Friday, June 8, 2012

The End of Another Placement.

Seriously cannot believe it has been 6 weeks. It literally blew by. I didn't think it would as I wasn't particularly busy and I had quite a few day offs as well (bank holidays, etc). My friends said that you cannot find a happier medical student on placement than me. I will admit, the placement started off quite slow...but once it got going...I truly truly truly did not want it to end. It's the first specialty where I could see myself work in as a career. Before starting, I was a bit hesitant as ever since I knew I wanted to do medicine, I wanted to do orthopaedics. I had very high hopes for it. Obviously I was very excited to start the placement, but there was a bit of doubt in the back of my mind. These 6 weeks could either make or break this specialty for me. I was actually scared that I will end up not liking orthopaedics...and actually hating it.

Luckily, orthopaedic surgery is just like how I imagined it to be. I was genuinely happy. It's the first placement where I enjoyed everything about the specialty. I enjoyed the surgeries. I enjoyed being on the ward (which was minimal to be fair). And I can't believe I am saying this but I enjoyed clinic. Everything clicked for me. I never struggled waking up to go to this placement. I had 8am meetings to go to (where I had to wake up at 6am) and I never struggled. If this was any other specialty and was told to go to an 8am meeting...I can guarantee you I would struggle and would probably turn up late or maybe even miss it. I was actually motivated to work hard in this placement. I didn't work hard because my supervisor was strict/I was scared of him...I actually worked hard because I enjoyed the specialty. I felt no pressure to work hard...actually my supervisor kept telling me to take it easy and made it very free. It was all down to me. There were times where I wished I was in more.

This was probably the most flexible and easy going placement I have had this year, but this is easily the one placement where I have learned the most. I had lots of fun, but also learned a lot of useful things. I am so lucky to have a supervisor who is really good with teaching and letting me progress. You all probably remember me having great praises for my last O&G placement and that it has set a very high bar. This orthopaedic placement just blew through that bar. I mean I knew it was going to be hard to have more fun and more responsibilities than my last placement, but wow this placement was fantastic. I have nothing but good things to say. I got to scrub in. I assisted in surgery. I learned how to suture and help close up. I saw patients in clinic on my own and got to examine them. I got to start and finish an audit project. I really could not ask for more. I don't even think I could do much more.

Today started out like any other day. Early meeting and then to morning clinic. Usual banter in the meeting...lots of good laughs and teasing. I took up my usual spot at the back of the room against the cabinet. Then off to clinic. Busy clinic as usual. Saw new patients on my own. Did the usual. I'm sure no one knew it was my last day because everything was going like it was just another day of my placement. Patient by patient...the note pile got smaller and smaller. Clinic was coming to an end. Next thing I knew my supervisor was signing my feedback form off. Had a bit of a chat about the placement and then a solid handshake. To be honest it was tough to leave. I wasn't sick of the placement yet. Just wasn't ready for it to end already. Every day when we finish and before I leave, I always crack a: "When am I seeing you next?" It was weird not to say that as I was heading for the door. I didn't even know what to say as I left. I think all I kept saying was "thank you" as I dragged my feet out the door. Even now...I'm absolutely gutted this placement is over. Feels like someone shot me out from cloud 9. Next week is going to be tough. Back to lectures. Back to reality. Then on to GP and being cooped up in a clinic from 9-5. No surgeries. Not in a hospital environment. Going to be out of my element. Hurts just to think about it. Should be a crime to enjoy a placement so much.  Genuinely loved this placement. Entered placement as one of the happiest medical student you can find to probably the most gutted one at the moment. What a contrast. Just shows you how much I enjoyed this placement.

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