There's a reason I'm not a poet

Archive for November, 2013


I had a pretty busy weekend being all sociable and stuff. First was the medics’ pantomime, which I took part in last year and the one before, but had never seen as an audience member. It was pretty hilarious actually, filled with a lot of medic jokes that I actually understood- clearly a sign of how knowledgeable I am these days. Funniest character was a guy based on Dr Frank N Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show: he came onto the stage and I nearly wet myself with laughter.

I also gave a presentation to some medics in the years below about my elective. Every year the final year students give a quick talk on their experiences, and each year I’ve gone and had a fantastic time hearing about the adventures. And suddenly it was my turn! Which meant only one thing: THAT MY ELECTIVE IS OVER AND I’M NEVER GOING BACK AND I HAVE TO JUST DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT IT’S FRICKING FREEZING OUTSIDE AND THAT THE SCENERY DOESN’T LOOK LIKE THIS ANYMORE

Elective 2 Safari Seychelles 382

I’m not bitter.

Talk went well though, even if it did make me very nostalgic. I also saw the new installation of The Hunger Games trilogy last night, and enjoyed it quite a lot. Good bit of action and explosions, Katniss is a great character and was acted very well. I’m all thumbs and pointing up.

Had my first day in A&E today which was pretty interesting. Nothing too dramatic today, but I reckon I’ll really enjoy the next four weeks: seeing patients, getting practical procedure experience and the perfect amount of responsibility and attention. Basically what any medical student wants to be doing, and while I made a fair few mistakes I did get some stuff right so I reckon it should be a really useful placement. And rounded off the shift with a great chat with the nicest old lady ever, always makes the day good!

In other news ONE MONTH UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! I’ve been listening to Sufjan Stevens all day and my playlist for our Christmas dinner in a few weeks’ time currently has 46 different songs. Now that’s what I call Christmas music.


If I said devotion was taking its toll…

Medicine’s not going too badly at the minute. I’m on placement in a District General Hospital and finishing up on anaesthetics (the science of sleep) before moving onto a month in accident & emergency. I’m definitely enjoying my course, and it’s nice being a final year and actually knowing what people are talking about. At least most of the time.

Anaesthetics isn’t the most critically-useful placement as a medical student, though. It’s something you don’t really tend to do unless you’re training to be an anaesthetist, so I’ve been trying to take advantage of the useful opportunities it provides: being comfortable with fluid management, getting some practical procedure experience, revising physiology and pharmacology and dealing with patients who are particularly ill.

But now that I’m in my last year, literally everyone I speak to brings up the topic of finals, and has their own bit to say on how best to prepare for them. And to me they just seem like such a long way away- I mean really folks, they’re not until June so calm your cacks. However if I think about it, medicine’s pretty vast and there’s an awful lot of information to cover in that time. And a heck of a lot of other tickboxes that I’ve gotta fill out before then, in the way of various different pieces of coursework etc. So perhaps it’s a good idea to think about the finish line in advance.

It basically boils down to the question of how I want to approach the year, something I thought I’d already decided. Virtually every medical student you speak to will say they want to be the best doctor they can be. But that’s not necessarily the truth- from speaking to people who are really fricking on the ball it makes you realise how much you’re not, and the work that it requires to get there. I’ve learnt from uni that in order to get somewhere and achieve something really valuable, you have to bloody well put the effort in. The reward this year is a “distinction” in finals. Your mark in finals doesn’t count for anything, but having a distinction is a particular badge of pride, and one not easy to obtain.

I’ve worked hard in previous years and at times have been lucky enough for it to pay off. So I’m trying to decide about whether or not to gun for a distinction this year, to end up being one of those really clever people who seem to just know everything. But through speaking to them I can see how much sheer devotion you have to have for the subject. They start preparing like mad from the word go, and work their asses off. In the past achieving something has involved sacrificing your time, but it seems to me that in order to become one of these distinction-winning, omniscient-yet-lovely doctors you almost have to sacrifice a part of who you are. At least who I am.

