The last ten weeks have been some of the most intense weeks of my 21 years, and the last few days have been some of the hardest. For the first time in my life there was hardly a moment when I wasn’t studying – by choice. I wasn’t even being forced to study; I was motivated to out of sheer necessity. There’s nothing like feeling stupid in front of your residents to make a girl want to go home and apply herself. Nothing in pre-clinical years motivated me this much, probably because none of the styles of presentation captured my attention enough.
See, my learning style has always hovered somewhere between audio-visual, where it works really well if I can hear the words being spoken and have a mental picture at the same time but doesn’t work at all if it’s only one or the other, which means I learnt a lot on clinical rotations because of all the talking that went on about patients we were actually seeing.
I also learn better in small groups, like three or less people, where I can get individual attention from the tutor. Luckily, even though most of our groups were allotted six people my group ended up with four students (including one guy who rarely showed up). Plus our very, very dedicated senior residents were determined to make sure we learnt something on this rotation. God bless them but they tried hard for us.
But as the weeks wound down, the pressure of exams wound us up. It was our first practical clinical examination (fondly termed an OSCE, pronounced “OS-ki”) and everyone was freaking out all over the place. People who were confident in their examination technique were panicking over differentials, or at speaking aloud to a stern-faced consultant. Most of our consultants are of the sarcastic, dry-wit variety. We had good reason to be paranoid.
And yet somehow, we managed to emerge relatively unscathed (at least until results come out). I’ve yet to hear reports of anyone breaking down into tears during the exam, though I actually came close once, and all the other complaints are along the expected lines of “I can’t believe I forgot to do that!”.
If Medicine was the frying pan of our Junior Clerkship, I can’t wait to see if Surgery is the fire or a respite from the kitchen altogether.
In other news, I auditioned on Saturday for the University Dance Society’s upcoming Season. Crossing fingers I get in a piece; (crossing toes that I can handle it).