Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Isn’t it summer?

July 21st, 2010 1 comment

It is, apparently, July. Looking out my window it could be anything from November to March without too much convincing. Nevertheless, being July, means that I increase age yet another year. I’m now a few days into being 22 and I dislike it. I feel old.

On the other hand, this time next year (hopefully) I will have qualified and am sure to be even more terrified about being 23 and about to start looking after people. Ill people. Oh dear!

I’m also approaching the rough half mark in my summer “holiday”. In truth I barely feel like I’ve had many days of holiday, going from a final morning of surgery to Edinburgh airport in the evening. This was followed by a good deal of travelling then a jet lagged car trip in the baking Florida heat. Florida theme parks followed which, while enjoyable, are not quite that relaxing! Take this for example:

The picture doesn’t do it justice. It does film you throughout the ride, which was great to watch, but ridiculously expensive to buy. Getting about Harry Potter land also requires a great deal of patience and a hat to wipe the sweat away.

While I was only there for a week, it was great to get out of the country. My poor flatmate has tagged his elective on to the end of 4th year and effectively hasn’t had a break yet. Since January.

Back to my non-holiday, I returned Sunday lunch time, barely awake, to return to Glasgow the following day. So began the podcasting! This has involved my writing, acting in and editing clinical procedures. Indeed, I started acting the morning I returned from working T in the Park. With only a week with the film crew, we had lots to get through. It carried me through to my birthday weekend rather quickly.

And so here I am and after next week I return to medicine as I begin my elective in Yorkhill. I wish I could’ve gone away, especially since summer seems to be over here. I still have over a year to go though and the money to support me is a never ending hunt. It’s best I stayed, I’ll just have to make the most out of it.

And nod and smile when people recall their elective holiday come September. Sigh.

Almost there…

June 21st, 2010 No comments

The end is in sight. After many many weeks of the 4th year, I have only a few days to go. I still need to be signed off for this block but I’m hopeful that will happen without a problem in the next day or so.

It will be then that I can finally have an attempt at a summer holiday. In that, I’ve almost already failed. My August is taken up as my elective – which I’m actually quite looking forward to. And, as per posts below, I have now lost my July to the inescapable quest for money to push me through.

It is with this knowledge that I approach my best hope for a holiday with some cautious optimism. This time next week I shall be suffering the Florida heat and hopefully enjoying the break. As my first time abroad in a bit too many years, I think I’ve deserved it. A number of my friends, those who’ve went down the path I had blocked, have already had more of a holiday than I have or will have in the near future. Such is my fortune and so I must endure my jealousy.

With only a week in Florida to escape, there won’t be much chance to try and forget about that, but I’ll do my best.

And after it’s all over and we eventually return to face a final year, the threat of exams shall start. It is amongst those rather darkened clouds that I have to deal with job applications. This in itself is an interesting subject. Over the past months and particularly weeks I have been contemplating applying for an Academic Foundation programme. The odds were very much against me, the thought of actually filling in the application form was embarrassing – considering the blanks I would have left. The benefits were not all that clear and the possibility of leaving where I’m comfortable was not appetising. It is with all this in mind that I have not even registered to apply for this post. Have I made a mistake? Perhaps. Maybe I will end up regretting it, if I end up on Shetland or somewhere else I have no desire to go. On the whole though, I think it was the right choice and we’ll just see what happens.

This I have to face and it’s not as far away as it seems. For as much as I long for a return to normality, I know it will come all to quickly. And then next year, after exams and the stress of jobs, on the longest day of 2011, perhaps I can be the one making my friends jealous that they have still got a few days left…

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Off at a tangent

June 11th, 2010 No comments

So, unlike that interview from a few years past, I actually got this job. It’ll be a logistical headache but otherwise should be good.


Categories: Geeky, General Tags: ,

Completing the loop

June 11th, 2010 No comments

No, I’ve not done an audit. That remains one of the tick boxes I haven’t managed to tick over the last four years. With any luck, it won’t matter too much.

Instead I’m about to prepare for the start of my final year in the same way as I ended my first – I’m going for an interview. This will be the third interview since I’ve started Uni and almost certainly will be the last before a proper job. Indeed, I don’t even get an interview for my first two years, so this will be the first one until I apply for specialist training – scary! Although this sounds rather trivial, it has a bit of a deeper meaning which I’ll leave for a later post.

