I’ve had a very long break from writing! Apologies to anyone who popped by during that time and was disappointed to find nothing new.. Life got in the way and this blog got left behind. Hopefully this will not be ‘the one post every couple of years’ but the start of another (long) streak of posts!
Here’s a quick summary of what I have been getting up to..
Intercalation (year out) – I took a break from medicine after 3rd year and studied a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and metabolism. In the UK, a pre-med degree is not compulsory. Instead we have the option to study a bachelor’s or a master’s in something different/specific for a year, mid-course. Korea tends to be obsessed over the newest ‘super-food’ in trend, whereas the ‘balanced plate’ and ‘5-a-day’ is mostly a struggle to achieve in the UK. I wanted to find out more about evidence-based nutrition and how it actually affects our health. The degree provided a good foundation and overview, and gave me experience in research. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed public/global health and research!
Returning to med school wasn’t all easy. My intercalation year required different study methods, and I had to relearn how to study for medical exams. It took a little while to become comfortable again with some practical skills too, such as how to take a history from patients, and inserting a cannula. On the plus side, I returned feeling refreshed in my motivation for medicine again! I noticed many of my friends experienced burn-out during or after 4th year, so perhaps a break before 4th year was well-timed for me. Although some details needed reminding of, taking a year out seemed to have helped me take a step back and see the bigger picture in medicine.
4th year was fun! I had rotations in clinical specialties. Having finished general medicine and surgery by 3rd year, this year was a time to apply it to particular patient groups i.e. palliative care, older people’s medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics & gynaecology (women’s medicine), and paediatrics. Things started to finally make sense!
Elective – at the end of 4th year, we had a placement module where we could arrange to experience medicine in a different setting. I went with a friend to a mission hospital in Zambia for 4 weeks. It was an eye-opening experience, and a blessed time of rest – learning to ‘be still’ and listen. God often seems to work in unexpected ways, and this was true of my time in Zambia. More on this soon!
Final year – after my long-winded route through medical school, it is here. I am now a month into my last year of medical school. Yay! Applications for foundation jobs are in, exams are looming, and big changes are just around the corner. This year I have rotations in acute medicine, shadowing an FY1 (most junior) doctor, and another elective but within the UK. I have noticed I am already growing in confidence (and competence!) as I begin the transition between student and doctor. It’s going to be an exciting stressful year!
Despite being quiet on this blog, I have continued writing in my journal and hope to share some of this over the next few months. I know I said I would start posting life updates and food recipes a while back – hopefully I will be able to keep my word this time. Please be patient with me though, as things may get busy this year again!