Friday, September 12, 2008

Quick study break

Well that's it for third year - except for exams of course. I can't believe how quickly these 8+ months have gone! Third year was great because we were full-time in the hospital, getting practical experience. Some rotations were excellent; others were meh. I found that there was a lot of wasted time, standing around waiting for something to happen. (Especially in ED - God I was bored. Other students got to do lots of procedures in ED, but because I started one week after the new interns, they wanted to do all the procedures, which was fair enough.) I was speaking to a fourth year yesterday, and she said the waiting around is even worse in fourth year. Aaagh! When I'm waiting around I always think of what else I could be doing - sleeping, studying, working, relaxing...

As I mentioned previously, my last rotation was supposed to be at a rural location - Shoalhaven Hospital, where Liz went at the start of the year. A week before the rotation began, my clinical school notified me that the rotation had been cancelled. Further investigation revealed that Sydney Uni shouldn't have been sending students there at all this year (a directive came through last year about this), because Wollongong Uni students were starting their clinical placements this year. I guess the Shoalhaven teaching staff finally got sick of it and unfortunately I (and a couple of other students) missed out. I was very cranky.

So that meant I had to choose another rotation at short notice. There wasn't much left - I ended up choosing Immunology and Infectious Diseases. I'm glad I chose it because it's not one of my strong areas, and the consultants were all fantastic teachers. Being the last rotation, I wasn't quite as diligent as I have been during the rest of the year. In the second week I was very sick and missed a whole week of uni, and then I attended the bare minimum in the third and fourth weeks. For that reason I won't give you the highlights and lowlights of the rotation.

There are pros and cons re. the cancellation of my rural placement. Pros include not having to drive back for my sister's wedding and my netball grand final, being around for all the teaching that the clinical school crammed into the last month, being around for the final sessions with my PBL group and Patient-Doctor group (this worked out well because I ended up being in charge of collecting money and purchasing gifts for our tutors), being around for our formative surgery assessment (it was on Monday, and I passed - hopefully a good indication for the upcoming Barrier), being avaialable to work, and being in Sydney for various social activities.

Cons include missing out on seeing my many relatives in and around Nowra (it's my Mum's home town), missing the chance to experience a good mix of general medicine on my placement, missing the opportunity to get out of Sydney for a while, and missing the chance to get some decent Barrier study done, without the distractions of home.

I think it turned out OK in the end.

My sister's wedding was fantastic. She looked like a 1930s movie star! On the day of her wedding it poured rain and was freezing cold. However just as the ceremony was about to start (about half an hour before sunset), the sun came out and it was beautiful! (But still bloody cold.) There were no family dramas on the night. However there have been family dramas since, which I won't detail here. The result of these dramas is that I've barred my Dad, which is sad but unfortunately necessary for me right now. Last weekend I boycotted Father's Day for the first time ever.

Last but not least, netball! I started getting sick a couple of days before my sister's wedding, and by the end of the wedding night I was coughing like crazy and had lost my voice. My netball grand final was the next day, and I was not well at all - and I play Centre. We lost by 2 points, which was an excellent effort considering a couple of us were sick. Bummer getting that close though.

Right, that's enough procrastination for today. Time to get back to the study. Exams in 10 days!