Thursday, February 21, 2008


Oh no! I have been struck down by the dreaded study malaise! 

Symptoms include:

- Extreme lethargy while sitting at study desk;

- Lack of interest in topics that would otherwise fascinate the student (woohoo - metabolism!);

- Onset of symptoms increases exponentially with proximity to study-related objects;

- Sudden and unexpected interest in subjects completely unrelated to study (e.g. cleaning, cooking, the Gardening Channel);

- Increase in general anxiety level;

- Resolution of symptoms when removed from study environment.


- Quick read-through of past exams;

- Reminder of impending doctor-hood, and future responsibilities;

- A weekend off and some good sleep;

- Viewing of inspirational movies (e.g. Zoolander, Dodgeball, Mystery Men).


- Good, if treated promptly and not left to fester for significant portions of semester.

Huzzah! Off to watch Zoolander . . .

Friday, February 15, 2008

Funny things

What funny things have you noticed that have changed about yourself since becoming a medical student?

I now read things much more thoroughly, whereas before, I skimmed most documents. I noticed this today when reading (of all things!) the introduction section to a diet cookbook. Not only did I read it, I remember most of it. Clearly, my brain has shifted in to "study mode". In my off-time, I am trying to shift it into "relaxing mode" via the intermediate stage of "television mode".

Having to learn something more than once is now considered perfectly normal. I'm well into the acceptance stage, here. :)

I now understand more of House. It makes even less sense than before. ;)

Medstudentitis. Feeling tired? Leukaemia! That spot on my brother's back? Could be melanoma! Feeling down? SAD! Unwell after drinking spirits? Must be early diabetes!

At least I am enjoying it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Second year: brilliant! But where to start?

Apparently with first year. My favourite thing about medicine so far is that further study is based on simpler things that you learned (and subsequently forgot) in the earlier year of the course. Brilliant!

I love the fact that we are now learning more about pathology. The processes are just fascinating. Reading about them is great. Memorising them is not so fantastic. But it is still brilliant!

The textbooks I collected last year are all coming in handy, and there is always a book on hand that has the information I need, so I don't have to spend time trying to get onto the electronic web versions provided by our library which are often too busy to access. Books are brilliant!

We get more clinical time with patients, which I love, as they have the most interesting stories and impressions of life and each one has such a different tale to tell, which is brilliant! I even like it when they mistake me for a nursing student because I'm a girl - it makes me laugh a little on the inside and be glad that times have changed, as compared to 50 years ago, equality is now brilliant!

And yes, I have recently acquired a copy of all seasons of the Fast Show. Let's just say that it, too, is brilliant. ;)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Portion Distortion

There is an interesting phenomenon that has happened over the past few years in food outlets, where portion sizes have grown gradually to the point where food is now being served at more than double the portion size for a "normal" or healthy meal.

The sad thing is that a lot of people see the new sizes as being standard and it is sometimes hard to not get sucked into eating more than one normal serving without even knowing it. I used to go along with this at times, so I can't criticize, especially as I am hardly skinny myself. :P

I won't write much about it, but just tell a story from the weekend when we really noticed the difference.

My husband went to the bakery to buy bread (I grew up rural, so having a bakery that makes nice bread one block away is wonderful). He bought one serving of vanilla slice for us to share as a treat. I took one look at it and knew I didn't want to eat half, so I thought I would be conservative and cut my half into one further half so that I was eating one quarter of the original size and more in control of the portion.

I finished the quarter, but I could not have eaten any more. My husband ate a similar amount of his half, and put the rest into the fridge for another day. The thing that frightens me is that we bought ONE serving, and two grown adults could only just finish HALF of it. We couldn't have eaten more if we had wanted to.

It reminds me of the local noodle place, where we will often buy a large serving each, and then eat it over the space of three meals. We eat well, and aren't stick-thin. But there must be people out there who eat food in these portion sizes and think it is normal, and then wonder why they put on weight when they are not eating any more than the "one" meal or the "one" serving.

Modern eating really is filled with traps for the unwary, particularly if you were raised to finish what is on your plate, and it has taken me years to realize that you can ignore the serving size that you are given and still be full, and that bigger is not better. :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Just a quick message . . .

I'm still around, I have just lost a little of my blogging mojo and am focusing on other things right now, like uni and life in general.

I just had to add another post to say that I was quite wrong so far about So You Think You Can Dance Australia - I like the judges more than any other of the shows in that they all seem to find something positive to say, and Natalie Bassingthwaighte (?spelling???) seems to be really nice to the contestants.

There doesn't seem to be any good cop/bad cop nonsense going on that they seem to feel obliged to put into a lot of these reality talent shows, and I think it is better for it.

The amount of talent that some people have is simply astounding. Of course, the amount of people who think they are fantastic but aren't also gets me every time. I can't decide which of the two groups I enjoy watching more, but I rate this show. ;)