Saturday, December 14, 2013

Halfway Through

Hi thereeee,

I think I'll skip the whole "it's been so long since I've blogged" cliche and just get to some little updates that I thought I'd share about. As of today, my winter holiday has started. *Yeay!* I was juuuust done with my final winter paper today & I can finally function like a normal person. So done with those sleepless nights for now ;)

InshaAllah, next week, I'll be travelling to two countries in Europe. I don't plan on disclosing the name of the countries yet, let alone the specific places. Let me know if you can guess where I'll be going this time :)

Alhamdulillah, as of now, I'm halfway through third year and I can officially conclude that it has been by far, the most interesting and challenging phase that I've ever been through in med school. I can honestly say that it's really different compared to the first two years of med school. This is the year where I began to be exposed to more and more clinical skills that I never thought I could have learnt and performed. 

I have always been amazed by how medical practitioners draw blood from people's veins, and how they set up IV drips for patients. I'm proud to say that I can do those things already... but on dummies, for now. Hahaha. I have always wanted to witness a surgery live (and believe me, I witnessed tonnes; from colonoscopies to gynaecology exploratory surgeries, to even a random cataract surgery!). I even had the chance to intubate (to place a tube into a person's body part, esp trachea for ventilation into) a REAL patient in the surgery room, TWICE. And the list keeps going on.

Any medical student probably realises that history taking and performing examinations are probably the two most important skills in a clinical setting. History taking in medicine is basically gathering information about a patient's complaint and the rest of the patient's data in a systematic manner. In the first two years in med school, I can almost guarantee you that most of us learn by somewhat memorizing the steps included for the skills rather than actually understanding why a question is asked or why a particular examination is performed.  It felt impossible to take a history from a patient without occasionally getting lost in the middle of going through the "SOCRATES" elements of pain assessment. To me personally, listening to a patient's heart beat was merely an act of putting the stethoscope on one's chest and pretending that I actually heard the heart beat :p 

However, progressing into third year,  I find that after multiple times of being "forced" by fellow consultants into taking a systematic history of patients in less than 6 minutes, a med student's skills can only get better and better. I honestly reckon that the "pressure" element present in the real hospital setting is a painful yet effective way of really learning. Listening to heart sounds isn't just a show anymore. I'm learning to listen to murmurs and different variations of heart sounds and timings. I never thought I would actually get to digest these intricate details but I'm actually learning and I'm so grateful for that. It's no wonder that studying medicine takes a long time. There's a lot to learn and there will always be something new to learn every day :)

Okay, so that's all that I feel like sharing in my blog tonight. I just feel that it's good to keep an account of my milestones so that I could go back to it and see how far I've gone from that point onwards. Also, I bet I made millions of grammatical errors in this post so I hope I didn't infuriate any grammar nazis out there lol.

Anyway, I just thought I'd point out that I'm on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook more often than I am on my blog, so if you have any inquiries, you can reach me at one of those platforms for a prompt reply :)