The job is something I have a bit of an interest in – mixing both medicine with some IT and creating some podcasts to teach clinical skills. I think the end idea is to try and research how effective they are. This ticks another of my interests – medical education. All seems rather perfect! They want someone working through the summer for a minimum for 4 weeks. This is where I start to worry a little. Between coming back from Florida and starting my elective, I do have 4 weeks free. However, I’ve also volunteered to go to T in the Park with the Red Cross. Hopefully it shouldn’t clash too much, but I don’t really want to have to pick between them. I personally don’t see a terrible amount of people applying for this, but I shouldn’t get complacent. We’ll see how it goes!

In the mean time, I’m back in Glasgow for the Snow Patrol concert on Saturday. The flat is empty apart from me and I’ve taken to putting things on the wall to keep me sane. Pictures when it starts to look impressive!

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

The beginning of the end

May 28th, 2010 No comments

I have wondered recently whether there is any point in keeping this blog alive. I haven’t written anything now for a number of months, despite having a lot more free time than usual. In the end though, I’ve been surprised at the number of people reading this and, at least for a little while, this has sparked me into writing again.

As I write this I’m finishing the first week of my last block of my penultimate year at University. I can’t help but think this really is the start of the end of this part of my life. I’m no fan of change and I’m not looking forward to the loss of my current comforts in just over a year’s time. All the same, I really am fed up of being a student and really can’t wait to start a proper job.

Before that emotional rollarcoaster starts, I have the warm-up ride of this summer to get through. I can’t recall any time over the past few years where I’ll be spending months without some of the close friends I’m used to being around. Over the next few days and weeks I’m going to have to say goodbye to too many people who I don’t want to go. At least one I’ll probably never see again. I don’t like change.

I have a week abroad to look forward to – this first time in over 4 years(!!) – but before then I still have 4 more weeks of 4th year to get through. Thankfully I’ve moved back home for this month, I’m almost feeling appreciative of my family’s company.

Perhaps what worries me  most is the knowledge that as I clear the summer and normality resumes – which it will, I don’t doubt – the threat of my finals will loom all the more. Revising for them is not something I really want to think about. 255 days to go, don’t you know.

In the end I don’t particularly want to retire this blog, it is a source of some amusement looking back on it. I feel, however, as I head towards the bigger world of work, I can’t really keep this going forever. It is my aim then to keep on until that point, hopefully releasing some of the stress here. If you know me in the flesh, know it is incredibly embarrassing when someone mentions this blog. That is a self-confidence issue I haven’t yet resolved.

Let the end begin.

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Sorry it’s been quiet

November 25th, 2009 2 comments

As has been pointed it has been a (really) long time since I made a post.

So what’s been happening?

I’ve finished neonatal medicine, now switched completely to old-age psychiatry. As I will frequently mention I have no aspirations as a future psychiatrist. So this should be a bit of a nightmare for me. Thankfully it’s not quite that bad. Compared to my last block I’ve got a lot more free time to spend (mainly sleeping). Unlike the last block I have to write up roughly 1 case a week. I’m still trying to get used to that. Most others in my year have been doing this for a couple of blocks already. No idea what will happen when someone actually sits down to read these!

Working in an old-age ward is leading me to question the cognitive abilities of my family. I’m questioning whether I can really give them an assessment as a Christmas present?

First aid has again become an increasing part of my free time. Not quite what it once was but for some reason I seem to enjoy it. Maybe I’m just strange, but there you go. Glasgow on Ice is back and I’m spending a few evenings there. Hopefully the rain will eventually stop and we’ll get proper winter weather.

I should probably take this opportunity to mention the efforts the British Red Cross has contributed to the Cumbria flooding. A substantial amount of the rescue equipment and teams has travelled down from Northern Scotland to help. Unfortunately the regular media hasn’t really given much mention to BRC. The same should be said of the International Rescue Crops who are another voluntary agency responding to some considerable disasters in and out of the UK. Personally I hadn’t even heard of these guys until my major incidents module and was quite surprised to hear what they can do. Plus, given the origins of their name, I was quite interested in them. If you haven’t heard of them either, go have a look at what they do.

Not trying to become a complete charity case but it is impressive that there are people out there who respond to such incidents without even a bit of worry about recognition.

Closer to home I’ve recently been involved in the admissions committee for applicants in 2010. I don’t want to mention too much of it here since it is an ongoing process but I will probably spend a bit of time on the UKCAT in the near future. Interviews started today (I believe) so good luck to those who have them!

Unfortunately I’m quite a big X Factor follower. Personally I’m a Joe or Stacy fan, simply because they can sing. Loved Lucie, sad to see her go. It’s worryingly close to the final now, which means it’s almost Christmas. Shopping? Done none of that! Tomorrow is fortunately pay day so I should maybe start thinking about it.

