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This is short, because it it time to be festive!
Scenario: Lady comes in with abdo pain. I examine her and, in the spirit of Finals, I asked "oh, is that a scar? Have you had any surgery recently?"
To which she replied: "no dear, that's a stretchmark". Luckily she found the funny side of it, and in my defence, it was a very odd place for a stretchmark!
[Image from flickr. CC license]
We are all familiar with the classic medical school reading list. However, I would like to introduce you to an alternative list. One that encourages us to seek understanding from our patients' perspectives. Empathy is crucial in communicating with people about their health but how many medical students know friends or family with long term debilitating conditions and have spoken honestly to them about their health?
1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Jean-Dominique Bauby)
2. The Scent of Dried Roses (Tim Lott)
3. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
No sooner than the release of news that complaints and litigation cases against UK doctors are on the increase is the warning that care may actually get worse from 2013. That's only about 100 days away, and the public sector pay freeze will be lifted in 6 months time. However, let's dissect this more closely. The news is not based on evidence that care is on the decline nor that it will actually be reduced.
Just like Tom, it's been rather busy here, not quite as busy as Tom I'm sure but I can't wait for a holiday, once I finish a wretched report. Last time I promised that I'd write about my applications to university. I probably started thinking about my personal statement this time six years ago. I was recommended BIll Bryson's 'A short history of nearly everything' for some inspiration, which give me it did. There are other books out there but for the record I never read New Scientist and probably will never do!
You might have all sorts of questions: shall I take a gap year? Do I really want to do Medicine? I want to do Medicine but I'm not sure if I have the grades? What are the best things to do to boost my CV and personal statement?
It doesn't take a genius to see that the proposed strikes are rather controversial. Doctors haven't striked in over 40 years. Compared to tube workers, baggage handlers and various other public service, we are rather well behaved. Why then are we striking?
There are some very good points made on this blog which I would encourage you to read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/daniel-poulter, he has an interesting perspective as a GP and MP. Not by the blogger himself but by the well read people who have commented below.
Unless you're nocturnal, then you won't have been able to escape the glorious sunshine that the country was basking in two weeks ago. Our consultants let us leave a few clinics early for 'revision' which we interpreted as light reading in the sun to "top up our vitamin D levels". I certainly felt a lot better after an ice cream on the hopsital lawn with some friends but is there really any medical benefit to our main source of vitamin D- the sunshine?