O-week, projects, placement and OSCE anxiety
So, I’ve been a silent the last week, mostly because I was a bit busy with o-week and school restarting that I found myself too tired to blog most nights! So, a little roundup – a “Last Week Tonight” if you will 😉
O-week was fantastic, and loads of fun. MUN makes attendance for the first day of o-week mandatory, but the rest is mostly optional, though most people try to turn out, and this year the turn out was pretty great 🙂 I love events like this, where I can take a planing or management roll of something I had done before as a participant, and so I got myself involved this year by leading a tour of the building, and planning two of the weeks events, the “Amazing Race” and the “Med Challenge.” The tour was nice, as I found myself remembering how little I had really known about the experience I was going to embark on at that time, and so I tried to be as informative as I could and give a “real talk” tour to them…that possibly in hindsight terrified a few people.
But in all honesty the tour was nice, and then the next day I took time off of o-week to get a little head start on my research project, which is a series of pamphlets with the same low risk family obstetrics practice that I was with for first year. Pre-natal clinic is always fun, and this time the resident that was there let me work the doppler and showed me how to determine baby position and head location, which was super cool.
OBs for life 🙂
The next day after that was the “amazing race” where the first year are put into teams and race around to different landmarks of the city, get a clue and do a task at each one. I planned that event so I’d called all the businesses, made the course, found volunteers for each station and made the clues and tasks, so it was neat to actually have the thing finally come to fruition 🙂 And it went really well in my opinion – lots of the class participated, , they found the stations and followed the clues well and they all seemed to have fun, which was the most important part!
Also, they got some hilarious selfies doing yoga with a chihuahua because yeah, that was totally a station #medschool 😉
That done I then met up with the other coordinator of the second event I put myself down for, the med challenge, which is the last event before the potluck on friday that everyone is really encouraged to go to as it’s a lot of fun. We have them play games like a scrubs relay race, egg and spoon races, making up a silly team name and chant, and a few secret things that must be kept within the med Mun family 😉
So we spent Thursday buying food and supplies for that event, making me glad I’d found my Costco card finally, and then the next day we actually ran the event, which also went off pretty well, if I do say so myself 😉 It even finished a bit early, which was fantastic as it meant I had some much needed time to frost and fill my Boston Cream Pie cake and shower for the potluck that night.
The potluck was the last event of o-week, where we meet up at a host house and bring food and buy booze for our niece or nephew in the year below and just have a nice relaxed meal. The host at our house did a great job, and we all had a great time before we made our way onto the party bus that us and another house had rented. I wasn’t planning on getting on the bus at first, or doing the event afterwards, but somehow I found myself on the bus (complete with loud music and stripper pole) and I actually had a really good time. It was nice to meet the new class, and to catch up with my own class after the summer break. The bus took up out to Cape Spear, where an “outdoorsy” pee break was had by all, and then to a gas station, where, despite having working bathrooms, most of the guys decided to pee in the evergreens – which hid nothing by the way – instead, so there was that 😉
But after all that fun we made our way to the curling club where a DJ was set up, and, in a shocking deviation from my usual character, I actually stayed and danced! And you know what?
I had a great time.
One of the best things about my med school experience has been the added confidence to try things outside of my comfort zone. Before med school I would never have put on a short little party dress, dyed my hair blonde, got a rockstar asymmetrical bob hairstyle (that I absolutely love by the way) and gone and danced for a couple hours. I just wouldn’t have had the confidence even if I’d had the opportunity, but now I do, and for all the speed bumps and hardships of medical school, that personal victory can’t be over looked 🙂
Of course, for every up there must be a bit of a down, because after o-week real school started again, which meant I headed out to Clarenville for my placement. I’ve been on placement for 3 days now, and it’s been pretty good so far: the doctor I’m with has a great teaching style, and for some appointments he lets me lead the interview and only interjects when I reach the end of my knowledge at the end, and even his way of doing that is really great. He treats it a bit like questions on the licensing exam to get me to think about the possible causes of an issue or a particular test needed, and I really like that, as the ability to look at a scenario in a focused way and integrate symptoms and treatment is still a skill we really need practice in.
Of course the downside of placement does mean getting up at 6am so as to make it in for ward rounds, having to do assignments and essays again and also starting to have to study for the OSCE, our first summative clinical skills assessment which is at the end of this month…In the words of the great and wise author of The Fault in Our Stars John Green:
“Ahhhhhhhh…is the sound my anxiety makes.”
But yeah, the OSCE is kind of big and looming and horrible – it will definitely get it’s own post about the details and the looming and the horrible, I promise – and we’re all already starting to freak out about it. It’s hard to study for because it’s so much info that needs to be transferred into practical skills, and then distilled down into a five minute examination (of panic). It doesn’t help that it’s been months since we’ve looked at a lot of this stuff, and with everyone having different facilitators for sessions we’re kind of left looking at all this material and going:
Seriously, vlogbrothers, google it. I don’t care if you didn’t like TFIOS just do it…my feelings on my chronic illness, my anxiety and my level of knowledge on the world all become better every time I watch one of their videos. Also I laugh, which is pretty important too 🙂
But yeah, the OSCE…sigh. Thankfully as I’m beginning to study stuff is coming back, but MSK and cardio still give me anxiety like whoa, and I know that it’s only going to get worse as September 30th gets closer. Mostly now I’m going over notes, looking at OSCE youtube videos (whee educational youtube) and using the OSCE book, as well as next week hopefully practicing some with my roommate for this placement for some practical experience. Overall all I can do is study, prepare and hope for the best, which is I guess what I’ll do and try to stay motivated and focused…
I want to watch the vlogbrothers…and get a tattoo. I should totally obsess about my preferred design while watching vlogbrothers videos…
…work in progress, that 😉
And now, it’s almost 10pm which means to bed, for all little med students who need to be up bright and early.
Mornings, why you gotta be so early? 😦