Sunday, 25 November 2012

End of the doctor's surgery?

I was shopping today, browsing through the newspapers when I saw a headline on the front page of the daily express claiming that face to face appointments with GPs are to be abolished, obviously not entirely, but at least vastly reduced.  I don't know how much truth there is in this claim, but it did made me think about what the implications would be for the future of primary care physicians in the UK if this was to go ahead.   It was implied that they were planning on using skype and other online applications in order to converse with their patients.  I don't buy the daily express, so I had a look online when I came home and the daily mail had also run a similar story, it claims that GPs would be using mobile apps in order to view their patients records.  This is supposedly going to save the NHS billions of pounds.  But what would this mean for medicine, both for patients and for physicians?

My first thought was to consider how I felt as a patient.  I'm quite technologically savvy, I use my smart phone how most people who have them do, I have apps for most things the news, social media, journals etc, but how would I feel if I felt the only option I had was for video calls with my GP?  I don't like skype as a general rule, I find it slow, hard to hear and it cuts off at times.  I have the maximum broadband connection my service provider offers and I have a large computer screen, I'm young(ish) not hearing or sight impaired and yet I'm still not a fan, so how exactly would someone who struggles with technology cope with this proposed change?  When some people go to the dr they struggle to get themselves together until towards the end of the consultation when they finally feel comfortable enough to disclose the full extent of their reason for going there, how are they going to feel when they're sitting on skype talking their doctor, not having the face to face interaction, rushed, unimportant and not valued?  

I have used NHS direct in the past and almost everytime I've called I've been sent to the out of hours doctor.  I imagine that is because the doctor on the end of the phone doesn't know if I'm articulating my symptoms appropriately and wants to check what is wrong with me for him/herself.  What if someone calls their doctor on skype complaining that their child appears to have a headache or fever of some description? A lot of people think that the symptom that they have to look out for particularly in meningitis for example is the rash, but what about all the symptoms that come beforehand that a skype conversation may not uncover, if that was indeed the case then I'd imagine that most would agree in saying that it certainly doesn't sound safe, for patients or physicians.  I'd like to think that skype would be used for people to call when they want repeat prescriptions extended etc, but it seems like a lot of money to go into the practice just for that; we already have the GP calling you back system rather than going in for a physical appointment if you so wish so is this really necessary if it is unsafe due to the possibility of certain medical conditions being missed?  

If you've read this blog then I'm fairly sure by the title alone it is clear I want to be a doctor.  How will this proposed change affect the way physician's view their role and their own careers?  I think it is fair to say that most didn't go into medicine to sit behind a desk staring at a screen all day, they wanted to make a difference to have face to face contact with their patients and give the very best care that they could, is that possible via the virtual world? How would a doctor feel knowing that their patients were not happy with the new system, wouldn't he/she feel devalued by existing as only a face on a computer screen? What about shared decision making, how much of a decision can be shared when the patient isn't in the same room as the GP?  

Although I think it is clear that I'm not a fan of the idea as I can only imagine that in order to save the money stated that physical appointment slots would be cut, there might be a place for it within the existing service.  There are many people who have to use up an entire GP slot in order to get their repeat prescription refilled for example, a follow up appointment for medications, people going to the GP about a cold/flu, for these cases it might be beneficial to free up valuable GP slots.  However what is the difference in reality between skype and a telephone call which already exists?  

The NHS is changing, but for me, as both a patient and hopeful medic, this is a step too far.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


So this month has been really busy, my dissertation is going well and I've sent off my first postgraduate application.  I'm currently in the middle of an essay due in before Christmas and a presentation in a couple of weeks time, all is on track to be finished early.  I'm also planning on sending my second postgraduate application off this week so hopefully I'll have an offer for next year in the new year.  I'm really excited about the prospect of doing a masters now, although I'm still wishing I was going to medical school next September I'm not as disappointed as I was, mainly because of what the masters will do for my application and hopefully my future career.  Just have to keep my fingers crossed now that somewhere I apply to likes my application and offers me a place! 

