Recently it came to my attention that whilst I was on outblock in Burton the University of Leicester recently had a Petting Zoo onsite to de-stress the exam students (full story can be found here)!
I have heard from a reliable source that this petting zoo contained, darling ducklings, a haggle of hens and perhaps the most exciting… a room full of puppies.
Alas, I was on outblock and missed all the destressing and calming fun yet another malady in the tragic life of a final year medical student. Not only did I miss the animals but when the other University course students are off enjoying their freedom and sunshine I am still stuck behind a book in what I have now called my revision pit (formerly known as the living room)!
And then when things seemed like they couldn’t get any worse, my head stuck between the bladder and ureter pages of my greys anatomy book, curtains shut bitterly, quietly grumbling away- my mum sent this text-
“Shall I bring Stan to Leicester next week so you can walk him- I’ve always wanted him to be dog therapy”
Now I ask you to conjure up that melodic music in films when two characters are running through a field of wildflowers in the sunshine-
PLUS I felt I had to definitely share him with the other final year students who needed some prescription puppy lovin’
Dogs can be very healing creatures, often on the Stroke wards and on the Children’s wards in the hospital you will find that a very well behaved dog will visit just to boost patient moral and make everyone feel a little happier. Sometimes as Medical Students we can get very preoccupied on test results and observation charts whilst forgetting how the patients must be feeling. What’s lovely is as a medical student I sometimes have a lot more time to just chat to patients after I’ve assessed them, these are patients who are often in hospital for long periods of time, they will have pictures of their family but more often or not it is the picture of their dog or cat that they treasure the most.
I’ll never forget a wonderful conversation I had with an elderly woman in clinic who told me she had been struggling to mobilise after a fall 9 months ago. She had lost her husband a year ago and they’d often enjoyed going on long walks together. Even though the doctors had been encouraging her to mobilse she just didn’t feel right going without him. After listening to her story I asked her how she was doing now and she then proceeded open her purse and show me a picture of the scruffiest but loveliest Bischon Frise I’d ever seen.
“That’s my boy.” She said. “We’ve started going on walks together… just to the park by the hospital but we’re both getting better! He still pulls at the lead and can be a bit yappy but he’s still a lot more well behaved than my husband was!”
The doctor then proceeded to prescribe her some analgesia to help her mobilise to ease her underlying arthritis. The medication I’m sure made walking a lot easier for the lady but I don’t doubt that it was the scruffy Bischon Frise who gave her the confidence to continue leaving the house.
It’s time like this when you feel really positive about medicine, because you can appreciate that what you are prescribing is making a difference.
Stanley today certainly made the imminent doom of finals seem a lot more manageable to all the stressed medical students he met (and all the passerby who stopped to fuss his handsome self)!
Plus I think he enjoyed all the fuss and attention!
^One very happy bulldog puppy
2 Weeks till I’m off on my elective and in Antigua!
Till Next Time,