Monday, October 26, 2009

Final Year

It has been busy, but it is expected. My final year exam will be in another two weeks and yet there are lots that I haven't revised. Speaking of revision, I don't think it should be called as revision in the first place since I pretty much forgot everything that I've learned so far. Hopefully I won't be extremely anxious when the exam comes in the next fortnight.

Apart from studying, I'm also in the midst of selling my first car. It is not easy to sell an old car and it has been a bit stressful for me. The experience of selling a car certainly taught me a lot on how to deal with potential car buyers. I'm also looking for cheap courier service to bring my stuffs back to Malaysia. Maybe I would do that after the exam.

And finally, I am also inviting you, the blog readers, to my home at the end of this year (to be exact 2nd January 2010) for a small ceremony :D   I am getting married at the end of this year. The wedding preparation has kept me extremely busy and I still haven't finished printing all the wedding invitation cards. Hopefully it will be done by next few weeks and I will be able put up the scanned wedding cards here in this blog.

Last but not least, I have already booked my flight ticket home. This time, the flight ticket is paid by my sponsor :) I will be going home few days after the graduation ceremony.

p/s: After 6 years living in Melbourne, it is sad to see how things will end. After reading my friend's blog, I think I should reminisce about the past 6 years.

Friday, October 09, 2009


Over the last five days, I have spend most of my time in theatre. As part of my surgical rotation, I need to do a week of anaesthetic.

Anaesthesia is defined as loss of bodily sensation with or without loss of conciousness. There are three main components of anaesthesia, namely hypnosis (being put to sleep), relaxing your muscles and sedation (this means that you lose your awareness of your surrounding).

As a specialty, anaesthetic is one of the toughest training program to get into. There are high level of competition for young doctors to participate in anaesthetic training. It is quite attractive to become an anaesthetist since there are wide range of skills being involved and in term of salary, it has one of the highest salary grade among specialist.

Over the last week, I had the opportunity to practice putting a laryngeal mask into few patients. I had the chance to sharpen my skills in performing intravenous cannulation. 

A laryngeal mask is a tube that is inserted inside your throat during an operation. The picture below shows how to put the laryngeal mask inside your mouth.

 Picture from Merck Manual.

Intravenous cannulation simply means of putting a needle inside your blood vessels. This link will describe in detail how you perform the procedure.

As a medical student, putting a cannula (needle) inside the blood vessel was initially a hard task to be performed. You have to overcome your anxiety of hurting the patient and develop a good technique to insert the needle into a blood vessel.

Anyway, back to my anaesthetic rotation, it was exciting to be at the other side of the theatre. I used to be helping surgeons with the operation and hardly have any chance to sit on the other side. The anaesthetist usually sit behind the curtain and will monitor the anaesthetist machine to ensure the patient is breathing appropriately and is comfortable throughout the operation.

It is interesting to see how the anaesthetist handle the emergency cases. I had several emergency operation throughout the week such as emergency caesarian and emergency laparotomy due to unknown abdominal bleeding. There was a patient who had laryngospasm at the start of the operation and the anaesthetist taught me how to handle this emergency. Laryngospasm is uncontrolled contraction of the muscles inside your vocal cord and will cause a person to stop breathing. This is certainly a dangerous situation since it will cause lots of damage to your organs especially your brain.

In summary, being anaesthetist is fun but at the same time, it is hard to get into their training program. My next four weeks will be in theatre assisting the surgeons with their operation. This will be my last four weeks in medical school.

p/s: I'm looking forward for graduation but at the same time, I've to study hard for the final year exam. Hopefully, I will get a good mark from the exam.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

General Practice rotation

It has been 5 weeks since the last time I blog. A lot has happened in the last 5 weeks. Alhamdulillah, I have finished my general practice (GP) rotation.

This rotation means that you are spending time with doctors at their own clinic and observing how the doctors managing their own patient. You will be given lots of opportunities to interview the patient on your own and then presenting your findings to the doctor. It is a good practice for my final year exam.

This rotation gives you an insight on what are the most common illnesses around the community. Sinusitis is more common than temporal arteritis. Otitis media is more common than croup. Pneumonia is quite common but it is not that severe to warrant the patient to be admitted to the hospital.

Having been spending few years in the hospital, it certainly give me a bias perception towards finding out what is the most likely diagnosis. If I were to see a patient in the hospital, I'm more inclined to think of rare or life-threatening conditions rather than to think of more safer illnesses.

I did my GP rotation in rural Victoria and there were several opportunities for procedural skills. I managed to excise a skin mole and suture the wound. After 6 years of studying medicine, I finally performed my first PR examination on a patient. It was an exciting experience to learn how normal and abnormal prostate gland feels like. I managed to deliver a baby in the hospital which is quite exciting considering that the last time I delivered a baby was almost 12 months ago.

It is certainly an interesting rotation and it certainly boosts my experience in managing the more common variety of medical illness.

p/s: Since I hardly been able to use the internet in the last 5 weeks, there are a lot that I need to catch up with. My google reader is already been filled with few thousands of unread items.