I was feeling quite snowed until earlier last week, felt a bit like the term was flying past and I was trying my best to get everything done at once, I don't know why as I don't usually work in such a haphazard way...I think it was just blind panic at the concept of getting my personal statement written for my post grad, working towards my dissertation etc all at once!  But its all ok now, I'm back on track! 

Anyway, sorry for the short blog post I have some reading to get back to I just thought I'd pop by and say hello!  

Also, go and see Skyfall - its amazing! 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Not as straightforward as it seemed

If you've been following my blog at all then you'll be aware that I'm not going to medical school next year.  I was pretty annoyed about the UKCAT, but I dealt with that and started looking at Postgraduate plans.  However, what I didn't account for is my friends applying for medicine this year, although I don't think some of them meet the cutoffs for the Universities they've applied for, I'm still finding it pretty tough the idea of them all starting their medicine journeys in 2013 and me being left behind.  This isn't the first time this is happening for me, I chose not to go into medicine straight from school and due to my age I'm now seeing my friends become specialists whereas I'm still trying to get my foot in the door.  I don't regret the path I've taken, I think now is the right time for me to consider medicine and I'm grateful I have other life experience behind me and I think it will stand me in good stead with appreciating just how lucky I would be to have a career in medicine.  I'm not doubting that medicine is a really difficult career, I can tell that just from my work experience placements, but the benefits certainly seem to outweigh the negatives and I think some of my friends who are my age don't appreciate it in the same way I will if I finally get there.

So onto my new plan A, my Masters.  What I didn't factor into the equation is that my other half is also planning on becoming a full time student next year, which sounds great, we've chosen locations which mean that I can apply for medicine the year after etc, but we forgot one key  I won't be getting any funding for a taught masters, and nor will I be getting a maintenance loan for the year.  So not only will I be spending the few months applying for masters degrees, selling our house and hopefully finding somewhere really nice to live, we'll also be looking for part time jobs for both of us once we've moved! We hadn't planned on having to work part time whilst we studied and it is very very likely that I'm going to be having my ankle surgery during my summer break after I graduate so I'm really hoping that will be fixed before I start my course and job.  

I've planned for 3 years for what would happen at the end of it, and although my plan A/B is a perfectly good plan B, deep down it wasn't what I was hoping would happen I don't think. I'm sort of sad coming to terms with the whole waiting at least another year to start medicine.  However, I need to tell myself to stop moping and to get on with my uni work and GAMSAT revision ready for March!  I'm reading lots, but it doesn't feel like my "work mode" has truly kicked back in since I messed up the UKCAT!  I'll snap out of it, everyone has to fail something in their life I guess, its just never happened to me before - silly I know.  I just really really want a future in medicine, I won't give up, but I am still sulking a little bit I'm afraid to admit!  

Anyway, I'm going to get on with some uni work and write my personal statement for my MSc application!  Onwards and upwards as they say!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Enter Plan B

So this month didn't go to plan at all.  As you all know I was due to take the dreaded GAMSAT. I knew it wouldn't go well, I was incredibly unprepared and it was always going to just be a trial run.  However, the morning of the exam I woke up at about 4:00am sneezing my head off. Constantly.  Until about 6:30am when I got up, had a bath, got ready to leave, when suddenly I realised that I was being a little silly.  Not only was I feeling like death warmed up (I'm really really not a fan of colds!), my throat felt like I was swallowing razorblades, but I STILL couldn't stop sneezing. I'd taken piriton, tried hot lemon water, but nothing was working, but I realised that if I went and sneezed my way through the entire day, I would distract everyone else in the room, the people who were not there for a trial run, would be utterly aggravated by my incessant AAAACHOOOing.  I didn't want to ruin anyone else's chances of getting a med school place by being a distraction, so I went back to bed for the day.  Plus I told myself, I was only going to put George's down if I felt the day went well (which I was almost 100% sure it would not) plus I still had my UKCAT to do, excellent, right decision.

