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Module 10 Placement: Week 2

Guess who’s now on 50% weight bearing??

I had the first of the wedges removed from my boot yesterday, so I can start to put a bit more weight on my healing leg, yay for progress!

Second week of paeds placement has seen me battling an awful cough and cold, which hasn’t been great, but lozenges and water have kept me going. I’ve mostly spent my time in various clinics, but I’m still enjoying it though, so I haven’t been put off quite yet.

Neuro clinic was particularly interesting because I saw 14 year old twins with Charcot Marie Tooth, so that was pretty cool. Their personalities reminded me a lot of The Keen One a.k.a Kenny and I, so getting to examine them was really fun.

Paediatric Physio was a bit of a bummer because a lot of the patients didn’t turn up for their appointments, but I got to sit in a Talipes Clinic and watch as they put a Ponseti method cast on the patient’s legs, so it wasn’t too bad.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to do a paediatric simulation session with reduced mobility/on one leg, you’re in the right place because it’s actually not too bad! I was hopping all over the place (my balance has gotten quite good over the last few weeks), but doing an ABC assessment was okay. So I’m feeling a bit less stressed about being on crutches for the OSCE.

Prescribing will always be my Everest, but getting there slowly…

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Module 10 Placement: Week 1

I’ll start with the less cheerful stuff, because I might as well get it out of the way.

The lowest point of this week was crying in the doctors office. I was aching all over from hobbling from our clinical skills building to the ward for an impromptu ward round, which I was 20 minutes late to. I absolutely hate being late to things so that made me feel crap, I’d just had an IV drug session that didn’t go too well, and I was just so frustrated by my immobility, because I’d thought that having the cast off would give me more freedom. I’m still on crutches, so yeah, that sucked.

And now, on to the good things.

I LOVE PAEDS.

This is definitely what I want to do because I’m really enjoying it so far, and for the first time ever, I’ve wanted to stay longer in clinics. I just love how varied it is, because paediatrics covers such a wide age range, so I’ve seen different presentations and conditions on the ward and in clinics.

I just love kids so much! Paeds is definitely making me broody, but I’ve always enjoyed working with children. Having a younger brother and young cousins, as well as being a Sunday school teacher in the past, has given me a lot of experience with being around young children, so interacting with and examinining them comes a bit easier to me.

Being on crutches for the placement I’ve been looking forward to most sucks, yes, but I can start doing some toe touch weight bearing now, so less stress on my wrists on the crutches, yay!

I continue to be blown away by the thoughtfulness of people towards me; from York Girl’s car lifts (so blessed that we’re in the same group), to the patience and understanding of consultants when I arrive late, and the clinical skills staff putting out chairs with pillows on them for me in teaching sessions, everyone has been really kind.

Scrubs and Crutches

We’ve had quite a lot of teaching on Safeguarding Children and Non-Accidental Injury this week, which has been pretty heavy and harrowing, but ofcourse, very important.

Another low part of this week was getting told off and asked to leave theatre, as the Sister nurse said me being there on crutches was a health and safety hazard, and that it was wrong of me to come. I tried to explain to her that the medical school and surgeon I was following had okayed it, but she wouldn’t budge and kept telling me to leave.

As you can imagine, this made me quite upset, and I got teary again because I don’t take well to being shouted at unfairly. It was particularly frustrating because I’d arrived just before 7am to follow a patient through their journey before and after surgery, so I was missing him being put under anaesthetic.

I was found by the consultants in my teary state, and they got really annoyed at the Sister’s dismissal of me. So they called a meeting with her team and fought my corner, arguing that it was unfair for me to miss out on important teaching when I was in no one’s way in theatre. They took full responsibility for any repercussions that might come about from me being in there, and even provided a stool for me to sit on, so that I could be comfortable as I watched the procedure.

I was just speechless and blown away by kindness again, how nice of them, right?

I was super proud of myself for managing to fit into scrubs- my first time wearing trousers in over a month. Can you tell that these are extra extra large bottoms that I’m wearing to fit my boot??

Scrubs and Crutches 2

Overall week 1 of paeds has been quite eventful; can’t wait to see what next week will bring!

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Surviving 3rd Year of Medical School

I have cried more this year than any other year so far, fact. To say that I found year 3 difficult would definitely be an understatement, because it seriously drained me.

So when I checked my results and saw that I passed everything, I was too shocked to cry. All I could do was thank God because it was really a miracle that got me through those exams. Especially the written papers- the year 3 short answer paper still makes me cringe when I think of it.

On reflection, there are a couple of things I could have done differently to make this year a bit easier for myself…

1. Taking on a student job in the toughest year of med school, really, Tai? I did enjoy being a student caller, but I didn’t have to do as many shifts as I signed up for, and this was something that my boss only decided to tell me at the end of the campaign. Not so great.

