Well…that was certainly interesting

So I wrote my Abdominal Surgery and Trauma Surgery OSCE today…

Which doesn’t even make sense–writing an OSCE, that is–but I have long since stopped trying to understand the workings of the Administration’s collective mind.

Even though I am technically done for the year as far as ‘academic’ surgery is concerned, the team is still responsible for working a 12 hour night shift this weekend so I’m still expected to do the med student thing a couple more times before I return to the relative inanity of the lecture hall.

Of course, I have mixed feelings about this. If it hasn’t come across on this blog yet, let me officially state that I have loved working in the hospital. Especially working in the department of Emergency Medicine and getting to really be thrown into the deep end with all the practical skills we learned. It still stuns me that four weeks ago, when the rotation started, we were literally flung into Skills Lab, taught a whole lot of procedures in a generic setting in one afternoon, and then let loose on patients in the ward. I guess a part of me had expected a gentle transition into clinical medicine, when in fact we were suturing and running lines and assigned patients within days.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I felt such a rush every time we had to do something we’d never done before. It can’t be right that in a place as depressing as a hospital, I’ve had the more fun than I’ve had in years.

Okay, there is definitely something wrong with me.

The ‘OSCE’ itself was such a huge confidence booster though. I’d been stressing about it–and about how poorly I’d prepared–in my usual detached way, registering that the situation was a stressful one even though I was not manifesting the expected signs and symptoms of stress. It was painfully clear that my knowledge of Abdominal Surgery had atrophied since we’d switched subrotations but I didn’t want to risk falling behind in Trauma. So I literally walked into the assessment hoping that I would at least know the latter exceptionally well to scrape through with an overall pass.

But it wasn’t so bad, to be honest. It was surprisingly clinical–I don’t know what I was expecting really. After two straight years of being assessed on lists and minute details, here was an assessment that presented you with a practical situation and asked you only what was practically relevant and how you would practically solve it. It was all so…practical.

I loved it.

I do though, I do.

So here’s to Surgery! First real clinical rotation of my medical career and an awesome one at that. I can’t imagine what I would have been going through if I’d started with Family Medicine (apparently too many projects and presentations, too little mental stimulation), Paeds (I like kids, but apparently all the third years get to do is play with them), Internal Medicine (I would probably be jaded and depressed by now) or Obs & Gynae (that actually would have been cool, come to think of it). I’m just glad that I got to start off with a rotation that let us get practically involved in patient management, practice new skills, exercise some mental muscle, review some theory from the last two years and still feel like we are living the dream.

Up next? Neuro Part II: Psych and stuff. (And then back to the hospital for Obs & Gynae.) Let the games begin…

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2 Comments

Filed under Surgery, Trauma, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Well…that was certainly interesting

  1. enkay

    I have an OSCE assessment on IV infusion, intramuscular injections and venepuncture a few days from now and I’ve been huffing and puffing about it a little bit more than I should (it is crammed in-between two physiology tests so maybe my behaviour is a bit justified) but this blog post makes me feel like I should suck it up and do what needs to be done. I mean, I’ve already harassed the Skills Lab staff at my university three times in the last two weeks just to book extra practice sessions. I might as well accept that I’m ready. Thanks for the wake-up call, Medical Rose 🙂

    • That’s just so hard though. We aren’t ever SUPPOSED to be ready, so it’s weird when it seems like we are! Anywho, strongs with the OSCE. Kick some (sharps) butt. And don’t forget to smile!

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