A Mote of Dust Suspended in a Sunbeam Busy Bee

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Busy Bee

By Andrew Simpson

I had this great expectation when I started out that it would be no problem to blog regularly during medical school. The evidence to date .. would suggest otherwise, however. As the year has gone on, time management has become a huge issue. Between study, maintaining friendships, spending time with my beautiful girl and seeing my family, there's really not a lot left. These days, finding myself with two hours off is really exciting .. because it means I have two hours (!) that I can spend catching up on lectures that I haven't had a chance to go over yet. I don't mean this as a whinge because it's really not. I find the vast majority of the stuff we're learning truly fascinating and I wouldn't trade this career path for any other. But you get to the point where you have to prioritise pretty heavily. A small part of me envies the 21-year olds in our course who have no other commitments and can focus solely on their studies; the rest of me is glad that I have so many great people to spend time with.

Today actually marks six months since the degree started. These six months have really been transformational. When I look back on the body of knowledge that I've acquired in that time it's almost unbelievable. I'm now conversant in an entirely new language, the language of medicine. And I have some conception of how everything fits together. Apparently I now know 25% of what I need to know to start at the hospital full time .. and I have an exam in two weeks to make sure that I do know it. I've spent some time thinking about career options, mostly as a distraction from doing actual study. Surgery has been out the window from the beginning .. I just can't see myself as that guy. I think neurology could be very interesting but RACP training does not really mesh well with other life goals (ie. not being a complete slave to the hospital). I was considering radiology (which I would be very competitive for, given my physics background) but after having spent a week with an interventional radiologist I can't see myself as that guy either. Anaesthetics is something that I really like the sound of, especially considering how much I've enjoyed respiratory physiology so far this block. It's probably at the top of my list at the moment. Being a rural generalist (regional GP + base hospital anaesthetist) also has a lot of appeal, although I feel like it might be stretching myself a bit then. Other "maybes" at the moment include palliative care medicine and rehabilitation medicine.

Anyhow, there's a grindstone with my name waiting on it so I must away. Hopefully it will be less time between drinks this time.

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