Feelings about clinical years

Today was my first day of my clinical years in medical school- just introductory material so far. Up until now, I have been mainly attending lectures and tutorials, but now we are being thrown into hospitals.

I’m actually really nervous about this year and being in hospitals. This is what students dream of when they first start medical school- actually being in hospital pretending to be a doctor and doing doctory things. But then they get herded into a windowless lecture theatre and get taught about cells. The thing is though, I am great at lectures. Really great. I excel with plain memorisation, I thrive on structure and I love to be spoon fed- which is exactly what being a clinical student is not about. Today we were told that being a clinical student, as opposed to a pre-clinical student, is about learning in a  working environment, seeking opportunities and putting yourself out there. You can’t just wait to be told what to do. You have to find something to do and do it. Ummm… ok.

I can do that. Maybe. Unfortunately, according to my mother, I am extremely slow and proactive is not in my vocabulary, at least when it comes to the kitchen. She’ll tell me to get a pan and I’ll get the wrong pan or she will call me to come help her and then not tell me what to do and then get annoyed when I do nothing. And I drop things. I don’t think consultants will like it if you drop things.

Also, being in hospitals will entail a large lifestyle change- I will have to stand up. After two years sitting in a lecture theatre, I am going to have to actually stand up and walk around most of the day. I don’t know if my legs will understand the concept. I should have practised over the summer.

And also, I am worried I’ll  be isolated. Our entire year group is being split up across different hospitals and none of my friends are at the same ones as me. So, I’ll go from seeing them every single day to all by my lonesome.

Also, what if I am just an absolutely rubbish clinical student. I’m a good lecture student. But I could potentially be one of those individuals that should just stick to books and leave the poor people alone.

And another thing, I’m really embarrassed to ask to be allowed to do things. I rather be asked if I want to do something- like, do you want to present this patient?-than actually interrupt to ask if I can present this patient. It’s like when someone has a packet of prawn cocktail crisps. You’re not going to ask them, or at least I wouldn’t, if you can have some of their crisps but then if they offer you some crisps, you say yes because you happen to like prawn cocktail crisps. It’s just like that.

And finally, I will probably do extremely embarrassing things and make an absolute fool out of myself, give outrageously incorrect answers to questions asked by consultants and disgrace my previous lecturers, proving myself unworthy of the knowledge they have bestowed upon me in the past two years. But, apparently that’s normal. Not that that makes it any less embarrassing.

Ok, now that that’s over with, on to the positives. Let it not be said that I am an unbalanced individual.


  • It could be fun to pretend to be a doctor all day.
  • I get a cool stethoscope (which I tried on my mum today to no success).
  • One step closer to doctorhood.
  • I’ll have lots of great hospital horror stories to tell.
  • I’ll get to see conditions that I’ve only read about in real life.
  • I could help patients (at least I hope I can make myself useful.)

I really like hospitals. I actually find them to be very comforting environments. Like libraries, but with people.

On that final point- inspiring thought of the day- hospitals are like libraries with patients instead of books. Learn from patients. Pretend they are talking books. Audiobooks. Patients are audiobooks. Or something like that. That’s about as self-motivational as I’m getting tonight.

Here’s to hoping I don’t drop anything too important.









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s