Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

iPhone & O2: Sigh

June 9th, 2009 1 comment

I was, as always, excited at the prospect of another Apple keynote (even without Steve Jobs) yesterday. I was really hoping for some new iPhone hardware with some of those rumoured price cuts.

I was pretty pleased then when I heard the iPhone 3Gs announcement and even more pleased with the price drop of the current iPhone 3G down to $99.

This didn’t last long though when I found out how much of this price cut O2 will be passing on – a whole £2.

Not impressed, I want an iPhone but nothing has really changed following the keynote. Sigh.

Guardian Tech – which has been running an excellent WWDC coverage – has this wonderful reply from O2:

…you’re not going to find a better deal anywhere else.

Funny that, considering they are the only (real) carrier in the UK.

Categories: Geeky Tags: , , ,

Why do we do it?

April 13th, 2009 1 comment

It’s not unusual – I go home or manage to meet up with my family. I’ll usually be presented with a “present” in the form of a cut or bruise from my brother or sister. More recently I’ve had the joy of a rash. These are generally trivial and more of a joke than any serious test of what I’ve learned.

Move up a few generations and things are a bit different. Here I have statins, B-blockers and ACE inhibitors of all sizes. I get updated on any recent changes (whether I want to know or not) and spend a bit of time trying to work out what the trade name actually is. This is fine, I’m (sadly) quite interested in this. I stop myself from making any real comments though – save maybe trying to explain what the drug does. Anything beyond that 1) I tend not to know and 2) don’t want to treat my family anyway.

Unfortunately my restraint doesn’t seem to be shared by my peers. The most recent example of this was one of my colleagues explaining to a relative the findings of a new study. The relative was told they “probably don’t need to be on it” and that it “has these new problems”. More annoyingly, my friend was planning to send the article so that it could be taken to their relatives GP who “might not have seen it”.

I have no doubt that evidence based medicine isn’t practiced as well as it possible could be but this concerns me for different reasons. Firstly, treating family members is not exactly recommended, even by those fully qualified. More than that, however, is the poor GP who is going to be presented with a BMJ article that the patient was told to bring.

It’s confusing for the patient and annoying for the GP. I don’t like it.

This isn’t an isolated incident either. I’ve heard of younger students advising about post-stroke medication for example.

Perhaps we should be taught about where our limits should be as students? I can think of a few sessions that this could fit into.

Categories: Medical, Rant Tags: , ,

Closer to home

February 19th, 2009 No comments

Thankfully this week is the week we changed hospitals for both PBL and clinical practice. My new hospital is considerably closer to my flat and doesn’t cost me a penny to travel to. So far so good, until day 1.

We turn in at 9am to the corridor between two wards. Slowly but surely our numbers swell as we approach 24 students with all our bags and jackets cluttering the reasonably busy corridor. Despite the frequency of people passing us, relatively few give us more than a slight look. After around 10-15 minutes we’re asked who were here to see. The problem? It’s day one and we have no idea.

It’s soon worked out that our consultant is downstairs. Our enquirer mentions he’ll go find out what’s going on. The consultant appears.

“Hello, my name is such-and-such*. I’m who you’re here to see. Just finishing a ward round I should be about 10-15 minutes.”

Off he goes, we’re relatively reassured that someone does care about us to some degree.

15 minutes pass, we wait.

30 minutes pass, we wait…restlessly.

45 minutes pass, by which point a good few more people are wondering why we’re still here.

Finally, our consultant returns. Only an hour of standing in a corridor. Great start.

The next bit is generally more promissing. He takes us around the majority of the hospital showing us wards of interest. For some rather unknown reason he decides to lift my name badge and take a peak at my name. Do I feel threatened or mearly smile it off?

As we cover the important areas and return to pick up our belongings I feel rather mixed about the morning. The orientation was useful but was there really a need to make us stand and wait? Oh well, PBL in the afternoon…

I struggle to find the PBL room but eventually get pointed in the correct direction. Guess the orientation wasn’t too useful after all? Again we gradually increase in size until all seats in the room are filled. Still we’re waiting for our facilitator. 15 minutes tick by. After around 20 minutes we agree that half past is sufficiently long to be waiting. What felt like 29 minutes past arrived and a secretary peaks her head in,

“No-one here to take you yet? Who is it meant to be?’

We mutter some names. It is our first day after all.

“Ok, I’ll go see what I can find out”. Great, now we have to wait.

The allocated facilitator is never found. Our morning consultant arrives, less than pleased, and takes the rather brisk session.