2. Should’ve started revising earlier. I only really got into revision a couple of weeks before exams, so if I’d properly started over Easter like I’d planned, I would have been under less pressure towards the end.

3. Pastest is so much better than Pasmed for practise questions, and is so worth the money. I regret only getting it in June; so much wasted time!

4. Saying yes too much due to my fear of missing out (FOMO) cut into my revision time a lot. I need to bring back year 1 antisocial Tai during exams, because she was so much more on it.

5. Anatomy. And that’s all I have to say about that.

I’m sure there are other things I’ve missed out, but those are the main things I can think of for now. Ahh, 3rd year was definitely no joke, but it really made me trust in God’s will more, because I was comforted by the reminder that no matter what happened, He has a plan for my life.

My family and friends were also a great source of encouragement too, so I’m grateful to have them. Shout out to my housemates- from baking, to crappy TV (I genuinely enjoyed Love Island), to OSCE practise, and conversations in the kitchen, they have been so great, and I really don’t appreciate them enough.

Oh and before I forget: I was a really bad friend to someone who I really respect and count as one of my closest pals. So Samirah, here is another apology for the last day of term. It was really crap of me and I totally deserved your wrath.

So… yeah. My name is Taiwo and I’m a 4th year medical student. COOL.

P.S- I was recently informed that googling ‘manual handling’ has brought quite a few people in my year to this blog. I didn’t know what to say to that, and I still feel a bit awkward about it to be honest, but hi guys! Thanks for stopping by, I guess?

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Module 6 Placement (Renal, Urology & Endocrine)

The last four weeks of placement have been very draining. Early buses and days filled with teaching, ward rounds and clinics have made it difficult for me to find time to revise for end of year exams, so my hopes of being able to post more frequent blog updates were dashed. Apologies to my keen readers, I can still see how many people are reading my posts, so I appreciate the views!

Anyway, how was placement? Well I’m still not a fan of the kidneys, but I don’t hate them as much as I did before. Nephrologists are pretty dang smart and seem to just have all the knowledge, so they’re pretty cool. One of the consultants we had teaching with spent one session going round the group, asking us questions individually, so that was very intense. The same consultant also put me on the spot during a ward round and asked me to take blood from a patient. I haven’t practised venepuncture since last year, so I was quite nervous, but luckily the patient had good veins, YAY.

Urology was very … meh. So many testicles and penises, and just no. Definitely not for me. I finally know the function of a scrotum though, so yay for that? Highlight of urology was getting to catheterise an actual patient in theatre, which was quite cool. Again, I was put on the spot by the surgeon, so I was very nervous because everyone was watching, but I got it in the urethra in one go, YAY.

(P.S. Shout out to the clinical skills tutor at the hospital I was in for being such a total babe, and I will explain why in another post, stay tuned x)

Finally, diabetes and endocrine. I really like endocrine – all the different axises and feedback mechanisms can get quite confusing not going to lie, but it all makes sense when you sit down and think things through. I find it similar to haematology in how it involves a lot of data interpretation and it’s a bit more chilled out, so I really enjoyed it. Diabetes was more dull because the diabetic clinics got quite repetitive, but the antenatal diabetes clinic was a particular highlight. SO MANY CUTE KIDS.

In other news, today was my end of module OSCE, which included stations on catheterisation, cannulation, data interpretation, as well as a shared decision communication skills station on dialysis. Overall it wasn’t too bad; there was definitely one station that I know I could have done better in, and I made some silly mistakes in other stations, but I’m glad it’s over and I can focus on written exams next week. Jesus, take the wheel!

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I Hate The Kidneys (And Other Epiphanies)

Okay, hate might be a bit of a strong word. But I’m definitely finding renal physiology challenging. VERY challenging. Some of this stems from how I didn’t do A Level Biology, so I feel a bit behind on some of the basic kidney physiology, and I’ve had to do some catching up.

It’s not been too bad though; KhanAcademy videos have been very helpful, and I’ll even admit that I started with GCSE Bitesize and A Level textbooks to get to grips with the very basics, so those have been quite useful too. 

Epiphany 2: When you start questioning whether or not you need more than 4 hours of sleep is when you know you really need to go to sleep.

The above is quite self explanatory to be honest. New lows for me this term.

Epiphany 3: I am very irritable on limited sleep.

This is linked to epiphany 2, and it’s not much of an epiphany because I already knew this, but my cranky levels have sky rocketed this semester. I think it’s because I’ve been sleeping even less than normal, and when I’m tired I find most things annoying. Seriously. From people breathing too loud, to the way they talk; the most irritating thing is when people ask me if I’m okay. The frustrating thing is that I know that I’m being unreasonable and ridiculous, which makes me annoyed with myself, and then the whole cycle starts again.

Epiphany 4: I don’t like being set up with people.

It makes me feel uncomfortable when people who don’t know me well talk about my love life (or lack of one), and there are few things that put me off someone more than when I feel like I’m being pressured. I’m very much a ‘let the chips fall as they may’ person. 