My UKCAT was a couple of days ago. I was quietly confident, I had been getting high marks in all sections aside from QR which was a touch on the low side in all of the mock questions I was answering from books and a website I subscribed to.  More importantly I completed the UKCAT mocks and they went really well, in fact in DA I was only 2 questions off 100%.  When I sat down in the actual test and started doing the VR questions I was pleased that they felt significantly easier than the practice questions I had completed, and although I was concerned that my QR may have dragged my average down a touch, I was quite calm throughout.  When I got my results however, they shocked me, I was no where near the cutoffs for any of the Unis I wanted to apply to. I smiled at the lady at reception, put on my coat, and left quickly.  I was still ok, no tears, until I spoke to my other half (who was tremendously supportive) and realised that my medicine dream was over for this year at least.  What is even more ridiculous is that DA was my lowest score, QR my highest?!  I have absolutely no idea how the UKCAT is marked, I truly can't even begin to understand it if they really believed QR was my highest section, but they seemed to! 

I was pretty angry with myself for the rest of the day, kept forgetting and then remembering and I felt horrible messaging my dad to tell him I'd messed up (even though he was very sympathetic). But after lunch with one of my best friends at Uni, I realised that my plan B was a pretty fantastic one, I now get to choose a Masters at a new Uni and do something really interesting for a year whilst increasing my medicine application portfolio.  So I've spent the last couple of days researching exactly what kind of thing I want to do an MSc in and I'm sorting out referees etc.  I now actually feel quite excited. It does come in waves however, one minute I'm really excited the next I feel a tad sad, but I believe there is a reason for everything! 

Bring on Plan B....its the new Plan A now folks! 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Personal Statement

So as you know I am a mature student.  I've written personal statements before, in fact I used to help my friends write them when we were in 6th form, yet I can't seem to write mine for my medicine application.  I don't understand what is wrong with me, I have written everything out in bullet points, I know what I want to say but it just doesn't feel strong enough!  I have no idea what is missing from it, but I know I need to get it finished by next week to send to my tutor who is going to be writing my reference.  I don't know what is wrong with me, this is the most important thing I'm ever going to write and I can't seem to get it sorted.  

I have work experience all next week and then the GAMSAT next Friday so I really have to get it sorted this weekend, why does this seem so impossible?  I think it is because I've been planning it for over 2 years now that I just want it to be perfect, when truthfully nothing ever is.  I want to study medicine, I'd love to study next year, but I know it is unlikely.  I'll be happy to do my MSc, but I don't want to not get an interview because I've not produced a strong enough Personal Statement!!!  

I can write blog posts with ease, I talk comfortably, I can even write essays with very little difficulty, yet a statement telling admissions tutor why I'm a good candidate to study medicine is really scary! I'm positive I'm not the only one who feels this way, I just know that the competition for places will just be so intense and I want to make my application stand out more than anything!

Anyway, I'm going to go and sit and make some more notes and hope a draft magically appears!  

Thursday, 6 September 2012

My final year approaches....

Usually after such a long absence I would apologise for being awol.  However, I have to admit that this time it has been a deliberate choice not to blog.  I've been incredibly busy.  As many of you know I had to take my second year exams in the summer as I was poorly during exam period.  I am pleased to report that I passed the year with a high 2:1 so I'm very very excited to be going into my 3rd and final year of my BSc.  I have already started working on my dissertation and I have chosen my supervisor which is great and I'm really looking forward to it.  The modules this year seem really interesting which is always an added bonus, cannot believe however that in just over 8 months time my degree will be over.  

As for my medical school application, I am taking the GAMSAT on the 21st of this month, however due to my exams I have not prepared well for it at all, so depending on how I feel it went on the day will decide whether or not I will be applying to one GAMSAT uni or not.  My UKCAT is booked for the start of October and I'm truly not sure how it will go.  I'm hopeful I'll meet the cutoffs for my preferred unis, if not then I will have to try again next year.  I have found some MSc courses that I really really like the look of, so I shall also be applying for them at the start of next year.  So hopefully next year I will either be starting a postgrad qualification, or graduate entry medicine....time will tell! 

