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Remembering That Cadavers Were People Too

 Every year, my medical school has a memorial service in honour of the people who donated their bodies. Their friends and family are invited, and students are given the option to attend to show respect.

I was one of the students who volunteered to go, and I’m really glad I went because it really was an experience. We got to hear the names of the donors for the first time, and that was when it really hit me that they had been actual living, breathing people, who’d had lives, and made memories, and had meant a lot to their loved ones.

People in my year spoke about how grateful we all were for the opportunity to have actual bodies to dissect, because we really do learn so much more that way- it makes such a difference to see structures in person.

I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must have been for the friends and family of the donors, to not have been able to get closure from a proper funeral. The fact that they made that sacrifice for our learning, really made me realise how privileged we are to get to study anatomy like this.

John 15:13 says, “There’s no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” but I think continuing in death to help strangers goes even further than that. And that is something I will never take for granted again.

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My First Committee Position

I’m the new Charities Co-ordinator for a society that raises money to improve the lives of children overseas. We choose different organisations to send money to each year, and it is my job to keep in contact with charities the society is supporting, update on how funds are being spent, and research new charities to get involved with.

We had our first committee meeting this week, and it was great to meet everyone properly and pitch ideas for next year. Not going to lie, it did worry me a bit that what people seem to care most about is the fashion show that the society puts on. Yes, that’s the most well known means of fundraising, but surely we should also focus on raising awareness of the charities and not just modelling? Well it’s still early days, so maybe I’m worrying for nothing.

In other news, Friday’s anatomy exam was… okay. I didn’t do too bad in it, and for that I thank God! I now know the areas I need to revise more, so I’ll be working on those for the summative exams in June. Celebrated getting through anatomy with a foundation year medics reunion BBQ, and it was super cute:

foundation meds BBQ
Module 2 secondary care placement starts on Monday, BUZZING.

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SAM & The End Of Module 2

We’ve come to the end of Module 2, so we’re all done with locomotion, and it’s gone by so quickly! It was also our last PBL session of year 1 this week, but I don’t feel as sad about it as I did this time last year during the foundation year, because with a month of secondary care placement coming up, I know I’ll still see my PBL group a lot.

Next week is revision week, and I plan to use that to finish my notes, so that they’ll be ready for me to revise with during placement. I won’t make the mistake I did last term by not being prepared for clinics; pretty sure I won’t get away with, “I don’t know, we haven’t learnt that yet” when we’ve finished all our teaching for the year… Yeah, I don’t think the doctors would be very impressed.

We also have a formative anatomy exam, so I have a week to learn revise the anatomy we’ve done this year. Yaaay… On a positive note, I can now draw the brachial plexus, so at least the Easter holidays weren’t totally unproductive.

In other news, we had a talk on SAM on Tuesday, and I am so excited for it. What is SAM, you ask? Well SAM stands for Studies Allied to Medicine, and for the first time in my medical school’s history, it is being offered from second year. SAM is 10 weeks of 2 hour sessions that gives students a break from lectures, as we get the  chance to study something outside the course.  The options available for next year range from languages like French, Spanish, German, British Sign Language, to Politics and Global Health, as well as Art, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and more randomly, Clowning. Yupp, you read right- clowning. As in, learning the skills involved in becoming a clown. We choose our top three and get allocated one to do.

So guess what’s going to be my number one choice?

Yupp, you guess right… Clowning ofcourse! I think it sounds so fun! I want to go into Paediatrics when I’m older, so it’ll be a good way to develop skills like improvisation, communication and comedy, which can later on be applied to consultations with children. Also, I can live out my lifelong dream of being a clown… Win-WIN situation to be honest. I know I’m already a #TOPjoka, but working on my mad skillz to be more hilarious than I already am will be fun, right?

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Anatomy Woes and Physiology Fun

Last week’s PBL theme was on the gastrointestinal system and lucky me got the anatomy of the gastrointestinal system to present. Not going to lie, I did get a bit overwhelmed because I find it difficult to just learn the names of layers and cells and tissues without linking them to anything. That’s just cramming and cramming is BORING. I also didn’t know how much detail I had to go into because the gastrointestinal system includes main organs like the oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine, as well as accessory organs like the pancreas, liver and gall bladder, so going in depth would mean a lot of stuff to know. ARGH.

I managed to stop panicking by reassuring myself that I have 6 years to learn things in more and more detail, as in medical school you’re basically doing the same systems every year, just in more detail as you go along. You don’t need to know everything now, I said to myself, just start with the basics and work your way from there. And that was exactly what I did. So my PBL presentation went well today and ofcourse I had to put a Tai spin on things by making a fun activity sheet for my group, which summarised what we need to know on anatomy of the gastrointestinal system for the exam. I also showed them this video to make things even clearer, as this was what got me started. Bare love for Hank Green.

Anyhowzers I had my last ever Biology lab session yesterday. For anyone who doesn’t know, my pre-med foundation year involves me taking Biology modules to catch up on the A-Level Biology I didn’t do. It was a very fun practical as this week’s lectures are on the circulatory system, so we measured resting and post exercise heart rates and blood pressure using digital blood pressure monitors, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and an automatic pulse rate monitor. SO much fun (especially going on the exercise bike because I can’t actually ride a bike LOL) and the most relevant practical to medicine that we’ve done this year; a fitting end.

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