The Flow

These days, I’m just going with flow.

If I have to cry 5 times a day, I will cry 5 times a day.

If I have to feel bad about myself, I will feel bad about myself.

If I have to be lonely, I will be lonely.

If I’m not able to sleep regardless of how tired I am, I will stay awake and ruminate.

If I don’t have the appetite for more than half a sandwich for a whole day, I will keep going while hungry. 

If I have to have anxiety attacks during the day, I will freak out quietly in the bathroom. 

I’m not trying to resist anymore.

I’m not trying.

Everything that’s happening to me is either completely in my control, or completely out of my control. 

I created this karma. 

I accept that. 

So there’s nothing to do but go with the flow. 

My Oath

My first week of orientation to hospital ended. It was a long week let me tell you. Full of as many ups and downs as I can remember every year being. And more joyous times with people. 

I found that I can be extremely introverted when I’m not comfortable with the people I am around. But because now I’m an adult, I need to suck it up and do my job. Why must I be the only person who can’t be fake nice to their co-workers? It’s an important skill. 

Anyway it got me thinking. At my graduation, I took the medical oath. It was a lot of generic stuff about caring for patients and making sure I make good decisions, etc. 

But I need to take an oath of my own. Something relevant to me. Something I must strive to follow no matter what happens this first year of my being a doctor. And so I will write it on here so I may revisit it to make sure I’m keeping to my oath.

I promise to work hard and give my best without expecting rewards

I promise to hold myself high and trust that I am capable of doing what needs to be done.

I will not let anyone intimidate me into doubting my abilities or knowledge.

I promise to be self aware of my strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly. 

I will always take full responsibility for my actions and decisions. I will never blame anyone else for my choices.

I promise to realise when I need help and make sure I seek the right help.

I promise to remember that nothing and no one is worth stressing about, to the point where my mental health and happiness is affected.

I promise to remember that I am here because medicine is my passion and I am good enough to be here.

I will also remember that I have other interests and talents outside of medicine that I must strive to maintain those interests.

I promise to always think of the bigger picture. Not just parts of it. It includes everyone and all their perspectives. 

I promise to uphold my dignity and the dignity of patients and people I deal with.

I will ensure I remain happy. 

And I will strive to ensure my reputation is one I create. 



Here’s to being a functioning doctor and adult in my first year and beyond.

Expectations

I find that everyday, people give me new and interesting reasons to lower my expectations of them even further.

I find that I have to really think about why I did things.

But then the answer is clear.

Because it makes me happy.

But that means that I just have to make my expectations fall to a level of zero. If I decide to do something, my intention should always always be because it makes me happy. Because then I can’t be disappointed when others don’t do what I expect.

Initially I thought I was allowed to have expectations.

Nope.

Moving forward, that’s a rather freeing feeling I suppose. If I don’t expect anything of anyone, I can go ahead and be who I am.

And nothing is allowed to change that.

An Irritating First Day

Well it was my first day as a house officer. Orientation day 1. This whole week is orientation. Should be good. Should be exciting.

Today was a total bust.

And I need to vent on here.

So how did my morning start?

Early.

7:30am start was written on the timetable. I’ve been on break for the past 2 weeks so I was already having trouble waking up early. I planned to leave 45 minutes early to get to Middlemore hospital which is a 20 minute drive from my house. I had given myself twice the amount of time I would need. 

And it was useless. I’m not sure what it was as I have travelled on this motorway for a whole year the last time I was at Middlemore. But in 2 years, the development of traffic has been shocking. It took me and my friend who takes the same route, 1 hour to get there. Meaning, I left at 6:45am and got to the hospital at 7:45am. MEANING, I was late. On my first day of a new house officer year. 

Miracle of miracles atleast I didn’t miss much. Actually, I showed up and the introductory talk lasted all of 7 minutes before we were given a 1hr break. 

So what did I rush for? Nothing really. 

The 1hr break was for everyone to go get their access cards and parking cards sorted. I had done this a week ago because a lack of a parking card meant that I had to park in public parking for 10$ until I got the card. So I came in early to avoid that. While I was there, they also gave me my access card. So yay I was organised beforehand. 

But when everyone else got their access cards today, they were also given their meal cards. House officers get free food at the hospital with their meal card. Mine was missing. Why? Because I got my access card early and nobody told the department that issues meal cards this. Or some admin screw up to that effect.

The lady running the session said to me, when I approached her asking for my meal card: ” Oh so you thought you’d be so organised beforehand, but see now they didn’t give you your meal card. Which is the best part really” 

………

Why the heck would anyone think that’s funny? I don’t know you like that. Why would you rub it in?? 

So I was given vouchers for the week instead and told that “hopefully” I would get the card by the end of the week.

The rest of the day was quite slow. So many breaks interspersed with irrelevant talks and a walk around a hospital I was already familiar with.

It was nice to see my friends again, but there were also 54 other house officers in the room that I had to socialise with as they’re the people I’ll be spending a year with. And truth be told, that notion made me quite tired. I need to try be a more sociable person. I feel like I’ve lost that about me. I’m basically only comfortable around very very few people. And that’s not a useful way to be. 

Sigh.

Oh well. I guess in a way it’s a good thing that all these annoying things happened on the first day. Like a good omen for the rest of this year maybe. We’ll see. 

4 days left. I’ll need luck. 

Finally Graduated

Here hangs proudly my graduation regalia.

Looks a bit like a dementor does it not? 

Well it looked okay on me. Apparently in New Zealand, the colour of the Medicine degree is Hot pink!…. I’ll never understand fashion.