I think I was a little frustrated that things didn't go to plan last year, but to be honest, although it does seem frustrating that I may have to wait yet another year (at least) to go to medical school, my resolve has been strengthened even more!  I KNOW this is what I want to do and my BSc has proved that to me.  Whatever will be will be, and I'm not going to dwell on the outcome of this round of applications too much.  I'm sure if I don't get in this year there will be a few tears, but one thing I've learned about myself is that I'm more than capable of picking myself up and dusting myself off, and making sure my application is even stronger and my UKCAT and GAMSAT marks are even higher.  We'll cross that bridge if we come to it. 

Other than that there is nothing exciting to report, we didn't manage to go on holiday this year, as we're saving in case I have to do a MSc, maybe next year we'll have enough to pop to Europe for a long weekend. We have had some nice day trips though, which is always a bonus!  So yet again, I'm sorry for my absence, I will try to update more regularly, honest! 

Have a nice day everyone. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Catch up

Hi everyone, 

Sorry I've been AWOL.  I've been going to lots of open days and I've had lots going on!  The project I've been involved with in the last 12 months had a really exciting development last month - won't go into it but I've been really happy about it.  The open days have been brilliant, I've really enjoyed myself.  I really loved the unis I've been to, but it has also been really interesting as some of the schools I was almost 100% sure I was going to apply to, I've decided I'm probably not going to, and schools that I was on the fence about I've really loved and feel that my qualifications suit the admissions process much more than I thought they would and the style of teaching at certain schools suits me so much more.  So it has been a really useful few months, well worth the planning. 

I've decided to start swimming more often, I have to watch to not increase the pressure doing exercise, and I can't run or cycle etc because of my rubbish ankle (thanks last summer!) so swimming is the ideal sport for me.  I used to swim a lot, I was on the school swimming team competing in galas etc, but aside from on holidays etc I stopped swimming properly a few years ago, so it is going to take a while to get back into the swing of it, especially seen as I was fighting fit back then and now I have one ankle which doesn't do hardly anything these days!  But it'll be worth it 100%. 

Anyway, I'm off to do some revision, then a quick coffee in town with my other half after work finishes, and finally a swim.  Have a good afternoon/evening everyone, I'll try to blog more often :).

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


It seems that my life revolves around planning at the moment, booking my UKCAT, planning open days, sorting out my revision schedule for the summer, figuring out my dissertation topic, all requiring lots of planning.  I don't seem to have much time to do anything between volunteering and working towards the summer exams and next year!  I don't mind because I know that it'll (hopefully) be worth it in the end, but it would be nice to have a little bit of "me" time without feeling guilty and thinking that I should be doing something else instead. 

I'm sitting here waiting for my dad to call me so that I can go and pick up something from him, wishing he'd hurry up as I'm wasting time that I should be spending reading for my dissertation so I can send my proposal to my lecturer and have a supervisor assigned to me.  I still can't believe that in September I'll be in my 3rd year, this degree has flown by.  I've really enjoyed it, I wish I hadn't had the health problems I've had with it but I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to continue with it despite them.  

I think today I'm going to meet my dad, finish doing some reading, write a draft proposal, do a spot of note making for my exams and then catch up on some other work. My other half has plans this evening and I'm going too, so I'll probably be shattered by about 9pm, just in time for 24 hours in A and E.  Frustratingly I wake up pretty early most days and I'm shattered pretty early in the evening too, which also makes me feel guilty and feel like I should be working rather than crashed out on the sofa.  

Anyway, my dad has just called and told me he's not meeting me for over an hour so I'm going to get back to my reading.  Hope everyone has at least had the chance to enjoy some of the lovely sunshine we've had, fingers crossed that wasn't our summer.  

