The Tumultuous First Year at the Hospital

I know this sounds cheesy but I cannot be more grateful that I’ve gone through the first year of my clinical rotation safe and alive. This year has been rough. Especially that with the new curriculum in my uni, the first four rotations we plunge ourselves into are The Big Four Departments of medicine: surgery, paediatrics, internal medicine, and OB-GYN.

The transition from being a med student who reads books to a co-assistant who examines real patients was difficult at first. I had to bring up all my courage to simply introduce myself and ask questions. I was also terrified of being surrounded by so much suffering in the hospital. But after some help here and there, I managed to cope and I get used to the rhythm, just like everybody else. Still didn’t stop my body from breaking down, though. I had this time when I fell sick due to stress and I thought I was going to die. As you can see, I didn’t die, and now I feel like I’ve actually grown from the experience.

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My group staying ’til late in the evening at the hospital, discussing our patients and homework

There were lots of good times. I actually like my clinical year better than my pre-clinical year. Clinical rotations are full of… funny, exciting human stuff that you can experience and talk about to your friends. Like discovering that your friend has a hidden talent in a specific field that only came out once you’ve been together long enough. Or knowing that your genius friend cannot remember which way to go back to the co-assistant room in the hospital he frequents. Nonsensical stories of how some students get lucky and pass exams so easily while the others aren’t as fortunate and must go through a lot of paperwork to finish. Then there’s also the incidents in emergency room that are just too hilarious, like having your cellphone dropped inside a urine bag, or having your face sprayed with amniotic fluid when you’re help a woman in labour. Also, fantastic nights spent in the wards on night/morning shifts, in which some people were given no patient at all to attend to, while some others were assigned with so many patients they had no time to rest. Life is full of stories in the hospital. And the characters of the stories are all amusing as well.

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Morning approaching, seen from the discussion room during a night shift at the wards

To put it simply, it was one hell of a year, when I look at all the good things that happened. I don’t want to mention the suffering I went through to come this far. I think with all the experience I got the pain has been paid off, and that’s the most important thing to remember. My brain tends to forget negative experiences automatically anyway.

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