On Tuesday I received some rather exciting news - the abstract I submitted for the RCPCH meeting in May has been accepted! I'm quite nervous as I've never done a proper presentation before (even though it's just a poster so it isn't too stressful) but hopefully it will be really good experience as no doubt I'll need to do more presentations in future. It's also hopefully going to make a nice little addition to my CV.
I'm spending a fair amount of time working on a paper at the moment, and I'm actually really enjoying it. Rather sad, but there's something satisfying when you are finally able to make some decent conclusions after spending a while looking at something. I'm hoping to finish it off fairly soon and then if I'm lucky it might lead to publication, which would be nice. Of course, once it's done I'll need to find myself a new project so I should probably start harassing people now so they give me something to do. I've had a couple of ideas of things which might be interesting to study but of course they've all been done already so I'm not sure whether there would be any point actually doing them.
Uni is difficult at the moment but I'm trying to rise above it. The new middle grades who started last week are really nice, which is good as it's them who will probably do the bulk of my assessment. I got a pretty decent mark for my mid-block assessment; I'm pretty sure the SHO assessing me was far too generous but I won't argue! I'm struggling to get DOPS (direct observed practical skills) completed as there isn't much I'm actually allowed to do - I actually sunk to the level of getting one completed for hand washing, something which is listed as something you can be assessed on, but not really something where useful feedback is going to happen.
After posting my "confession" last week I feel a lot more positive about the mental health aspect of things. The fact that it isn't a "dirty little secret" any more is probably helping a lot. I can't pretend I'm totally on top of things, but I think I'm ticking along on a relatively even keel at present.
My big goal for myself at the moment is (aside from managing to get through my current placement) is to come up with my own research idea and then actually carry it out. At the moment I've only helped other people carry out studies they've devised, and I'd like to get more involved in the planning process. Obviously as a student there are limitations to what I'll be able to do but it would be nice to approach someone and say "I want to research X, would that be feasible and can you help me?" rather then just "Please give me some work". I'm not sure when this will actually happen, but at least thinking about it is keeping my mind actve :)