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Open Days

Open day season is almost upon us and as I have signed up for pretty much all of the open days I want to go on it has dawned on me just how real this is.  I want to go to medical school in 2013, I think I'm probably one of thousands who do to be honest but I'll be happy to wait another year if I have to.  But I will be spending the summer going to open days, studying for the GAMSAT and UKCAT (and possibly BMAT) and writing my UCAS form, regardless of the outcome, the application stage starts here.  It seems like yesterday I was getting ready to start the first week of my BSc, yet here I am, my second year is almost over and I'm going to be a third year (results pending).  

I still can't choose which Universities I'm going to apply to (as you can tell by the volume of exams I'm considering taking).  But I have to be honest I'm having a lot of fun choosing between them.  At first I found I was getting frustrated by it, and I'm not going to lie - I would prefer it if the UCAS form had 8 options instead of 4...but I'm really enjoying learning about all of the different courses that are on offer.  I'm slightly concerned that I'm going to pick the wrong uni, choose 4 medical schools that won't like my application/won't like me at interview, but I've come to the conclusion that it is just one of those things.  I'm not going to pick unis that simply have the largest intake number, I'm going to pick schools that I really think I will love, located somewhere where we'll enjoy living.  We're really really lucky here in the UK, there are so many fantastic courses to choose from.  Reading people's blogs, posts on twitter and on various forums, I think there will be lots of competition this year for places.  All I can do is give it my very best shot and hope one of my choices wants to offer me a place! 

Fingers crossed....

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

More to life

So I've been revising (almost) constantly lately.  We've had a few lovely "date nights" as we call them, we have another tonight, a mid-week one to break up the stress of work/essays/revision etc which will be lovely.  However, I was procrastinating earlier and came across a blog that I once read from start to finish (and sobbed, literally sobbed) the whole way through.  In a nutshell, the blog was written by someone who married a young lady who battled with cancer for 5 years, but sadly lost her fight in 2011.  It is about their life together during their fight and there is another blog attached describing life as a widow.  It breaks my heard as the age gap is the same as the gap between my other half and I.  We always feel so lucky to have met each other when we're still young, but this blog serves as a cruel reminder that youth does not mean longevity.  

It got me thinking about how I would cope if I was to become a medic and I was faced with a young couple in a similar situation to the couple in the blog.  I concluded that I would probably go home and cry, lots and lots.  I can't imagine that I'm the kind of person where death would not affect me over time, I think no matter how long I was lucky enough to practice medicine I would still hurt every time, I would probably just become more experienced in processing the emotions.

This young couple went through so much together, I would be beyond devastated if that happened to me and my other half.  It is not just what they have already shared that is lost, but also the loss of the promise of forever.  (Did I forget to mention that I'm a hopeless romantic).  I think that when we get caught up in the whole revision and work malarky, we forget what is most important in life, the little things that may not change the world, but will always stay with you.  So when I'm sitting here in meltdown mode over my exams, I think I'll try my hardest (and it will be hard) to remember that there really is so much more to life than a perfect grade.  

Little deep for a Wednesday perhaps, but I thought I'd share what I've been thinking.  Now I'm going back to revising about the joys of thrombosis in pregnancy.  Have a lovely day everyone, make the most of it.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Sorry I've been AWOL.  I had an essay to finish last week which was handed in on Monday (not the best essay I've ever done but probably not the worst either).  I have also been frantically going through all my lecture notes and making revision notes as my first exam is in 15 days....15 DAYS!!!!  I found out I had a 2:1 for my lab report which is great as it is worth 50% of the module, so I'm pleased with that.  

So, 2 months of hell starts here really, I have 2 weeks until my first exam, and then 4 weeks of exams, followed by another 2 weeks (I think) off for revision before one more final exam for the year.  I have to do an assessment in the summer as I had to miss it earlier in the year, and after that (resits pending obviously) I'm finished.  Then it will be a long summer of GAMSAT revision (oh my dear god I have no idea how to begin), volunteering and dissertation reading (I'm at the point when I'm thinking of my dissertation already, oh my goodness!!!!) I'll be a 3rd year....already....this degree has flown by! 

