A good sign?

November 2, 2007

As much as I bitched and moaned last year about the stress and long hours, it has come to my attention that I really miss it.  I walk past the hospital everyday and I find myself gazing into the canteen wistfully- remembering sitting there on quiet evening shifts and during the day after the ward round. 

People I spoke to who also did the clinics-BSc-clinics route agreed that you end up having a different perspective to the pre-clinical lot; they all admitted that they quickly started to miss being in the hospital or on placement.  I guess I’ve hit that point, and as much as it may mean this years drags a bit, at least I know that medicine is at least in some ways right for me!!

Medicgirl xxx


This small town…

October 31, 2007

A friend once said that he would never be able to live in London because it was so big and anonymous; he said he liked his small university town where you couldn’t walk from one side to the other without meeting someone you knew.

Although this is a big city, the fact remains that most students (and especially most medical students) live within a certain area between the three main hospital sites.  It is rare for me to walk home, or wander down one of the main high streets, without at least seeing someone that I acknowledge.

On this note, even though I see people I know a lot, and even though a number of my best friends live on the same walk into University… HOW COME I never bump into them, and instead have to make weird small talk with someone I went to school with and didn’t really like even then?

And also- why, oh WHY do I never bump into Cutemedicboy?!

Medicgirl x

A Day In The Life Of…

October 24, 2007

My alarm usually goes at about 8am, at which point my bleery eyes open and my arm is flug out of bed to silence it.  I go back to sleep to the sounds of my flatmates getting breakfast.

At 8.15 my second alarm goes, and once again I silence it, and go back to sleep.

There is no third alarm because my phone is rubbish.

At about 9 I wake up properly, look at the time, and curse the day my nice alarm clock with a snooze function broke.

I get up, sometimes I go for a run, and I always always have coffee (my coffee is so strong it once made a friend shake).  I then waste time until my lectures- of which there are usual one or two in a day. I wander into Uni, I sit in a lecture room and make notes, and then I come home. Occasionally I swing past a library to get extra reading books out; these books sit on my floor and I tend to return them unread.

Evenings are either taken up with random Uni-Society things I’m a member of, or more wasting of time.  There is some drunkeness on some occasions.  Otherwise, I have supper, I have a bath, I do stretches and random exercises, and I go to bed (after hot chocolate).

Can you tell that I’m LOVING my BSc?

Medicgirl x

Soapbox… part 2

October 17, 2007

Firstly- thanks to everyone that commented; It’s nice when people get all responsive.  Having read them- I do understand where a number of you are coming from.  Here are my continued musings on the topic….

In a conversation over lunch at the weekend, my mother pointed out the problems that people have getting to their GP especially, like has been said, for long term illness.  My views are probably very biased in that I have been fortunate enough to have GPs where you can still book appointments in advance, and those in my acquaintance who have to see their GP regularly are lucky enough to work for companies that allow them the time off…

We’re getting into territory about which I know very little, but lets go there anyway- Why should the NHS take the economic fall for other businesses? When I mentioned before about long term illness, I didn’t actually mean using holiday time- I meant using sick time, which is different. I appreciate this would be very hard for small businesses and people who are self-employed, but surely it should be mandate that people are allowed time off work for health problems, no matter what those problems are. Is it not already?

As I said, I’ve been very lucky- at my GP practice you can ring up on the day, and you can book in advance. They even have evening appointments.  Which makes me wonder why this is not possible everywhere…

I really feel that the general public should in some ways feel at least slightly accountable when it comes to using the national health, which was really the fire behind the last entry I posted.   Perhaps there should be some sort of education in how to use the NHS; I’m guessing anyone posting here is unlikely to be the kind of person who rings an ambulance because they have a headache, and no, they haven’t tried taking paracetamol to make it better…
That sort of this happens all the time and although I couldn’t actually find how much that is costing the taxpayer, it’s pretty depressing. 

It’s not that I don’t think General Practice provision could get better, or be better organised, or that it shouldn’t change…. I do however think that there would be better ways of achieving this than the general bitching that seems to go on in the press on how rubbish the hours of service are- because it’s about more than that. 


Medicgirl xxx

London Medicgirl gets on her soapbox.

October 8, 2007

I happened to pick up a copy of The Metro at the weekend; it had been left on the seat presumably sometime on friday, and I noticed the front page; some list of what the two prominant political parties in this country want to do with the NHS.

My eye was drawn to the list on the left (Labour).

Something about more out of hours GP service, and more choice…Yadayadayada; we’ve all heard it all before. 

