“How much gin does it take to get through a weekend of ward cover?”: ‘pregnancy’, medical emergencies and norovirus


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So I’m 6 months in… No wait SEVEN months! how, just how does time go so so so fast. (okay probably more like 8 months by the time I post this)


I’m currently on (well finished) my 2nd rotation of F1 in the acute medical unit/MAU/emergency floor… AKA a bit of the hospital that is a sort of ‘purgatory’ post A&E/GP for patients prior to either going home or being actually admitted onto a ‘normal’ ward.



It’s errr okay. I would say i am definitely not enjoying it as much as my previous job and find a lot of very much similar to if I was a secretary or a PA with a stethoscope…

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I’m finding the on calls are the saving grace… And that’s weird. Being the medical F1 on call at the weekend with 1 SHO covering approx 300+ patients is like fighting a fire with a small pound land water pistol. It’s a bit nuts, its testing but it’s rather fun… I suppose I just a bit of punishment and pain… And definitely the satisfactory moment when you see the patient again on monday who was NEWS-ing a 14 is now a 0.



But some times the bleeps you get make you want to hit your face against a wall.



Especially on my on call the other week I got 88 in 13 hours… pretty much one every 5-7 minutes. including a time where I got 19 in 45 minutes, including bleeps of why haven’t I done the thing they asked me to do already.

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The saving grace is my eye roll can’t be detected over the phone for some of the more ridiculous bleeps such as:

“Doctor Doctor, can my patient go downstairs and see his dog?”

Or normally the slight look of sheer panic on my face when I was bleeped by a nurse saying:

“Doctor Doctor, my patient’s blood pressure of 52/35”


“Doctor Doctor, my patient has just vomited about 700ml of blood. Can you come and see him?”

Or the look of ‘are you having me on’

Doctor, my patient going to the hospice doesn’t have a renew date on his DNACPR. Can you come and review him for his DNACPR please before he goes to the hospice?”

are you kidding me

We have a fast bleep system where you can call a “medical emergency” or cardiac arrest… We have a system by which you can put out a fast bleep… Fast bleep by which our bleep shouts at us “MET CALL *insert location here*” and we come fairly quickly and you get a team of 5+ Doctors.

This works well and fairly often its 80 year old Mrs Mavis whose fainted in the ‘flower room’ or Costa. But, it’s a fast and sure-fire way to get help quick… But alas the adventures in medical on calls continue for another 4 months!


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I just love the patients that have no filter what so ever… I had one man tell me to wear more make-up as I looked tired, I kindly explained I was at the end of my 3rd 13 hour shift and quite frankly all I wanted to do was head butt my bed and collapse.

However, the other week i went to go and see a very rotund lady or as per OSCE language ‘large body habitus’, really really large body habitus… see I can use PC language when needed…

I was tasked with finding a vein, which I was doing when she perked up and said…

“I guess I must say CONGRATULATIONS”


Which in this situation could only be 1 of a very few things…

  1. I found a vein
  2. she mistook the ring on my right ring finger for my left hand
  3. She thought i was pregnant

Lets just say i was still hunting for a vein, i did not have my ring on that day… So yes ladies and gentlemen she was congratulating me on my ‘pregnancy’ or as I like to call it my bacon and egg baby from the cafeteria that morning… (I like to think it would have been a girl)
I kindly explained to her that no, sorry I am not pregnant. to which most people would be embarrassed, the only time i did that on the tube i got off at the next stop from pure mortifying embarrassment.

But no… She then patted her stomach and said

“Oh don’t worry you’re just a bit like me”



There are vaguely mortifying moments like this consistently. Mostly involving elderly patients shouting things at me. Including a 78 year old calling me a ‘ugly c*&t’ for taking her blood…

The other day however, I opened up a curtain to a patient I had to do a PR on and low and behold he was on the bed on all fours… A lot of awkward ‘mmm no please err lie on your side’ continued and luckily we had a good giggle about it

[I did try to find a photo by googling ‘all fours’… Mistake… a BIG mistake]


I must say I am really enjoying the job all in all and feel like now I can manage acute situations in which I’m managing well and getting lovely feedback. I am loving medicine (surgery lets just say isn’t for me…), and discovering I’m very much a generalist. I don’t think I could ever be a specialist therefore, I think I am very much leaning towards acute medicine as I secretly enjoy a good ‘oh holy shit my pants’ moments.

But the best bit of the on call is the gin and tonic at the end of it… my God so much gin


Well chaps, until next time… I am writing this after a weekend on call and having the jots of norovirus because Mrs bed C5 decided that it was a great idea to give it me.

