The musings of a final year medical student

Saturday, 27 May 2017


At school I was very ambitious. I would set myself targets and I would give 100% of myself to those targets. I loved it. I loved pushing myself.

The comfort was that when I set those targets, I had a lot of self-confidence. I almost always achieved those ambitions, and so whenever I would set the next target I was pretty certain that it would happen.

All of that changed when I got to medical school. My physical health was suffering, my mental health was suffering, and my confidence was knocked by a few of my teachers and consultants on the wards. I felt very unwelcome and undeserving of my place. I started to question if I could do this, if it was worth trying.

I started to believe that I could never excel in medicine. If I passed, that would be a miracle. I resigned myself to never being that person who gets published. I stopped asking questions – I stopped challenging myself. After all, several doctors told me I was going to be a GP in various ways. And without bashing general practitioners, of whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for, I was made to feel like it was a predetermined path rather than my own choice.

I love studying medicine, but my confidence has taken a real bashing. I’m trying to be the old Kate who wasn’t afraid of trying to be better. Who wasn’t afraid of a challenge, but relished it.

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Finally, the OSCE is DONE!

Over the last 2 days we have done a series of 10 minute practical exams covering all sorts. Some stations I wasn't expecting, but I think it was a fair exam overall. Once it was done, it was time to celebrate!

For my outfit, I wore this embroidered dress from River Island, with black shoes and a choker, both New Look. After weeks of always having my hair scraped back in a bun and wearing scrubs, it felt like a treat to dress up!

I went out to Chaopraya, a Thai restaurant in Liverpool. We had a sharing platter and for my main I had the duck tamarind with coconut rice. I had a liquid desert of espresso martini. Highly recommend it!

Afterwards we went to Panoramic 34. I had a bellini as we watched the sun set over Liverpool. 

The night out was amazing, but I also felt so happy that I am doing medicine. The OSCE was hard, but I truly loved pretending to be a doctor and doing things like examining patients and prescribing. Recently there has been so much negativity surrounding medicine: poor pay, terrible hours, underfunded system, patients put at risk. However, doing that exam reaffirmed how much I want to be doctor. Regardless of whether I pass or not, I feel so happy to be pursuing something I love. I feel like the luckiest girl.

Sunday, 7 May 2017


So, the OSCE is looming. I can't lie, the thought of doing the exam makes me feel sick. However I have had a really good time on placement. I do feel stressed, but I have had really good teaching from some lovely doctors and pharmacists, as well as my friends in our group study sessions.

The thing that scares me about this practical exam is the breadth of what can come up. The mixture of practical skill, history taking, interpretation of data, differential diagnoses and management feels very intimidating. However, I have been trying to stick to my plan: work hard but prioritise eating well, exercising and maintaining good sleep hygiene.

Today I ran the Student Colour Run, a good example of me sticking to my plan. It was a 5k and I enjoyed it so much, and hopefully I'll do another race in the future. I made myself finish my work before the afternoon race, and went home without feeling guilty or worried I hadn't worked hard enough. 

I really don't know how this exam will go, but as long as I'm happy and healthy then it will be a success in my eyes.

I also wanted to mention that the Student BMJ has come out and I am lucky enough to have a mention in Flavia Munn's article regarding mental health in medical school. I always want to be open with my mental health because there should never be any shame or stigma attached to it. I'm not embarrassed by it. I hope you enjoy reading it, and thank you so much Flavia for being so kind and asking me to be involved. 
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