I grew up in a family that very much went with lets-see-how-you-feel-in-the-morning… Sure, if a temperature wasn’t coming down, or a throat was becoming progressively more supurative then off we were packed to our GP. As a result- on the very few times when my mother rang up and said “She really needs to see someone” (eg. when I had glandular fever), they were more than happy to slot us into a morning by getting me to see the nurse, and then the GP popping through between patients to sign off the script.

Anyway, I digress. I have a feeling the rest of the world (and I guess we do live in a instant gratification society) don’t really understand the concept of General Practice and illness.

  • If you are ill- needing medication and the like- go to your doctor… the fact that you are having to take time off work to do so shouldn’t be that much of an issue remember- because you’re ILL.
  • If it is out of hours, you have a choice- are you SO ILL you cannot wait until the morning? In which case, you need to go to A+E because otherwise you might die.
  • If it is some routine thing that you need to get done? I don’t know, like injections for your fun little holiday coming up? Well, you’re going on holiday so one can only presume you can afford to take a morning off.  And if its a routine appointment for a long term illness? Well, again- this is presumably what sick days are for.

The one place that I can see that would actually benefit from decent out of hours GP service is in the countryside, where the GP is going to get to the patient faster than an ambulance in many cases; my mother would not be here to day were it not for our local GP schlepping out to give a very necessary injection of adrenaline one summer evening.

I know this topic has been covered by many others (far more eloquently, and with greater knowledge of what is actually needed) but this really irritates me.  I appreciate things probably only work if you have a decent local GP service, but I’m starting to think that that often depends, at least in part, on the people using it…

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Medicgirl xxx

Freshers week for the non-fresher.

October 7, 2007

So, freshers week for me started on the Tuesday- with our Medical Fresher’s Fayre.

Armed with edible goodies we set about trying to entice new meat into the society, and convince them that they really did want to join up!  I actually like the fayre, because despite the fact it is usually held in the most sweaty and humid room of the hospital, it’s a chance to scope out the freshers, and catch up with old friends.

This year we did however forego the three legged pub crawl, and merely retreated to our favourite local pub for drinks while the freshers staggered around the neighbourhood tied to each other and getting progressively more inebriated.

The next morning my course started- needless to say I was a little jaded, but dragged myself in for the customary introductory lectures.

Saturday was a comedy show in the medical student bar- One of my friends was in it, so I was there as moral support (about 1 of 10 non-freshers in a sea of first years!).  Still, for what it lacked at moments in comedy value, it made up for it in spirit and I had a good time- joining them afterwards for drinking that went on long into the night.

Sunday night I rounded up the week with flatmate and old friend, over a pint and a game of cards, in the pub we actually started in on Tuesday.  Alas, despite having had only two days of lectures by this point, I was already behind on the reading…

Medicgirl x

Parcel-rack 1… London Medicgirl 0

September 23, 2007

Last night started pleasantly- a film, baileys, sitting around chatting listening to music. Little did I know then that it would end… well… not so good.

The first hint of disaster was the phonecall from my friend’s  mother, asking if he could pick her up. Now this was awkward, as she didn’t know I was there, and lets just say I have reason to believe that I may not be her favourite person in the world.  Still, we laughed, got in the car, and headed over there.  Once in the dingy carpark somewhere in the wilds of London, I said hello, and had a nice little awkward conversation before setting about transfering boxes from one car to the other.

Enter Mr Parcel-rack, deciding to fall down just as I lent forwards.  Initially I was in pain, but more concerned that my glasses may have been damaged (This always happens- I’ll probably eventually go, exsanquinating on the road somewhere, panicking that my glasses might have been scratched), but when my friend goes “Oh my god, you’re bleeding!” I realise I have blood all over my hands. Nice.

We slap tissue on my face which I clamp to the bleeding, and head home so I can get ice on it, and have a better look in the mirror. It is also at this point that my mother, about 300 miles away and therefore unable to do anything, gets a tearful little phonecall from her daughter asking if she should go to A+E.  If I’d been in the company of other medics, I would have got them to look at it, clean it, and steri-strip it, but alas I was not. So off we trot to spend the rest of the evening in the hospital.

Once there we could not for the life of us work out how to get to A+E (bare in mind we are one-post grad, and one medical student).  It didn’t help that all the signs point out into a deserted lot! However, a physio came striding by, kindly took pity on us and ushered us in the back way before depositing us at reception where I answer such questions as “Who is your next of kin?” You know, just incase my teeny cut turns out to be life threatening.