Go to Geriatrics they said, it’ll be fun they said…

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“Doctor… Doctor” Oh shit you mean me? – errr throw some fluids at it? Sando-k? Wait eerrr what’s their NEWS again? Maybe just ask the SHO… 

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Yes that’s right… this graduate medicine applicant, a little project i started 5 years ago while i was living abroad is now a DoctorThe dream right? 


Lets just ignore the part where a patient had diarrhoea on standing and it went all over my new work shoes and the fact that it took me nearly 2 months as the Gastro F1 to master the spelling of Diarrhoea*

*If anyone is interested ink y way to spell it: I’m in a DIA situation so i better Run Run… Help… O’dEAr   – Me 1: Dyslexia 0 

So as you can see i managed to pass my finals, only royally cocked up one OSCE station where i had no idea that it was a psych station gotta love those actors…




I spent my time over exams living with 2 amazing friends and their 93 year old gran who decided to help my homeless living, between my car, hospital accommodation, my girlfriends place (oh yes… that’s right!) and a hostel in central London above a bar i frequented on a regular basis (on the bright side that commute home was beautiful).

I lived with my 2 friends and their 93 year old grandmother… Whose ability to knock back the wine and gin and tonics was way better than mine could ever be, I can now honestly say I have been out drank by a 93 year old. 


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I also had a wonderful week of: a close friends wedding, our graduation ball (free flowing alcohol) and my actual graduation, the day after the graduation ceremony I’ve never been so unwell in my life. It had me put off prosecco for a long time – and thus so forth is the most middle class sentence I’ve ever typed – 



It was one of those hangovers where even putting clothes on was too much, I crawled downstairs and curled on a sofa watching Judge Judy trying not to throw up the vast amount of 4am chicken nuggets I’d consumed in the previous week…

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But it was great fun and after a full 2 months off, going on holiday, seeing family, seeing friends I had neglected for a long period of time due to finals and living nomadically out my car… I moved to my new ‘home’ for the next year.

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Its pretty amazing what you can fit in a Cleo

I am living in a wonderful part of the country, i mean there is a Waitrose, i can cycle everywhere, I can see fields and greenery! It’s just a bit lovely really. Also the hospital is lovely, everyone is so friendly and because its small you get to know a lot of people really quickly, you have a lot of responsibility and the support offered is exceptional! DGH’s for the win!

The first few days were very much death by powerpoint and everyone sharing the same expression of complete terror, the desperation to get paid, nervousness and social awkwardness, all while walking in a giant protective pack


However, my ‘shadowing’ days were a small baptism of fire… Armed with an ID badge, a pager, my stethoscope and pretty much no knowledge having drunk it all away over the summer I entered my ward for the next 4 months and had to mutter the most terrifying thing ever…

“Hello My name’s graduatemedicineapplicant and I’m the new F1 doctor”


That was particularly scary… But hey ho I had 2 days of “shadowing” ahead… But no, oh wait the F1’s were on holiday and one called a sickie… GREAT! FANTASTIC! just what i wanted to hear when I barely knew which way my stethoscope went in my ears.


So my first 2 days of ‘shadowing’ was met with sheer panic of not knowing which of the 6 computer systems you can read bloods on or do prescriptions, someones BP is 70/40 eerrr hartmanns? no saline? shit they have heart failure… What do I write on the list? How to i request an X-ray? WHERE DO I GET TEA FROM???


It was interesting to say the least and having to explain over and over again, I’m new, I have NO idea what i am doing to many people.

My first official day of Doctoring consisted of my holding the Crash bleep and being on call…

The crash bleep is the bleep that a set team of people hold each day that get called to cardiac arrests, and medical emergency calls. I didn’t realise it would talk to me, it makes a wonderfully shrill noise and then tells you where to go and you run… Except it doesn’t do the useful thing and provide a GPS map of the hospital to direct you.

So when I was called to the ‘flower room’ It might as well as said ‘find the holy grail’. I did not find the flower room and still have no idea to this day where it is!


I’ve also just finished my first job which was amazing, such an incredible team of doctors, nurses, HCA’s, housekeeping staff etc… I wont go into any specifics now except i’ve had at least 4 different types of bodily fluid on me, had someone poop in my hand, had to explain to a ‘delirious’ patient that I am not Kate Middleton and i need to listen to his chest (best compliment ever) and negotiated a delirious patient out of a hostage situation in the sluice…



I must say though the confidence that I’ve gained in 4 months work is more than in a year of medical school… You learn so quickly how to manage certain situations and just on calls generally. But I must say you do need a good sense of humour to get through the job some days!


I wont say anymore now… Have a very merry Chirstmas


Lesson of the year – Don’t drink and sign up for a marathon

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Shit sorry its been so long again, I started writing a post and then LIFE just happened… So much life has happened so again I apologise (or lets just say quality over quantity.. yeah?).

i am human

BUT a lot has happened so, a quick run down since MAY!

