Thursday, January 6, 2011


By the grace of the fourth-year rotations allocator, I will be spending the next 5 and a bit weeks with the Vascular Team. At first I thought, "Oh no - 6 weeks of yucky ulcers", but it appears that, as the Medical Student, I do not have to look at the ulcers at all. I carry a backpack full of dressings as I follow the registrar and his entourage around the wards, occasionally peeping in through the drawn curtains to pass in some gauze or a green sheet.

After the ward round, the yucky ulcers are all bandaged up in layers of gauze and foam, nicely hidden from sight. When the interns do their patient reviews later (this is the part where the patient gets to talk and we all remember that they are human), the wound is not uncovered. They check obs, feel abdomens, listen to chests, try to find pulses and ask questions. Not so bad.

The best part is the compulsory coffee break after ward round, with coffee paid for by somebody with a paycheck (I.e. never the medical student).

The best-and-worst part is that I have to / get to do stuff all day. I do admissions, write discharge summaries, place cannulae, do examinations, and take blood.

The worst part is taking a quick lunch break and running into classmates as they leave to spend the afternoon in the sun.

And so begins fourth-year.

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