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Surviving the SJT

The  SJT is over, hallelujah!

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Situational Judgement Test is a 2 hour and 20 minute paper based assessment for applicants for the UK Foundation Program. It consists of various scenarios that test attributes and skills that will be faced by F1 doctors, and overall score is worth 50 points of the Foundation Program application.

The test was yesterday and I couldn’t tell you how it went tbh. It’s such a subjective test with options that keep you double guessing and doubting yourself, but I finished with five minutes to go, so at least I managed to answer all the questions.

My biggest tip for getting through it would be trying to allocate a maximum of 2 minutes per question, and being strict with that so you don’t go over time. I read Good Medical Practise the night before the exam too, better late than never right? Haha, I read it for the first time only a few weeks ago; I figured after nearly 6 years of medical school, it was about time I had a look at it.

Another tip would be trying not to over prepare for it, because then you start overthinking. I did all the SJT questions on Pastest, the 100 practise questions I got from the MDU course, as well as the two practise papers on the website, so I may have overdone it slightly. I’d say stick to the practise papers because then you know you’re using the “official” sources.

So yeah, that’s it! And now for the wait to find out our allocated deaneries…

In other news, I am absolutely LOVING this new Hillsong tune right now, so so good!

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Module 13 Placement: EADU (Weeks 8 & 9)

EADU is the Emergency Assessment and Discharge Unit, and that was where I spent the last two weeks of my Emergency Care secondary care placement. EADU comes under acute medicine, which involves care of patients who require hospital review and treatment.

It wasn’t too bad you know – my days consisted of clerking patients, which took much longer than I thought it would because by the time I’d looked up previous discharge summaries, blood results, taken a full history, examined, written up the notes, and then found a senior doctor to present to, it was nearly two hours later #LONGFORMAN

I also got a lot of practise with taking bloods though – I was super keen to do as many as I could, and the junior doctors said they actually appreciated it, because it meant they didn’t have to do any while we were there, so it felt nice to know that we were actually helping, as opposed to getting in the way, which we’ve done in previous years.

So what kind of conditions did I see whilst in EADU? A varied mix actually, which was great for logbooks, as I saw patients with pulmonary embolisms, GI bleeds, different forms of chest pain, appendicitis, and interestingly, two patients with the same name and demographics, who were in the same bay next to each other, and they both had spontaneous pneumothoraces! What are the odds??

I’m still yet to get blood cultures, ABG and female catheterisation signed off, as those are the only things I have left. Not feeling too stressed out though, because the deadline isn’t till the 28th of February, which gives me quite a lot of time to get them done. My next module is Student Assistantship, where I will be shadowing a junior doctor properly and pretty much working as one to get ready for being on the wards in August. Exciting times! More on how that goes soon…

In other news, last Friday was not only my last ever PBL session of medical school, it was also my last ever medical school lecture. Ever. It was a bit of an anticlimax – our PBL tutor didn’t turn up, and finishing lectures with ‘Dermatology Emergencies’ definitely wasn’t exciting hahahaha, but yeah, all done!

I just keep thinking back to foundation year/year one me, and how daunting I found it all, so to have made it this far is a miracle tbh. I will never stop being grateful to God for seeing me through, and with only a few months to go till it’s all over, I continue to pray for strength to make it to the end. AMEN TO THAT.

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Module 13 Placement: Weeks 6 & 7 (General Practise)

I have officially come to the end of General Practise placement as a medical student. The next time I will be in GP will be as a doctor (by God’s grace), still can’t believe it!

I actually feel kind of sad, you know. I’ve done a complete 360 from first year, when I said I would never ever be a GP, because I thought it was too dull and not as exciting as working in a hospital. Over the last five years, I’ve slowly come to understand and have more respect for what GPs do because they really don’t get enough credit for how awesome they are.

Think about it- GPs need to have general knowledge of most medical specialities because patients can present with anything, so they need to know enough to refer them to the right department for further investigations. Isn’t that just amazing? So when you think about it this way, consultants in hospital actually have it a bit easier, because they can just stick to knowing all there is to know about their speciality. GPs are awesome.

My med school is nicknamed the “GP Factory” because of how many graduates eventually go into General Practise from here, but I think the amount of exposure we get to General Practise (one day a week of placement in GP surgeries from year 1) is really eye-opening, and it’s made me appreciate it more.

So what did my final two weeks of GP placement consist of? Hot clinics, nurse clinics and case based discussions, such fun!

I think I’ve definitely gotten more confident with seeing patients on my own, assessing them and presenting to our GP tutors – I saw patients with chest infections, ingrowing toe nails, headaches, and various forms of musculoskeletal pain, so lots of variation there. In the nurse clinics, I was able to finally get spirometry and peak flow signed off, and well as surgical scrubbing, gowning and gloving, because I was lucky enough to be in a GP surgery that does minor ops as well, cool!

My cased based discussion was on a very complicated Chronic Kidney Disease patient, but I managed to answer most of the questions I was asked afterwards, and I got signed off as competent too, so yay for that.

