There's a reason I'm not a poet

Archive for February, 2015


So it would seem I’ve been working for 6 months. I finished my last day on general medicine today, and start on general surgery tomorrow! I say start- I’m in for one day then I’m off for night shifts this weekend. But you get the idea.

Looking back over the past six months, I have mixed feelings about how my year has gone. I have enjoyed myself, but a hefty proportion of that has been due to the people I’ve been working with rather than the work itself. I got some really nice feedback from some members of the staff on different wards I’ve been on, and in that sense it’ll be sad not to work with those people again. Out-of-hours provides opportunities for learning, and for doing actual doctoring, but one of the big disadvantages of medicine is that a large proportion of my daytime work has been paperwork and relatively menial tasks, where the only brainpower required is the ability to be organised and efficient. And you’re pretty detached from patient encounters, which is a darn shame. So I feel like compared to my colleagues in England I’ve had much less educational value out of my time in a hospital so far.

Surgery, I’m told, is different. When I started medicine, the idea of not being on the ward rounds was extremely foreign to me, and thankfully on surgery it’s a lot more like the traditional model I was expecting to be doing. So, I’ll be on the ward rounds and actually saying things to patients other than “do you mind if I take a blood sample?”

I’m exaggerating a little of course- I have learned things over the past six months, and through being on-call have had exposure to plenty of common and important health problems that I’ll need to be comfortable with dealing with in the future. But I am looking forward to being more hands-on while on surgery, and actually getting to know the patients on my ward. In short, I’m looking forward to doing the job of a doctor!

Hopefully it won’t all go tits up.




Got back from skiing yesterday. I am le tired and my legs are le sore, but obviously the week was absolutely full of le craic. Just had a look at my old blog and the entry there about the first time I went skiing, and the repeat performance didn’t disappoint! Four uni friends and I went to France (to Val Thorens) for about a week, staying in an apartment and armed with lots of layers and one aim: to not break any bones during the inevitable 208570871 falls.

Success! Although one of my friends did set his glove on fire and later got cellulitis. But still- no fractures!

We were staying in an apartment which was pretty 70s in style, and very much did the job. The location was fantastic as the building was right on the slopes, meaning you could ski right from the back door and be on a lift in about three minutes. Val Thorens itself was a top notch place to go too, as the snow quality was generally great and there were a huge number of different runs which meant that you could nearly always go down a different route than you had previously (until the end, when really heavy snowfall meant big risk of avalanches and therefore a bunch of pistes were closed).

Like the last time I went skiing, we went for lessons again. And this turned out to be a great idea. We had a stereotypical French mountain guy who had done every kind of skiing possible: speed racing, disabled skier world record attempts, uphill climbs, slalom and ski acrobatics. Every day he’d just casually drop in something like “oh and I’m a pilot too”, and his mother had been on the French Olympic team. So as well as being awesome it meant he knew his stuff! It was incredibly useful having one teacher for the three of us (as opposed to 13 the last time), as it meant you were able to get constant personalised feedback on what exactly you were doing wrong and how to improve.

Which meant that I got an awful lot better over the course of the holiday! By the end I was happy with every blue piste, held my own on the reds and event went down a black slope! Hardcoooorrrrrrree.

Two of my friends have their birthdays coming up, so the three of us clubbed together and decided to take them out for a meal. One of them researched a place beforehand which was up in the mountains on a ski slope, serving traditional Alpine French food (essentially carbs and cheese) and a dessert buffet put on by their own pastry chef and you were allowed to take several things. Obviously this all kept me extremely happy. Following the meal we obviously had to get down from the restaurant that was up in the mountains. So we popped on our skis, were handed a torch each and made our way down in the dark! It was such an awesome feeling (albeit obviously a little terrifying) to be skiing down en masse in the dark trying not to set yourself (or someone else) on fire or fall over and become a giant flameball. And we mostly managed it! The only person who had difficulty didn’t drink any alcohol- I’ll let you reach your own conclusions there.

It was obviously very nice to be back hanging out with my uni friends for a more prolonged period of time. I did have an awful lot of fun over in England, and it is a shame that living in NI means it’s that much more difficult to see people, and that much less like it used to be. So I enjoyed the opportunity to go back in time and pretend that chapter of my life hasn’t quite ended- the incessant fart jokes helped.



If it wasn’t for my thumb this would be a decent photo