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Holiday Time!

Get in.

I would just leave it there but I’m not sure if two words is sufficienct for a month. Maybe three:

Get in. Haha.

Too much? =] Besides, I’m actually lying as the holidays don’t start until next week and, when I say holiday, I mean revision-fest…..(in a somewhat pathetic tone) wooooooo…..

Nah, as always, it’s not that bad. I get to go home where there is FREE FOOD!! YEAH!! Oh, and also my family of course =]. Haha. Seriously though, it is good to get home and catch up with the old crowd and others. Good times. But this blog isn’t about the future!! On to what happened this month!

I’m gonna level with you here, I don’t actually have that much to talk about as it’s been a pretty intense month. There’s not even been *that* much work (if anything, I’m finding that 3rd year is the easiest to manage so far…) I just don’t seem to have much free time…. But enough moping because I have some properly exciting news: I took blood from…..wait for it……..A REAL PERSON! How awesome is that!? Fair enough, it was another student at my GPs but even so, in the words of my flatmate it’s “pretty frickin’ sweet.” It’s also surprisingly difficult to take a sample. You’d think the hard part was getting the needle in but, for me, it was getting the sample tube onto the outlet thing. You have to keep the needle bit stationary while you fidgit about and twist things on and all sorts: what a nightmare!

Another exciting thing I’ve done this month is watch this video (don’t worry, it’s nothing rude or offensive; just….interesting……):

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=9020JJNU

If you ever get the chance to watch it, I thoroughly recommend it.

Within the med-school, we’ve all switched hospitals and I’ve started at Gartnavel which is pretty awesome. The teaching is good when we get it and it’s walkable from home (YEY!). Highlight so far: seeing a bronchoscopy.

We’re also onto our latest block: psychiatric medicine. Of everything I’ve done in med-school so far I’ve found it the hardest to engage with because it seems like many of the conditions we’ve been studying can be summed up like this: “We don’t know what causes it, what’s happening in the brain when it’s there or really how to treat it effectively BUT we *think* this could be going on so maybe that will help treat it for a while.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love the massive empahsis placed on patient-orientated care and do find some of it interesting; I just find it hard to motivate myself to learn about things where science’s best-guess at what’s going on is a self-confessed fraud.

On a happier note, our new SSC options are up. I’m hoping to get to do Clinical Haemtology and Oncology though we’ll see what happens as there are only like 10 places available so I may end up doing something else. Either way, I’ll be happy as this SSC is straight after the exam when I’ll just be relieved the revision is over haha.

Outside the world of medicine I’m performing at a dinner this Saturday. It sounds a lot more impressive than it actually is as I’m reciting poetry at it. Fair enough, it is a poem in Lowland Scots so that’s quite interesting. The cookery course I’ve been doing with my friend ends in two weeks. It’s been pretty sweet and I’ve learnt to make some pretty tasty dishes. Our weekly basketball session has also started up again after a 4 month hiatus when no-one could be bother to wake up at 7am to phone in and book it. Thank to Mark for doing that btw.

Sadly, other than that, I’ve not much to say other than: have a good holiday!!!

Adieu!!

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Winter in Glasgow

Hello everybody 🙂

 New year, new hopes, new assignments, new courses… Yep, this is the second semester!

Just for a quick recap, at the end of the last semester, we had an extraordinary amount of snow and ice; consequently some of the exams from the December exam diet were postponed since the university was closed for 3 days. That is exactly what happened with one of my exams. I can assure that having exams in December is much better than in January, cause then you can just relax and enjoy your winter break.

 I hope that all of us did pretty well on the exams, well, at least from the people I talk to everybody seemed to be quite happy with their results, which apparently is a good indicator of the quality of education here. I hope that all of you had a wonderful winter holiday and a lovely Christmas, just like mine 🙂

 Now, however, is the time to go back to studying. The deadline for the first essays is approaching and some people /like me/ are having class tests next week. Having gathered a lot of wonderful emotions from the Christmas holiday and the ReFreshers’ week, it’s time to delve back to the piles of books 😉

And now – some unilife  news and gossip. Last week the Sports Association organized a Health Week, a wonderful event which allowed all students at the university to embark on a healthy lifestyle… even just for a week 🙂 This included a free access to the sports facilities to all students and staff members. And indeed, the gym was pretty crowded that week, but it is definitely encouraging to see so many people in the middle of an intense workout.