My friend also got a filthy look from one of the receptionists, which he was convinced meant she thought he did it. I reassured him that it was probably more likely that she didn’t like his face.

We then sat in the waiting room, ice still clamped to my face, and waited.  The place was pretty busy, and given that I have friends in high places, I thought to ring one of them. 

LMG: Hey, it’s LMG, I’m in A+E with a cut on my nose.
Paramedicboy: Which one?
LMG: Londonblahdebleugh
Paramedicboy: Weird, I was there 10 minutes ago.
LMG: Anyway, I was wondering if I should stay and get it checked or bin it off… *describes cut*
Paramedicboy: Open it up, have a look how deep it is, clean it out, steristrip it.
LMG: I don’t have any of that stuff though…
Paramedicboy: I thought you said you were in A+E?
LMG: Yeah, but as a normal person.
Paramedicboy: Ah.

Given we had no idea how deep the cut was, he advised us to stay.  Luckily, facial cuts seem to be the way to queue-jump and we’d beaten the Saturday night drunken crowd, so we were seen very quickly.  I was cleaned, steristripped, and sent on my way with a surly “You’ll live.”

And I did. 

Medicgirl xxx

That depressing time of year again…

September 17, 2007

…When your loan is yet to arrive, but you still have to pay your fees to enroll.

 Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and stop putting it off- I paid my fees and watched the numbers in my lovely little account, which has now stayed in the black for a whole year (I know! I’m not entirely sure how either),  go shooting down into the negatives. 

I then realised that I have bills to pay this week.  Cue mild panic while I try to work out if I can afford to go swimming tomorrow, let alone get my hair cut.  In the end I left a mildly panicked message on my parents answerphone and went for a run to try and exercise out the stress!  On my return, life was a little less stressful, and my parents had kindly rang to offer me a loan for a few weeks to tide me over until all my finances are running properly again.

On a positive note I have now chosen my modules for the next year- and can’t wait.  Only a week until I start again!

Medicgirl x

Good friends, Good wine, Good times.

September 13, 2007

My attempt at baking Challah yesterday went… Ok. 

Without wishing to be a bad bad craftsman and blame my tools, I do rather wonder if this is one of those things where having something along the lines of “Grandmother’s recipe” that has been tried and tested over years, rather than one you randomly pulled off the internet, would have been advantageous. 

In the evening my best friend had a meal for Rosh Hashanah, so I trotted over to her place with my Challah, which despite being rather flat in comparison to the pretty pictures on the website, it went down well and got all eaten up!  All in all a lovely evening- lots and lots of delicious food was consumed, much wine was drunk, and the conversations tended to be along the lines of those great twisty pathways of random thoughts where you suddenly wonder how on earth you ended talking about such-and-such.  We were all good little girls and helped her clean up after, and I even got to bed at a suitable hour because most of them had to be up for work this morning.

Today is meant to be a day of chores and sorting things out, but I’ve just noticed it is 11am and I’m still in pyjamas and drinking my coffee… Somehow I don’t think The Shrink is going to be very impressed with me!

Medicgirl x

Pre-game warm-up.

September 11, 2007

Life is getting a little more exciting over here at London-medicgirl-towers.

Flatmate has returned from his travels, complete with scraggy beard that we shaved in stages as we documented photographic evidence.  He’s back in clinics again, but his presence is good- it makes me get out of the house and go to the pub (clearly a worthy activity).

1st and 2nd year clinics have started back, so I actually have friends around in London.  Last night the medic bar was very “Old-school” in that it was like being a fresher again- heaving bar, and knowing everyone there. Due to the fact that I’d consumed a considerable amount of wine and cheese with flatmate before heading out, apparently I was a bit “social-butterfly”; by that I mean I was flitting around the room with an attention span of a gnat! Still, it did mean I talked to almost everyone there, and had a fantastic evening.

I think I shall be taking Harry’s advice, and not going overboard on the pre-reading. I am however going to order a book I want on amazon, and do a bit of reading on the areas I find the most interesting.  The timetable for the first week came through the other day, and I am a tad excited now. I have, as far as I can, stalked the other people on the course through facebook: no one I know, but hopefully everyone will be nice!  At the end of the day I have a lot of good friends already, so all I really NEED are people to have decent conversations with over coffee!

Society things have started up again in preparation for freshers week and the enticement of new meat into the group- I have been entrusted with doing various jobs due to my status of not-being-in-clinics so that should keep me occupied for a few days.

I should probably be off to bed; all these late nights have left me rather tired, and I need to be up early in the morning to attempt to bake Challah!

Medicgirl x