Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Angry Medic Goes To Hospital

*pauses to allow gasps, fainting, and flying pigs to take off*

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I, who study in one of the most traditional universities in the world, a university that stuffs you up to your eyeballs with biochemical trivia for the first three years and doesn't let you see the inside of a hospital, a university that tells all its medics "Great job on getting in, mate. Now put that stethoscope away and sit down for a few years", a university that lumps its medical students and its Natural Sciences students together for one half of the medical course, have actually stepped inside a hospital.

*more gasps, more fainting, flying pigs reach stratosphere*

The University, in an attempt to make sure its students don't go insane and perhaps forget that they're doing medicine, has incorporated a patient-contact component into the pre-clinical course called Preparing For Patients. Through the mercy of this component, we clinical-exposure-hungry medics are allowed into the hospital. Once a year.

And so it is that I stepped through the hallowed infamous revolving door of Addenbrooke's Hospital:

"You do not choose the hospital. The hospital chooses you."
--Addenbrooke's Hospital Pantomime 2006

Throughout the course of my PfP placements, I visited a cystic fibrosis ward, interviewed a hospitalised drill sergeant, listened to a Red Cross surgeon who was a doctor for the Taliban in Afghanistan, and got dragged into loads of storage cupboards by hot nurses. (Okay, maybe not that last one. --Editor) And I'm going to blog about each of those experiences. (No, not the storage cupboards! Perverts. --Ed)

(Oh, and after looking into the angry mob of faces that greeted me after my last Medscape post (which, I should add, a few people misunderstood; I was NOT insulting surgeons --Ed) I saw the glares of Medblog Addict, SeaSpray and my Donald Trump action figure staring back at me, reminding me that I am WAY behind on my Apprentice reviews. So during the next few days I'll also be posting up mini-recaps of the episodes so far, leading up to Episode 5 on Sunday.)

But first, taking a cue from sensationalist media *coughFoxNewscough* (and comedian Pablo Francisco --Ed) I leave you with a selection of quotes from my upcoming posts, to preview what's in store:

"All the Taliban really wanted was to restore order to Afghanistan, and after all that, you know, open some hotels and stuff."

"Take it from an old-timer, young 'un...three rules of life. One, no whinging. Two, humour always. And three, always think positive."

"The government's screwing Hinchingbrooke over, and so I've got to come here. It's a hassle, but then again, so's the government."

"I have a great body, I really do. And I could wear that suit." --Donald Trump, referring to a bathing suit of miniscule proportions.

And, back by popular demand, a smattering of quotes to once again illustrate what a great centre of intellectual might Cambridge is:

"IS THAT A BUTT?!" --screamed across the Dissection Room by a medic upon seeing a rectal examination model for the first time.

"Is it just me, or does your uterus also look like an oesophagus?" --one (male) medic to another, during a Histology microscopy session.

"You know how every lecturer tells you 'Back in the day, we used to have to learn so much more than you do now'? Well if you keep going back in time, this means you eventually arrive at a point where ALL the medical students were bloody GENIUSES. And that's not true, because they were idiots too. Just like you." --a lecturer trying to be sympathetic.

"Oh, you're screwed." --a visiting doctor, when asked how the recent changes in the medical profession (read: MMC) would affect us differently from medical students in his time.

Says it all, really.


Renal said...

Mate, someone was paying attention to histology?!?

carmelo said...

Thank God they keep you lot locked up in hospitals once you qualify, where everything is nice and contained....

The "IS THAT A BUTT?!" quote made me physically laugh out load, an acolade I don't often give to online writing so you should be proud of yourself.

I am soooooooooooooo glad I never wanted to be a doctor.

the little medic said...

I look forward to reading about your hospital encounter. It was 2 years of pre-clinical before I entered the hospital for the first time. (although they've since chenged the course so everyone gets to go to hospital all the time now - fuckers)

I also agree with Renal - people actually pay attention in Histology, our histology sessions were more a case of look at the pretty pictures down the microscope, I couldn't tell a rectum from liver.

Shinga said...

Recalled from a friend's first exposure to patients in a hospital: "Why do none of them look like the bodies in anatomy?".

Regards - Shinga

Mother Jones RN said...

Goodness, child, you had a very busy day. Your Mama Jones is very proud of you. I can't wait to read your next posts.


origin said...

Congrats on making it to hospital AM - after 3 years! Makes me glad that I opted for the small, non-sexy school here in the states where I was allowed to start working in the ER seeing patients almost my first month (yes, I'm rubbing it in). Truly, I don't think I would have survived my first year if it hadn't been for the patient contact reminding me why I was putting myself through all this nonsense. Of course, I can't tack Cambridge on my CV either.

Hold your chin up high, you're almost there! :-)

zewt said...

i wonder if i am the only non medic who reads this blog.

DrShroom said...

That last fella had it right; only I think we're all screwed

anna gregory said...