I've loved this degree, and I'm sure that if I end up doing postgraduate I'll love it too, but I can't help but hope and wish that I'll get into GEM for 2013.  I know I'm one of the thousands who have the same dream, I'm just hopeful I'll get an interview.  Anyway, enough wishing, time to relax for the evening as I'm absolutely shattered.  Think I'm going to watch some trashy TV with my other half and then off to bed nice and early. 


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

April Cinema

I spent the day with my other half today, working this morning and then we popped to the cinema to see 'The Cabin in the Woods'. 

We also saw 'The Hunger Games' last night, so I guess if you're a film fan this might help you choose between them (or encourage you to see one or neither of them, I'm not sure). Lets start with 'The Hunger Games'.  This was fantastic, I absolutely loved it, was mildly irritated by a couple of things, it is a little 'Hollywood' in some respects, but I really did enjoy it; I hear it is a trilogy so I'm really looking forward to seeing the next two movies!  Usually I read the books before the films come out, but I was really keen to enjoy this for what it was, I have seen the play and read the novel for 'The Woman in Black' and I spent the whole film trying to second guess what was coming next, I was also a little irritated by the fact that it was so different from the novel and so I decided I would read the book after seeing the film.  

Now onto 'The Cabin in The Woods'.  I should point out I'm quite a big film fan, I love horror, thriller type films, but I am a HUGE wuss, if I'm scared, I hide.  I hid for a relatively large part of this film.  If you watch the trailer, you would be forgiven for thinking that you're going to see a combination of 'Hostel' and 'The Hills Have Eyes', it is more than that, in some ways and in others not quite as graphic or tense. I really enjoyed it however; it frightened me, it was on quite a few different levels, literally, and had an ending I really didn't expect, but I perhaps would have altered the ending slightly again, but it was completely worth the ticket, which after seeing 'The Devil Inside Me' was a welcome relief.  (Do not waste your money on 'The Devil Inside Me', the film was finally getting going and then it ends, awful film, complete waste of money and time!)

Now I'm going to revise Osteoporosis, a bit of a change from watching scary movies, but necessary I believe if I want to pass my exams next month. If you have any films you think I should see, please feel free to let me know - I'm always happy to watch new films! 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Medical School Panic

So, in one month I'll be finishing my 2nd year.  Excellent and I'm finally healthy enough and my ankle seems stable enough (touch wood!) to begin my volunteering, which is amazing.  I also have the shadowing sorted for the summer, alongside the project I've been working on which has been amazing, but I can't help feeling my application isn't going to be strong enough for this year.  I did a practice UKCAT test yesterday for the first time (I didn't even know what was involved) and it was ok I suppose for a first attempt, aside from the numerical section which was absolutely appalling, which does not bode well for me at all.  I really didn't want to rely on the GAMSAT too much as it is such a beast I wanted 2 UKCAT Unis and 2 GAMSAT Unis and now I'm worried that I'm going to have to go for 4 GAMSAT unis.  

I have absolutely no idea how this is all going to pan out, I had everything planned to the nth degree and then I messed it all up by getting injured.  Completely my fault, but it isn't going to make me feel great when I have to take yet another year to apply again if I don't get in this time.  I'm a mature student (I'm still the right side of 30 but still!) and I just feel frustrated. I'm seeing on forums that people who are quite honestly fantastic candidates getting rejected from all 4 choices, even with high scores, high academic grades etc. 

