hopefully be enjoying a cool, alcoholic drink with a couple of friends. All probably exhausted from the mental marathon we'll have endured.

It's strange to think that if I pass these exams they will be the last written exams I will sit as a medical student and that I will be 2/3 of my way to finishing finals. I think I'm calmer than I've been for any other set of end of year exams.

There are 2 possible reasons for this.

Reason 1. I have turned up to uni for 6 years, I have done a moderate amount of revision and I have finally come to the realisation that having done the above I will probably pass. I'm not aiming for a distinction or to get an amazing score. I just want to pass.

Reason 2. I have completely lost it. Later the reality of the situation will hit me and I'll have to be dragged from under my bed tomorrow morning kicking and screaming.

I hope it's more reason 1 than reason 2.

I'm off to try and relax for the rest of the evening, which is easier said than done. I'll probably cook some dinner, watch some TV, pack my bag for tomorrow and hopefully be in bed nice and early.

Before the exam I'm grabbing breakfast with a few friends from uni. It's always a good way to calm down before an exam... just as long as they don't start talking about all the stuff that they know and I don't. If that happens I'm going to stick my fingers in my ears and sing "lalalalalala" until we're sitting in that exam hall.

Good luck to everyone else sitting exams at the moment, whether they be GCSEs, Alevels or uni exams. Lets hope we all pass!!

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Exam Flu

It's even more virulent than man-flu. The dreaded exam flu.

Yesterday I had a headache and sniffles, by the time I went to bed I had some achyness and today I just feel like poop. I also have a temperature of 38.6.

This would only happen to me less than 48 hours before my first exam.

I've decided that this illness is due to mental weakness more than anything else, so I'm going to man-up (once I've had a bit of a moan). I'm taking paracetamol and decongestants. I'm drinking lots of fluids and I'm even breaking evidence-based medicine and doing everything else I can think of. Vitamin C tables, chicken noodle soup... you name it, I'm willing to try it so I don't feel like this on exam day.

Lily xXx

Monday, 16 May 2011

3 Days to Go...

It doesn't quite seem real, but my written finals are this week! I've got to the point where I'm so bored with revision, that to be quite honest I can't wait until Thursday and Friday just to get the bloody things out of the way. There's actually something quite soothing about sitting in an exam hall full of people all quietly ticking boxes on an answer sheet.

I know this is a little bit soppy but I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who's wished me good luck (on here, on twitter and in real life). It feels nice to know that other people have faith in me, and it gives me a little faith in myself.

Also a big thank you to everyone who's read my blog over the last 3 years. I still find it strange to think that people actually read what I write. It makes me smile so much when people applying for medicine tell me that they're reading the blog and it's getting them all excited about medical school. It makes up for the fact that I'm jealous of all the fun they'll have over the next few years as they get into medical school, make new friends, learn new stuff... it really is awesome. I just hope the brilliant side of medical school has actually come across because we all know I like the occasional grumble...

On a related side note, once I graduate, I'll be starting a new blog...

So add it to your blog-reader in advance. Also... if anyone is good at making title banners or generally making things look nice, and you fancy giving me a hand please get in touch!

Lily xXx

Saturday, 14 May 2011


It was bound to happen. What would finals be without a bit of drama?! Too easy... that's what!

Those of you who've read the blog for over a year will know about my ex. For those of you who haven't a quick summary. I was dating someone, we moved in together, we got engaged, he left, I was sad, the end. It took me months and months until I really got over the sadness, but over the last few months I can truly say that I've been really happy. In fact I even started to think that a little bit of heartbreak is a good life experience.

Last night the ex decided to tell me he still loved me and wanted to get back with me. I'll go no further than to say the conversation was drama-laden. I think in normal circumstances I would have just brushed it off and not let it stress me out. Along with the stress of exams, family stuff and that I really just lost it last night. For some reason I just couldn't stop crying.

A pep-talk later and the tears stopped, which was good, but I just couldn't sleep. 5am this morning I was sitting in my kitchen watching the sunrise, and only then did I get to sleep... for a whole 3 hours.

I was really tired and more than a little weepy this morning, but got taken out for a lovely breakfast and had a cuddle with someone special which definitely made me feel better. In fact I think that once I graduate I'll be prescribing cuddles for all my patients. Cuddles really do cure a lot of things. A nap also helped and I managed to get back on track.

Spent the afternoon in a cafe revising. It's only in the last 2 days that I've realised I actually get a lot of work done sitting in a cafe, more than even in the library. Would have been nice if I would have realised that earlier in my 6 years of university.

