Friday, 30 March 2012

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Friday

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Friday

Firstly I finally just got down and did a reasonable amount of essay, woo! Secondly yes this does mean I am in at home on a Friday night doing essay rather than out :/ still on the plus side at least I don't have finals in a few weeks like my fifth year friends!
I'm so sorry...I just couldn't resist!

So its friday today, which means it is GP day, I don't have GP visits every Friday, just 8 in the year but today does happen to be one of those 8.
Here is my rough day:

8.15 Leave for GP surgery
8.50 Get stuck in a horrible traffic jam and only move 1mile in 30 mins. Perfect.
9.30 Arrive at GP surgery 30 mins late, and very stressed and panicked.  GP is ok about this though and very understanding - phew!
9.40-11.00 See patients at the GP surgery, a good mix of cases but mostly older patients due to the demographic of the town this GP surgery is in.  Quite a few "heart sink" patients though like an elderly lady who has recently gone blind, has epilepsy as well and now is also very depressed.  She is a "heart sink" patient because its quite difficult for the GP to treat her depression through medication at any rate as anti depressants can increase the amount of seizures in those with epilepsy and also certain antidepressants may interact with epilepsy drugs so this makes it harder for the doctor to choose a treatment for her which will not complicate  things further.
11.00-12.00 The GP goes on house calls at this point.  This GP surgery seems to do a lot more house calls than other surgeries I have been attached to although maybe this is partially because of the older population here.

The house calls bring a whole new level to the heart sink factor as the five the GP I am shadowing takes are all at a care home for people with very advanced dementia.  It does really shock me how absent some of the residents in this care home are, some are able to answer the GPs equations about their symptoms but others are simply staring vacantly at the walls/ ceiling.  Now when I say phrases like "vacant" I don't mean any disrespect to the patients or their families, that's just simply how it is, some of these patients had such advanced dementia that they had absolutely no idea what was going on around them and didn't ever realise the doctor was there.  These cases are heart breaking as there is so little that can be done for the patient (beyond treating whatever acute bout of illness has caused the doctor to be summoned).  I think in many ways its probably harder for the relatives than the patients once an individual reaches this degree of illness because beyond the occasional lucid moment that they may have, for the most part the patient will not be aware that things had been different / that they are ill.

Afternoon:  I picked up those desk chairs I bought off ebay, definitely a bargain at £5.98! And fortunately it turns out you can fit 4 desk chairs in a ford ka, if you try really really hard! Anyway means I can now sit at my desk and write my essay on a comfy seat rather than a wooden fold out seat stolen from elsewhere in my house!

Met up with my research supervisor and get some of the stuff I need though not all of it, he is a very nice guy and we randomly talk about other career progression things for most of the meeting.  He always enthuses me research wise when I meet up with him, its just when I'm not meeting up with him it can be quite tricky to hear back from him and get help with the bits I need help with :/.

In the evening, I cook/eat dinner, do a decent amount of essay, write this and now its bedtime and the weekend!

My weekend will not be exciting so here is its summary: Tomorrow I will be working till 5.30 at WHSmiths earning money for food and other such luxuries (or for another four desk chairs, who knows!), Sunday I am determined to virtually finish that essay.

So there you go, the average (rather than exciting stories) week of a fourth year medical student :)

Halfadoc x


  1. Oh. Oh gawd. I was gonna say something really insightful and coherent, then that awful, awful meme destroyed my train of thought (and much of my frontal cortex, I suspect).

    Seriously though, that sounds standard fare for a GP placement. Glad you sound like you enjoyed it. I did too - I got an entire week's worth of crappy Facebook statuses off the shit my patients said :)

    I'll be back.

  2. The funny thing is you only have yourself to blame for that meme ;) (I have been enjoying memes on your blog rather a lot so thought why not throw the odd one into mine and I just couldn't resist this one :P)

    Yeah I do enjoy the gp visits, it definitely helps that I have a very friendly GP whose keen to teach :)