Monday, 26 February 2007

The MTAS lottery.

Apologies for any sweating/palpitations/myocardial infarctions brought on by the above image

Today is the day that the MTAS lottery announces its results, congratulations to those who made it through this shambles and came out with interviews. Commiserations to those who didn't.

MTAS doesn't concern me much yet but its been a busy day in my teaching hospital. SHOs all over the hospital spent the morning hunting for computers to check the results, every one of them nervously trying to log on to find out what their future holds. Some were relieved to have interviews but some also missed out. I wonder if any of those who created this whole MTAS disgrace spared a thought for the thousands of young doctors today, somehow I doubt it - fuckers.

"Oh well, off to Australia then" -

A disgruntled interviewless SHO

Hopefully in a few years it'll be me logging on to find out what my future holds, although that thought doesn't fill me with much confidence. I hope they've sorted it out a bit by then.

Good luck to all those who have interviews in the next few weeks.

Friday, 23 February 2007

And so it begins...

Today was my last day of paediatrics. I've really enjoyed the last 7 weeks and paediatrics has gone up on my list of potential careers! I do wonder how much of my enjoyment came as a result of having such a great consultant. Had I spent 7 weeks with someone else I probably wouldn't have liked it as much.

The module I've been dreading for months, perhaps even years is finally upon me and today's induction did nothing to quell my fears. You might think that I'm just scared of vaginas because I'm a boy or that I'm worried about being embarrassed or whatever. Maybe I am, I'm a boy after all(although I don't think I'd like to spend much time working with willies either). I'm fairly immature too which doesn't help one mention of the words gonads/testicles/vagina or whatever and I can't help but giggle. One of the seminars for this module is titled "Testicles", quite what that has to do with obs and gynae I'm not sure but I couldn't help laughing.

During our induction we were told that we must go and consent 5-6 women each morning in the half an hour before theatre. How exactly am I supposed to go and ask 6 women if I can examine their vagina [giggles] whilst they are under anaesthetic for some kind of gynaecological surgery?! Perhaps if I had some time to sit down and get to know the patient a bit I might be able to approach the subject but with only 5 minutes each what am I supposed to do?! I can see much blogging being done on this topic in the next few weeks.

There are some positives judging by our induction, they are keen on having us assist in theatre, they want us to get as stuck in as we can [up to our elbows if possible], that could be fun! I suppose I should reserve judgment for a while until I've actually had some experience but I'm not looking forward to it. Fingers crossed that my consultant [each medical student has one each which is pretty good] is ok, then perhaps the next 6 weeks will be bearable.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Exams and vaginas.

I've not blogged for about 10 days! The main reason for that links to my last post about technical support. The laptop in question got shipped off to them at the start of last week and we're still awaiting its return.

Today was exam results day and I'm delighted to say I passed! I can't quite believe it. I must actually know more than I think I do or I was just lucky. It was after all, multiple choice. I didn't just pass, I got Honours. Now I don't really care about getting Hons other than because our academic rankings for foundation applications are based on these arbitrary cut off points. As long as I don't make a tit of myself and screw things up in the upcoming exams I'll be firmly where I want to be rankings wise which gives me a decent opportunity when it comes to picking where I want to work. To be honest I think its all a bit stupid, had I got 1 less multiple choice question right, I'd have been graded as satisfactory rather than honours, ultimately this could have resulted in me missing out on the higher quartile for the academic ranking, costing me 5 points on my foundation application leading to me ending up somewhere ridiculous. All because I guessed A, instead of B for one of the many questions I had no idea about. It doesn't really measure my competence, it barely even measures my knowledge but I guess a line has to be drawn somewhere.

I'm coming towards the end of my paediatric firm, I've actually really enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting to like it quite as much as I have. Although that might be more to do with the consultant than paediatrics itself. Next up, 6 weeks of obs & gynae, I expect about 70% (at least) of that time will be spent sat outside consultation rooms/theatres/whatever. I don't blame anyone for not wanting male or even female medical students ogling their bits, if I was a woman it'd be a definite NO! I had better find myself an interesting book. I don't expect I'll enjoy obs and gynae but that is my last major rotation this year and the last compulsory module of the whole course. Next year we have some choice in what we do!!!

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Technical Support - about as useful as NHS direct

Why is it that all technical support lines are full of fuckwitted numpties who seem to know fuck all about what they are talking about.

