Hullo all! I’ve just started Phase 2(:The Clinical Years) and today plunged headfirst into my surgical rotation – Talk about jumping in at the deep end! I have the impression that the next two and a half years are going to be an interesting mix of the humdrum and the hectic as I attempt to balance learning my core clinical skills with getting a taste for the medical life.
My introduction to the world of clinical medicine kicked off at 9 o’clock this fair morning, when I was placed in a general surgery clinic following up on post and pre-operative patients. I’d initially thought the session would run a bit like a surgical conveyor belt, mechanically seeing patient after patient – This couldn’t be further from the truth! The core surgical trainee (my guide for this morning) and I only managed to see two (yup, two!) patients in the three hours we were there. Who said the NHS doesn’t have time for the individual? To be fair they were pretty complex individuals, with hernias poking out here there and everywhere. One of them had a wonderful penchant for trying to teach me knot-tying which was, sadly for my surgical skills, very much appreciated.
Lunch was spent in a radiology consultancy meeting, which was a bizarre experience – It was just like stepping into an old boy’s club. You could almost picture the (almost exclusively male) consultant surgeons who made up the audience reclining in leather chairs. puffing cigars and bantering over golf scores. Rather than golf, however, the subject matter was the CT scans of particularly complicated patients, put to the crowd of crowing consultants for analysis and input. The mood was undulating – Laughter one moment would be suddenly followed by a grim silence as the radiologist scrolled the CT across a particularly bleak looking tumour or perforated bowel. Things would quickly return to normal, but there was always that undercurrent of fragility which added a certain edge to proceedings.
I then spent the remainder of my time on the surgical ward I’ll be attached to for the next few weeks, getting my bearings and smoothing out my currently patchy History taking skills – It’s been a while since my clinical skills exam in December, and I really do need the practise!
Tomorrow I’ll be entering the wonderful world of maternal medicine, observing C-sections and trying to bag some clinical skills experience. The extent of my knowledge on that procedure is limited to some basic anatomy knowledge and that scene from alien – And on that note, I’m off to look at some textbooks! Hope you’re all well!