Sunday, 27 June 2010



I am afraid that this will be my last 'proper' and weekly post for the next year. I will still attempt to post every so often to let you know how things are going, but it won't be as interesting, so I will not keep boring you. I am entering exam phase of this year, meaning there will be no more clinical contact this year. Next year I am intercalating at a london university for a year, to study something sciency. While I am looking forward to this, I do not think it will be diverse or interesting to you as readers to put up weekly posts about. I might pop back in once in a while to let you know how things are going, or how planning my elective (month or 2 spent abroad practising medicine - aiming for sub-Saharan Africa) is progressing. Anyway, not to much happened this week...

This is because, as I said before, it is revision time now. I did some revision (I really do not enjoy this, but it has to be done, and it would be terrible to fail now, so I have to) I took a basic exam and saw a few patients.

The exam I took went really well - I presented a relativity complicated case and then got asked a range of questions not at all related to the case. This was a bit out of the ordinary, but as luck would have it they were questions which I know the answers to, so I wasn't going to complain. I tend to find in a day that when you are being questioned, you either find yourself not knowing a single thing, or you are miraculously only asked things you recently learnt. I am sure that things are not always this polarised, but it often seems like it!Anyway - to cut my bragging spell to a close (yes, I am bragging, think of it as a way of making me feel more confident about the actually important exams coming up) I got given straight As and asked about my future plans as a Dr. "I'm not really sure - I like most of it" [apart from UROLOGY]- "Perhaps something quite acute, acute medicine or A&E, both of which are broad specialities?" - I was then told in no uncertain terms that these will be too easy for me and I should be aiming to become a professor of medicine. Great to hear from a respected consultant, but if only it was all 'easy'. That would make things a lot simpler. Anyway - being a professor could well be very administrative and boring, I would rather "exciting", and "patient contact" (and surely treating complex cases is harder than doing research or teaching people?).

Patients wise, the pickings were sparse this week, so I will bring up a case from months ago. This case was a paediatric case that I got involved in mainly by accident, but interesting none the less. It was a young boy who presented to the hospital just eating lots and lots of toilet roll. What an odd symptom. Lots of wondering about psychosocial causes of this strange behaviour, and what toxic effects might having a roll of Andrex floating down your colon have on the child. To cut to the chase, this patient was suffering from pica due to an underling iron deficiency. Pica is a disorder where a person develops an appetite for items which are usually non-nutritious, such as coins and the like. This child had decided to start feasting on toilet paper. With the iron deficiency corrected, he did manage to stop eating so much paper, but he does have a munch every now and again - though this is thought to be psychological more than biological in cause. We should be glad that he was caught early before he developed into a modern day Monsieur Mangetout.

Anyway, I go on, and mainly for the reason that I have little else to talk about. What a disappointing fizzle to end the blog on. Exams come and get in the way, I will keep in touch and definitely start it all up again once I am back in 4th year. Thank you for reading, and don't go anywhere - though a year is indeed some time to wait. Just follow with some of those buttons in the top right and then you will know when the irregular posts come through,

Throughout third year I have learnt far more than in the first two years combined, I have realised that I REALLY want to be a doctor, and most importantly, I now feel that I have mastered the skill of drawing the curtains around the bed whilst the consultant talks to the patient. While the typical lackey role in the ward round, I feel I have practised this enough to close curtains at 5th year level. And I am prepared to stand by that.

Over the next year, I hope to get some work published, make more friends and plan an awesome holiday and elective, ending up somewhere far from civilisation.

Over the next month I plan to pass my exams.After that I think I deserve a nice break.

Thank you, and I hope to talk soon.


  1. I have never commented on your blog before, but I'd just like to thank you for all your posts this year. I've read every one by now I'd say. Please do post again with an update, and when you get to more clinical trials. I myself am interested in studying medicine in 3rd level and I think your blog has given me quite a detailed insight into the profession, at least from a student's perspective.

    Thank you very much and best of luck with the rest of your studies, and career.

  2. I love your blog! ( I am 6th med student in Latvia)
    And I dont think posts about exams or all other 'boring' activities next year will be really boring. There is no such thing as boring when it comes to experience. It would be anyway interesting to follow you in those weeks as well ;)
    Thanks for writing :)

  3. i see that we have the same phase now! exams and revision! study well and keep posting... doesn't matter if it is boring, it'll be a change for you.
    all the best :)

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  5. Good luck on your own studying and tests. It can be quite nerve-racking, but look at all you've already completed.

  6. I have also read all of your blog posts and find them very interesting. Just wondering what Alevels you took and what grades you achieved?

  7. Just wanted to echo the first poster- thank you for all of your posts. They have offered me the best kind of insight into what I hope to face over the next five years. Best of luck for your exams; though it sounds like you really don't need it! xxx

  8. im going into 3rd year and will be doing a blog on it...thanks to your blog :D

  9. Thank you for all the positive feed back, always nice to read!

    I will keep you updated, though far less regularly - I am sure you don't want to read every week about me going to lectures and spending time in a lab...

    Good luck to those med-students and prospective med-students!

    With regards to A levels, I got AAAA in the three sciences and maths, but I have friends who got into medical school predicted AAB, and who then got ABC but were still offered the place and accepted. Good luck!