Monday, June 23, 2008

Everything comes down to...

I think JD and Turk sang it best:

I just finished my 4-week placement in Gastroenterology. Loved it!

Apart from finding it very interesting, it was a great placement because of the doctors on the service. The registrars were so willing to teach - it was really refreshing. Even more refreshing was that the consultants were the same (we just didn't see them as often as the registrars). Each week we (myself and the other 2 students on the placement) were required to present at least one long case to one of the consultants, which was extremely valuable.

And yes, there was a lot of poo. I even saw melaena for the first time. But the weird thing is, I didn't smell it! In fact, although I saw a shitload of poo (hahaha), I don't recall smelling it once. Perhaps I trained my nose somehow? I dunno.

  • Best moment: Every morning, the registrar gave us each a new patient to clerk. We had to take a history and do an examination, and then do a short case presentation to the registrar. It was good to get practice doing short cases, because you have to pick the key information to present, leaving out the extraneous stuff that would come up in a long case. It's similar to how we'll need to present cases when we're working as interns. The other good experience was the outpatient clinic, where we saw new patients who'd been referred to the Gastro team. Again, we took a history and did an examination (and wrote in the patient's notes), and then presented to the registrar or consultant on duty.
  • Weirdest moment: A patient came into the outpatient clinic after some rectal bleeding. I'd finished the history and was about to start the examination, when she said, "I took a photo of it - do you want to see?" How could I say no? She then whipped out a camera phone to show me several photos of a blood-filled toilet bowl.
  • Worst moment: The patient with a blocked biliary tree due to pancreatic cancer, with only weeks to live. However, he didn't know this because his family didn't want to tell him, and he didn't speak English. Big ethical dilemma! The registrar didn't approve, but had respected the family's wishes so far. One of the family members had been doing the translating - the registrar told them that if he felt his words were being mistranslated at all, he'd arrange for an independent translator. Also, he told them that if the patient asked specifically about whether he had cancer, then he would tell him. A very tough situation indeed...
I started my 6th placement today - Cardiology. It's a lot busier than Gastro, but so far very good. I'm going to get a lot of practice taking blood, reading ECGs, and doing long cases.

And how nice is this: the Gastro registrar found out that I was doing Cardiology next, and offered to give me a tutorial on the Cardio examination. Those sorts of offers don't come along very often, so of course I took full advantage of his kindness.

14 weeks till the end of third year!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Detecting a theme...

Following on from my previous post is this article from Stuff White People Like.

I've never corrected the typos on a restaurant or café menu. Though I've definitely thought about it...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pleasantly surprised

I was pleasantly surprised twice today.

Pleasant surprise 1
On Sunday night I forgot to watch Flight of the Conchords, which really annoyed me, so I whinged about it in my Facebook status yesterday. This morning I rocked up to the hospital and ran into one of my uni buddies in the common room. He said, "I've got something for you" and gave me a DVD that he'd burnt - Season 1 of Flight of the Conchords! How nice is that? Then I discovered that he's been getting into How I Met Your Mother and has nearly finished watching Season 1, so I'm going to burn Season 2 for him. I must share the brilliance of the Slap Bet and Robin Sparkles with everyone I know...

Pleasant surprise 2
I arrived at PBL this morning and said hi to my tutor. She's an ED doctor, and very nice. She said "It's nice to see you KT; you're always smiling!" I was amazed to hear that. I've never thought of myself as a very smiley person - if I had to choose I think I'd fall on the side of frowny, not smiley. So it was lovely to hear that someone else thinks I come across as happy. I don't think she would've said the same thing if she'd met me last year...


Life is otherwise going well. I'm insanely busy with work and study - as usual it's too much of the former, not enough of the latter. I'm loving gastroenterology, and will do a full wrap-up when it finishes at the end of next week. I'm dating the guy I met online, who I was "really really looking forward to" meeting in this post - early days, but all is going well so far! Boot camp is fun, and my netball team is on top of the table. And the big news is: my sister is pregnant - first baby in my family! I'm gonna be an aunty!! Woo hoo!!