That’s quite a good bit of catching up. I’ll try in future to do some smaller posts more frequently. Even though I say this it probably won’t happen.

Categories: General, Uni Tags: , ,

Keeping busy…really

October 6th, 2009 1 comment

Despite having completed 1/10th of my final teaching blocks left before I (hopefully) graduate, I haven’t really done much medicine yet. The start of this week seems to have changed all that. Yesterday was one of my longest days since exam revision. Somewhere along the lines of:

8am – leave flat

9am-12pm – Interprofessional stuff with the pharmacists (was better than expected, think I had a lucky group)

12pm – Lunch & walk back to the west end

2pm-5pm – Radiology lectures >.<

5:05pm – Grabbing a chocolate bar

5pm-?pm – Lecture on more major incident stuff & debrief of recent exercise

6pm – Red Cross meeting

6:45pm – Time I actually left other meeting to go to Red Cross meeting

7:50pm – Time I left Red Cross meeting

8:15pm – Home

All in all, that’s a lot for someone who’s been in for a couple of hours a week for the past month. Sadly I seem to like days that are busy and I worryingly hope it’ll be like that for a while starting tomorrow.

I’m expecting a lot from this next block (neonates). I’m hoping to try and get an audit completed since this is a common thing post-qualification and I’ve done nothing of the sort so far. There is also a bit of hope that I can experience some of the neonatal transport in the West…we’ll see.

Out of Uni I’ve been busy 1) trying to get an update of my IPB mod released, 2) doing some first aid for the Red Cross and 3) trying to produce some sort of fancy booklet for a conference. Not to mention sorting out what I’m doing for my elective. All this whilst going to the gym as frequently as I can (I’ve become a fan of the 8-9am slot!). To counter my gym habits I’ve become a keen baker too, serving a batch of cookies into work last weekend.

Kind of means this blog is being abandoned (sorry!) but I’ll keep doing the best I can.

Categories: General, Uni Tags: , ,

Found a car…ish

August 15th, 2009 1 comment

As I mentioned on my earlier post I was looking for a car which I eventually found a week and a bit ago. It’s a nice cheery red Nissan Micra:


Not perfect, far from it, but one that should last me a little while anyway. Or so I thought, anyway, until this morning when the thing refused to start. I’ve just tried it again and, although very close, still no joy. I don’t know if the fair bit of rain yesterday has cause it or whether I’m just unlucky but either way it’s rather annoying. Very annoying this morning infact, since I had to go get money for a taxi to get to work.

Take it back, try and fix it, I don’t know. Guess this is the welcome message from the car owners club. Sigh.

Categories: General Tags:

Looking for a car

July 28th, 2009 6 comments

For my 21st birthday last week (which I forgot to blog about) the plan is to get a car. Particularly useful since I’m now going into 4th year and for my first (proper) block I’ll need to be at Inverclyde frequently. I also kind of need it for work at the weekend. Managed to get completely soaked on Sunday in the supposed summer weather.

Unfortunately, finding a car isn’t as simple as it should be. Conditions are:

  • Under £1k
  • Ideally under 100k miles
  • Ideally not much older than 10 years
  • MOT with a good few months left
  • Not French (no offence, they’re just rubbish cars)
  • Within about 40 miles from here

I’ve got August to try and find one, seen a few that I quite the look of but aren’t great. Hopefully I’ll get one soon, will get some nice pics of it for here when I do.

Categories: General Tags: ,

Looking for work

July 21st, 2009 No comments

It will soon be the end of my elective and I will be returning home for the month of August. As such, I’ll be looking at filling my time hopefully by gaining a bit of money in the process. This basically means I’m looking to do a bit of work for around a months duration (obviously it can be less).

The types of things I’d be keen to get involved with include:

  • General web programming (PHP/MySQL mainly)
  • WordPress based sites (looking at anything from plugins, modifications or SEO improvements)
  • Web hosting companies (support over sales ideally, live and/or ticket)
  • Computer hardware repair/upgrade/builds
  • Computer software installations/clean ups
  • At a push – any phlebotomy work

The first 3 I would be happy dealing with anyone around the globe although I’m limited to the English language. The bottom 3 are more location specific, I’m based in Stirling, Scotland and I wouldn’t be too keen to travel far for these.

I have written up some information regarding previous experience in these areas, which I would suggest reading.

Anyone interest should contact me at [email protected]. Anyone who would prefer to call me, drop me an email and we’ll see what we can arrange.

Categories: General Tags:

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