Sunday, February 22, 2015

Se- Third year med student

Hello! I'm back at uni for third year and have been the absolute worst at posting because there are always things to be done/places to be and my time management skills are exceedingly poor. I usually only blog when I'm procrastinating, and this is no exception. At least it's more productive than YouTube and Tumblr, I guess.

So. Third year! My first rotation is Primary Care, which I am grateful for because it's meant to be the least taxing, so it kind of eases you back into starting study again. However, this means I'll end the year with Surg, the busiest rotation; this will be rather problematic since the end of the year is when you need to be studying and practising OSCEs and all that stuff. My order of rotations is a blessing and a curse -- in that order -- but I'll try to make the best of it!

There's not much to say about Primary Care, because it's just been workshops and stuff so far. There are always things to do, though! The week after next, I'll be heading to Launnie for my rural placement, which should be interesting; even if it's absolutely horrible, it'll be nice to see some Launnie friends again! I'll be there for two weeks. I think it's not so much the rurality I'm dreading, just the amount of time I'll be away from my home in Hobart. Oh well, I'll find myself a hermit cave there somewhere!

Oh, a couple days back, we had a community placement at the Drug and Alcohol Services in New Town. I hadn't been looking forward to it at all, because I thought they were going to make us watch people writhing on the ground in withdrawal, in an attempt to teach us that Drugs Are Bad since we'll have fairly easy access to a variety of drugs when we start work. Clearly, I had no idea what I was in for, because it wasn't like that at all! When we got there, we were told that the whole point was to get us to talk to recovering addicts and see that they were people, just normal people, and not to discriminate them if/when we encountered them in GP clinics in the future. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I am not the most confident or sociable person, but talking to people was far more preferable to watching them in withdrawal.

It turned out to be a really good experience. We were paired up, and Sarah and I spoke to three people. They all had very different stories and backgrounds, but all of them were sad. We were told some pretty confronting things that morning, some of which they hadn't even told the doctor, and it was hard to figure out how to respond. It was...really something else. I was so grateful that they were willing to talk to us and tell us their stories, even though some of them had arrived at the service days before and would no doubt have been feeling the effects of the absence of their vices. Also, some of those stories must have been really hard to tell. They're all strong people, and I really, really hope things go well for them.

I think I've got a palliative care placement next, and I'm dreading that one even more than I had the drug and alcohol one. It'll be a good experience too, no doubt, but I forsee some crying on my part. That wouldn't be very professional of me, though, would it? Sigh.

Oh man, I've rambled on so much. I actually came here to blog about Chinese New Year (CNY).

So this was my first CNY away from home. On the 18th, I'd been so busy that I'd completely forgotten it was CNY eve until Hui Ning mournfully reminded me that evening. And then the pictures of food and families started popping up everywhere on Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat, and I was too sad to get any work done that night.

I missed home. I missed the annual tradition of heading to my parents' hometown (and doing my best to get out of driving duties). I missed the spread of CNY treats that I would try and fail to not take too much of. I missed the yee sang and yong tau foo and steamboat and ridiculous amounts of meat. I missed the noise and excitement and amusedly listening to my relatives' loud conversations. I missed the annual cousins' photo that always took forever to happen. I missed retiring to the more quiet environment of my maternal grandparents' place. I missed sitting around while eating kuachi and drinking tea and talking. I missed my family, both immediate and extended.

Needless to say, I was a very sad Jan on CNY eve.

It was a different story the following night, though! Jac organised a CNY potluck at Luke and Cecilia's, which included yee sang, steamboat, mapo tofu, fried wantan, and chicken rice. There were over thirty people present, a birthday was 'celebrated', and some people lou'd their first yee sang! We ended off the night making the neighbours hate us by having a singalong, the highlights of which were Uptown Funk (woo Nish!) and a Rude/In the End mashup (woo Calvin!). It was a great, great night, and I am so grateful to be here doing Med with these people. I can't believe we're almost halfway through -- a lot of the time, I still feel like a first year!

So that was my longer-than-intended post on what's been going on with me lately. Now to get back to the stuff I actually really have to do!

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