The first week …

It was a decent week back but I think most would agree that we didn’t need to take a full week for orientation. It was great to see everyone again and to catch up on stories from the summer. I’ve included some of the highlights below to give you an idea of what the high and low points were…

Day 1 – meet and greet

The first day of lectures were meant to suck the enthusiasm of even the most dedicated student and by the end of the afternoon most people had ducked out to enjoy the remains of the day, or to catch up with their friends. I stayed for as long as I could, and even made it to the “try not to get sued” lecture but it was too much and I quietly left before the last lecturer had reached the podium. Although this may have dampened my spirits somewhat I needed to remind myself that this was far better than the start of second year.

Day 2 – hand washing, admission notes, & IV fluids

Today was a mix of mind numbing lectures, like “how to wash your hands” and “where to throw things out”, coupled with several anxiety provoking ones, like “IV fluids and you” and “how to do an admission note”.

On a high note I picked up my shiny new pager and new hospital Id tag. Both provided many hours of entertainment. I have a feeling that the novelty of the pager may soon wear off.

Day 3 – Learning in the clerkships and ECG

I have the morning off, which is nice. It gives me the time I need to finally finish the administrative papers from rural practice as well as the required online modules.

This aft is another lecture on “how to learn in the clerkships” where one of my friends from fourth year is giving a talk. Should be fun.

The day will end with a review of the ECG … thank god. Someone better remind where the freaking heart is too, because it’s been awhile since I’ve gone over that stuff as well …

Day 4 – Wounds, sutures, arterial puncture and O2 therapy …

I sewed up a banana to practice stitches. Pig’s feet would have worked better but these were not available because of … get this … health concerns. Whose health were they interested in protecting, the pigs or medical students, I will never know … I’m thinking I might go down to the local butcher and see if I can’t get a couple of pigs feet to practice on at home.

Arterial puncture utilized a prosthetic arm for first poke practice and then we were to practice on one another … after seeing what I had done to that banana in the morning few were willing to volunteer their arms for a little arterial blood gas …

Day 5 – How to break bad news, meet and greet part 2

This was a decent day that ended fairly early. The breaking bad news sessions were ok, but it lacked the feel of a real situation and so I really can’t say how much I got out of it. The sessions were interesting but I’ll have to see what it is like when the time comes and how I react then …

The afternoon started with pizza and ended with another lecture by student affairs. It was good in the sense that it was educational and I know realize what resources are out there. It was bad in the sense that suddenly all these horrible possibilities began to creep into my subconscious and I think my anxiety level actually was increased by the end of the session instead of decreased, contrary to the goals of the lecturer …

All in all it was good start to 3rd year, especially in contrast to the start of the 2nd years classes. I still feel somewhat overwhelmed with what the year will entail I am also excited to finally start on the wards. This weekend I move out to the small community where I will be for the next year and will try and settle before classes start on Tuesday. There is another week of orientation for the students at the hospital, which I don’t mind because it will give me the chance to get my bearings before the hard work starts. Wish me luck!

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