Monday, 31 May 2010


Argh - too much work to do, not enough time!! Damn my procrastination skills!!!!!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Nothing to Lose

To further my knowledge, and just because I find the topics interesting, I'm planning on entering two essay competitions for medical students. I've chosen competitions with topics I have a particular reason to like and find appealing to both read and write about, and because I have nothing to lose by entering. I get to write essays which are good revision. I'll improve my essay writing technique, hopefully, and I'll do some more background reading relevant to my studies. It's highly unlikely I'll win a prize but there's no harm in trying!!!

It'll mean lots more time in the library, but with 2 OSCEs, 1 oral presentation, 2 written assignments and 2 written exams coming up, that's where I need to be!!

I also want to run some more guest blog posts. I found them really interesting the last time I asked. This time, however, I'm going to pick a theme - "Caring or curing?". It' can be a controversial topic amongst medical professionals. I'd like to know your opinions, and where and how you think medicine, pre-hospital medicine, nursing, etc fits in. Approach it from any angle you like though! I'd also like opinions from people who aren't related to medicine at all. Nobody is excluded! 

Submissions by Midnight on Monday please - although if you really want to submit one but can't make that deadline just let me know by Sunday (email or twitter), otherwise it may have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Back in Business

Sorry guys - the blog went private so I could make a few tweaks and changes to the site and comments.

Change number 1:

You need to be signed in to make a comment - no more of this anonymous slagging me off business. If you're going to insult me, at least be man (or woman) enough to admit who you are instead of this cowardly hiding behind a keyboard.

Change number 2:

All comments are being moderated. Didn't want to do it but, as people continue to use the comments of my blog to try and put me down and give me a bad reputation, it has to happen. Sorry but I no longer have a choice about this.

Change number 3:

The top of my blog now states its exact purpose. It may sound selfish, but really, this is my diary, and whilst I'm happy for people to comment and ask me stuff, I will answer eventually, but it is for me ultimately, and on here, I'm putting myself first for a change.

Change number 4:

My contact details are now down the side of the blog, with a link to my twitter page.

Change number 5:

The big image of me is gone - just didn't like having it there. Instead is a wonderful picture of an air ambulance that I believe is in Austria. Clicking on it takes you to the source.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Send Your Thoughts Please

Having a tough time at the moment. Failed an assignment and am not at all enjoying placement. Just would be nice if people could just send me a comment to let me know they're there. Aside from finally having Simon back, I'm feeling really quite alone.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Some Advice

This is a question I was asked a few weeks ago, via my formspring page. I thought it might help those students starting 6th Form, or about to start thinking about the dreaded UCAS (University and College Application System).

As a second year student, what advice would you give to anyone considering the same career path that you have chosen?

Think VERY carefully about whether this is REALLY what you want to do - you will be devoting your entire life to this degree for 5 years. You will lose your social life, and it will be hard to make and keep friends. Discuss it with your adults, your tutors, your friends, your family, ask questions to people like me who have already been through this (I'm happy to answer emails from anyone about this - It is hard, physically, emotionally and mentally.

It's a rewarding career but if it's not right for you, it will wear you down. Also - pick the right type of degree for you. PBL doesn't suit everyone, nor does a traditional course, nor a course with clinical placements from the word go.

Get lots of experience - being a doctor isn't glamorous like on Casualty or ER, it's hard graft and very demanding, and can often be very unglamorous - particularly when you're examining stool samples or putting maggots into leg ulcers! It's incredibly demanding, tiring and stressful. It can be upsetting, it can make you angry, get you frustrated. You'll experience more emotions in your first few weeks of clinical placements than you ever thought possible. It's a lot of hard work, and won't be much like you expected it to be. Do some work as a healthcare assistant or something in a hospital, do lots of shadowing.

If you're serious about it, go on lots of open days, ask current students about the courses and what they think about them, work hard at your A levels and GCSEs, and pick the right subjects for the courses you have in mind - DO your research. If you don't think you're going to get the grades, look at Access to Medicine courses, or Medical Schools that offer lower grades depending on what school you're at, or Medical Degrees with a Foundation Year.

Do lots of practice interviews, find out what they're like at the universities you've applied to - they vary a lot. For example, UEA is an OSCE style interview, whereas St George's University in London is a traditional interview with 3 consultants and a medical student firing questions at you.

