Sunday, December 6, 2009

We still won't be finding out whether we have passed for another week and a half, which is a bit cruel, but probably convenient for me - I will be finished my first stint of work and can celebrate the end of that and either celebrate or mourn the exam results, depending on the outcome.

It is nice going back to the area I worked in before I did medicine.

It is an area that I actually really enjoy and have seriously considered specialising in. The doctors I work with are very encouraging, and have always given me a lot of support when I thought about jumping ship into MBBS-land.

I was a radiographer for a few years before going back, so going into radiology would seem like a natural progression. I like talking to patients, but there is also something exciting about making a diagnosis from images.

The technology is absolutely incredible, as is the pathology (when it is there) and the anatomy isn't too bad, either. The advances, particularly in MRI, are mind-blowing, even since I started work less than a decade ago.

One major concern that I have had about this field is that it is reputed to be very hard to get into. I am still dealing with feeling quite inferior - my results don't reflect this, and my image interpretation skills are certainly well and truly about the rest (for obvious reasons - it really is an unfair comparison). Because part of me lacks confidence, I often talk myself out of pursuing this.

When do you get to the point when you say to yourself, "Sod it, I'm going to go for what I want anyway!"?

I have changed a lot in the past year in particular. I'm a lot harder and tougher. I'm much more pushy and I say what I mean a lot more than I used to. One area I have noticed this more is with the nurses when I do ICU mobile x-ray rounds. I am never mean and am always respectful and helpful, but I am more inclined to say what I need, and when one of them is really grumpy and rude to my face because they don't want to move their patient for an x-ray, I'm more likely to start poking fun about it (all in a respectful manner) rather than just rolling my eyes and being another bitter radiographer. I guess my communication skills have improved a lot. (Note to others who haven't seen this in action - nurses can be REALLY rude to allied health staff. It is not professional or mature to give the radiographer shit when they are only there trying to help your patient, too.)

I have noticed that I'm a lot more cynical. I have to try not to death-stare salespeople when I'm dragged along to Tupperware parties and they start talking bullshit. (I don't care how much food you put in that Day-Glo orange salad bowl, it will NEVER look anything other than fracking ugly.) We re-watched Death To Smoochy the other night, and I spent the whole movie laughing at the Smoochie character because he was such a twat rather than feeling bad for him like I did when I first saw it a few years ago. Is this cynicism or realism? The character actually IS annoying - I know that is the point. Perhaps I'm just more grounded.

I think that by the time I finish, and particularly when I start working, I'll be ballsy enough to say what I want and go and get it. I know I can do the job well. It is just a matter of chasing the dream.

So much of the time I have to be careful that I don't talk myself out of what I want because I am afraid I'll fail. At least I'm aware of this. If I were guaranteed to get into what I wanted to, what would I do? Radiology would be right up there. I don't think it is an impossible plan.


Milk and Two Sugars said...

When do you get to the point when you say to yourself, "Sod it, I'm going to go for what I want anyway!"? I would love to know too!

There's a lot to be said for having other people encourage you. I'm glad there are people you like and trust who are telling you you can do this, if you want to. My other thought is that competition in itself shouldn't put any of us off. Firstly, everything's getting more competitive. And mostly, if you've an aptitude and you're keen and persistent, it will happen. Go for it!

PS It is lovely to know what your first profession is, I've tossed up between OT and radiographer for a couple of years now!

The Girl said...

I don't know whether I would have done medicine if I had done OT first - they do some great work, and it must be quite rewarding.

The lack of versatility in medical imaging (I don't count using different machines to take images as versatility) is one of the things that really restricted it for me. I like following people up and knowing more about them. I'm probably more suited for psych (or physicians), but it is good to not rule out other options. :)