You spend ages on the phone telling someone what the problem is then you get cut off so you phone back and have to start from scratch. When you've finally explained the problem they have a list of protocols to run through (or perhaps they think they can solve every problem over the phone) I'm not fucking stupid, I've got an idea what the problem is. The first thing they always come out with is "turn it off and then on again" what the fuck? Do I look like an incompetent fool? Don't you think the first thing I did was turn it on and off about 100 times!!! It makes no difference. They then give you a series of tasks to complete.

It can take hours to explain the problem then they usually decide that whatever you're phoning about is fucked and needs to be taken away. Why couldn't they do that in the first place rather than keeping you on the phone for an hour wasting time which could be better spent watching paint dry!

Technical support is waste of space, its about as useful as NHS direct who seem to randomly choose a response from 3 different options no matter what your problem is. Either a) you need an ambulance, b) you need to see a doctor ASAP or c) you'll be fine. Of course we all know what happens when this goes wrong, people die! At least the only consequence of contacting technical support is a long phone bill, a frustrating waste of an hour explaining yourself and an inconvenient pick up time for whatever it is that's broken.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

When will complaining get me into trouble?

This month, one of my rants managed to get into StudentBMA news, this rant wasn't very favourable towards my medical school and they had to ask a medical school representative to comment. Last time I complained about the same issue I was given an unofficial verbal warning that 'it would probably be best if I put the issue to rest and concentrate on my studies rather than complaining.' I wasn't about to let this shut me up.... Freedom of speech and all that. Maybe they're right, perhaps in future I should shut the fuck up and just ignore things which really piss me off, nobody really does much when you complain anyway.

I do wonder sometimes just how far I could push something before it would turn around and sink its teeth firmly into my arse! Would I get into trouble? How much trouble would I get into? I might yet face consequences for constantly bemoaning my medical school although I've never said anything which isn't true so I can't see what they'd do. I used to be paranoid and think that my exam results would mysteriously be fiddled to make sure that I failed. If I had it my way I'd kick up a huge fuss about various different things at my medical school but its getting to the stage where I just can't be arsed. You might say I should stop complaining and just get on with life but fuck that, if something is wrong then it needs to be complained about. I do think I get an unhealthy kick out of complaining, maybe I need a psych assessment!

Blogging is an excellent way to complain about things, especially when its anonymous (although some of you know who I am now!) Maybe I'll stick to that in future, after all HospitalPheonix and Dr Crippen seem to do it well enough.

Bit of a nothing post there but just for the record, people that steal parking spaces in car parks are really nast and all deserve to be impaled on sausages.

Well done to all those who've submitted their MTAS stuff!

Friday, 2 February 2007

I'm An Animal, Get Me Out Of This Research Lab

This month's studentBMJ presents the case for animal research so I thought i'd give my opinion on the contraversial topic.

I don't really know a lot about the subject but I've never been one to let that stop me giving my opinion. Animal research isn't a topic I'm particularly passionate about either but given its topical nature its worthy of a post.

I'm all for animal research, I don't particularly like the idea of it but I fully recognise its contribution to science and medicine. Fairly recently there was a programme on TV about animal research, I can't remember what it was called but it introduced me to the concept of Pro-Test, an organisation which is promotes animal research as a counter to the animal rights movement. I have a problem with most animal rights protesters, most of whom seem to be more like terrorists than genuine opposition to animal testing. Any group which engages in criminal activity to promote their cause are fighting a losing battle in my opinion. I'm sure some of these animal rights activists just join in because it gives them an excuse to behave like wankers and to cause trouble, they don't actually care about the cause.

I don't like the idea of cruelty to animals and am all for strict regulation of animal testing but in my opinion its a necessity. In years gone by it has helped in the discovery of treatments for a range of different things. Without it people would have died. Does that mean I think Humans are more important than Animals? Well not exactly but I do think the sacrifice of an animals life is worthy if it means the saving of human life. I can see clear benefits to animal testing and i'm sure, as a result of it, many lives will be saved and made better.

I've no doubt, this debate will continue for ever or at least until the people who conduct animal testing become too scared to continue because of the behaviour of a minority of knob-heads who don't seem to be able to protest peacefully!

I hope I've not opened too big a can of worms with this post.
Let me know your feelings by leaving a comment.

[i'm still poorly and off sick]