Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Teamwork and showers . . .

When I started medicine, I knew it would be difficult. However, I had no idea just how completely overwhelmed both I and everybody I know in the course would be feeling just a few weeks in. (Except for those of you who either don't study or who know it all already. But you are few and far between, and because you are either not going to be here much longer, or are clearly not human, you don't count. Sorry.)

Here is a rather creative (aka far-fetched) analogy: imagine you are told you have to familiarise yourself with every drop of water that comes out of a tap. That's ok, you think. If I work hard, I will be able to keep up. Suddenly you realise that it isn't a tap but a shower, one of those high-pressure ones with a million jet streams of water. And nobody is turning it down or off any time soon. And they still expect you to know the drops of water, even the ones that are down the drain and far, far away into the sewer of life.

Ok, so that was silly and rather badly-written. If I had more time and energy I would pen a haiku on the topic. In fact, here is one that I clearly didn't prepare earlier:

I stand in the rain.
Drops pouring down past me, scared.
Too much too fast - d'oh!

Enzymes and t-cells
are like Dutch or football games.
Some love them - not me.

If you're still here after that little bit of pain, congratulations.

Thank goodness there is a core group of us (well, I dabble in a few groups!) who are banding together and helping each other out. Many hands make light work! After all, I would consider it good practise for when we are out in the big bad world working as doctors. There are some people in the course who are, at times, silly. But the people I mainly work around are people I will be proud to call colleagues in a few short years. Thanks, guys.

If you do a similar thing for people you study with, thank-you, too. You clearly rock.


Dr Dork said...

I think a 6 year degree (or 5 - not sure where you are) is daunting for anyone, in any discipline, if you envisage it in it's entirety.

Might I recommend focussing on the tree in front of you this day/week/month...rather than the forest of which it is part.

It sounds glib, perhaps, but if you focus on what you need to do only in the short term, the long term takes care of itself.

To quote Lao-Tze: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".

And always remember to schedule fun /relaxation days free from any work/study !

Kind regards

The Girl said...

Thanks for the excellent advice, dr dork. It is a 4-year degree (graduate-entry), so I know it is going to fly. I like the approach of taking things one day at a time - I have been using it for years and it hasn't failed me yet!

I particularly like the last part of advice - I would rather graduate as a happy and balanced individual with a humane grade point average than as a miserable mess with nothing but high-distinctions.

Thanks for the comments.