Sunday, July 13, 2008

Review of my clinical years

For the last two semesters, I have been going to hospital almost every day and hardly ever go to the university. Clinical years were the time for a significant change in my journey as a medical student. This is my observation throughout this two semesters.

The lectures back at the university usually started around 9am or 10am and the timetable was not that hectic. We always have free time between lectures. There is hardly any last minute changes. We always know in advance what the lecture is going to be.

The timetable during semester 8 and 9 is flexible and you should be expecting last minute changes. You have to work hard to chase the tutors and arranged for tutorials. Sometimes we can have 4 hours non-stop tutorials and sometimes we have to skip lunch as well.

The best/worst part of it, the tutorials/ward round can start as early as 7am. Some of the tutors expect us to come early and join the ward round and theoretically we should be in the hospital from 9am to 5pm. Some of the tutors were also clueless about what tute they had to give to the medical students. So, we need to look for any topics that we need to cover.

If you see any free lunch around the hospital, expect that many hungry medical students to be there mrgreen. Free lunch is synonymous with medical students and they will memorise the location and time of free lunch for every week.

This is the biggest change when you enter clinical years. Pre-clinical years, we hardly see any real patients and we always have actor or actresses for our OSCE.

However, with the opportunity of seeing real patients, comes the challenges associated with them. Every patients are different and each of them have different medical and social problems. Not all of them like medical students and not all of them are compliant with their own medication. Some of them are still smoking despite having lung problems.

You have to be prepared for everything every time you see a patient. Sometimes, the biggest concern for them is not their own medical problems but the situation at home. The patient seems to be happy but after few minutes of interviewing, they may start to cry in front of you or scold you directly. This is certainly something that I've learned in the last two semesters.

Hmm, I'm not sure what to write for this section. Some consultants are nice but there are those who tend to scold medical students in front of the patients and nurses. Somehow, as a medical student and the lowest in hospital hierarchy, you have to be tough emotionally and should be able to cope with anything.

You have to be thick skin to survive all the criticism against you and at the same time, learn your mistakes.

Medical knowledge
I have learned a lot in the last two semesters but I am also forgetting some of the medical knowledge too. Hopefully by the end of next year, I should be able to know the important things in medicine biggrin.

The last two semesters has been quite challenging but at the same time interesting. We are able to see some positive clinical signs and able to interact with real patients. We also learn the harsh reality of working in the hospital and see a glimpse of our future as a doctor.


mosh said...

dr hafiz has a nice ring to it :)

hafiz238 said...

@ mosh, but it is not easy to get the title :)

fiQah said...

i start most of my ward rounds at 730am. it's depressing especially in winter :(
and the team expects us to be there. grrrr..

and yes, pts with lung cancer bring their iv lines n saline packets n all the tubes that are basically 'attached' to their body to hospital 'smoking' area to smoke

funny aight?

bersusah payah nak smoke

hafiz238 said...

wah, 7.30 am in winter. It must be freezing there. Some of the consultants do expect us, med students to turn up early in the morning and finish late in the evening, but most med students went home early :)

patient who are still smoking despite their illness is a common scenario in many hospitals here. It must be hard for them to quit from smoking since smoking is quite addictive.

It is quite sad and amusing at the same time to see them still smoking when they already experience the long term side effect of smoking.

The most memorable experience that I've seen so far is to see patients with advanced stage of lung cancer to continue smoking...