Closer to home I might be but it seems the time spent travelling will now be time waiting.

* – Not their real name…

Categories: Uni Tags: , , ,

Attendance – why bother?

February 2nd, 2009 No comments

Snow - From my window

This was the view from my window today. Whilst it wasn’t particularly bad up here England seems fairly paralysed by the snow.

However, I only had 1 class on today. The problem is this happened to be PBL at the hospital, a 30 minute train trip away. That is, of course, after I get to the station which requires a 15 minute walk.

I have no real problem walking in snow and I knew the train was running so I was pleased to turn up to PBL on time. Out of the 12 of us in the group, 6 started at 9am this week and were all waiting. From the remaining 6 only 1 other was already there. We began the process, full in the knowledge that the remaining 4 almost never turned up on time (a different post!). Expecting to see them stumble in around half past I was astonished to finish (after only an hour, heh) without them either turning up or letting us know.

Who cares?

Pretty much nobody. They’ll have to explain their absence – assuming it even gets logged – but then what? If we had waited for them, we’d be giving up our time to ensure they get some benefits. If they had turned up we’d be expected to update them on what had been said – we’d still be losing time.

I’m not going to admit I attend everything perfectly but if snow is the excuse, and it probably will be, I’d be pretty annoyed. They all get transport and my 45 minute trip would probably take them closer to 20 – for free too – it just makes my effort seem pointless.

I’ve got 2 of them tomorrow for GP, will they show?

Will it snow?

We’ll see.

Categories: Rant Tags: , ,

A bloody week back

January 17th, 2009 2 comments

Since returning to Uni after the holidays we’ve been concentrating so far on haematology – the study of blood related issues. Particularly interesting were the clinical sessions on the ward. Haematology is a tricky speciality where the majority of the really common pathologies – things like anaemia – are handled in an outpatient setting. This makes it pretty difficult for us to see them and get to grips with their care.

Inpatients for haematology usually involve some sort of malignancy and it’s these patients that we’ve been concentrating on recently. Due to the set up of our sessions we have different tutors on each session with very minimal communication between tutors. This meant that we ended up bugging a poor patient twice and yet it continues to amaze me how reasonable patients are when 6 students turn up at their bedside to awkwardly look at them and ask questions. I’d certainly be fed up with it all, even without a cancer raging through my body.

The patient then presented to his GP with increasingly severe headaches. This went on for a while without much relief. A sweeling was eventually present around and behind the ear. Originally believed to be an abcess in the brain it was only when a biopsy was taken that it became clear a lymphoma was the cause. Appropriate treatment has therefore been started and when we visited him for the second time it was clear at least a small reduction in swelling had taken place.

Unfortunately it doesn’t look good. The tumor has spread through the skull bones and a mass is present in the brain. It is possible that treatment may be curative but it’ll be a long haul with multiple rounds of chemo. Fortunately he has relatively few symptoms at the moment. However for a middle aged man to be spending considerable time in hospital is understandably frustrating. I plan to keep track with his progress and see if there is any change.

A much wider reaching topic is the benefit of having good consultant teaching. This only happened on one of our sessions and the contrast is striking. Hopefully it’ll continue for the rest of the year but I don’t really think that’s likely.

I end the week as I started – with yet more blood. This time I’m actually taking it. Whilst it seems like such a simple and generally enjoyable job it suffers under the problems common in the NHS. I work no more and usually less than 8 hours a week. Today I spend a further 3 trying to be told how to do something we never even do. Worse than that, doing so in front of my immediate boss would lead to very disapproving words. It’s a growing circle of red tape. Tomorrow I look forward to a personal interview about some development plan to decide how I will enhance my skills. After how ever long that takes we’ll then still have to get the bloods done by 10:30. It’s no wonder people are fed up – we can’t even do the job we’re there to do. Sigh.

Categories: Uni Tags: , , , ,

Becoming an “expert”

July 22nd, 2008 No comments

So today I found this article which lead me to the rather excellent new facebook design. Applications seem to be back in the proper place (out of view) and I hope it stays that way.

However, this quote from the article (my emphasis), really got me wondering:

Facebook expert Tony Beresford said that the site’s revamp was a positive move.

Just how in the world do you become a Facebook expert? Answers on a postcard please. Google pointed me here which I totally agree with.

Maybe I could be a WordPress expert? Certainly a Mac expert. Perhaps I’m a Scottish culture expert?

Sigh, not going to be reading Sky News again in a hurry,

Categories: Rant Tags: , , , ,

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