The event was very successful since a lot of non-members came to try the various classes and facilities offered by the Sports Association and almost everybody had a very enjoyable time.

So, even though the Health Week is over, going to the gym is undoubtedly the best way to combat the stress related to writing essays and dissertations or preparing for tests and exams. Plus, it is a brilliant way to get to know more people, especially if you join one of the clubs, or even to go for a run with a friend.

Wish you all a very enjoyable second semester!!!!

Happy New Year!

HELLO!!!  Did you have a good Christmas and New Year!? Because I did!

I had a fantastic holiday back at home! As usual, I spent a great deal of time with the family but, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Catching up with long lost acquaintances!? I had a quiet Christmas dining with the family this year. Though I did get some awesome pressies! Highlights included a pair of those glasses with the springy eyes coming out of them!! YEAH. New Year was much the same though my dad’s EX-girlfriend did turn up completely out of the blue. AWKWARD.

But, alas, the festivities had to end eventually and here I am: back at university. It’s not that bad really though the workload did hit me pretty hard again. Quite the shock.

As to medical school information. I’ve literally JUST submitted my Longitudinal Care Project Submission One and by Jove am I glad that’s over! It’s been a real strain maintaing some sembelence of a free time between trying to perfect that, visiting the hospitals, doing PBL, going to lectures and then going to the GP. The LCP evidence-based medicine research was quite daunting but, having delved into it, I have concluded that it all sounds and looks much scarier than it actually is.

On the plus side, as it’s now over I plan on celebrating by buying myself some new headphones. I know it sounds lame, but I’ve had the same pair for like 5 years now. They’ve been mauled by a dog, given me electric shocks, had numerous things spilt on them, lost their ‘grip’ coating a good two years back and have gone from their original white to an off-brown…nice……So anyway, I kept putting of replacing them but I feel now is the time as I was actually quite pleased with how the essays had gone and felt I could do with a wee reward. =]

Other than LCP, the course has continued in much the same vain as last term. Our new block is a bit of a mish-mash of different pathologies from rheumatoid arthritis to HIV, but I’m really enjoying it. In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Leukaemia as I’ve got quite a keen interest in Oncology. In fact, I’m actually considering an intercalated degree in Cancer Studies (ideally) at the end of this year. Fingers crossed I get that.

Outside of medical school, I signed up to Chinese cookery course with a Chinese friend of mine who works in a Chinese take-away…..weird right? But it’s all about the fun for us so he doesn’t care. Anyway, it started last Monday and I’m so glad I went. It was just fantastic fun last week!! I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s session, where we are making the exotic, flambuoyant dish ‘Salmon Yakitori’, with the not quite so exotic side of ‘Sesame Prawn Toast’. Get in.

I’ve also started reading Ben Goldacre’s book “Bad Science”, which is truly insightful. I don’t know if anyone’s familiar with it but if you ever get the chance to read it, it’s pretty frickin sweet.

Right, I need to go to some lectures now so have fun and I shall right next month!

BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

December

Wow, it’s been more than a month since I last wrote on here. Sorry about the hiatus people; things have been really crazy in the past month – I had a terrible cold that just wouldn’t leave my body and my chronic insomnia was really getting to me. Anyway, everything has gotten better now and I have  already finished two out of my three exams.

I have to say the most difficult thing this semester is to take on an ancient language while  keeping up with my two other subjects (one being my main one). Obviously, I have my reasons for taking  Ancient Greek, but I really didn’t expect it to be that much work. We’ve only learned the alphabets in late September and by now we have already covered up to past tenses (what they called “Aorist tense” and they have DIFFERENT kinds of past tenses.) We are also expected to translate relatively long passages, so imagine the amount of vocabulary, verb forms, noun forms, etc that we have to memorize. Ever since the compulsory Chinese class back in community college, I’ve never had that huge of a challenge with a class before. Nevertheless, I am not a quitter, and I am genuinely interested in Ancient Greek, therefore I am planning to revise it over this winter break – to  prepare for next semester. (I really hate dropping a class, just because I’m “bad” at it, but not because I don’t like it)  So, wish me luck guys!

