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Getting on

January 18th, 2010 No comments

It’s been a while since my last blog post and things are certainly moving on. In just over a year’s time I’ll be sitting my finals – this is quite a scary thought!

Before then I have to try and learn as much as I possibly can (and hope I don’t miss anything that comes up). The problem I’m finding is the lack of exam this year has left me a bit aimless. I certainly don’t enjoy exams, but they do make you learn. I have many ideas about how I would change the course set up, but that’s another post.

My current block placement is in general practice. Last year I really liked my attached GP placement – it was small and friendly. We got specific teaching and there was lots of time to discuss things. Ok, so I only went there every 2 weeks but this year I simply feel much more of a burden on the practice. So much so, my timetable is fairly laughable. This Wednesday, for example, I’ve been told to go to reception in the afternoon. Sigh.

This shouldn’t be taken as offensive to receptionists (who, I’m sure, are frequent readers!) but I simply don’t think I’m really going to get much out of it. My computer skills are, I believe, fairly good and I don’t think they want to spend time teaching me their system just so I can answer some phones.

All in all I’m finding life as a student pretty annoying at the moment. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know anywhere near enough to be “out in the wide world” but I often wonder whether I’d be feeling the same at different hospitals, medical schools or even in a different country. By far the most enjoyable part of my year so far was the student selected component (SSC) I did in neonatal medicine. I liked the subject, sure, but I also felt like part of the team.

Is this important though? Can I honestly say I learned more there than I have done elsewhere? Difficult to tell.

The flip side to this is how will I feel when I’m actually not a student any more? At the moment I think (and hope) i’ll enjoy it but time will tell. In the middle of all of this, thinking about jobs is something I feel I should be doing. Certainly it’s still early but I have many things to consider.

Firstly, do I want to think about an academic foundation post? This is a tough one. It may help balance the fact I didn’t intercalate and I certainly have an interest in teaching and (clinical!) research. But is this post necessary? Will it help? More importantly, do I stand a chance? A great proportion of people in my year have a intercalated (or other) degree. They will surely be more preferentially linked to one of these jobs. Another concern is the actual rotations themselves. Should I pick an alternative I’m more likely to end up doing things in the foundations years that are more towards what I currently would like to specialise in. This is something I think is now very important, since we don’t have a lot of time to search around lots of specialities.

However, academic foundation posts don’t recruit through the standard method. I’ll need to decide before the summer whether this is something I want to do or not.

Llots to consider. Another worry niggling away at me is whether I’ll be able to stay in Scotland at all (assuming I apply for a traditional programme). If so, where abouts? If not, where else? My current academic standing isn’t great and the talk about changing the system could be either good or bad. Ideally I want to be in the West of Scotland and certainly Scotland as a foundation school was under subscribed this year. Lets hope it stays the same!

Got a few other things I want to write about – UKCAT for one and then something geeky. Just need to find the time!

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