Friday, April 27, 2007

Thank You

I want to use this post to say a couple thank you's:

First, a thank you to all those who donate their bodies in the name of medical research. This past Wednesday was our annual "Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving" – a time where the students and staff of the Bute get a chance to meet with the friends and families of the cadavers we dissect, and express our gratitude for their choice. The Chaplain spoke of the Gift of Life they have given to us, helping us to become better health care professionals. At the beginning of our course, we are given a lecture called "Your First Patient," and one of our senior anatomy lecturers tells us about the code of conduct in the dissection room and what a privilege it is to be in a course that offers dissection. I find these words to be true, and while it is a very awkward position to speak with the families of the cadavers we have worked on all year, I found it a good event over all.

On Thursday we had our last session of KLCAS. In the second year of our course, we embark on the Kirkcaldy Levenmouth Community Attachment Scheme, which is meant to give us a look into the Community aspect of medicine. We have fortnightly (I love saying that word :-D) sessions with different members of the community healthcare team – GPs, Pharmacists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses/Health Visitors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, etc. This last session was with either a Health Visitor or a School Nurse. I was placed with a school nurse, and went to a Primary School (P1-P7 – around the same age as 1st through 7th grade – P7s are about 11 years old) to do some pre-high school Health Screening. Height, weight, vision, color vision, and just general health discussion. Every child we saw knew exactly how many portions of fruits and veg they were supposed to have per day (5), but when asked how many they did have, they would be embarrassed and admit to only the 2 or 3. Most high schools here have an open-campus style policy, so lunches are usually eaten at the chip shop right next door. The nurse tried to stress the importance of making healthy choices when faced with difficult eating decisions. The students seemed receptive to the concepts, but I guess only time will tell if they actually follow through.

So, a thank you as well to all of the healthcare professionals out there. No matter what role you play or where you work (Fife or not) – medicine would be nothing without you. While KLCAS was not as interactive (on the patient care end) as many of us would have liked, I still enjoyed it over all. It gave me a look into the medical field that I maybe would not have seen had I gone to a different university.

One of the first rules I learned in the ER was to respect the nurses. Most medical students learn this one way or another; I'm just glad I learned it before it got me in trouble. :-)

Have a great weekend, all.


p.s. just hit 100 visitors! excited! :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"In My Mind"

An interesting look into Asperger's Disorder, from someone who has it. He uses computer drawn images to get his points across.

"Now, one thing I do have to say, is that if there were an antidote for Asperger's, I would not take it. Because I would not get rid of what makes me who I am..."

Friday, April 20, 2007


I ran for the Vice President of the Bute Medical Society. I lost.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Manchester Trip Post

It has been brought to my attention that certain parts of my previous post about the medical school's trip to the University of Manchester and their affiliated hospitals has been taken as offensive by some. I believe that many of the thoughts in question were poorly worded by me and did not actually portray my true thoughts, and I plan to re-post with more detailed explanations.

I would also like to disclaim this blog, saying that the posts on here are a reflection of my thoughts and mine alone, and in now way are endorsed, affiliated, or actually have anything to do with the Bute Medical School, the University of St. Andrews, the University of Manchester or its teaching hospitals, the Bute Medical Society, or the Bute Medical Society Committee. If I ever write anything that offends anyone, please get in contact with me, as I would like to know what I have done, because more than likely I had not meant to do so.

Thank you,

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Annual Manchester Trip

Every year, the Second Year medics take a trip down to the University of Manchester to visit the the 4 teachings hospitals that we will spend years 4-6 in: Manchester Royal Infirmary, Salford Royal (aka Royal Hope) Hospital, University Hospital of South Manchester (aka Wythenshawe Hospital), or Royal Preston Hospital. This means I get to spend the next 5 hours on a bus driving down there, and 5 hours back up on Tuesday, after visiting Preston on the way back up. (Which is why I've loaded up my iPod with movies...)

However, despite the long drive, I am looking forward to the trip. This is quite a major decision, one I would never make blind. Of the 125 students in my year, only 50 or so are coming on the trip. This means that the rest of them will either be making the trip themselves (a lot of students who come to St. Andrews tend to be from Manchester originally), or are going to pick where they will spend 3 of the most important years of their life without seeing the hospital first. To me, that sounds a bit unreasonable.

I'm going down with a slight bias towards Wythenshawe and Preston, because of their higher A&E (Accident & Emergency - equivalent to a U.S. ER/ED) flow rate and admissions rate. The way emergency admissions generally work in the U.K. is that 999 (the emergency line - like 911) calls are for major emergencies, such as RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents) and unconscious patients. Most other 'emergencies' must go through NHS24 in Scotland or NHS Direct in England, which is a 24-hour phone service staffed by nurses and doctors who decide whether the patient actually needs an emergency hospital admission or can wait to see their GP in their office. However, A&E's are still open to walk-in visits. While I realize that I will get to spend a very limited amount of time in the A&E during my clinical training, I will still be using the look and feel of the department to help me in my decision.

Until next time,