On our last day, I convinced her GP tutor to take us to Nando’s for lunch because it was our final day, and he did! What an absolute legend. My last ever GP tutor feedback and report went well too, so thanking God for that. As things stand, my dream job would be as a GP with special interest in paediatrics, so we’ll see how things go…

Nandos

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Module 13 Placement: Surgical On Call and A&E (Weeks 4 and 5)

My week with the surgical on call team was my most chilled week of placement to date – ward rounds and finally getting to do junior doctor jobs. I realised quite quickly that I’m not as good at venepuncture as I thought I was… turns out when you don’t do bloods for a long time you kind of get not-so-good at them anymore, who knew?

Luckily there were always bloods that needed doing, and junior doctors that were more than happy for keen medical students to have a go, so I eventually got back into the swing of things. I was also able to practise blood glucose testing and oxygen prescribing, so it was good to get those signed off.

I’ve always found surgery dull though, so surgical on call wasn’t very exciting, but finishing early on the rare day that the junior doctors finished all their jobs by midday was definitely a highlight.

On the other hand, A&E, which I’d always said definitely wasn’t for me, ended up being more fun than I thought it would be. I spent my week there shadowing Physician Associates, who were so lovely and accommodating of me. I was able to clerk, examine and present patients to the PAs, as well as practise more clinical skills, such as injections, cannulation, and ofcourse more venepuncture.

I was in minors, so I saw a lot of ankle injuries, abdominal pain, and some visual loss. The most interesting case I saw was a man who’d accidentally sawed his finger whilst trying out a new saw at work (OUCH), so I got to help out with his sutures. I also got to spend some time in paeds A&E, and that was great because when I did paeds last year, I wasn’t allowed to go to A&E because I was on crutches, so I was happy to finally have the chance to experience it. I think I’m warming up to A&E a bit…

In other news, I went to the MDU SJT course in London last weekend and it wasn’t too bad. Shout out to the SJT team for letting me attend on the 21st, because I accidentally booked for the 7th when I’d meant to buy tickets for the 21st, whoops.

It was a pretty long day, but we went through a lot of practise questions, and then did a mock SJT at the end. Feeling a bit more prepared for the exam in December; still so weird that it counts for a massive 50% of our overall foundation program application score, but I guess that makes me even more determined to do well!

(For anyone who doesn’t know, the Situational Judgement Test is a 2 hour and 20 minute paper based assessment for applicants for the UK Foundation Program. It consists of various scenarios that test attributes and skills that will be faced by F1 doctors, and overall score is worth 50 points of the Foundation Program application. The other 50 points come from the Educational Performance Measure (EPM) score, which is calculated from your overall decile from medical school performance, and any additional educational achievements).

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One Year Post Achilles Rupture

For anyone who doesn’t know, yes, I ruptured my achilles tendon in October of last year. I don’t think I’ve really mentioned it much…

So to celebrate the one year anniversary of that eventful day, I thought it was probably about time I returned the crutches:

And what a year it’s been!

I’m really grateful to God for giving me strength to get through it, and for the wonderful people He sent my way to help me.

I think I’ve grown quite a lot through this journey, and maybe gotten a bit cynical. Being immobile for a while makes you realise you’re actually the only one who makes an effort when it comes to seeing some of your friends, so it teaches you to appreciate the ones that do make an effort.

Shout out to Simbush for encouraging me to celebrate being able to walk again with my first “proper” coffee. What a cutie she is:

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Module 13 Placement: Anaesthetics & ICU (Weeks 2 and 3)

Lowest point of my week with the anaesthetic team was being on the verge of tears because of my cannulation fail in theatre. It’s kind of funny looking back on it now, because I eventually managed to successfully cannulate in ICU; why do I get so emotional over little things?? An age old mystery.

Anyway, the moral of this tale? Clinical skills are all about practise so don’t beat yourself up too much if you don’t get it right the first time… or twenty.

Apart from that though, anaesthetics was pretty fun! We had teaching sessions on the principles of general anaesthesia and drugs involved, and we also got to practise airway management on models, which was nothing compared to doing it for real in theatre – the anaesthetists let me put in laryngeal mask airways like this:

Laryngeal mask in use

The anaesthetists were really nice- I actually got offered a seat in theatre for the first time ever, and that made being in theatre so so much better. I assisted with drawing up drugs and sedating patients, and it made me realise that I prefer orthopaedic procedures because they’re way more straight forward. Maybe it’s because first year was the only year I really made an effort with understanding anatomy…

ICU was a bit less fast paced – with no more than 10 patients at a time, and at least one nurse per patient, so there wasn’t as much for me to do. I was mostly observing what they did, but I got the chance to put in a male catheter and help with central line insertions, so again that was pretty good. I kept getting asked if I was a college student on work experience though, so the baby face strikes again…

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Nigerian Independence Day Celebrations 2018

October 1st is Nigerian Independence Day, with this year marking 58 years since Nigeria’s very own Brexit (waHEY). As I’ve done over the last couple years, I made some Nigerian food and invited friends over to my house to celebrate, and it was so much fun!

Shoutout to my brother and his girlfriend for coming all the way from Nottingham, and to my housemates for getting making an effort with it all. Oh what a night! 🙂

(And in other news, today I ran for the first since I ruptured my achilles almost a year ago. Yay for progress, and thanking God for the light at the end of the dark tunnel that my impairment caused).