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Showing posts 1 to 4 of 4 total blog post(s)

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Second Star to the Right ..

By Andrew Simpson

It's been a while since I posted a regular status update so, since this was meant to be a medical-studenty blog to begin with, I better get myself into the habit before next year rolls around. The past two months have been pretty busy. After weighting up all the pros and cons I decided to go with USyd and submitted my UQ withdrawal letter to ACER before GEMSAS offers came out. I think it makes more sense for me to stay; my family and support base are here, I prefer the (seemingly) more coherent organisation of the course and I like the idea of clinical contact from the very beginning. I have to admit that the nature of the interactions taking place in the two Facebook groups was also an influence. I'm sure not all the twosies are quite so immature but the UQ group really felt quite alien to me. In light of the VC scandal and the fact that almost 20% of UQ's MBBS2 cohort failed this year, I'm feeling even more comfortable about the decision. I've now completed my first aid course, got my police certificate, got most of my vaccinations sorted out and got myself enrolled, so all there is to do now is wait. It's quite amazing to think that there's less than two months to go until our first day on Feb 6th.

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Humility

By Andrew Simpson

Last weekend I was at the Youth Off The Streets 20th anniversary gala dinner, feeling very out of place in my slightly-too-large dinner jacket amongst various NSW glitterati. The night was a celebration of the many thousands of people who have been helped by Chris Riley's charity over the past two decades. I found myself deeply moved and humbled by many of the speakers who talked about their experiences with drugs, mental illness and social disadvantage. One in particular - Normie Rowe - stands out. For the less temporally-challenged, Normie Rowe was a big Australian rock star back in the late '60s and early 70s. Despite (or perhaps because of) his fame and accumulated wealth, his daughter ran away from home in her early teens and was found by one of the YOTS workers shooting up heroin and taken into their care. It was a long road to recovery but she has since made it through university and the depth of his gratitude to the organisation was palpable. At the end of his speech, he sang an a capella version of Valjean's "Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables which certainly brought a tear to my eye. It also reinforced the fact that, no matter my struggles and accomplishments, there are people out there who have had it infinitely worse than I have and still managed to come out the other side. For them I have nothing other than the utmost respect.

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Status Update

By Andrew Simpson

So I've reached the middle of May and my brain has not (yet) exploded. It's been sometimes hectic and often stressful trying to manage work and uni commitments but so far I'm really enjoying my medical physics course. As expected, some of the theoretical parts are a bit dry (I'm looking at you, nuclear physics) but it is exciting to see the clinical applications of all the theory. Despite (or because of) the high standards set by our anatomy lecturer, I'm really enjoying that aspect of the course too. Having never done any anatomy whatsoever it is fascinating to get a sense of how the body fits together and how all its different systems work. The next month brings with it seven assignments and five exams but I'm hopeful I can do reasonably well as long as I start preparing now.

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Looking Back and Looking Forward

By Andrew Simpson

So everything is pretty much done and dusted now. A GAMSAT of 72 and a GPA of 6.34 should really have put me in the box seat for a spot at Flinders .. but evidently my interview must have been approaching atrocious, as I was rejected before the main set of offers started coming out in December. I'm currently sitting in the UQ applicant pool with the minutest sliver of a chance of an offer for 2011. Realistically, though, I will be throwing my hat into the ring for a spot at UQ in 2012.

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