If people who are:
a) Younger than me
b) Have better academic credentials than me
c) Have higher GAMSAT/UKCAT scores than I can ever hope for
d) Have more voluntary work experience than me
Aren't getting offers, what am I supposed to do?  I just hope that I get one offer, I don't mind where, I really truly don't, I'll be happy with any of the 6 places I want to apply to (I haven't narrowed it down yet, open day season is upon us!) were kind enough to offer me a place I'd be over the moon.  I can't quite get my head around people being offered places and then saying that they're not sure they're going to take them as it wasn't their "first choice"... *DON'T APPLY TO A UNI UNLESS YOU'RE HAPPY TO TAKE THE PLACE*. 

Anyway, I'm going to stop ranting, just having a moment of complete and utter blind panic! I'm going to go and revise, because one thing is for sure, I'm not going anywhere unless I pass my degree!  Thanks for reading.  

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

April Already

This year is flying by, in fact the last three years have flown by.  Three years ago I moved in with my better half, since then we've bought a house, been to the Maldives, got married and I've (almost) finished two years of my BSc. It literally feels like yesterday that I applied to study for my BSc and applying to med school was a distant ambition, now it is a very real, current, task.  I had an email from my course director last week saying we need to start thinking about our dissertation topics through the summer, which will make me a 3rd year!!

Whilst lots of exciting things have happened, I've also had some negative things, I've injured myself and been rather poorly (as you may have read at the start of the year).  I'm still not 100% better, but I'm 100% better than I was on the 1st January this year.  However, we were watching "Hospital Sydney" last night and there was a man on there with multiple brain tumours having surgery to stop him from being paralysed for the last few months of his life. He and his wife were so happy to find out that his prognosis was for 3-6 months rather than a couple of weeks and it just made me feel a little sad.  I was lying in bed watching this, and it made me think, yesterday was the 2nd April, on the 1st January I had a low pressure headache due to a pretty gnarly lumbar puncture and I was lying in bed doing exactly the same as I was last night (with added pain of course), 4 months ago, yet like everything else it feels like yesterday!  I lay there and couldn't help feeling sad that in the short space of time that has passed between me being so poorly and me getting back on my feet again, essentially the man on the TV would have exceeded the lower end of his life expectancy scale. 

I don't take my life for granted.  I'd love to go to medical school, but my life won't end if I can't.  I have so many wonderful things going on in my life for which I'm grateful for everyday, but every now and then it amazes me just how fast it all goes by.  Life is a bit of "blink and you miss it" sometimes and I've noticed how many people don't appreciate how lucky we all are to be here.

Anyway, I'm just grateful for everyday I have and even when it is cloudy or rainy outside, or something doesn't go your way, remember it could always be worse.

Friday, 30 March 2012

One more to go....

I finished my Lab write up thank goodness - now I'm off for a month! Then, the exams start.  I think this makes me nervous but also excited I am so nearly there, nearly at the end of the year and nearly getting ready to start my GAMSAT work and send off my UCAS form. 

I also had some good news I got a first for my last essay submission so I am really pleased about that.  Only one more essay to go and I'm done (aside from exams obviously).  

Outside of uni things are good, absolutely loving the weather this week it has been absolutely stunning.  On the negative it meant we've been spending more time in the garden (which has been lovely) but we've realised that our neighbour has put up her new fence which is much much higher than it used to be so we've had to get legal advice regarding it, which is pretty irritating but we'll get it sorted one way or another.  

My better half and I have two weeks off together now, some of it will of course be spent working on Uni work, however it will be lovely to get to do some little day trips together, which will be fantastic.  

But for now, I'm off to watch "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".  Enjoy your Friday night, whatever you may be doing! 

Thursday, 29 March 2012


I have to go to the dentist today...I HATE going to the dentist with a passion.  No particular reason why, apart from having two horrible experiences with wisdom teeth (doesn't everyone?) it isn't the pain I'm ever concerned about, its the noise.  Fillings literally fill me with panic, and fear, and stress, I have no idea why I just REALLY hate it. I haven't been for a while so today will just be a check up, I'm not having any fillings or anything as I have work to do today so the last thing I need is numbness. 