I PASSED ‘4th year’ (well my 3rd year of medical school) AND I did well!

The OSCE was a mild disaster as it took me 2 minutes to realise that I was in an ALS (advance life support station) and I let the person essentially die for 3 minutes while I was looking for a Pulse Oximeter, why you ask? I have NO IDEA. I’m sure I heard the examiner laugh as i mutters ‘Well Fuck’ when i realised that the patient was actually DEAD and i was meant to be doing chest compressions!


So exams – Tick… Next, oh my elective! 

You maybe waiting for me to tell you about my exotic island hopping experience in the pacific islands or my life saving missions in Africa. But sadly not… Instead i went to the local DGH for 8 weeks to do A&E and pre-hospital medicine #poorpeopleproblems

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I had many reasons for staying in the UK but mainly that:

  1. I am so so poor and needed to work throughout the summer
  2. Apparently the moment you hit your mid-20’s all your friends decide to get married! (3 weddings over the summer!!!! THREE)
  3. I actually know a lot of the people in the A&E and therefore had an AMAZING time
  4. I’ve worked and travelled abroad a lot before, so for me this wasn’t a one time opportunity
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I did see something similar…

Most people would turn their noses up to staying local, but i had an amazing time! I averaged about 3 days a week and got to do so much stuff including: suturing, becoming a boss at cannulas, histories, trauma calls, cardiac arrests.

Post-elective I went on a 2 week road trip in America and used all the money i earn over the summer that was ‘profit’


So… Post elective and onto FINAL YEAR. 

So final year kicked off with an interesting note… My wonderful arse-hole of the friend entered me into the London Marathon Ballot. For those of you who don’t know the ballot is essentially a lottery, you put your name in and wait.

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My Dad called me one night and told me I had a place in the marathon… I thought he was calling to tell me I had a speeding ticket but quite frankly I don’t know what’s worse. The night only got more interesting…

So, after finding out about my marathon place and being in complete denial about the fact that I may have to actually do some running for the first time in 6 months, I got dumped… So as a slightly pissed off upset person and having an amazing housemate of a best friend. We got shit faced… Like sit in your living room drinking 2 bottles of red and half a bottle of rum shit faced. 


This lead to at 3am signing up and paying for my place in the marathon, which was recorded on snap chat and is my only recollection of the entire night… apart from waking up spooning with my housemate. 


Safe to say the next morning waking up with one of the worst hangovers of my life, single and running a marathon was a bit of a shock to the system.

are you kidding me

So its now X-mas after 8 weeks of GP where I was independently seeing patients which ranged from: tearful mothers, acutely unwell mental health patients, adorable babies and children, a septic toddler, a man with a broken penis (yup), A guy who was stoned and thought he had found a third testicle, man-flu and an army of mothers wanting antibiotics for a runny nose.


I really enjoyed it but very much think GP life isn’t for me right now, I’ve very much got the A&E/Trauma & Ortho bug.

The last few weeks have been alcohol filled to say the least. I did the medics Xmas show (and 2 other shows and just a lot of drinking with friends) this year which was one of the most fun weeks I’ve had at medical school. Slightly disgracing myself on the Wednesday night and having to walk to placement with an incredible hangover… What made it worse was a women sound down her car window and said to me 

“Love, you look like you need these right now” 


Wonderful… I looked that bad, not hangover bad, but existential crisis bad

So goals for 2017: 

  1. PASS Medical school and actually become a Doctor (as set out in this blog nearly 4 years ago!)
  2. ‘Run’ the London Marathon and not die 
  3. Carrying on bossing life and having as much fun as I can 
  4. Attempt the world of dating 
  5. Try and a bit of an adult (apparently it’s all the rage amongst my friends – Marriage, babies, buying houses, paying off their student debt)



Hello… Is it me you’re looking for?: I’m back, 4th year, rectal exams and ‘working’

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This year has been so so busy and so much fun. I thought I’d go back to where I left off…

i am human

EXAMS, so last year I had exams and actually I did well… Yes, you’re probably as shocked as I am. I actually came in the top 8% of my year of 400! From the girl with a C in GCSE Chemistry. So i was ecstatic, it’s so nice to see that a bit of work pays off!

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So going back to my 3rd of the 4 years (otherwise known as 4th year in the general cohort). My first 11 weeks consisted of A&E, Anaesthetics and orthopaedics. My favourite rotation of the year… 

I think my friend got the best A&E story by mishearing the registrar who said to do a back exam on a patient with back pain but convinced her and consented for a ‘back passage’ aka a RECTAL exam. A&E has literally been my favourite place ever… Apart from the drunk who touched my bum.


