Tuesday, February 26, 2008

i'm such a scaredy-cat i disgust myself.
for every single tutorial we've had so far where we've done short cases, where we take turns to examine patients.

now, i'm the type who believes in going on a rotatory basis. but the rest of them, apparently, don't.

so that means for every single tutorial so far, i have NOT examined patients, i have NOT presented. in short, i have kept my big mouth shut and stood quietly at the side and tried to be a sponge to absorb. i hope i'm learning that way, because, as far as i remember, i didn't use to learn that way! hopefully our learning habits change as we age :D

but that aside, i really need to pluck up my courage and step forward to volunteer myself. so far it's been nothing but a vicious cycle, where i tell myself to be brave and stupid and volunteer for the tutorial, and then i get cowardly and chicken out. afterwhich, i get frustrated with myself for not being brave and beat myself up emotionally and tell myself to be braver at the next tutorial. it's really a vicious cycle and i get more and more stressed each time. it's not doing me any good at all!

but talking to my sister helped! and now i shall chant the mantra that it's ok to be stupid and to volunteer. i hope it works, we've a tutorial tomorrow again! :) wish me luck yes :)
and dear Shrink - your comment on listening to lungs was incredibly helpful! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

i passed! with a B in pathology :) am incredibly happy and thankful on this score!

now, with the ghost of pathology safely behind me (but please don't let me forget too much!) i can safely concentrate on my internal medicine reposting. whew.

i managed to completely fabricate a pneumonia case yesterday - meaning, i knew the diagnosis but couldn't find any signs except shallow breathing, so i made up my own signs of dullness, crackles and increased vocal resonance. i managed to fool my tutor rather well, i must say. he was quite pleased!
unfortunately, this cannot continue if i'm to have any hope of passing my final exams. it simply won't do.

i'm going to be more hardworking and look for people to examine and clerk (a little hard when i don't speak the same language!), and stop going home so early. granted, reading is good, and it IS what my tutor is telling us to do, but at the same time, clinical skills cannot be totally neglected, yes? :)

hope all of you had a brilliant valentine's! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

the results will be out on friday! but if you've overdue library fines, amongst other things, you can't check your results online. i sure hope i've paid my dues!

the tiny hospital (or rather, the geriatric hospital) is simply lovely. there are gardens EVERYWHERE. in fact, it seems as though the whole place is a garden, and the hospital happens to be smack right in the middle of it by chance. there's even a soccer court! i guess they're really trying to encourage everyone to be healthy, doctors included. unfortunately, i suck at all types of soccer, table football included. :(

my friend and i have been assigned to a geriatrics ward! which isn't good for me because i can't for the life of me speak dialects, which means that history taking is completely out for me :( thankfully my friend can manage a little and is a really good-looking boy so all the elderly ladies in the ward enjoy pinching his cheeks and cooing over him whilst i stand to the side and try not to laugh in between asking him to translate my questions.

unfortunately, he has had enough of all this and is determined to avoid getting pinched or patted anymore (i stay wisely further away) so we are going to the male wards to find patients after ward rounds for the next few days. i only hope the elderly men are not as affectionate. or else, i hope they're all gay!

and there's an army ward here too! to my vivid imagination, it's full of hunky soldiers with rippling muscles and 6 packs, all ready to be loved back to health. to my friend, i am simply deluded and he insists its full of malingerers and daft guys who're simply unlucky. either way, maybe we'll venture in there soon! ;)

we've been having such early days! as in, i get to go home for LUNCH. my consultant usually dismisses us after ward rounds, which end at 11 latest (there's only about 12 patients) and we usually hunt around for a bit to see if there's any nice patients who'll talk to us or let us examine them, then we head home for lunch. and this despite my staying almost 2 hours away! i get to eat lunch at 2 plus latest, which is great because i usually hate hospital food. :D
and speaking of which, the canteen here doesn't look too bad, but it's really small. not much choice! so i'm happy to go home for lunch, as you can tell.

there's so so much to read up on, i feel as though i've forgotten ALL my medicine stuff. it seemed much easier 1 year ago! then again, memory erases the bad and keeps the good. anyhow, it's a good reality check as to how much there is to re-learn, or rather, learn, because i'm really doing somethings for the first time.

neuro is terrible as usual, i cannot elicit the right signs, let alone localise the signs or remember the 6 syndromes of 3rd nerve palsy etc etc. neurologists must be an incredibly brilliant bunch! i've a good mind to practice the cranial nerves on my parents everyday, though i don't know how much they'd stand for it. hmmm. but something has got to be done, i really really don't want to risk looking like the stupidest pea in the can when the prof takes us for a neuro tutorial tomorrow.

meanwhile, thanks for all the kind words and encouragement :) it's been a lot of help! :D

Sunday, February 10, 2008

i'm back! :D

we've been busy celebrating a traditional festival and thankfully i've been spared from the usual cheek-pinching by relatives i've not seen in yonks because we've been hermit-ing at home this year. whew.

anyway in other news i've been posted to a small hospital rather far from where i live for my general medicine remedial. it's the smallest major hospital where i live, and is renown for its long-stayers and sizeable geriatric population. not much general medicine there, apparently! but i've heard the doctors are amongst the nicest to be found so hopefully that'll save our sorry arses from a second failure!
to be honest, i'm rather looking forward to it. big hospitals feel rather impersonal sometimes. on the other plus side, there's good food around this small hospital! :D food is always always a plus point - hospital canteen food is usually not much fit for eating. :\

so i'm off to go study a little on neuro exam so i won't look like a total airhead in front of the doctors tomorrow if we are so lucky enough to get a tutorial on the first day! :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008


that was the title of the email i received from the department, announcing the do-or-die list's arrival.

if your name is on the list - good luck to you. you are now called to sit for an oral exam in front of the WHO'S WHO of the department setting the paper, which means ALL the profs and emeritus profs and profs-who-love-to-fail-students. yikes!

however, if your name isn't on the list - then it's WHOOP-DEE-DOO!!!

and so, the email read:
"if your name is on the list, you would have been called by the department to notify you of your time slot for the oral exam" (or something like that!)

and so, i rush to check my phone! (which happens to be charging! damnit that's half the house away!)

and to my horror, bright and clear on the screen: "1 MISSED CALL"

cue canons and earthquakes and utter despair! (yes, i am such a drama queen). after staring at my phone's screen in shock and horror and alternating between "omg wtf, this can't be true" and "omg omg i so knew it! i'm doomed to fail!" for what seems like an eternity, i finally pluck up what little is left of my courage and call my class head, who's checked out the list himself.

to my sheer relief (this sounds wayy too tame for the internal combustion i went through - isn't there a more dramatic word!), i am OFF the list.

and so i thank God and all the wonderful angels above who watch over me daily despite having no time to study and going on vacation just before the papers, i have, for want of a better word, PASSED.

the rest is totally inconsequential, because PASS = MD.

i'm not on the smarties oral exam list either, but that doesn't matter, because i am totally OFF the do or die list. so there.

i'm not the smartest pea in the can, but i'm fairly competent and that's enough! :D i've given my best, and i'm going to be happy with it. (well, until the results come out and i get the lowest possible grade alive - then cue more drama queen antics!)

meantime, time to polish up on internal medicine! i've got 4 weeks of remedial to make good on myself (angry medic, i totally hear you right now) and i'm determined to pass this and clear my name. no more slacking off, no more fooling around. it's serious business! ;)