The musings of a final year medical student

Sunday, 4 September 2016

GP placement

"Hello, my name is Kate and I am a third year medical student." I'll be saying this a lot next week as I start my first ever GP placement!

I spent some of second year in a busy university hospital, but I haven't got any experience of community medicine. I am very open to the idea of being a GP, but I'm also trying to keep all options. It does scare me a little that I still don't know what speciality I want to pursue. Of course, this is the same for many medical students, and junior doctors! I am hoping that by the end of third year I've narrowed it down to a handful of possibilities... 

I feel so lucky to be where I am. As much as we may complain about medical school, I know that it is much less stressful than being a junior doctor. We still have the privilege of time off for self study, and much longer holidays than a junior doctor's annual leave! I can't believe all the opportunities I have been given and I am so grateful to be where I am.

I have a very different attitude to learning now. Before, the emphasis was on learning tedious bits of physiology, such as the blood clotting cascade. Now, I have a newfound enthusiasm to learn the bread and butter of clinical medicine. Things like antibiotics, mastering your clinical examinations, taking blood pressure etc. .

It's going to be a hard year, just as any year at medical school is. It's taken me this long to figure out how I learn best. I now know the city really well (I think), and look forward to exploring more of it! Once again, part of the challenge is finding a balance between work and life, but I'm not too worried about it. Part of having that balance is learning to stop worrying and just taking one task at a time, and enjoying the journey.

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