Bugger - your post has really cheered me up!

Do you wear white coats there, being all traditional? We don't get them in Leicester - I was gutted (Shallow, I know)

Loved your blog!


The Angry Medic said...

Renal: Oh heck no. The drool was running onto my notes when I was woken up by that particular sentence. Why is it that we medstudents are trained to wake up to the most perverted keywords?!

And I thought I blogrolled you months ago! Sorry, you're on the blog now. Great stuff mate!

Carmelo: You're back! It's great to see you on the blogs again mate.

Hahahahaha...I laughed out loud too when I first heard it. And thanks! I really appreciate that accolade. In fact, I'd appreciate even getting a snigger or an upturned mouth corner out of you. You ambulance techs are so grim.

Little Medic: They CHANGED the course? Bastards. I feel your pain, really I do.

And hey, like I told Renal, I mostly just coo at the colours in Histology. (I couldn't tell if the uterus was oesophageal either. But don't tell my course organiser. She'll dump me.)

Shinga: Hahahaha! As usual, your quotes are dead funny. You need to put down a couple of these quote posts yourself man.

Mama Jones: Aww, you heap undue praise on me as usual. Don't worry, I didn't make any nurses mad this time. (Well, except for that one ward sister I didn't give my number to.)


Origin: Argh! Rub it in, why don't you.

Heh. I envy you. I really do. I signed up for this, I know, which is why I'm going through it without complaining (well. In real life, anyway) but I envy you.

Oh, and I haven't made it past the three years yet. This was just a one-off thing in second year. Still, only another year to go!

Zewt: Hahaha...nope, actually, you're not the only non-medic my man. You're the only one who comments though. Which is why we love you *bats eyelashes* :)

Dr Shroom: No kidding. Don't depress me any more! I need to go find some fluffy bunnies.

Dan said...

remember. 0700. my room. we have work to do.

The Angry Medic said...

Anna Gregory: Aww, glad it helped someone. And us, white coats? Heck no. Except in Pharmacology lab, where the only ones around to admire us in all our authoritative double-door-bursting-through E.R. glory are guineapig intestines and bacteria.

I love your blog too. You've been blogrolled! (Yes, I put you under Med Students. Cos that's what you ARE, aren't you?)

Dan: *looks around shiftily* Dan! Not in public!

Heh. Yep, I haven't forgotten...

Argus Lou said...

All you medics are so laugh-a-minute. Just a way to keep sane?
Angry Medic, I love your comments wallpaper of weapons, ammo, stethoscope and gawdknowswhatelse (looks rather S&M).

Spirit of 1976 said...

"Is it just me, or does your uterus also look like an oesophagus?"

Ahhh, so that's how medics get their girlfriends to take it in the mouth.

*makes notes*

Junior DocSpot said...

Hurrah! The Hospital! About time too...
My first and second year visits were always a bit of a let down... Lots of waiting around and then being dragged to see some unsuspecting punter to 'take a history' between 5 of you. Hmmm.
Glad it has given you some enthusiasm though. It's a long haul without it ;)

The Angry Medic said...

Argus Lou: Wow, it's an honour to have such an esteemed writer comment on my humble efforts. A way to keep sane? Hmm maybe for the other medics, but it doesn't seem to be working for me. The voices in my head are getting louder.

And hey, you noticed the wallpaper! Finally! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! You've made my day *floats on cloud nine the rest of the day*

Spirit of 1976: Oh ack ugh. GOOD LORD.

And I thought the high standards of cleanliness you maintain at work extended to your mind as well...

Junior DocSpot: What the...? That's not a hospital visit, that's slave labour! And what do you learn from that anyway?

(Not that I'M in any position to comment, having learnt absolutely nothing on my hospital visits either beyond how to really, REALLY piss surgeons off :P)

NurseWilliam said...

Dude. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Let me know when you hit your emergency rotation. I can't wait to talk shop. Heh.

Argus Lou said...

Eh, Angry Medic! 'Esteemed writer'? Perchance you were referring to my writerly colleagues and author friends? I have yet to publish any book, and at the rate I'm lurking around all yer blogs, I'm not finishing that many short stories to annoy Eric Forbes with.
You should stop listening to those cantankerous voices in your head, man.

But, anyways, glad to have made your day. Or were you just messin' with MY head?

Anyhows, here's something maybe useful. I'm learning Deutsch, and the Germans have nice phrases for silly folk (like yours truly): "Not all your cups can be found in your cupboard."
Or, "you have lost one wheel" and "you don't tick right".

Will darken your blogstep another day... till then, Tchuss!

The Angry Medic said...

Nurse William: Hey, your blog is GOOD. Congrats on the Change of Shift mention! You've been blogrolled, by the way. Hope you don't mind the heading I've given you :P

Argus Lou: Ah, modest as always. Thanks for the drop-by. And, uh, the German lesson... *washes ears out with soap*