Another thing that I want to mention is that I am really upset that one of my very good friends is leaving Glasgow. She’s an American student, who’s only here for a semester, so her time here is almost up… We’ve gotten pretty close over these three months, which is pretty rare (though we both knew that she would have to leave eventually). I am very glad that Glasgow has a large amount of exchange students from all over the world, and it’s awesome that I get to know so many of them, but it saddens me when my new friends have to return home so soon. I wish my friend all the best though!

It seems like everybody is in a merry mood and all ready for the holidays. Frankly, I am not that big of a holiday person, and again, I have my very odd reasons for that. But, I do respect my family when they celebrate it, so I will probably go visit my sister at some point and join her in whatever that she does for Christmas, probably go to a midnight service to sing Christmas carols or something (other than that, I have Ancient Greek vocabulary to learn). I hope that all of you will have a nice and enjoyable winter break!

-Ruby

Holidays are coming!!!

Yey!!! The holidays are coming / are actually here right now for me! Woop woop!

Since my last post, my teaching has been in much the same vein as before. We have been studying cardiovascular and respiratory pathology in quite some depth this block, and have now covered a whole range of topics from heart murmurs to the pathology underlying lung cancer. It’s been fascinating! I feel that I’ve found it much easier to stay motivated this year because we have so much clinical teaching (~12 hours a week). To be honest, it’s actually much easier because, finally, you can see why what you’re learning is relevant! =] 

During my clinical teaching, quite sadly, I’ve had the best experience of my year so far! It happened when we were doing a ward round and got to hear a heart murmur. Now, on all our ward rounds, we aren’t told anything about the patient and have to take a history then perform the appropriate examination before attempting a diagnosis. In textbooks murmurs are described (quite poorly tbh) as a ‘whooshing’ sound, which always confused me a little. I mean, what the heck is that!? However, when I listen the patient’s chest, I immediately heard this ‘whooshing’ sound (which I would describe as a pig with a cough making a  noise if you’ve ever heard one………) and knew the diagnosis. It was a really surreal moment for me because, though I’m embarrassed to admit it, I felt like a real doctor for the first time!! How lame is that!?

But on to more serious issues now; one of the biggest issues I’m facing this year is organising my junior elective for next summer. I’ve decided to stay in the UK (because I’m skint!) this summer and have decided to try and get some ‘general medicine’ experience in an A and E department. I applied to a few hospitals earlier this week but haven’t heard back from any yet…. Still we’ll see what happens.

Outside of medical school, I’ve joined the Glasgow Reach Programme. Basically, this is an initiative set up by the university that aims to help students from a disadvantaged background get in to medicine, law or veterinary medicine (I think). It’s quite exciting because this is the first year that the programme has run and we get to be the ‘guinea-pig’ ‘mentors’.

Essentially, the initiative has three key aspects to it. The first are known as ‘prospective student days’, and involve potential school students visiting the medical school for a day of workshops aimed at helping them get through the admission process. During these days, they will see a mock interview and, in groups of 5 or 6, be given the chance to talk to current students (like myself) about the admissions process in detail. So, that’s quite exciting.

The second aspect is school visits. With these, current students will visit schools and give a presentation about the benefits of university while explaining the admissions process and giving tips on how to get in to the more competitive subjects. The final aspect is E-mentoring. We haven’t been told much about this aspect but I think it’s basically going to be an expansion on the current student e-mentor scheme where prospective students can e-mail current students to ask anything at all about getting in to university or life at uni in general. 

Our first prospective student day was supposed to be yesterday but due to the poo weather, it got cancelled. Speaking of the weather by the way, my flatmates exams have been cancelled for the past two days owing to it. Awesome huh? I mean, um,  how terrible……*shifty eyes*…….

Moving swiftly on, other than all of the above, my biggest worry has been organising the annual Christmas dinner for my friends. For some reason this year, places were booking out far in advance but, luckily, we have managed to secure a table at the exquisite Stravaigan 2 and we’re pretty excited about that. Yeah!!

Right, seeing as it’s now the holidays, I feel I shall leave it there and wish you all a very merry Christmas and the absolute best of New Years! See y’all in Janurary!

PEACE OUT.

Half-way!!!

Hello again!!!

