So, another busy week, though its all the things out of the hospital that are keeping me busy now! At the moment all of the final year medical students are filling in their 'FPAS' applications to decide where they want to be placed, hospital wise, next year on qualifying. There is also another essay due, but I think people want to hear about that about as much as I want to do it, so I won't say any more about that!
The foundation application process is all pretty scary, to be honest with you. It is all about applying to work. as a doctor... I definitely do not feel ready at all, I don't seem to know anything and I have been enjoying my irresponsible student bubble for the last... 6 years and I am not sure how ready I am to be the professional knowing-everything person. I suppose you cannot stop the march of life, but I am enjoying myself right now. Obviously it is not that I don't want to be a doctor, after working for 6 years for this, I definitely do! It is just more that I don't feel ready in the slightest for all the responsibility. Its probably just some wobbles, I hope it will pass!
For finding out which foundation schools to apply to, there are a couple of useful sites to use: thequackguide and quackguide - both made by the same group, one just new (and not fully working yet). These are really useful in summarising all the statistics on competition rate, how big they are and people have written their views on each one (though as they are all positive this doesn't help too much). This brings me to the next scary thing about this application - deciding where to go. You apply to regions, and get them based on your ranking, which is based on how good you are in your year, other academic things, and a very unacademic test called the SJT. The London ones tend to be most competitive. Once you get into your region you are re-ranked and choose jobs, with those highest ranked getting the jobs first on their list. Do you apply to a competitive region and perhaps have less choice over job? Or do you apply to a less competitive region, have first pick of jobs, then end up living in hull? Not too sure, but whichever region you work in, people tend to stay in. I am just a bit worried about choosing where to spend a lot of my life already - everything seems to happen so fast and I don't want to grow up yet - perhaps I need a few peter-pan years of life!
A vaguely related, though fantastic, flow chart to help medical students choose their careers
Then again, perhaps I am just being lazy. After all - I am writing this instead of doing my essay for tomorrow, which says a lot... Perhaps if I don't hand in my essay I can have another year of medical school! Or maybe not the best idea...
So, getting back to my week, its been quite exciting, though shadowed a little by those two previous things. Most weeks are pretty similar, we are expected to spend the days on the ward apart from when we have lectures from the F1s, which serves as our 'peer teaching'. These lectures are actually really useful as, as I have said before, F1s have a good idea on what we want (passing exams [though I am not too sure this is what I want at the moment!]) so the lectures are usually aimed at the right sort of level. When on the ward I spend a lot of time following around the F1/SHO/reg/consultant like a puppy and doing the rubbish tasks for them like paperwork, bloods, cannulas and so on. The bonus of being on a respiratory rotation is that we do loads of ABGs, and I am getting quite good at them now! I did go to an MDT (Multidisciplinary team) meeting, where a variety of healthcare professionals talked about patients with lung cancer, but it was really sad so I don't think I will go again!
A patient on the ward did have a respiratory arrest this week, which was exciting, seeing all the emergency protocols, and it was good because she was sorted out (had a chat with her the next day). I think emergency medicine could be the career for me - just so exciting! I also bought in my radio for a patient who is mostly blind and has pancytopenia, meaning he has to be kept in an isolation room to stop him getting an infection. He was touched, and it made my day, though it had gone missing by the end of the week! I hope someone hasn't moved it to a different ward (or stolen it!). Its those little things that make it feel like I can actually make a difference despite being a pretty useless member of the team as a medical student!
Anyway, I procrastinate enough - off to essay!