Saturday, October 13, 2007
And in other news - I just bought a new digital camera! I will definitely be posting photos from my travels on here (and Facebook).
Alright, I've some last minute packing and to submit my orthopaedics assignment before I head out for dinner with some friends.
Over and out from Brisbane - next update: Singapore.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
The past few months have been a whirlwind. The last time I wrote, I was almost finished with the GP rotation, which ended on a good note. For the week's holiday, I went up to Rocky to visit Dave & Suz, and a few of us went camping at Carnarvon Gorge - absolutely stunning landscape in Central QLD (who would have thought?!).
I have recently finished the Medicine Rotation, which at UQ is probably considered the hardest rotation in years 3 & 4. It was probably the first time this year that I have felt "I'm in medical school". It was definitely a test of my clinical competence and confidence. It was also the first time that I felt that the amount of work that you put into it is proportional to the results at the end of the rotation. That said, I'm extremely pleased with my results. :)
Now, I'm doing my rural medicine rotation out in a small country town of Kingaroy, in the South Burnett Region of QLD. It's the largest town in the shire, consisting of 12,500 people. The orientation week was in Toowoomba and Leanne, Claire and I decided that Rural Orientation Week is going to a Party Week. We definitely held ourselves to that standard. :) Late nights and early mornings, infused vodkas and coke, "never-ever" and "cultural awarness", not to mention the "shank-a-thon", are all fond memories of the week. Even though my time out in Kingaroy has been extremely enjoyable, the things that dampen the mood are the assignments that we have been plagued with during this rotation. Journal of Achievements, Rural Health Project, written and oral presentations, Case Presentions and so on. It will all get done...eventually.
Apart from that, life is going well - the hospital has been keeping me busy (I will write more about some of the things that I've seen in the last few days), and also trying to plan for next year's elective and medical specialties. The University of Queensland SOM offers 4th year students to do a 2nd elective anywhere in the world and 8-week long medical specialties in one of their partner institutions around the world. A few friends and I are thinking of making the most of this 19-week sojourn. We are planning on going to Malta for the elective and doing some travelling in and around the Mediterranean and then going to Calgary for the med specialties to be in time for my dad's 60th birthday and to enjoy what Calgary has to offer during that time of year. It's been a nice distraction to organise things for next year, as opposed to sitting in front of the computer and putting together the Journal.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
1. Medicine: Dramas, dramas and more dramas. That's what it's about at the moment. Mental Health ended on a very interesting note - and there are some remnants are still being discussed between the medical school and I. Nothing too problematic. Apart from that, I'm nearly coming to the end of the General Practice rotation. This rotation has been absolutely stellar! I never thought of becoming a GP but this rotation has put the idea into my head. I must admit that the type of practice that I am has influenced my interests in the field. I'm at a GP clinic (that has 5 GPs) that looks at all the 'typical' (if there is such a thing) presentations that people have, along with sexual health (one of the few places in Brisbane that does gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender health), travel medicine and the like. The idea of taking a sexual history in 1st and 2nd year was a bit uncomforting but now I've no issues in talking about erectile dysfunction, abnormal periods and discharge. This rotation has been the first rotation whereby I've been doing quite a number of procedures like taking bloods, giving immunisations, doing pap smears, genital swabs, doing ECG (EKG for those of you in North America), and other system investigations.
2. Facebook: has taken my world by storm! I cannot believe how addictive that Web site is. I find that it feeds the voyeur within all of us (you can't deny it). There have been a number of people that I've reconnected with and some new people that I've met through friends (ie, we had mutual friends but never really talked one-on-one). I told myself that I need to have a few facebook-free days but that hasn't happened since I signed up for it in mid-March.