Epiphany 5: I have missed blogging.

I take breaks from here when life gets hectic, and I feel like there are too many people in my head for me to honestly convey my thoughts. I’m feeling better though, so here’s to more frequent updates in the future, she blogged optimistically. 

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Module 8 Placement (Gastro) & End of Term

In the four years that have passed since I started this blog, I think this is the longest I’ve gone without an update.

To say this semester has been busy would definitely be an understatement, but I’m home now (YAY), and now have more free time (YAY again), so I can go back to blogging; I’ve really missed it.

A lot has happened in the last month, so I’ll start with some highlights from gastro secondary care placement:

Getting to scrub in and help out in theatre was really fun! It was useful to practise scrubbing in properly for the first time since first year, and the consultant we were with was very patient, such a nice man! The procedure was a panproctocolectomy (removal of the whole colon), and it was quite the procedure- so. much. blood.

I was absolutely grilled on CT interpretation during one of our sessions, and I never got to thank one of my colleagues, who sneakily whispered answers to me, saving me from embarrassment in front of everyone. The person probably didn’t think much of what they did, but it was much appreciated, and meant a lot.

We got to clerk patients from A&E when I stayed out of hours, and this put us on the spot because we had to present our findings to the consultant, and come up with management plans. I felt more junior doctor than medical student that evening, and it made me so excited to graduate and start doing it properly!

In a liver disease clinic, I watched the consultant give a fantastic explanation of Hepatitis C to a patient, and it was truly the best information giving I have ever seen. SO GOOD. The clinic also made me realise that I’d been quite judgmental about IV drug users in the past, so meeting an actual drug user completely shattered my misconceptions and prejudice.

I’m definitely not a natural at suturing- I struggled initially, and it took me a while to get the hang of it, but I’m think I’m there now… well, sort of.

Suturing

We received the results of our OSCE today, and I passed, HALLELUJAH. I’m just so relieved, because the OSCE was the toughest one I’ve had to date; suturing and ERCP interpretation were particularly not great, and not going to lie, there were definitely some tears afterwards, so I’m just grateful to God that overall it was okay.

What else have I been up to? Well the annual charity fashion show was last month too, and I modelled for New Look and the Nigerian Society, and it was so much fun!

New Look 2017Nigerian Society 2017

I’m also finally done with being a student caller for the year, and we managed to raise over £180,000 for various programs across the university, so I was honoured to a part of it all.

Boy am I glad the term is over though! With work and placement and volunteering and revision and well, socialising, ofcourse, it’s been very draining, so looking forward to relaxing over the next week at home 😀

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That Time Embryology Made Me Cry

Yes, this actually happened.

It was last week, my PBL was on the embryology and functional anatomy of the rectum, and nothing was making sense. Hours passed and I’d not written much; I had numerous books out, embryology websites, and even Youtube videos up, but everything they said seemed like a different language. This was when I began to panic.

I was gripped with fear like I’ve never been before. And all my medical school insecurities came out in full force:

“If you can’t understand the embryology, do you really understand any other part of medicine?”

“Ofcourse you don’t get it- you had to do a foundation year so you’re not even a proper medic”

“It’s only luck that’s gotten you this far, and everyone will soon see how much of an imposter you are”

“You’re probably going to fail this year.”

All of this was going through my head, and it was awful. My room started to feel very small, looking at my blank Word document made me feel like I couldn’t breathe, and my chest felt like it was being squeezed.

So what did I do next? Hint: It’s mentioned in the title of this post. I cried.

You see, I debated blogging about this for a while, but I thought it was important to talk about this side of medical school. Obviously I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, feeling like an imposter is a huge part of my med school experience. I find it hard to shake off the feeling that everyone is much smarter than me, and that I’m just good at tricking people into thinking that I’m smart too.

That was probably why not understanding my PBL caused me to react like that. It didn’t help that earlier that day, I’d had some scary talks about third year exams and how tough they are, so that just added to my worries. It wasn’t the first time I’d come across a topic I didn’t understand, but it was definitely the first time I’d felt like I couldn’t breathe because of it. And that was what made it scarier.

A call from the Keen One a.k.a Kenny was exactly what I needed. She gave me some tough love, and reminded me of 2 Timothy 1:7. She also reminded me that of course I’m going to struggle if I try and do it all alone, and that it was by God’s grace that I got on the course in the first place, so I should stop freaking out and take things one day at a time.

She then got me to close my laptop, go to bed, and go through the embryology with a fresh mind in the morning. My sister is my rock, and I would honestly be so lost without her.

So, to anyone else who struggles with med school insecurities and fear of failure like I do, this is a post to say that you are not alone.

(P.S- If anyone was wondering, I got my PBL work done, and it was submitted two whole days before the deadline. Tai (and God’s help) 1 – 0 Embryology).