Anyway! My graduation ceremony was yesterday! After 6 years I sat in a 2 hour ceremony where my name was called and I was awarded my degree to say I am now a Doctor. 

It was a super long day. But it was great. Friends and family showed up. My friend from Wellington even flew up just for my ceremony! It was a great day. 

Lots of people to be grateful for. It’s been a long ride. But I got there in the end. And from Monday onwards, it’s on to work! Officially a house officer. 

I can’t wait! Hopefully I will be a good doctor. 

We all had to take an oath yesterday. One of the lines were “I promise to uphold the reputation of my profession”. Now other than the immediate Taylor Swift reference in my head, I realised I don’t really know what that promise means. What is the reputation of my profession? Have I been holding it up so far? I don’t actually know. Hopefully it becomes apparent when I start working. On to Monday!

My friend got me this cute graduation Kiwi doll! Yay for finally being done!

Quick Getaway

Last week, to celebrate the completion of my 6 year medical degree, I went away for the weekend to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Or as they call it, “The middle of Middle Earth” (Lord of the rings fans will understand)

A friend of mine works in Wellington so I decided to visit her. 

Wellington is known as hip central. It’s where the parliament building is but also where the night life is. Very fun and lively and gave me a chance to get my camera out.

This is the infamous Beehive. The parliament building of NZ. It’s quite big in person.

Some sights around Wellington and a nearby place called castle point.

Needless to say, great weekend. 

What I Hate

This post was inspired.

What I hate..

  • This feeling
  • Being scrutinised
  • Not understanding
  • Being misunderstood
  • ..Living
  • People
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Hurt
  • Small minds
  • Judgement
  • Not being heard…. But then,
  • Being misheard
  • Cruelty
  • Lies
  • Trust
  • Uncertainty
  • Stubbornness.
  • Crying
  • Feeling lost

 

…….Myself

Lessons From Medical School

I write this post on my last day at Auckland hospital. My last day of medical school. 6 years later… The most significant period of my life to date, has ended. It’s a real milestone. How do I feel…?

Meh.

It actually doesn’t feel particularly big or important. Because in 2 weeks, I’m back in hospital doing similar things to what I was doing this year, but getting paid for it, and not having the luxury of leaving work early, ever.

But I guess it is a big deal. 6 years of work I put in. It all feels a bit surreal. I definitely do not feel like a doctor yet. I doubt I will until I have my first ward call or unwell patient that I (hopefully) manage properly.

But then what does today mean? I think I should take this opportunity to look back and think about what I’ve learnt from medical school.

My 1st year – biomed. My pre-med year was a pretty significant year for me. I was straight out of highschool and working harder than I ever had in my school days to achieve a single goal – entrance into medical school. Once achieved, I had felt amazing about myself. I thought, hey I guess I do have the potential to do well in things if I work hard enough. During this year, I had made sure I had zero distractions.

My 2nd and 3rd year: Not working so hard on academia itself. Trying to learn what medicine was all about and where I fit in and what my skills were. Several times cut down by other students and taking several hits to my self-esteem. I learnt that theory was something I had major issues with. My knowledge needed to grow.

My 4th year: People in the workplace, people I know, people I didn’t know, people, people, people. I found I was quite naive. So very naive. Hospital hits you hard. But I didn’t realise until much later that my expectations of myself were not the expectations others had of me, and what level I was supposed to be functioning at. That made things way harder. I expected too much of myself. And crashed down. I also found that you cannot make friends wherever you go. Especially not at university or work. There will be people who you meet who will be nice, but they don’t know you. They’ve come along too late in your life to really understand what you’re all about. Don’t get too comfortable. It’s not a good idea. And with work, they are not your friends regardless of what you do. They are smiling and asking about your weekend because they need to work together with you in the most tolerable way possible. Do not think any more of it. It’ll only disappoint you.

My 5th year: Began to focus back on myself. Less on others. More reflecting, more skill developing, I found certain types of people and certain parts of medicine and the hospital do not agree with me. Accepting that I don’t know everything in medicine, and I never will. Even if I’ve revised it several times, and will not retain everything forever. I just have to keep revising and reminding myself of the knowledge I have and learn more at every opportunity. People tried cutting me down then too. But self focus and reflection is a powerful thing. Your skills are your skills and no one else’s. You’ve got yours that WILL work for you. I promise. My strengths, and my discovery of the love I have for gastroenterology. I also found I have great empathy towards patients apparently.

My 6th and final year: Things started to make more sense. More comfortable around the hospital and interacting with consultants. The confidence that comes with being needed and having a role. Not only being aware of strengths and weaknesses, but being able to use them to get things done as well as knowing what to do to fill the gaps. Plans needing to be made, looking ahead. Still many disappointments and nothing is certain, but accepting that and going with it anyway, is still pretty good.

Further lessons:
1. Never let anyone know that they get to you.
2. You could do your absolute best in everything, but still come up short and have bad things happen. Accept it.
3. Do not try to please everyone. No point. Doesn’t work. Regardless of what you do, people will still not understand you or trust your efforts.
4. Trust you. As you’re all you’ve got.

So looking at this, I guess medical school has been a significant part in teaching me about myself and how I should move forward.

Oh of course I also learnt medicine itself. xD But that’s more of an ongoing learning forever. I have to accept that.

And that’s my reflection over the last 6 years. It’s a brief one of course. More happened in these last few years than I can write about in one blog.

And many more to come when I start working in 2 weeks. There’s also my graduation next week which I will update on.

So for the last time, here is my med school. A student for 6 years and never again. I spent a little while sitting in front of it and reminiscing on this day. I’m on to bigger, better and older things!

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