I've also been shown some amazing revision lecture videos from a lecturer at St Barts, you can find them if you Google "Feather does Finals". Each video is 2.5+ hrs long, and there are 8 videos so I wish that I'd found them earlier, but I'll fit the 6 I haven't watched into the next 4 days of revision somehow.

4 days until first written exam and I'm back on track. Thank goodness!!

Lily xXx

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Sleep Monster

I keep trying to revise at home and failing miserably. I turn into some kind of sleep monster. I end up setting my alarm for 8 and then snoozing until 9. After that I get up, have some brekkie and then make the same awful mistake every morning... I pick up my notes and get back into bed.

Who does that?!

Then before I know it, I've read a couple of pages, and then I wake up an hour later face first in my notes. After that it's lunchtime and then I repeat the process.

Part of me wishes written exams were this Thursday and Friday instead of next, then at least I might be able to stay awake a little.

I'm going to go for a little walk to the supermarket to get some washing powder, which will hopefully wake me up enough to actually absorb some information. Failing that I'm going to eat a whole jar of instant coffee with a spoon.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Library Days

Now that clinics are finished my life has evolved into the dull but comfortable revision routine I probably need to pass exams.

As much as I moan about it (and ask my friends... I moan a lot), I tend to enjoy this last bit of pre-exam revision. It means I can sit myself in the library, put something soothing on my iPod and slowly chug through notes.

Unfortunately my library calm was somewhat ruined by a couple at it on the desk next to me. There were far too many sloppy smoochy noises for my liking and I'm about 87% sure they probably had sex at some point while in that library. I wish my eyes could unsee the things I saw.

Worryingly I'm still not sure I'm revising the right stuff, but something must be useful as I've done 2 mock exams and I got 70% on one of them and 76% on the other. I'd be pretty chuffed if I could do that in the real thing.

In an effort to be a normal person (well as normal as I'll ever be), I'm also trying to still have a bit of a life over exams. I'm spending my revision breaks having coffee with friends, tomorrow night I'm cooking for my ex-flatmate and on Friday I'm meeting up with someone off Twitter once I've tackled a morning of revision. I'm also really enjoying spending time with some non-student friends. I've even been calm enough to indulge in a cheeky few drinks on 2 nights this week (already!!). That's definitely something that can only be enjoyed when not with people panicking about exams.

The only big downer is that I'm starting to get a bit upset about the thought of leaving London. I know I'll only be an hour away, but it's not the same as being just down the road.

Lily xXx

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Last Day

This is it.

Today I had my last day of clinical placement as a medical student (... as long as I pass exams).

It was a bit of an anticlimax.

I got up, strolled to the hospital and for once found scrubs in a reasonable size. We then had an incredibly long ward round and before I knew it the consultant was saying we might as well have lunch and take the afternoon off.

It hasn't really hit me that it's over yet.

No more clinical placements as a student, no more lectures as a student, no more tutorials as a student. Just exams.



Not really... I'm (trying to be) not the panicking type. First written exam 2 weeks tomorrow. That's 2 weeks of revision left, and then a further fortnight until my OSCE. Plenty time if I knuckle down.

On a side note I shall be wasting tomorrow trying to collect my logbook from the administrator here, and then driving to London. My afternoon will be spent queuing at the council offices for a new electronic door fob and then queuing to vote. After all that I'm going to drive all the way back down to Kent for a couple of days. Crazy busy day.

My own fault for mysteriously losing my keys and forgetting to register for postal voting though.

Lily xXx

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Don't worry this isn't going to be some confession-post. As far as I'm aware inappropriateness is not something I suffer from. Nor (for once) is this a ranty post about someone else being inappropriate.

ITU has just got me thinking about dark humour.

All the medics I know make really inappropriate jokes all the time. I guess it's our way of coping with the sad things...

Today we had possibly the most amusingly inappropriate incident I've seen on ITU yet.

To set the scene, we're in a quiet corner of ITU. The patient has been there for some time and is stable, slowly edging towards a possibly recovery. For a bit of entertainment the nurse has the radio playing. We take off our aprons, wash our hands and we're just about to leave when a new song starts...

"Don't leave me this wayyyy... I can't survive..."

Cue all of us blustering out of the room holding our collective breaths trying not to giggle.

I really hope that people don't take offence at medic humour. I guess the Amateur Transplants have yet to be hunted down and vilified for their songs. I however need to resist the urge to sing them to myself in ITU.


Lily xXx