Good news! We’re half-way through the first term and everything is in full swing. I’ve sat my SSC exam (which went okay), have been to Ayr Hospital (which is amazing) and have spent the day in my allocated GP surgery (which was also pretty sweet). But more importantly than that, I now own a pet rabbit!!!!! Hoorah for Gumtree!! My girlfriend just happened to be online looking at adverts then BAM, on came one offering a free baby rabbit to a good home with cage included!!! 3 hours later and we were the proud owners of Barney the Big Fluffy Bunny. YEAH!

But enough of this, I should probably give you some more details on the hospital/GP since that talking about my time at med-school was the original purpose of this blog. I’ll be honest, travelling to Ayr every Monday and Thursday SUCKS but it is well and truly worth it. The teaching is phenomenal! The fellows (as they’re called) are super-friendly and give you fantastic feedback on your clinical skills. Not only that, but the canteen is well tasty and student-affordable. So basically, it’s win win all round.

My GP is pretty much the same. He’s really nice and loves cheese. What’s not to like!? It’s quite scary there though since this year, we are supposed to ‘run’ the afternoon surgery in the GP practice, which is TERRIFYING! On the bright side, it’s one heck of a steep learning curve and you really have to focus to keep up.

On the whole this year, I’m really enjoying the actual subjects we’re studying. This year is basically pathology so we don’t have to learn any new ‘normal’ stuff, which is the area I used to dislike most since it was quite a lot of anatomy…..=[ Not cool. So far, we’ve looked at Peripheral Vascular Disease, Tuberculosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder and Septic Shock; all of which have been really interesting. Favourite so far….? Tuberculosis.

Another key aspect of this year is our continuous coursework in the form of the Longitudinal Care Project. Essentially, we visit an individual with a chronic disease on numerous occassions throughout the year and produce three 2000 word essays on our experiences. We also visit a second individual and have to write another 2000 word essay on them as well. It sounds pretty intensive but the material we have to cover in the essays is more social than scientific meaning it shouldn’t be too hard, as I find that sort of thing easier. =]

Outside of medical school, I’m not going to lie, I’ve had very little free time to do anything. It sucks. But it’s my friends birthday tonight so we’re all going round there for a bit of a get-together, which I am really looking forward to!!! Yey!!!

I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got to say for this month, but I shall return in that most Christmasy of Months: DECEMBER!!! =]

Peace out.

second year – second chance to enjoys the beauties of uni life :)

Hey guys 🙂

Hope that everyone is doing well and that you are all stress-free after the massive push related to submission of essays, assignments, etc.

I have to admit that it has been pretty busy around me, with essays to write /one of which was a group assignment, and as you can imagine deciding on the plan to write a 2500-word essay, the structure of each question, allocating tasks, and keeping everything on track can be quite tricky!!! We all were ambivalent at the beginning how to approach the topic, and how we would manage to work together. However, today we all submitted our invaluable creation, so everybody had mixed feelings – happiness and relief that it is all over J, but also a bit of tearfulness that we won’t be working together anymore/.

Anyway, the essays are all submitted now and it is to look ahead at the exams… only 3 weeks to the start of the exam diet… goodness, how quickly the time has passed by!!!

What I want to say with this post is mainly to summarize my experience as a second-year undergraduate at the University of Glasgow, and honestly this is even better than being a fresher!!! First of all, you already are familiar with the place, people, services, buildings, etc and know your way around. Therefore, when it comes to registration, meetings with the advisor of studies, you know what/when/how to do it, so you won’t waste time wondering what you are supposed to do. Then, you still benefit from the wonderful freebies offered generously at the Freshers’ Fair. However, this time you know where you can find the best freebies 😉

Another advantage of being in second year is the fact that you already know the majority of the people in your course, so you feel much more at ease.

Last but not least, I’d like to point out that this year the GUSA /i.e. the gym J/ is offering great variety of sport activities, so there is something for everybody. Not to mention, the pearl in its crown – the new zumba classes, which are extremely popular amongst the students /especially the female part J/ I heartily recommend them for everyone who wants to have fun, reduce the stress and lose a couple of pounds J

Well, hope that this academic year is treating you all well, and if you have any questions/concerns/comments, just get in touch,

Slaveya


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