It means sitting and reading through textbooks, memorising acronyms and researching logical thought processes, learning strategems and management plans, and building this all up into one cohesive network. Rather than catching up with a friend. Rather than relaxing and doing whatever I feel like. Rather than seeing what exactly’s been going on in Westeros or Greendale. I know these are all lazy things, but hell I’m a lazy guy. And so I’m reluctant to give up these things too easily.

But then that’s like me setting a limit at my potential. Saying “I want to be the best doctor I can be, but not if it requires me to stop watching Parks and Recreation”. It’s a decision I’m mulling over at the minute, aware that it’s the start of the year so I needn’t get too stressed out, but also that a battle plan and an organised mind are pretty decent tools for approaching the future.

Just how good a doctor do I want to be?


Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered I have a gift. All the way through my teenage years and (ahem) potentially a little bit further I’ve wanted to wake up one day and realise I have a superpower. Sadly that hasn’t quite happened, but I have noticed there’s something I seem to be naturally very good at, better than those around me.

Finding free food.

Whether it’s four weeks of all-you-can-eat four star hotel breakfasts, boxes of chocolates, meals bought by your parents, free cooked lunches complete with a selection of cakes or baked goods made by your friends, I have eaten very well over the past few months. I’m thankfully lucky with my genes, in that I haven’t piled on too many pounds, but it has had the negative consequence that when I see food I now have the uncontrollable urge to eat as much as is physically possible. And then some.

My friend recently introduced me to the Georgian word ‘shemomedjamo’, a term used to describe my way of life for the past while

If they’re able to create words for glorious things such as this, I’ve decided I fricking wanna learn how to speak Georgian. But apart from that I’ve also made another decision: to try and fight this greed by going a month without eating desserts, biscuits, chocolate, cake- basically any kind of sugary goodness. Not because I’m worried about becoming a giant ball of flab (regardless of how incredibly likely that is when my metabolism catches up with me) but because I want to regain a bit more control over myself.

I’m trying to tell lots of people what I’m doing in the hope that the pressure of other people knowing my aims will ensure I don’t slip up and eat a whole packet of eight iced fingers alone to myself just because they were reduced to under a pound. Again.

That all being said, I’ve decided to include two exceptions: desserts at formal (I won’t be going too often but if I’ve paid money for dessert I’m going to eat it) and the advent calendar that starts in December. Because hey, I’m giving up sugar, that doesn’t mean I need to give up happiness.

I’ll need to try and fight the temptation to go to town over the next month on things like this

and anything else that jumps out at me, such as

Hmm. I should be alright. Hopefully. Maybe. As a kid my sisters and I would grab the sugar bowl, hide behind the sofa in the living room and just go nuts. So it’ll be like fighting quite a deep-seeded part of myself. And goodness knows that always works out well. Let’s just hope my newly discovered gift doesn’t present me with too much temptation.




I’ve done those tests like a million times but I always seem to forget my result. So I’m writing it here to look back on if ever I want to. I’m always smack bang in the middle of I/E, and usually a slight preference of J but still sometimes get P. N is firm, F generally stable.

Excuse me while I go compare myself to analyses of Harry Potter characters


Awk sure if it isn’t yourself

Top o’ tha mornin’ to ya!

A friend of mine recently started a blog, and it got me thinking about making my own. I kept one during the summer, but it’s been a few years since I had one to keep track of my everyday life and avoid things passing me by- the old ‘Anchor in Time’ theory that Poor Little Rich Boy came up with a few years ago.  I don’t fancy getting to the age of 30 and wondering what the hell happened over the past few years. I was recently looking back at the one I kept during undergrad and it was really nice to read it through, so I’d like to document stuff for myself really. Just to prove I didn’t spend my entire twenties sitting inside playing Skyrim and The Sims.

That being said I really can’t guarantee that won’t happen.

My name is Michael and it’s a pleasure to talk to you.



Let’s get this show on the road

Let's get this show on the road