Anaesthetics was great, i spent it cannulating (most of the time), failing to cannulate in front of the super hot anaesthetist who was out firm head. I just crumbled every time she looked at me… I reverted to being a teenager. But i tell you she was SO hot.


ahhh McSteamy my old friend

Orthopaedics was good, I liked the attitude of there is a broken bone, let me fix it! Pretty much all i know about orthopaedics. but i got to use POWER TOOLS, yes my inner dyke got super excited when presented with a drill and screw driver. I may have got too excited and stood there plotting my tool belt…



I spent the entirety of Christmas working in my job in Urgent Care (got to love the lack of student finance) Where I got called impotent by a patient, to which my response was “I think you mean incompetent, but that’s another issue”
As you can imagine that went down rrreeeeaaaalllllllllllyyyy well… I do enjoy my job, I have some great friends there, that makes working at 8am on a sunday bearable.


From my first term to January, I produced a musical. Which was probably one of the most memorable things I’ve done. It was so much fun, I spent far too much money drinking strongbow and black (after promising my 21 year old self to never drink the stuff again).
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Which one night lead to me ‘chundering’ approximately 6 times into the canal to then drag myself into uni only to have a SURPRISE mock OSCE, personally i think of many other surprises I’d rather have. The headache, the nausea and my lack of colour in my face made me look ill, Thankfully the anaesthetists didn’t think i had a hangover on a tuesday morning and thought I had a cold.

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I’m shocked none if them smelt the strongbow leaking through my pores.

SECOND ROTATION – Obstetrics and Gynaecology 
So yeah… vaginas and babies. Some would say I’d enjoy this rotation and do really well. I did enjoy some of it, assisting in a delivery possibly one of the coolest events ever. Broodiness set in hugely!

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Broodiness was then crushed when I babysat for a 2 year old in full on ‘tantrum mode’ for 4 hoursFOUR HOURS

I think the highlight of this rotation was being with women when she was in labour and giving birth. You spend up to and over 12 hours with them, so by the end of it you know their life story. A young girl I was with in labour all but chucked her mother out, who kept looking at her daughters vagina saying “I did this to push you out, don’t you dare swear at me”, safe to say when it began resembling a Jeremy Kyle episode the mother got sent out.
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I also did more musical theatre AND went to Sweden, yes i know this term it seems like I’ve skived a lot and had more fun than done any actual work, which is partially correct…

ladyand the tramp

During this rotation I began to run as well. Yes that’s right RUN. From the girl kicked out PE, Chief officer of the ‘I don’t run unless I’m being chased club’, ran a 5k in 38 minutes in a race called run for chocolate. It felt great, and yes i am still ‘running’ or a better work of slow jogging away… Even if my calves are on fire 99% of the time.


THIRD ROTATION: Paediatrics, Geriatrics and Dermatology

Final rotation, we got the pleasure of having no easter holiday, so instead I took a few days out and went to Wales with the bae, which was awesome. I must say I do like paediatrics, i LOVED paediatrics A&E. There seems to be a theme with me enjoying A&E, working in urgent care etc. I’m yet to sample the delight that is geriatric psychiatry, ever since my psych rotation I’ve not wanted to step foot in the psych wards again, but hey ho!

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So here I am in Cornwall on my paediatrics rotation sitting on a friday night cuddling a dog. That is a short view into my year, obviously i am going to try post more often now and post about some of my stories from this past year.

Lauren Clarke Dog picture

I think the main things from this past year have been: 

  • I can’t tolerate alcohol as much, hangovers hurt ALOT more than last year
  • I’m having a lot of fun… almost too much fun at times
  • I can run!
  • Enjoy London while its here (and I’m not carted off the Scotland)
  • Time flies and I am shit scared to be a final year
  • I know NOTHING 









End of term review 3.0! – “I hope you don’t grip your fella like that”

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It’s finished! (well hopefully), finally the longest year ever is finished.


I’ve sat all the exams, done my final rotation and its been a good term overall. Apart from the never ending exam stress sending us all rather insane, made me gain 5 pounds and get drunk really easily


This term i did 10 weeks on what they call an abdomen firm (piss, shit and vomit to put it nicely)… This basically means EVERYTHING in the abdomen from the nipples to crotch, which is a lot of systems to learn essentially in 7 weeks due to the fact we got NO study leave.

I have really enjoyed this rotation and it has definitely been my favourite, but it’s been a shame to not have more time on it as I’ve LOVED the surgery aspect of it… Even if i got teased and picked on 90% of the time in surgery, which normally was a result of myself making up anatomy in the body… Who knew the liver didn’t have 12 lobes?!