3. Car: I bought a car! It's a 1999 Toyota Corolla 5-door manual hatchback. Yes, a manual (I've always driven an automatic). It's awesome. I will post photos of the me and the car in the next week or so. :)
4. Other things: things have been quite dull (minus the few house boilings and debauchery that I usually get myself into); there is the May Ball (THE formal highlight of the med social calendar - and this year's theme is "A Night in Havana". I left my Cuban outfit in the other suitcase - damn!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
1. Medicine - life in Mental Health rotation has been pretty good. The hours are quite light compared to my friends that are doing Medicine and Surgery. However, the content is quite intense. In the past 6 weeks, I am very glad that I'm not crazy. Also, the line between sanity and insanity is so fine and blurry; one can easily cross that line and not know it. My exams are coming up in about 1.5 weeks and there seems to be enough hours in a day to procrastinate. I just need to get my study schedule organised and go through the work. Also, I got my GP rotation placement organised. I will be going to a GP clinic that, amongst the other basic GP things, focuses on sexual health. Lately, I've been thinking about my time in Kenya and how I really enjoyed my time with ICROSS. It seems that it is shaping my decisions about what speciality/specialities I would like to do.
On the social side of med - there was Sports Day last week and I will be posting some photos from that day. Early start of drinking, running and being in the Queensland sun makes for a very interesting day. :)
2. NMUN - in a couple of weeks several thousand post-secondary students from all over the world will congregate in New York for this year's conference. This will be the first time since 2003 that I have not been associated with the conference. Some of my closest friends have been made through this and I'm quite sad that I won't be able to see them. Then again, all good things must come to an end (at some point). The politics of the conference are a pain in the ass and often does take away from the conference itself. However, the people that you meet keeps you going. Rabia: you know that you need to represent! And you'll have to send me photos of you in the sari. I'm sure that you will have looks that'll kill. :)
3. House/Car Hunting - this has been an ongoing process since me coming back to Brisbane. The rental market here is SHIT. Absolutely shit. Hopefully something will come through - well it has to as I really don't have a choice. As for looking for a car, I've become extremely hesistant and I don't know why. I guess it will be the biggest purchase that I've ever had to make and I want to make sure that it's going to be a good purchase.
4. Future trips - well, I've booked a ticket up to Rockhamptom to see some friends (namely Dave, Suz and Sarah K) in about 2.5 months. I'm also looking to go to Mongolia in June for a medical student conference (yeah, I sure do know how to pick the locations). Apart from that, there are a few other things that I might be planning but that's all is it - planning.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
My brother, Mum, Dad & Me. In the past little while, there haven't been many opportunities that the 4 of us get together. When we do, it's picture-taking galore!
This is Kunjan and her husband Stewart. They both live in the UK as most of my cousins on my dad's side.
This is Minesh and Jigna. They are the kids of my dad's only sister. Minesh is working his way up (very quickly might I add) in real estate. Jigna is a resident surgeon and yes, she is single - but guys beware she wears the trousers in any relationship. She needs more of a 'wife' than a 'husband', someone to come home to, who will have dinner ready and clean and get the kids ready for things.
Here are Dipal and Kajal. Dipal is finishing up uni in Leicester and Kajal is a pharmacist at a major suburban hospital in Birmingham. Dipal, Kajal, Minesh, Jigna, and I spent the last few days in Sweden together. It was such a blast to hang out with my cousins. There is nothing like being a part of a big family. I am so greatful for having these wondeful people in my life. SHOUT TO Y'ALL!
This my dad's younger brother (Bharatkaka) and his wife. He used to live in Calgary but then moved to the UK after he got married. Chirag (the bloke on the left) is about to finish Sixth Form and Viraj is still in school.
This is Brij, his wife (Preetibhabhi) and Ron. These are my cousins that are also in the UK. Brij and Preetibhabhi got married in 2004 in India (I went to go to their wedding when I was living in Kenya). My heart is with these three for the time being. It was their dad (my dad's younger brother) that passed away at the end of the last year. I'm thinking of you all (hugs).
Now, for those cousins that haven't been included here, please don't think that I care for you less. I just didn't have good photos of you (and I'm all about making you all look good). :)
Saturday, February 10, 2007
When I went to Calgary, my brother and one of my cousins (who is now living in Toronto) was visiting. It's always nice to see siblings again, always. The other two my left are Bhavisha and Vinay. I still can't believe that Bhavisha will be staring uni in September! Also, before leaving Calgary, I was able to see Vinay at his basketball game. I was amazed! He definitely has talent - then again, he is a Thankey afterall. :)
This is me in Luang Prabang - the old capital of Laos. I'm on the highest point of the city, which also has a beautiful park devoted to Buddha's life and teachings. The river on the left is the Mighty Mekong and the smaller river on the right is the Nam Kang.
