The Learnaholic has had a bit of a rollercoaster week. After scary-but-actually-ok hospital appointment on Thursday, Friday was the last day of my surgical placement. Big relief as I didn't enjoy it much (although it was much, much better latterly). I also had visitors in the form of Mummy and Daddy (and puppy) Learnaholic for the weekend.
Despite plans for long walks along the beach and going out into the hills, miserable weather meant we actually ended up spending a lot of time drinking coffee and eating cake. Absolutely not complaining! Also, Daddy Learnaholic is very clever and fixed all the things around the flat which have been broken (like the kitchen light which didn't work for almost a year...). I had a bit of a heart-to-heart chat with Mummy Learnaholic about my "issues" and it turns out I am rubbish at hiding things because she's known all this stuff for years! It's good that she knows what's going on though, means I won't be constantly biting my tongue around her in case I give things away. We had a really nice weekend together. I do really miss them as I'm so far away most of the time. That was the first time I'd seen them since Christmas.
On Monday I started my new placement, however this was overshadowed by the death of a family friend. It was very sudden so everyone was pretty shaken up by it. I feel a bit guilty about being so far from home at times like this, as I'm not able to support people as much as I'd like. I also can't make the funeral. I will send a note and some flowers to his wife but I haven't quite worked out what to say just yet. I don't suppose there is ever a "right" thing to say or do in this situation.
This week of placement has been all teaching, so I haven't met any patients yet. I did have to go to the mortuary on Tuesday morning for teaching in confirming death and all the associated paperwork, which was pretty difficult under the circumstances, but I suppose it will be coming in pretty handy once I'm working. I've also done some "breakaway techniques" training so that I can escape from aggressive patients, which was good fun although the bruises still haven't gone away! The rest of teaching was less eventful, but I did enjoy getting to role-play a stroppy teenager (although I may have traumatised one or two of my classmates!).
Yesterday I had to go back to my last placement to get all my paperwork signed off as my supervisor wasn't around for the last couple of weeks I was there. I got an unexpectedly good mark. After our last meeting, I was expected a bare minimum pass, but I actually got the same mark as I got for my medical placement before Christmas, so either I impressed all the other staff whilst he was away and they fed back to him, or he really felt sorry for me because I cried last time I saw him! He did mention the importance of "work-life balance" again which is getting a little dull now but I appreciate that he meant well.
This week has also caused a bit of a career panic. On Wednesday morning we had a careers session. Although it was largely focussed on psychiatry and general practice, all the comments about how difficult and expensive post-graduate exams are, how competitive it can be to get onto specialty training etc made me panic a little. On top of that, my supervisor yesterday was emphasising the importance of a strong portfolio to me. In his words, nowadays "noone gets in for being a nice chap or knowing Mr Smith" and it's important to have lots of publications, presentations, extra-curricular achievements - eek! I am, however, trying not to think about it too much. I think I work pretty hard and have a not-too-terrible CV so far. At the moment, my biggest priority is passing my OSCEs in June!
I'm quite looking forward to next week. I'm starting my new placement (psychiatry) properly on Monday. I'm also meeting up with a couple of friends during the week, and on Thursday I think I might go to my first "Skeptics in the Pub" event, which should be fun. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend x