Monday, 6 February 2017

Full speed ahead

SO,  the Christmas holidays were a weird two weeks where for the first time in forever, I didn't have exams to revise for. Sure we had the progress test, but that was it for the immediate future. I could have / should have / would have spent time reviewing any of the material we've covered this far but I couldn't. I had hit a mental block and needed these two weeks to just do nothing. I saw friends, I stayed at home (which I never do) and just chilled out. I had an amazing two weeks but it felt so fucking short. We've not had a week off since we started in September and having two weeks off and then thrown right back into A+E very much felt like we hadn't had a break at all.

This hit people quite hard. We came back quite deflated, not wanting to really be there and really required some kicks up the backside to get back into it. As a result of this, any eagerness I had to spend all hours of the day in hospital had diminished. I was barely there for the last couple of weeks. Then the push to really actually do some revision for the progress test kicked in.

The progress test is an exam that every single year group sit at the same time. Years 1 - 5 all take the same test, 125 questions, 2.5 hours, GO. Ultimately, the idea is we should be showing natural progression year after year. Thankfully, I have never failed a PT but that is purely down to luck. I am always also well below the "mean" score... disheartening, for sure but providing I don't fail, fuck it.

Started a new 4 week block. Renal medicine. Look; I don't know whether it's because i've become as disillusioned as I have and so am struggling to get things out of this placement, I don't know if it's just being sick and tired of always being sick and tired, I don't know whether the teaching is just shittier, the opportunities fewer or what but I have gotten very little out of this placement. It just seems like we go in for teaching, which may or may not be useful (endless cardiology teaching actually), I scout the ward for patients of which there are non suitable to speak to and then I leave. With all the other things that I've got to do, I really don't have time to be shadowing a doctor for too long and nor do I have the time to be scouting other wards.

It's a shame because it is my last block in this hospital and i'm sure were this a different ward or at a different time, I could take this on with a better attitude. It's just been very difficult with our formative OSCE's coming up now.

The idea of the formative OSCE's (mine is this weds) is really to give us an idea of what the summative OSCE's are going to be like. More for the St Andrews cohort than anything else. In our formative we have:


  • 2 history taking
  • 2 examinations 
  • 1 prescribing
  • 1 data interpretation
  • 2 sharing information
In the real thing? 16 stations. 16 mother fucking stations. Basically as above but double. They are 5 weeks away and there is so much I don't have a clue about.

The examinations i'm thinking, I could probably wing. Ditto with the histories. Prescribing - nah, I think I am going to make some sort of lethal mistake unless I practise this bi-weekly. Data interpration; ABG's, ECG's, Blood test results; who fucking knows?! Sharing information - all I can think is, it's going to be a procedure, disease, or test I won't actually know much about and I'm going to fuck it up massively.

Everything rides on this OSCE.


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