Feelings from all medical students everywhere

It seems all those hours spent watching greys anatomy only helped me on 2 occasions, but still thank you Shonda Rhimes!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time you’ll probably remember that I don’t exactly have the best track record with the male anatomy and yet again this proved true…

We have to get a genitalia exam signed off, so begrudgingly I went to a clinic where I learnt to do the exam. However the Doctor who was doing it had a ‘lets torture the lesbian med student’ and I ended up holding this guys testicles, then I was told to feel them and look for lumps.
Just to let you know I am a professional so this is fine… HOWEVER, I am rather unaware of my strength at times
So while I was feeling for lumps the patients spoke up
“I hope you don’t do that to your fella”

Safe to say I went bright red moved my hands far away and attempted to mumble a come back. So I then spent the rest of the clinic being ripped to pieces by the doctor

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Most of the term went without a hitch, It was really enjoyable and I got to do some really cool things. So here are my Abdomen rotation highlight *Cue Montage*:

1.Spending a day with an anaesthetic consultant who let me intubate and control patient airways (The one thing BIG hands are useful for!)
2.Scrubbing in on surgery and being a glorified retractor holder
3.Spending a night with the surgical F1 clerking in and doing all the bloods on ‘my own’ patients
4.Having some awesome people in my firm – this really is the key i think!
5. Actually feeling like I can manage stuff now and not cowering in the corner when picked on

It’s amazing really how much I’ve changed over this last year, I found it really hard at the start and hated my first rotation (psych/neuro), which made me actually wonder if medicine is for me. But I’ve loved this last one and have seen my confidence grow 10 fold.

Even though the rotations went well there was still the matter of actually having to pass the year and sit the dreaded exams…

First the written exam was 6 hours of hell on one day. Each exam being 3 hours long each with 100 MCQ questions. Naturally with a short attention span and i don’t spend ages on a question as I either know it or I don’t i managed to finish both exams within 90 minutes.


Which was good, I HATE exams

With the run up to exams we had to get into a clinical skills lab to do numerous skills we could get in our OSCE like: venepuncture, catheterisation, CPR, surgical gowning, BP, rectal exam etc.

However due to the amount of students there was a better chance of finding the Holy Grail that getting a slot in the clinical skills room.


Therefore, a wonderful (and slightly strange) friend of mine decided to make some homemade catheter models…

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Yes I’m worried for him too

P.s. do not get cannulae and catheter mixed up and tell your friends that they can catheterise you… It will end in a year of teasing with even more proof that you should never become a urologist

Overall the OSCE went okay, it wasn’t fantastic but it wasn’t a complete disaster. I even managed to say my name correctly this year and not call myself a boys name…


The only complete disaster was psych, and well that was pretty much a fail as soon as the patient told me Mi5 were chasing him.
As well as most of my differential diagnose’s being ‘space occupying lesion somewhere in the brain’… Again I’ve ruled out neurology as a future career


The problem with the exams is that everyone gets very stressed and the conversations all revolve around revision. I feel sorry for all my family and non-medic friends as the only conversations I could have for a month were like..
“What have you been up to?”
“Cool… Got any nice plans for the weekend?”
“Well I’m taking an exciting trip into the centre of London to a new library”
“Oh… Enjoy!”

I pretty much felt like the most boring person on the planet while having all the feels that I still know absolutely Fuck-all

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Now I am on holiday, well I use holiday as a very loose term as I’m spending more time in hospital working in my holiday than I was in term time… But here’s to 2 weeks time where I will be put out of my misery to find out if I have passed! But you know even if I fuck up there are still plenty of options…

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But, this is a message to all of you people applying for medical school this summer, sitting the entrance exams, writing the personal statements, finding the holy grail, performing brain surgery etc etc.

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Oh you’re engaged? You’re pregnant? – I’m sitting here eating my little cousins cookie crisp in my PJ’s: End of rotation review 2.0

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How was your Christmas and New year, valentines and easter?
Eventful? Loud? Stressful? Welcome to my last 3 months!

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These last 3 months have been insanely busy to the point where I am currently refusing to leave the house for 3 days straight as I haven’t had more than 1 day off since January.

So Christmas was fun (also how was that 3 months ago?!?), i still feel like i’m suffering from the social hangover that was hanging out with 30 members of my family for 3 days straight and probably explains why I haven’t been back up north since.

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Also, you know you are starting to grow up and get deep into your 20’s when…Not 1, not 2 but FIVE friends of mine in my home town got engaged over Christmas… FIVE!! And another is pregnant and 2 have put offers on a house are you kidding me Like, my biggest accomplishment was eating my thighs weight in cheese… Priorities



It’s okay for a few people to have their shit together, but nearly ALL my friends from my school days have their shit together, be it in employment, in a relationship, engaged, buying a house, having enough clean underwear meaning they don’t have to buy some from Tesco in a packet… 9a9ec-existentialcrisisBut who cares, i like the fact I can still turn up to Tesco in my Scrub bottoms and just claim “I’m a student” if anyone questions my decision.


