Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day!

We are going to do the traditional day of barbeques and socialising.

It is the first of the public holidays this year and I love it. :D

Friday, January 22, 2010

Public transport

I have been catching the train in to the hospital this week. This year I am at the mega metropolitan hospital, and thus parking would be a minimum of $10 per day (plus an hour-long drive), which I really can't afford. So I catch the train.

It has been pretty good. The longest I have to wait between trains is 30 minutes in non-peak times, and 30 minutes doesn't seem as long any more, particularly when I have my iPod, notes and a novel with me. It is also a 30 minute train trip, so it isn't bad at all.

However, there are some hazards of catching public transport.

I really hate it when somebody wider than their half of the seat sits down next to me and I get squished. I'm not tiny (being very tall), but I take up only the space allocated to me by the chair and convention. I hate being butt-bumped by the hips of a complete stranger, when they squeeze into their chair and then stay there. I don't ever take issue with the weight of other people, but when it involves physical contact and invading my personal space, I get uncomfortable. It is the lack of space that bothers me - if they were the wide hips of a massively muscular person pushing me aside I would feel the same way, with the added angst about possible 'roid rage.

But what I REALLY hate is the general grossness of people, and their apathy when in public.

This morning I walked up to an empty seat (we are at the first station of the run, so it isn't a complete surprise to see an empty seat) and sat down on it in front of at least 6 or 7 people who were directly facing me.

The next thing that I felt was a huge amount of icy wetness soaking through my work pants. I swore and leapt up, seeing that the seat (dark material) was drenched in some mystery liquid.

Not one person said, "Don't sit there! Look out!" They just scowled at me when I swore and looked away. Bloody useless individuals.

I had to deal with wet pants for the duration of the trip. I don't know what it was, but I couldn't smell pee, and it was clear so I am hoping that it was just water. Still, I cut my day short at lunchtime after the compulsory tutorial was on and caught the train home (after checking the seat before sitting down) to have a shower and change my clothes.

Ah, the public. How I loathe thee.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Have I mentioned that I love medicine? The work that physicians do is fascinating and I love it.

I am on a neurology rotation, and watching neurologists perform their examinations as well as they do and work through their diagnoses and treatment plans is something that I find fascinating. If I could do that kind of work for the rest of my life, I would be a happy camper.

I love medicine! Now if only I could get through the training . . .

Monday, January 18, 2010

We had our first day of fourth year today. I'm exhausted. However, I have my fourth-year sticker on my ID badge, so I'm happy.

It was a very hot day and I was outside and standing in the hot sun for about 20 minutes first thing in the morning waiting for the shuttle to the hospital (from the train), so I spent the day feeling sweaty and greasy. Tomorrow I'm just going to walk.

It was so warm at 6pm when I walked to the train station that my pants were sticking to me after a 10 minute walk. I even acquired a lovely heat rash. Fingers crossed for the cool change tonight!

I'm feeling extremely coffee-deprived. While I was working for the past two months, I was drinking about 4 cups a day while at work. There is a mysterious coffee lounge at the hospital, but I am yet to access it, and it is not as handy as the on-site staff tearoom.

It is a long commute with long days and I'm home alone and having to cook and clean and look after things. It is going to be a fun year. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One thing to change this year

I don't have any new year's resolutions this year, as such, but one thing that I have discovered in the past few weeks is that I really need to be more social.

I love children, but since my closest friends have had them, they have dropped off the radar and moved into another place in their lives. I like to hang out with the girls from time to time and have coffee, gossip and natter about random things, and I don't get the same thing any more.

Mothers of small children can't drop things for spontaneous coffee or going out to the movies. (Well, not the ones I am friends with.) Their lives have changed focus, and thus the conversation will often drift to the topic of what little Johnny's sleep schedule is like, ear infections (I MUST be interested, as I'm a medical student, right?), and the inevitable question of when I'm going to pop out a sprog or two. To be blunt, I just don't find this kind of conversation fun. I probably will when I have kids of my own, and these friends have been through it all years before me and are now fonts of practical knowledge and reassurance.

I have some work-friends who are mothers and who are able to talk about things that are non-baby-related. Their children are a little older, and they work a lot. They can gossip, go shopping, have lives, and still be interested in their families and be balanced people. This reassures me about working when I have children. I'm not the kind of person whose whole world could centre on being at home with baby. I need more.

I understand why my friends are so wrapped up in their kids and I'm glad they are enjoying this fleeting time in the lives of their little ones. However, right now I desperately need some socialising, particularly with people who don't spend the entire time talking about babies or medical matters.

This is one of my plans/hopes for this year.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One week

I have one week to go.

One week of holidays.

One week until my final year of medical school starts.

Most importantly, I have one week of work left in my former career. After this, I am going to let my registration/license/accredication lapse, because it will cost me nearly a thousand dollars to keep it current and I am not going to use it again.

If worst comes to worst, I can get it up and running again. I'm not completely burning my bridges. Who knows what may happen in the next twelve months. It would just take some paperwork and more money. Professional organisations LOVE getting money.

Having got that comment out of the way, it is quite a significant point in my professional life. I'm letting go of my past, in a way, so that I can move on to another stage of life. REALLY letting go - not just taking a break.

It is a scary and exciting time. One week to go.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I have started reading a little of the neurology text and looking at the latest editions of the NEJM. I'm so happy to be starting the year on medicine. It was my favourite rotation last year. I enjoyed psych, obviously, but my favourite rotation as a student was medicine.

I really like thinking about things, working a diagnosis out in my mind and seeing a patient through their treatment. These are things that both psych and medicine have in common, and it is why I like them both.

I did my last medical rotation at a small hospital, where we got to be part of the team and felt like we belonged and knew everybody. My next medicine rotation is at a huge hospital and I am quite nervous. I think I have built this place up in my mind and so am feeling subconsciously intimidated.

I really need to get rid of this feeling of inferiority. I got through all of third year without needing any re-sits, I have performed consistently throughout my whole course in spite of going through some extremely difficult times, and I am a consistent worker.

I may not be a brilliant uber-genius, but I like to think that I am a solid worker.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to neurology. I just need to stop being nervous about where I'm doing it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Doing the new textbook dance

My Oxford Handbook of Neurology arrived today. I'm excited.

It is my first rotation of the new year. Plus, as I plan on doing psychiatry, neurology is an area in which I will need a solid grounding.

It looks like a nifty little book and I may actually do some pre-reading before starting in two weeks.

The power of invisibility

Having been back at work for a few weeks now, I have worked out a new rule:

The more senior a staff member is, the less likely they are to look through or ignore a person in uniform.

This was particularly shocking for me to experience first-hand, as I went from "doctor" dress one Friday to "uniformed staff" dress on the very next Monday. Suddenly I went from a person who you would look in the eye and smile at on the way past, to being part of the wallpaper.

One thing that I have noticed is that the more senior staff members will still talk to me (without knowing I'm a medical student, although that shouldn't matter) but many of the interns and junior registrars will look straight through me, and one has even rolled her eyes when I show up to do a mobile x-ray. Seriously. She asked me to be there. I was pleasant and professional. She rolled her eyes. Somebody clearly has issues.

I know that this is a generalisation, and there are many junior staff who will talk to everybody they work with. It is just something that I really noticed between one "work" day and the next.