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Diary of an FY2 – The First Cut is the Deepest

December 23, 2015

When December rolls around, it’s usually Christmas that gets most people excited. Family, gluttonous amounts of food, shiny lights. Truly the season of goodwill…and consumerism. Of course, this year, the most anticipated event of the season will probably the new Star Wars film (Star Wars is the one with the light sticks, right?). But I haven’t even had time to even think about space opera franchises. It has been a busy, busy month and we’re not even halfway through.

First, there were applications to further training. If I want to fulfill my dream of being a Pokemon master a microbiologist, it makes sense to take my training to the next level. Thus, I’ve applied to Core Medical Training to become a better SHO. Just like applying to the Foundation Programme, I have to apply to my desired part of the country, and get ranked against all the other applicants. So that’s going to be great for my self-esteem.

I don’t have to go straight on to further training. Only half of junior doctors at my level do so. The next few years are a good time to locum around, travel, do some research et al…or leave medicine?

Likewise, I didn’t have to sit MRCP Part 2 the week after applications, but I did. After passing MRCP Part 1 in September, I dove straight back into the books revising for the next part. The MRCP is an exam in three parts that I need to pass to become a registrar (and eventually a Pokemon master consultant microbiologist). There’s no race to complete it before I even enter CMT training but I do have the advantage that I haven’t quite forgotten everything I learned in medical school.

One of my old SHOs had completed MRCP by the time he started CMT. He was…pretty stressed out.

I returned to London to sit MRCP Part 2 in an over-air-conditioned conference centre, along with 500 other nerds doctors. Nine hours of my life I’m not going to get back, baffled by thyroid function tests. The upside is that, with the results coming back next year, I’m going to achieve nothing over Christmas by worrying about it.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve changed jobs again! Just when I was getting the hang of being a medical SHO, now I’m suddenly a surgical SHO. The full Heller-esque hilarity of this manifested in a bleep I received in my first week as a surgical SHO – I was asked for surgical review of a patient that I had clerked in as a medical SHO. I should have just referred the patient to myself to cut out the middle man.

When my new consultant asked what a medical doctor like me was doing in surgery (when I asked for leave to sit MRCP), I replied, “Trying to make the best of it.”

I hope he was impressed by my moxie. If not, it’s going to be a long four months.

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