BUT, There are some real functioning adults in society who actually understand what a tax code is  And I am not one of those adults…


But on the bright side, I am LOVING this rotation I have just finished, Cardiology and respiratory medicine.

It has just felt 100x better than Psych and Neuro. The Doctors and all the staff on the wards just seem so much nicer and geared to having students hang around. I think it’s been nice to actually get involved with a team of the same doctors and nurses who recognise you and then treat you as a member of the team… Even if that is just running around on the ward round taking bloods, fetching things, doing obs for the nurses etc.

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It’s just a fresh breath of fresh air compared to last term and it feels a lot more how I thought the clinical years would be! And has reinstated my motivation for medicine… even if 12 week terms are very long (well I’ve attended 10 weeks worth… oops)


I think though this term the fact that I’ve had more of a social life and my housemates who were on a peripheral attachment (where you are placed in a hospital outside of London) are back so there is a full house. But also I stage managed a musical which was THE MOST FUN EVER!

I must say anything that gets me drunk enough to walk down old Kent road at 4am singing and dancing to the chorus line is a win win in my book


I’ve also got the joy of having to work night shifts in a minor injury unit as a manager and had the joy of having someone shout “Go F*&k yourself” down the phone to me after letting a patient know that we don’t personally deliver a prescription (for paracetamol and ibuprofen) to her house on a well known public holiday is always a joy

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But in an attempt to widen my skill set I’ve had a go at baking, mostly  due to my yearly obsession with the great british bake off… Let’s just say if medicine doesn’t work out for me I’m screwed.

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And on that note, I leave you with the life lessons I have learnt in these past 3 months:

1. Don’t be afraid to be bold and ask for help and to do things! It will get you noticed (please use common sense and be polite though)

2. Also ask what opportunities are available… You’ll be surprised at what can come your way

3. Put your consultants name in your phone in CAPITAL LETTERS so you don’t subsequently drunkly text him instead of your housemate at 3am

4. Join a non-medics society or something to do outside of medicine!

5. Don’t leave the log book to the last week, make sure you carry it from the 4th week to pick up sign-offs when you can

6. Relax more and enjoy yourself more, anxiety will go away

End of rotation review: I’m going to hell and hell is where I am being made to run a 5K

Gggggggooooooooooooooooddddddd  mmmmooorrrnnnniiinnnnggg

Long time no see…

Time has literally flown these past few months with finishing off my first clinical placement in psychiatry and neurology

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There have been some ups and some downs, but I’m finally nearing the end of the placement and a 16 week term. It’s been a long ass term! But mostly enjoyable none the less.

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Psychiatry has been a hard one to start with I won’t lie, mid-term I did feel myself going a little bit crazy and diagnosing myself with pretty much any kind of personality disorder possible, as well as being all of 10 seconds away from pulling up a bed in the psych ward.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 23.59.03 But there were some pretty interesting patients, including an elderly gentlemen who was having religious delusions, took one look at me and shouted

“You are a non-believer, a sinner and going to hell”

Quite frankly I don’t think he was that delusional.


But apart from that it’s been a good experience. I’ve fully mastered the art of being the awkward looking medical student attempting to look vaguely busy, as well as being the student who manages to make up an extra cranial nerve due to adding a 13th word into the dirty mnemonic AND accidentally set off the panic alarm in the community psych building causing 6 members of staff to come running… Sorry!

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 But its the end of the rotation and I still feel as thought I know NOTHING…

Apart from I know a few things about ridiculously rare diseases due to my placement being in a tertiary centre, so I can actually say watching all seasons of House 3 times over has helped me in medical school… thank you Hugh Laurie

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Really its just been a long slog, an enjoyable one, I’ve pretty much ruled out neuro and more than definitely ruled out psych as possible future career choices, they just aren’t really for me. But with the placement and the studying comes the fun stuff! And there has been some fun stuff… That mostly revolved around alcohol, the invention of RUMBONGO (Rum+Umbongo) and trying to reinstate some sort of romantic/sex life hahahaha, which obviously failed rather miserably…

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To the point where family members have asked me if I’ve considered using online dating and I secretly have to say no and take tinder off my home page on my phone.

I also decided to take a mini holiday mid term. Mainly for my mental health/sanity, but that long weekend turned into a week of playing with a puppy and wondering why Cornwall only had 8 people on tinder at a 20 mile radius.



But mostly my extracurriculars have revolved around a bottle of wine and being asked to be quiet due to playing cards against humanity in a public place (P.s. Not a good EC to put on a personal statement)

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But now I actually need to start exercising, my ridiculously sporty (well she runs and pays sport for fun) was going for a place in the marathon, and I stupidly said:

“Oh if you get a place on the marathon I will run a 5K”

Thinking no chance in hell it will happen… But guess what… She got a place


So now it looks like I actually need to go out and invest in a sports bra/torture device and some trainers as apparently converse aren’t suitable running shoes.

