Actual date: 8/9/2012
I couldn’t decide whether it was appropriate or not to swear in the title.. so I thought I’d play it safe and just * it. Btw, anything that’s in bold italics like this, I added as an afterthought when I was publishing the blog, the rest is original content written last year.
The first week has been a bit of a blur. I know that is a terrible cliché, but it has. More specifically it has been a drunken, tired, hungover and emotional blur. My high school English teacher would be furious with me for using 4 adjectives in a row there, but I doubt that she is reading this.
The problem with being a post-graduate medic is that you are not an undergraduate. Despite being viewed as both by the university and hence in some sort of weird limbo where we have the contracts of both but the perks of neither; it seems that someone forgot to tell my body that for all intents and purposes, I am still a fresher. This means that I should be able to handle a heavy night out and still make it into uni for a 9am lecture and be awake enough to absorb at least some of the information presented to me and to work in a small group without wishing death upon everyone that speaks to me. This is no longer the case. There was a time during my first degree, specifically the first three years of my first degree (I did a 4 year course) when I could quite happily arrive home at 3am and be awake in time to have a shower, a decent breakfast and sometimes even a shave and still arrive in time to drink my coffee before the lecture started. This week I haven’t managed a shave at all.. except part of my legs (there’s a reason.. honest), I have eaten my breakfast walking to uni, and I’m drinking my luke warm coffee during the lecture.
So far this week, I have learned a lot of acronyms. TFTs, LFTs, HbA1C.. the list is literally (figuratively) endless. I am expected to commit all of these tests to memory, as well as when I should use them and what values I should expect to see in a “normal” person. I expect that at some point we will have a lecture to tell us what a “normal person” is. Alongside this we have been learning Latin.. and Greek and medicalese. In one of our introductory lessons we were told that: “Becoming a doctor is the equivalent of an English person learning another language.” Apparently our vocabulary will increase by nearly 10,000 words during the course of our degree. I’m not entirely sure how many of these you would find in the dictionary as I’m pretty sure that some of them have just been invented by the short lecturer that we seem to see a lot of at the minute.
I have to be careful when describing lecturers, as I’m pretty sure that some of this stuff may eventually be read by someone that pins down which Medical School I’m at. Luckily I have nothing but good things to say about everyone so far. Especially the bloke that’s been giving us our medical terminology lectures this week. He really is a fantastic speaker, he holds the class on the edge of our seats while describing the difference between lateral and medial, superior and inferior, left and..right.. Yes. He actually described the difference between left and right. Apparently (I seem to use this word a lot) every year in the UK a surgeon removes the wrong limb, so the simplest things as writing left and right and making sure that you are correct (I originally wrote right, and it got a little confusing in my head) could save your patients limb, your job, and a massive lawsuit.
However I’m sure this isn’t what you want to read about.. you want to know how the doctors and nurses night was. Every medical school has one of these nights, where the lads dress up in their sluttiest nurses outfits and the girls dress up in scrubs and beards. I have to say I was a little confused when the email inviting us seemed to assume that lads would just have a slutty nurses outfit lying around, as I didn’t. Apparently (there I go again, when I qualify I will have to buy myself a thesaurus) it is common practice for male medics to own slutty nurses costumes.. This meant I had to acquire one. Up steps my best mates girlfriend, a dentist (aka failed medic 😛 – just kidding..honest) and an incredibly talented costume designer that I knew from my previous life. She made me a pretty incredible nurses outfit from scratch, for free. The only problem being that I was away for the 2 weeks before I moved so she didn’t get chance to model it on me, so instead modeled it on her boyfriend. Ste is a great lad, he really is, but he’s short. Over 6 inches shorter than me in fact, and most of it is on the legs. This resulted in a photo of me in an exceptionally short.. well, I really can’t call it a dress, we’ll go with costume, being posted on facebook before I left for uni, to the amusement of my friends. Little did they know that their urge to see embarrassing photos of me in slutty nurses uniform would be satisfied many times over by the end of the week. Although I was rather drunk, I was not in the state that one or two of my comrades were, one of the members of my small teaching group managed to flash his “medic mum” – something that I’ll explain a bit more about next week and another threw up on a policewoman.
This was my attempt at spicing up the blog with some pretty pictures. I’ll do better next time. Promise.
Anyway, it is the Freshers Ball this evening.. so I need to go and make myself look beautiful, and collect my wonderful girlfriend (Sorry ladies) from the station.
Ironically, during the ensuing hangover from the doctors and nurses we had a session on what was and what was not acceptable for medical students to post online. Probably half of this blog is included in the latter, however due to the state my head was in at the time I am using ignorance as my excuse.
For anyone that’s reading this and considering going to medical school, especially as a graduate. Don’t think “I’m too old for this shit.” or “I have too much work to possibly consider ever having a social life again.” Dive in and make the most out of it, especially in freshers week. Medics have a reputation for working hard and partying harder, join as many teams and societies as you can handle, as if you only do medicine, then you get depressed very quickly.
For anyone interested btw LFTs are Liver Function Tests, TFTs are Thyroid function tests and HbA1C is a test of how much glucose is bound to the haemoglobin in your blood- basically how diabetic you are.