Monday, 31 December 2012

Obligatory "end of year" blogging

2012 is drawing to a close and it's been quite a year!

I'm going to start off by looking back at my resolutions from the start of the year and seeing how I've done. I helpfully wrote them down here so I have no excuses and can't pretend I achieved everything! So, what was I attempting to do?

- Get fit again. Mission failed! I have been a lot more active this year and made a serious effort to walk rather than getting the bus etc etc, but for numerous reasons I haven't really got properly into exercising the way I'd intended to.
- Start eating properly again. Mission partially accomplished. I still have my moments, but am by and large doing a lot better than I was a year ago. This is probably due to finally admitting that I had an issue with things, which is something I should've done years ago.
- Sort out my finances. Mission partially accomplished. I've only been earning "proper" money for 5 months, but the credit card and overdraft are cleared and I'm chipping away at the student debt (albeit slowly).
- Attempt to be more positive. Mission partially accomplished. As with eating, I still have my moments, but I was described at work as "that quine* who never stops smiling" so I must be doing alright! *quine = generic term for female in this neck of the woods.
- Graduate and become a doctor. Mission accomplished!

I'm not going to reflect too much on the year as a whole. There have been ups and downs and happy times and sad times, as there will have been for anyone looking back on a 12 month period. Instead, I think it's time to look forward, and to make another set of resolutions I may well not stick to!

So, in 2013 I hope I will:

- Successfully be signed off for my FY1 jobs, gain full GMC registration and start working as an FY2. Fairly obvious I suppose but getting successfully through my first year of work has absolutely got to be a priority.
- Pass the first year of my MSc and PGCert. As above, fairly obvious, but given what I'm shelling out for tuition fees it would be a very expensive mistake if I didn't study enough towards my courses!
- Get in an application for paediatric specialty training. This will probably surprise absolutely noone, but it's a bit scary thinking that I'll be applying in less than a year. I haven't completely decided whether or not to apply for a normal ST (specialty training) post or for an ACF (academic clinical fellowship) instead, but no doubt I'll blog about the pros and cons of each later.
- Buy a car. I have made so many excuses for not doing things because not owning a car makes them difficult. I need to bite the bullet and get one, especially now money is less of an issue.
- Get fit. Again. I say it every year, but eventually I'll stick to it!

Hope you all enjoy seeing in the New Year. I'll be on night shift, so think of me as you tuck into your champagne and canapes!


Monday, 10 December 2012


Apologies for my protracted absence from the blogosphere! I a few bits and bobs to update on, so I'll try to keep it relatively brief and free from waffle...

- In October I had the first week of teaching for my MSc. I'm studying towards this master's at Imperial, and so far I'm really enjoying it. As well as it being a fun week socially (it was down in London so I stayed with my sister, met @lilDrSunshine who is doing the same course, and caught up with some old friends from school I haven't seen in years), it was also just what I needed from a professional/academic point of view. The lectures were mostly on the foetal and early life origins of disease, which is an area I find very interesting, mostly due to the influence of a certain tutor who has been very supportive over the past few years. We also had some teaching in how to write research proposals, which will prove very useful should I succeed in my goal of becoming an academic. It was really nice just to be thinking again, using my brain to work through proper science. The fact that I didn't check my phone or tweet during any of the lectures just shows how interesting they must have been! I'm now working on my first proper assignment for the course, which is a research proposal - I'll let you know how I get on with it.

- I have survived my first job! Actually, technically I'm not 100% sure whether or not I have as I don't have my final end of placement assessment with my supervisor until Wednesday, so I may have completely failed but I'm banking on my theory that if I was likely to fail someone would have told me already - best not to count my chickens before they're hatched though! Anyway, I have physically and mentally survived my first 4 months as an FY1. Having spoken to a lot of people who've worked on those wards, they're notoriously difficult for junior staff, so I'm hoping my next job will be a bit less stressful! Even if the set up is mostly unchanged, I suppose I have 4 months of experience behind me now. I started my new rotation with 2 night shifts (covering the same wards I covered on nights in my last job) and I'm now on annual leave until 21st December, so I'll let you know how I'm getting on once I've worked my long day on Christmas day and night shifts over New Year!!!

- As mentioned, I've definitely drawn the short straw and am working both Christmas and New Year, however it does mean I have the week off in February I need for the next instalment of MSc teaching. I'm already looking forward to going down, although this time I won't get the overnight train back up north and then work a long weekend (seriously, it isn't recommended).

- I suppose I ought to take some time to reflect on my health at this time. As well health issues having been a worry for me in the past, it's also one of my "Duties as a doctor" (so say the GMC) that I'm aware of my own health and take care of myself. Having been told by various well-meaning people at various points that I would have a major crash in my mood once I started work, I've been pleasantly surprised. Working longish hours and being on my feet most of the days means I'm tired enough that I sleep pretty well when I go to bed. Eating is something to be done quickly when there's time, so it's fairly regimented too. The biggest "problem" I have, if it can even be called that, is that because I work intense bursts of up to 12 days on without a break, I also have quite a lot of free time where I'm  likely to over think. Fortunately I'm focussing on my MSc in this time so I'm keeping my mind nice and busy.

Right, I think that's me relatively up to date. I'll probably blog more in the next few weeks as I procrastinate whilst I try to write this assignment!