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So that’s really my last term, a bit boring really?
It’s really been a term of settling into this new medical student lifestyle

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But honestly the top tips for surviving Psych and neuro are:

1. Don’t self diagnose yourself with EVERY psychiatric condition going or MS anytime a muscle twitches… Well try not too…

2. Most of the questions in neuro can be answered with “I don’t know/understand/care”

3. Learn the god dam cranial nerves and not have to mime the Oh,Oh,Oh, to touch and feel… Every single time

4. Be nice to the nurses, they are amazing and your friends

5. Be nice to your consultant and laugh at his slightly disturbing jokes

6. Do not leave a 5000 word SSC to do the week before the deadline

7. There are always other students going through something similar to you… Don’t be afraid to talk to them and admit when you need help

8. Patients are humans too

9. Try and enjoy it as much as you can and take the opportunities available

Until next time… Merry Christmas

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 00.23.41Also well done WordPress for not recognising neuro and wanting to correct it too…

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Dear First medic year me, welcome to hell: A letter to my pre-medical school self


This is you a year from now, like the ghost of medical school future… So please don’t freak out!
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Congratulations on finishing the first week of medical school without a total breakdown, we won’t count the mini breakdown after the “introduction to chemistry lecture”… And no you still don’t fully understand what a mole is, nor will you ever really!

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Welcome to what is going to be the most intense, insane, enjoyable and life affirming year of your life! You will meet some amazing people, you will get utterly confused and your little heart will flutter, you lose all your confidence and then you will gain it backEnjoy the ride while it lasts!

So back to medical school and actually studying, you will panic, you will not understand 90% of the lectures for the first month and a half (and many more after that), but trust me when I say IT GETS BETTER! Just keep plodding along like you always have done, this year really is a marathon not a sprint. 

addison fat

And on the marathon note… No you will not run 5k, you will even learn that running for the bus isn’t really worth it – Your mantra of not running unless being chased, will still firmly be in place

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You will go on some a lot of nights out and subsequently after one of them you will turn up to a dissection session hungover…  And let me tell you now, it doesn’t end well! So please can you just not drink those cheap samba shots. You will thank future me and the toilet later.

Also please don’t fall asleep on the tube on the way to work and then blame it on Captain Morgan and his ship of spiced rum… You will have a horrific day and then your boss will hate you. This is guess is more just general life advice
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Around Christmas things will start making sense and you will pass your first exam very well and it will give you a boost of confidence you desperately needed!


After Christmas the work load will increase, but don’t panic and focus on what you need to know now and do not panic about exam content tested in July. Go to the library and work at your own pace, don’t feel pushed into lectures you don’t want to be in

But please please please ask for help! (more life advice) If you need help ask for it- Which, will be on many occasions, also don’t be scared or worried that other people are working a million miles faster than you at the start, they will help you! And by the end of the year you will be caught up with them!

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Also, it is so easily to get caught in a medical bubble, please make sure to deal with stuff as it happens and not leave it all until the summer, you will break a little and it will just explode, and it will be messy. You know what you’re like, please don’t bottle it all up!
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You will owe James your whole first year, you 2 will become unlikely very good friends and study partners working together 6 days a week, eating many a Sainsbury’s ready meal in the GEP room. Enjoy it, you will realise this is the best way for you to revise and that actually all those notes you wrote were semi-usless.

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So I know a lot of this just sounds like gobble-di-gook… But you will understand what I mean as the year goes on… However, here are 10 top tips to survive this year from me, well you but in the future: 

1. Study consistently, don’t let a topic you don’t understand sit there. Take your time and look over it!

2. You don’t have to follow what everyone else does, if you want to go study alone to understand the kidney… DO IT. Don’t sit in a lecture and get angry because you don’t understand it.

3. Keep your sense of humour… Luckily you don’t lose yours

4. Ask for help– I think this is the most important one. If you are struggling in anything whether it be studying, mentally or just something in your life ask for help, talk to someone… It will make everything so much better!

5. Take any opportunity you have and run with it. You will be offered amazing opportunities, make the most of them!

6. Call your parents and old friends more… you will get lost in this medic bubble and then realise it’s been 4 weeks without speaking to someone outside of your London bubble of medicine

7. Chill out every now and again and enjoy life! It is so hard to get caught up in studying to not enjoy yourself. Go on that date, take a weekend off to hang out with friends (Triple check) or go visit the parentals for some well needed TLC

8. Make a good impressions with staff, it will go a long way and help massively when getting jobs and stuff done!

9. You will look at 18 year olds and go “really was I like this”… well apart from using the penis shaped beer bong in the SU, you were a little… But there will be some good ones in amongst that bunch!

10. Think of witty remarks to use when people question your undergraduate degree. You will always get asked what you did first before medicine being a GEP, when you say disaster management you will get one of 3 responses… learn to embrace the wankers who ask “How is that a real degree”

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But chuck, well done!! You do actually PASS the year, and you exceed your expectations by far getting a 63% average… well done! and please please please remember about the samba shots 




After an insane and incredible 11 months of studying 2 years of medical school in 1… i’ve PASSED!!!

gggoooooooooodddddd Mmmmmmooooorrrnnnnniiinnnngggg…

It’s finally summer, which means medical school for this year is finally over!!


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It’s been 11 months of academic hell having never touched a chemistry book past GCSE and barely a biology book… but overall this year or last few months have mainly consisted of

Spending far too much money that my savings have all but disappeared – most of it on revision food…

And not really having a social life for the best part of 3 months

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I PASSED the graduate medicine year!!


I literally couldn’t believe it!!! i was sitting on a train on to way down to the shire to see the life giver when my results came out. I spent the first 3 hours of the train journey being a total fidget, with the man across from me looking really concerned until I finally managed to get onto the internet to find out my results and call 8 people irritating every one on the train… but finally it has all paid off!

I still don’t understand the basics of chemistry, and I was called a crap medical school by my cousin who asked me about 
mitosis (Telephase.. what??)

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BUT…I’m going to be a 3rd year medical student on the wards!


I’m both scared and nervous at the same time, they are trusting me to deal with actual patients now…
However, I’ve got to start thinking before speaking and actually remember all the information that I’ve had to press into my tiny brain this year, which I have already forgotten after working for a few weeks.

I’d really just hoping my brain has put it all away for ‘safe keeping’

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But now for a Holiday, I am going back to Thailand for a well deserved holiday to see friends, get sun burnt and eat my weight in Thai food… 
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See you after the summer!
Good luck to all of you sitting UKCAT, GAMSAT, getting results and applying..
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The head bones connected to: A. The neck bone, B. The arm bone or C. The Leg bone… Exams, attending “church” and trying not to lose my sanity

Goooooodddddddd mmmmmooooorrrrrnnnnnniiinnnnggg

It is late May and I know I’ve been slacking off but this month has well and truly been a whole different type of insanity…

Slow news day much?

Slow news day much?

I’ve been studying… No literally that is all I’ve been doing with my life the past month! I very much hit that stage of burn out where you start making up words
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Except these words I was making up very easily sounded like bits of anatomy I was meant to know, which to be honest isn’t great the week before the exam. But the first written exams were as vile as they could have been, they easily made the past papers look like a GCSE in media studies…
Screen shot 2014-05-26 at 20.05.06However, I do suppose it was a bit wishful thinking to think one of the questions would be;

Is the head bone attached to:
A. The neck bone
B. The leg bone
C. The arm bone

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We have these wonderful exams in medical school called OSCE’s – don’t ask me what it stands for! But they are essentially practical exams where you do things like take a patient history, take a blood pressure, perform CPR etc… Sounds simple enough ey? But you do 16 of them in one sitting.

All of these patients are actors and when you’re nervous having to do 16 of these stations, it’s very easy to make some basic mistakes…

It was just a mistake.... I swear

It was just a mistake…. I swear

Such as forgetting your own name

And yes that is exactly what I did, I went to introduce myself to the patient and then called myself a boy’s name (FYI I have lady parts fo those who don’t know). And I’m pretty sure the actor spent a good few minutes looking for my non-existent adams apple!

idiotI couldn’t even correct myself! I would looked even worse… Pretty sure I’ll be one of those stories lecturers tell next year before the exam “Just remember kids, know your own name, and gender… It’s not like you’ve had it for years!”

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But you know oh well onwards and upwards and it’s been a                  bank holiday!



And yes It is Tuesday and I am suffering with a hangover that has accumulated over 4 days of drinkingI believe the phrase “hanging like a bitch” is very suitable for the feeling I’m currently sporting. My alcohol tolerance has gone so so far down it’s unreal
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Me and some friends went to this day time club/fancy dress/awesome thing on sunday called “The Church”

It was fantastic! apart from the moment when I told my mother I was going to church on sunday, she was about to call an intervention…

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That holy water burns like a mother trucker

But you know all that drinking comes at a price… Checking my bank balance this morning gave me palpitations 
money I spent this weekend: £150  £174
Amount of units drank: God knows
Told off for crab dancing as a big group down borough high street: Priceless

But all that aside… There is a new season of orange is the new black out next week! There goes 2 days of productive-ness and 2 days of wishing I was Alex Vause’s prison wife…
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My next exam is in July… So until next timeScreen shot 2014-05-09 at 11.23.05