Returning to Uni

So the Daily Prompt is Fifteen Credits (which I’m assuming is something to do with American Universities) as its about returning to school, so why not post on that theme??

I am moving into my flat for university on Saturday ready to start in early September. Im excited for going back, I will be entering my Third Year of Medical School and my clinical years at Manchester Royal Infirmary. This is super exciting as MRI is comprised of 4 hospitals including an AMAZING Children’s Hospital!!

Im kind of nervous as well, I don’t know exactly what to expect of clinical years – It’s going to be so different from preclinical. Not knowing what to expect is kind of scary but hopefully it will all be good.

So I start with Introduction to Clinical Learning. Which is basically 3 weeks worth of lectures on very boring things such as Manual Handling and Fitness to Practise etc, which whilst I know its useful and necessary, its none-the-less particularly boring!

After that, I have been based in Care of the Elderly/ Geriatric Medicine. This is kind of scary. I know that in clinical years what Im going to  find the hardest is death and dementia. Its almost like Im going to be thrown into the deep end of what Im going to find the hardest right at the beginning.

After that Im in Acute Medicine, which is exciting! Throughout this semester I am being send to a tiny village GP in the Yorkshire moors, which is going to be a pain to get to!!

Im doing the Heart Lungs Blood (HLB) module this semester, and my flatmate (in the same year) is doing Nutrition Metabolism Excretion (NME), which is annoying because we were hoping to be in the same module so we could work together. Manchester medical is very big, we have 400 students in a year plus an extra 200 students from St Andrews who come to manchester for their clinical years. This means we have about 600 Medical students per year in the clinical years across 4 sites. So the Medical School splits up the year so half do HLB first whilst the other half does NME and then we swap over for the next semester.

but overall Im very excited, even though packing is tiring!!!

 

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Being the 1 in 4

I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety problems. And I hate them!!!

I was officially diagnosed in October of last year, but on reflection I believe I have been struggling with them since I was 12 but was too scared to come forward for help for fear of being judged. There is such a stigma attached to mental illness and many people refuse to acknowledge or talk about it. I believe that mental illness should be discussed, because without talking about it, others wont understand and will continue to believe incorrect views about mental illness.

The brain is an organ as well. A highly complicated organ at that. It is able to become ill much like any other part of the body. There is not a stigma attached to diseases of other organs: diabetes, broken bones, heart attack. But mental illness- there is still a stigma as well as many uninformed views.

I remember being told by a housemate (a music student) last year in university that “mental illness and depression isn’t real.” That I was “making it up for attention” and that I should just “snap out of it and just be happy”.  Also that there was “research showing that it isn’t real”. This conversation highly upset me – as you can imagine. Unfortunately these kind of views are not uncommon and are incorrect.

Goodness knows, if I could just “Snap Out Of It” I would. Its not like I enjoy being stuck with crippling thoughts and panic attacks, with lethargy and numbness. Unfortunately, Depression and Anxiety isn’t just being “sad” or “unhappy” as people believe – its much more multifactorial than that.

I don’t think I could explain things properly – however Allie from Hyperbole and a Half explains it in a way that I never could : http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

Sorry – that isn’t the best way to describe things…but there you go. Maybe I will end up talking more coherently on this later

Why I have problems with people who believe the MMR vaccine causes Autism

Today I got very annoyed by something on Facebook. It was about the MMR vaccine causing Autism.

Somebody was arguing that MMR vaccine causes Autism and that the Wakefield research was 100% reliable and true.

This very very much annoyed me.

I have had to go through a great amount of papers disproving any correlation between the MMR vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have also had to go through the  original Wakefield article and broken down all the different biases in it.

They were attacking ME for “believing everything I read in research papers”.  This rather pissed me off as they were believing what the media and mass hysteria spewed out. There is a large amount of parents stopping their children from having a lifesaving vaccine because of media hype and there has been a Measles epidemic amongst school aged children in Wales. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-23168519) This would have been avoided had parents vaccinated their children against Measles Mumps and Rubella.

I wish it was mandatory for parents to read the research before deciding not to give their child a potentially life saving vaccine for fear that a disease that has absolutely no correlation with the MMR jab will affect their child.

Whilst it is perfectly normal for a parent to be concerned about their child and want the best for them and their welfare, I think it would be a good idea for parents to read through the research before deciding what is in their best interest. Ultimately, having the MMR vaccine is beneficial for children and IS in their best interest, no matter what the media tells you.

 

Sorry guys…rant over.

Books I Couldn’t Live Without In Pre-Clinical Years

So I thought I would let you guys know what books I couldn’t live without in the preclinical years of medical school.

 

My basic first go to book was the brilliant Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology by Martini:

Martini

Martini was a brilliant go to book at the start of the course. It gave me all the foundations I would need for the weeks topic in regard to Anatomy and Physiology. It was in simple english and very easy to understand. However, whilst it gives enough detail to give an idea of whats going on, it isn’t completely in depth. If you needed to know something in detail, Martini is a great starting place, but you would need to go to other sources for more detail.

8/10

Whilst everyone has heard of Grey’s Anatomy, I didn’t find it all that useful, instead, my favourite Anatomy textbook was Clinically Orientated Anatomy by Moore and Dalley:

COA

Whilst the text is a bit hard to read at first, it has all the information you need to learn anatomy, more so then Grey’s I found.

7/10

In regard to clinical medicine, I found I liked 2 books very much. If one book didn’t have the information I needed, the other always would. They are Kumar and Clark’s Clinical Medicine and Davidson’s Principles and Practise of Medicine:

davidsons K&C

To be honest, they are both so similar that their description can be put together. I found them brilliant, they gave you all the stages of a disease you would need to know from causality to symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. However, sometimes one wouldn’t have the disease you needed so you have to use the other.

Both: 9/10

Pathology wise, I liked General and Systemic Pathology by Underwood:

underwood

It was in good simple english and gave you a good idea of the disease process. Sometimes, however, it wasn’t detailed enough and wasn’t completely comprehensive, and missed out information that I wish it had.

6/10

Specific system wise, I found that the Systems of the Body series  was really useful:

TDS  TNS TRS

They varied in readability and detailedness but I found them very useful for learning about systems and the related disease processed

7/10

So there you have it…the books I couldn’t have lived without in preclinical years of med school.