I also have an equally painful appointment just before the dentist at the car garage.  I have to have two new tyres, which will cost me a ridiculous amount of money for what feels like nothing exciting at all.  The joys of car ownership!

I shouldn't complain though it is beautiful and sunny outside, I shall be finishing off my report in the sunshine later, probably having a late night because knowing me I'll rip it all to bits about 20 times and then wish that I'd gone with my first draft because I'm useless like that!  The plus side is that my better half has two weeks off starting on Friday and I only have one more essay to hand in before exam time, can't believe I'm nearly at the end of my 2nd year, it really really has flown by!  Hopeful I'll get through the year with a 2:1! 

Have a good day everyone - enjoy the sunshine, this may well be our summer!  

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

GAMSAT Ireland

Initially I had planned to take the GAMSAT twice, I wanted to know what I was heading for before the final attempt in September.  Unfortunately as I've mentioned on here before, life has a funny way of getting in the way of things and after my injuries this year, I'm only just about caught up on my Undergrad stuff in time for exams let alone adding to my stress with GAMSAT revision.  So I didn't take it last weekend. 

A couple of my friends however, did.  They went to Dublin and they took the dreaded exam, and apparently, it was awful.  They said that the humanities side of it wasn't as bad as they thought, but the science side was dreadful. I believe them, I'm sure it was a horrific day but I'm optimistic that it will be ok in Sept. I don't truly know how much prep they did for it.  We've had essays etc due in, and I just don't know how much work they did.  I don't know when they had the time to fit in the amount of prep needed this term, so I'm still hopeful that it won't be a complete disaster in September.  

I'm not sure how it will go for me, but I'm also planning on taking the UKCAT and if I do alright in that I will apply to some GAMSAT and some UKCAT unis.  Still keeping my fingers crossed for a miraculous interview after applications.  I start hospice work soon and I have work experience lined up (only short shadowing), but I also have that exciting project I have spoken about before to talk about in interview, which I've really enjoyed (and I'm looking forward to finishing before my exams start in 11 weeks time fingers crossed!).  So I'm still hopeful, if not MSc here I come.....! 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Volunteering and Work Experience

Because of my ankle this year has been awful in terms of work experience and volunteering.  I've had to delay everything until I could walk and until I was feeling better, but that means that aside from the work I've been doing since last year, I don't have anything else....yet.  I've got lots lined up for the summer, but still, others on my course have way more than me and I'm really concerned that thanks to my ankle I've messed up any chance I have of going to med school in 2013.  This really worries me as a mature student I don't want to waste anymore time I really want to get on with it. 

I'm hopeful that the work I'll be doing will be sufficient as I'll have plenty of interesting experiences to talk about at interview (if I ever get one!) but its the worry that I think my friends who are all doing fantastic things have more...

I'm hopeful it is quality over quantity, and I'll have 7 months solid worth of work experience when I finish my UCAS application, so that should be ok.  I really hope it will be! 

Anyway, enough stressing, I have a lab report to do! 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Exams are looming

So, we're reaching the end of March, at the end of May the bulk of my exams will be over, with only one left to sit at the end of June and one presentation which had to be delayed from earlier in the year due to my poor health.  I have less than two months to go and I still have written work to complete including a lab report and an essay.  I am starting to get stressed as there are a lot of topics to cover.  Even more worryingly, this will mark the end of my 2nd year. 

When I return in October I will have completed my personal statement, ready to send off my UCAS form, I will have been to all of the open days I want to go to, chosen my prospective medical schools, I will have taken my GAMSAT and UKCAT exams and I will be INCREDIBLY nervous in case I don't get any interviews at all.  In half a year I will be keeping my fingers crossed to achieve all of the things I want, yet right now it seems so close and yet so far away.  

I'm so excited about my 3rd year, looking forward to my dissertation, getting the GAMSAT out of the way, and hopefully getting a relatively good mark (eesh!) and doing my work experience over the summer alongside my voluntary work!  

But first, my lab report and revision timetables!