Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Recently, I've been becoming more and more sceptical about the education I'm receiving here in the UK. The fact that the medical school starts straight out of high school (or sixth-form college) is an obvious major difference between the two systems of medical education. But I figured that in our first year, "Foundations of Medicine 1 & 2", they would teach us the "important" stuff from undergrad. Any biochemistry we would've missed, maybe a bit of important organic chemistry, but would leave out the less clinical parts, like "Origins of Civilization" and "Introduction to International Relations" (There are people who study those subject here, but as their major, not on their way to a science degree). However, I seem to be finding that we are generally taught things in a lesser detail schools back home would, with an attitude of "Oh, that's not important right now" or "You will have plenty of time to learn that in Manchester" (Manchester is where we go to complete our clinical training).

I recently obtained a copy of the infamous pathology notes by Dr. Goljan, and while browsing through it, was horrified at the amount of information I had never come across. Seeing as how this is one of the main books used by students preparing for the USMLE, it looks like I'll have quite a bit of work on my hands for my summer times…

While I did feel comfortable seeing some familiar terms ('calor, rubor, dolor…' – acute inflammation and the difference between the types of hypersensitivity reactions), these are just basic things that I would hope every medical school, no matter where it is, teaches. It's the more obscure things that scare me.

Until next time,


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hello, World!

Well, seeing as how this is my first post, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is AMiB. I am 18 years old (at the time of this writing). I am currently a 2nd year medical student at the Bute Medical School, University of St. Andrews, in St. Andrews, Scotland. I am originally from Southern California, born and raised, and trust me, moving halfway across the world to this freezing place has definitely been a shock.

One of the biggest shocks I find (besides the accent/food/weather) is the health-care system. Yes, I kn-
just a quick message to say that the ridiculous fire alarm in my hall of residence just went off...and i am now back. but that is something for me to complain about in another post.

Right, so I knew coming to the UK to study medicine meant I would be taught under a NHS-run style of teaching. As Dr. Crippen of NHS Blog Doctor put it in his post:
"By the time Eric got to the hospital, he had made a complete recovery. He was sent home after a minute under four hours in hospital with the usual letter saying “go and see your GP and get him to investigate you.” In the old days, of course, the hospital would have initiated the investigations themselves without me having to send him back for a second bite at the cherry. Biting the cherry twice wastes a lot of time and money, but hospitals do not earn their three stars by keeping people in Casualty for tests."

Having spent every Saturday morning during senior year in high school in my local ER, as well as 4 9-hour shifts a week there this summer, I am used to the model of: brought in by paramedics, find something wrong, admit them to whoever is on call. Now sure, thats not how it always went, but that was the general trend I seemed to notice.
Also, I'm just in my preclinical years right now, and the only clinical time I get is at KLCAS (if you could call it clinical time [again, a subject for a later post]), and my summers spent in the hospital back home। Maybe my outlook will change when I go on to my clinical training, maybe it won't. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

For the most part, I have very few original thoughts, so many of my posts will be links to posts in other blogs that I read, as listed on the right. Hopefully I won't give up on this thing too easy (as I tended to do with my 'personal' blogs in the past), and I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say!

Until next time,