Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New beginnings

The first two years of college are vocabulary lessons.
The second two years are spent learning who to ask and where to look it up.
--Bill Austin

Today was my second day of 3rd year.

Yesterday was spent at uni, in a lecture theatre full of our entire 200-and-something person cohort hearing all about the structure of this year - our rotations, our assessments, how to do Honours, what forms we have to have filled in and hoops we have to have jumped by the end of this year. All this information is summarised in a 70 page handbook. After 6 hours of that, it was all a bit much.

Today was spent at hospital, finding out in more detail where we are expected to be when, what rotations we will be doing, which groups we are in for the different course components, all of which was laid out in a mere 120 pages.

Talk about information overload. I still have no clue exactly what I should and will be doing next week, and I'm still petrified I'll get to the end of this year and realise that I haven't completed some important task such as witnessing an autopsy or performing a PR.

I was alarmed to hear from several speakers that this year is the toughest year of our course. In a lot of ways I feel like I only made it through last year by the skin of my teeth - both in academic terms, and in terms of motivation and sanity. I'm not sure if I have recovered even now.

It's a bit disheartening to hear that even after this year everyone still feels like they are below the curve, despite that fact that this in the year in which we develop most of the clinical skills that will take us through our career. We have been warned finishing this year with big gaps will leave us no future chance to gain the knowledge we missed this year. This is our chance and we need to work our assess off to make the most of it.

In a lot of ways I am exhausted already. I have no idea how I am going to feel next week once this caper gets going properly, let alone 6 months from now when another barrier exam starts looming large.

Today we were encouraged to spend time every day reflecting on what we have seen and learnt in the hospital, and to make a log of it if we can. To remember the patients we see as people, to see the human side of the diseases we learn about. That's how to learn and remember it, how to make it important to us.

Although this is no easy task, that’s why I'm starting this new blog. It's going to be both my log book, and my developmental portfolio.

All names and particulars will be changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent.

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