Yes, this is a statue of Lenin in Hanoi. How the Vietnamese loved him. :)
This is the 2nd man that is most likely loved even more than Lenin - Ho Chi Minh. This was his 'final' place of rest. Even though, HCM wanted to be cremated. Alas, we were unable to see him because he was in Russia at the time. Every September - November, HCM goes to Moscow to get fixed up, as the embalming experts are there. HAHAHA.
This is a photo of Claire, Diem, Annabelle, and Nabila in Hoi An. Diem is a very good friend of Lou's (and now ours!). She owns a cloth shop (amongst many others). Her family treated us like family - we enjoyed many meals, coffees, beers and conversations. Diem also made some clothes for us, which turned out to be absolutely fantastic!
Here's me in the famous "SAME SAME...BUT DIFFERENT" shirt. This was taken along waterfront in Hoi An. Typhoon LingLing (an offshoot of Typhoon Durian) was hitting the coast of Vietnam. At night, the blocks off the waterfront were completely flooded!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
This year my Surgery rotation will be from October 1st - November 23rd. Because of Ramadan, I will be going to Brunei two weeks after the onset of the rotation. The selected students that are going were told that during Ramadan there would be very limited exposure and things for us to do. So, the School of Medicine and the RIPAS (one of the two major hospitals in Brunei) have agreed for us to do the first two weeks in Brisbane and the last 6 in Brunei.
In years prior, students didn't always know the others that went. However, this year, some of my closest friends are going to Brunei with me! Pat, Lou, and Anna (three superstar girls from my study group last year) and two blokes - Matt and Cohen will be going as well! There are a few others that are going that I don't know but this will be an awesome time to get to know them.
There are plans in place to do some travelling after the rotation is finished. Knowing full well that I doubt that I would be in the region again, I would love to see the rest of Borneo, and maybe perhaps take a trip to Myanmar. I know that some people (you know who you are) are also interested. I reckon that for the time being it is too early to tell what the plans will be; here's to hoping for some interesting ones.
Apart from Brunei, things in Brisbane have been going well. The Mental Health rotation has been pretty cruisy in terms of the number of hours we are present on the wards (as compared to the hectic hours of those on Surgery and Medicine rotations). However, the stories and voices that I've heard from the patients have been bizarre and incredible. In fact, I've even had a little cry after a couple of patients - to hear such sorrow and abuse was mind blowing.
I can't believe that almost the 3rd week (out of 8) has almost passed. Only 5 more weeks till our exams. I can recall from last year that 5 weeks prior to the exam, I was already into the books like a fat kid on kit kat.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Well, where am I at now?
1. I passed 2nd year! WOOHOO! I am so glad that I don't have to do 2nd year medicine again. It's the groin of hell and I wouldn't wish 2nd year upon any of my worst enemies.
2. The rest of my trip (last time I wrote, I was in Laos) was absolutely amazing! I travelled in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. I will be posting photos soon (just give me some time). I rediscovered things about myself and made new connections with the friends that I was travelling with.
3. My time spent in Calgary was abbreviated. I spent Christmas there and then I flew to the UK for a week and then came back to Calgary for a week. I was able to see Vinay, Bhavisha, Bhairavi and H, which was absolutely amazing. I wasn't able to meet up with many friends (I know who you were and you know that you in my books for the next time that I come to Calgary). Then again, most of my time was spent between family and getting errands done before leaving back for Brisbane.
4. The aforementioned trip to the UK was not for shits & giggles. I went to the UK for a family funeral. My dad's younger brother passed away from a serious heart attack. It was unexpected and quite difficult for the family to deal with. My time in the UK was surrounded by the people that I loved (not everyone was able to make it but you know that were there in spirit). The experience was cathartic, humbling, and an eye-opener. Many tears and laughs were shared. To my family, wherever you are, you know that I'm with you.
5. I'm back in Brisbane, having finished my first week of my mental health rotation. I was quite apprehensive about starting this rotation because of the uncertainty that shrouds this line of work. This week will be interesting as I am based in the aged care unit, which means that I will be looking and interacting with patients that are older than 65 and have a history of schizophrenia, bipolar adjustment distoder, chronic depression, dementia, Alzheimer's, and a range of other mental health issues that affect the elderly.