Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Too keen?

Anyone foolish enough to follow me on Twitter will have realised that I've been a little fed up recently. I'm rather inclined towards melancholia at the best of times so a few really quite trivial things have been enough to get me quite down.

This year of uni is proving very, very challenging. For my first block, I was on elective. That was absolutely fantastic; I was made to feel part of a time, the house officers were happy for me to help them out as much as I could, the registrars enjoyed teaching and, of course, I was working in my favourite specialty. Since getting back, things have been pretty tough. I suspect that, in no small part, that is because my elective experience was so ideal. It makes any imperfections and annoyances in my other placements seem so obvious. I find myself thinking "when I was in NZ, x would never have happened" or "when I was in NZ, I'd have been able to do that" on multiple occassions throughout the day.

I am struggling with something alien to me at the moment - it's being made pretty clear to me that my enthusiasm and desire to learn can be pretty irritating, to say the least. This is making me question absolutely everything I say and do. Previously, if someone asked a question I thought I might know the answer to, I would volunteer an answer. Now I'm biting my tongue. I don't answer questions to look good, or to make other people look bad. I simply think it's a useful way of finding out whether my knowledge on a subject is accurate, and if it isn't, of learning something.

After getting really quite upset about it last night, I decided the best plan was to avoid the ward as much as possible. This is a real shame, as it's my best chance to learn how to be a good house officer. It's also the ideal place to clerk lots of patients and hone my history and examination skills in time for the OSCE in June. However, I've decided to spend as much time as I can in theatre and clinics instead. It might not be ideal (and I know for a fact it isn't what uni want us to do during our placements) but at least I might learn something. And even if I don't, I know the consultants won't criticise me just for turning up!

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