Can you believe I've already been here 6 months?!?! It's crazy. Feels like I just got here. But I'm 2/3 of the way finished my London stint! What an experience it's been so far. I know plenty of you think all we do over here is sightsee and travel all over Europe! Don't be fooled: We really work hard! This is a whole different type of learning environment. It's real OJT--On the job training. It's good because things you learn actually stick. You can associate disease presentations, treatments, & complications to actual patients. You don't forget the patients.
The patients are our teachers every day along with the Consultants, Registrars, and Junior Doctors we work with. The way the patients progress teaches us how we should manage and treat the various illnesses and what we should watch out for to let us know if things are going in the wrong or right direction. I prefer this type of learning over strictly lecture style teaching any day. The concepts, lab values, clinical signs and symptoms actually mean something. I can't ignore the patient right in front of me. Between their history, observations, complaints, usually the patients end up telling us everything we need to know to work through their problems and they don't even realize it. Learning to be a Doctor is ridiculously awesome!
Some days absolutely suck because there's so much I still don't know. But those days are usually the most useful and productive overall because I actually learn new things or learn more in depth information about a particular disease process. That's what I come home and read about at night so my learning is more focused and relevant.
Friday marked the last day of my Surgery rotation--way to close out surgery with an adult circumcision, parathyroidectomy, and a hip replacement! Over the last 3 months, I met and worked with some super intelligent people with great personalities and willingness to teach. I think the best part of being exposed to such a variety of healthcare professionals, is being able to take the things they do very well and incorporate those skills into what my ultimate "doctoring style" will be and for that, I'll be forever grateful.
Now for the other interesting stuff...A few weekends ago, a group of AUC folks met up for a full day coach tour to see more of the UK. We went to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath. We had a fun day & it was nice to see people I haven't seen since last April when I left the Island =)
This is where the Queen hangs out and relaxes when she has free time or if she's entertaining guests. The art collection at the castle was worth somewhere in the Billions of Pounds Sterling! The staterooms are opulent and many have been refinished in the same style as the original rooms. Queen Mary's Dollhouse is also located at Windsor Castle. It's the largest dollhouse in the world, which on a tiny 1:12 scale is fully functional--real silver, working electricity and water, wine in the wine cellar, and lift (elevator).
Check out pics from Windsor Castle...
Queen Mary's Dollhouse
All of Us!
Most people have heard of Stonehenge before. While historians think they know what the purpose of some of the stones were at various times, the full history behind the stones still remains a mystery. Stones first started appearing at the site 5,000 years ago and they were rearranged many times over the course of a few hundred years until we were left with what stands today (restored by the Heritage Society as closely as possible to the final arrangement).
The City and the Roman Baths. There are four main features at the Roman Baths: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum holding artifacts and treasures from Roman Baths that were operational for more than 300 years. Falling rain water is heated deep in the Earth's crust and then rises up through fissures and faults in the limestone and fills the baths.
Clean water for you to sample...it was hot and tasted like sulphur. Pass!
Separate from the Windsor, Stonehenge, & Bath Tour, before I came to the UK I got free tickets to witness the Ceremony of The Keys. Its a 700 year old ceremony that takes place at the same time every night (9:52pm) to lock the Tower of London and ensure the safety of the crown jewels.
The ceremony is timed to the minute and the words are exactly the same every single night. The only time the ceremony was ever late was once when a bomb from WWII hit nearby and stunned the guards for a few minutes. Once they recovered they continued with the ceremony, but sent a note of apology to the Monarch who was not happy with the delay.
I must admit, I had no idea what we were going to see, but it was actually really interesting. Can you imagine doing something at the exact same time every single day for 700 years? That takes serious dedication!
Note: If you want to see the Ceremony of the Keys you must book WELLLLLL in advance! I got tickets 5 months in advance. The next available slots are in Sept 2016! If you know you'll be here, go online and order your free tickets (£1 processing fee) now! order a few so you can take others along because last minute isn't an option. Photography isn't allowed inside during any part of the Ceremony visit so I don't have any inside pics to share. Just go check it out for yourself. It's worth it.
Outside the Tower of London
While out we saw a local artist Sneakbo, who has more than 50 Million Youtube hits, that was shooting a music video. Even better, the song was pretty good!
And I got to see THIS guy again!!!!