But ultimately, do what YOU want, and what you think is going to make YOU happiest.

Good Luck

Monday, 10 May 2010

What are we supposed to do?

As medical students, sometimes we encounter situations we are not at all expecting, and that we struggle to deal with because it's not something we've yet covered in our training. We then don't get the opportunity to later discuss how best we should have dealt with the situation, so when it comes to the next time around (which inevitably, there WILL be a next time) we have very little idea what we should do, what we're supposed to do. Thing is, I just can't work out how to change this. It needs to change. We can't be left feeling like this every time we encounter situations like this.

Ideas on a postcard please.

Alternatively you can email me or DM me.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Future HEMS Doctor?

When I joined Twitter, I started out as MedStudentFaye. That's me, that's who I am and what I am. Plain and simple. I soon realised thought, that I wasn't happy just being me. I wanted to aim higher. I wasn't happy just being mediocre or average. So, I became FutureHEMSDoc, in order to give myself something to aim for. However, this year, I've been doubting myself. A LOT. I haven't been at all happy at UEA, that's no secret. The course isn't really right for me and I haven't made many real friends at all on my course, or even at UEA in general. I feel isolated and alone a lot of the time, despite having a wonderful boyfriend (NorfolkDocToBe) but he's usually up in Manchester, but at the moment he's the other side of the world. I love him to pieces but him being so far away is currently very unhelpful! I don't at all begrudge him the opportunity he has in Australia, and am really pleased he's enjoying himself and travelling and learning a bit more about himself and what he wants to do as he advances in his medical career. He's made for medicine. I'm not so sure that I am.

I've had several lengthy discussions with many of my good friends on twitter about all of this - mostly Mark Glencorse and his lovely wife Sandra, as well as iMedicFF (who has put up with me crying far too much!) who have been fantastic in helping me decide what is best for me, and what I should do. (Thank you guys! Really appreciate all the lengthy conversations - I know I'm a pain in the butt, but you've helped me out a hell of a lot). But in the end, no matter how much I discuss this with people, it is MY decision. I changed my twitter name so there was no pressure on myself to be FutureHEMSDoc, but at the end of the day, I wouldn't be me if I didn't push myself. For now, I'm going to work as hard as I can at this medical degree, because I'm not one for giving up. If I pass the year, I'll carry on and work until I get to where I want to be. I'm not particularly bright, and I'm not popular or happy on this degree, but once I'm qualified, I can do so much with it, and I just can't waste that opportunity. I've got this far, and I couldn't forgive myself if I threw that away. If I fail the year, at least I gave it a go and did my best, but I'll then go and be a paramedic. I'd be happy in that job, I know I would. I love every single aspect of it, even the paperwork and the picking up drunks on a Saturday night, but I think I'd always feel like I lost the opportunity to do more. I'm not at all putting down paramedics and what they do - the VAST majority of those that I've met have been fantastic people, highly skilled and far better than I would ever be at that job, but as a doctor, I could do many more different things, and maybe even change the way a few things work for the better.

As I said in my first post, I'm stubborn, opinionated and I care a hell of a lot. Because of that I'm going to do my best whatever I do. I'm going to keep going out observing with paramedics as much as possible (if you're a paramedic or tech who wants an observer, give me a shout!! I'd love to go out with as many different people as possible). I'm going to keep working as an HCA in my hospital, and I'm going to speak to ambulance services about student paramedic jobs, and look into paramedic science degrees, because I'm still a little unsure.

I'm crying as I write this, not because I think I'm making the wrong decision, but because I think, for now, I'm making the right one for me, even if the world seems to be passing me by because of it, and because I've put a lot of people through my crying and worrying and stressing over all of this.

To everyone who has helped me with this decision, including those who I haven't mentioned by name: Thank You. You don't know how much help and support you've been. Honestly, you don't.

To everyone who has put me down and told me I can't do this, and told me to quit and that I'm useless and  a waste of space, and that I'll be a rubbish doctor: I'm going to prove you wrong. You may put me down, and say awful things to me, but it's just making me stronger. I'm going to FIGHT until I have nothing left.And I'm going to do what's right for ME.