So here we are, first year of Grad Med is over and results arrive Monday. Now I’ve recharged some of my batteries I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the last year.
First and foremost, it’s been tough. Not just academically but also personally. The stress alone is enough to push anyone to the limit. Condensing a 2 years of work into one in any degree is tough, when it’s the entirety of the theory of medicine, it’s astonishing. Thankfully, my previous degree enabled the academic side to come easily.
Before Christmas, the excitement and almost disbelief at being medicine helped to keep the stress under wraps. Christmas was a distinguishable turning point. The workload increased, more personal problems started to become apparent and this was when my Grandad’s cancer was diagnosed.
Between January and April, the workload ever increased and unfortunately my grandad’s condition deteriorated until he passed in March, at a time when even without his loss I’d have burnt out. Easter came and went and suddenly exams were upon us and in a blink of an eye they were over.
While the above recollection of the year seems overly negative, there have been great times. I’ve spent time in theatre watching neurosurgery, time on stroke wards, presented research and conferences, won awards and above all found a group of people who were there during tough times and stay there to celebrate the good times.
My summer contains no such extravagances, just some rest before the next year and possibly get some part time work.
I want to thank those of you who read this, it only started as a self-indulgent way to get across how I was feeling. I never thought people would want to read it, so thank you for the interest and hopefully see you again next year/when results arrive.
Til then ciao
Firstly, apologies for the lack of posting over the last fortnight. It’s finally the Easter holiday’s and I needed to spend some time not doing anything *too* medically related before cracking on with essays and revision.
How I wish I was going on holiday but alas I remain at uni. Although at least when the weather is good I can relax in my garden (definitely didn’t get sunburnt last weekend).
In addition to this, I am also starting to actually sleep. That’s not to say life isn’t hectic and trying to throw things at me every 10 seconds but it’s a start. The other thing I’ve tried to do (although not always succeeding) is to try and relax. Thankfully, our university has free membership to a website called Headspace.
It’s basically a meditation app, which has a free 10 day trial before you even need to think about purchasing a membership (you can replay previous days if you want to stretch it out). Membership is expensive but definitely look into whether your university, college, school or workplace can sign up to its Get Some/Give Some program.
It may not help everyone and I’ve never really thought about trying it before, but it forces you to stop everything for 10 minutes, focus on de-stressing and letting go of those little annoyances which build up over the day. (This is not an ad, this is simply something I have used which I found helpful).
Now onto the Easter weekend. There’s 2 months until finals so I should probably get cracking on revision after this weekend, but until then, I’m relaxing regardless of what happens (said confidently glancing over a shoulder).
So here we are, a week and a half away from the Easter break. That means there is a mere 7 and a half weeks of uni (as in time in lectures etc..) left of the year. A quarter of my medical degree done.
The general feeling is not so much of stress but tiredness. A combination of a lack of breaks since christmas, mountains of work and a bit of burnout. Despite having a ‘break’, there are 2 essays to be written, a portfolio to be completed and revision to be started.
Time really does fly though, and each day I’m closer to reaching the light at the end of the tunnel that is placements. It also means I’ve done over half my time at uni (4 years out of the total of 7!) and for the first time, I can’t wait to get out of all day lectures and workshops.
Regardless, i’m not wishing away the time, instead simply enjoy what time I have off. This will, after all, be the last year (possibly of my life) where I’ll have significant holiday time off. No point wasting it!
Remember those days spent binge watching Scrubs. Remember all the fun they got up to. How I remember thinking this was how medicine was gonna be.
How naive of me…
If you think it’s all fun and games, where we party hard. It’s not, at least not for us graduate entry.
We’ve been back 6 weeks since Christmas (overall 10 days off since Sept 1st). Before you say it, yes this is what I signed up for and I shouldn’t be so surprised. Although getting home at 7pm after a 9am start for the last 6 weeks is getting a bit old. Especially since we’re not actually seeing any patients. Pre-clinical theory in one year, who thought that would be a good idea!!
The idea of getting out onto wards is the gold at the end of the rainbow, except this rainbow is mainly varying shades of grey.
Ah well, time to do some more work before bed. Be a waste of time otherwise 😉