David Graff – davidgraff.com Today with Dave, Downunder it's Thursday, December 14th, 2017 @ 12:43 PM

Entries Tagged as 'UQ'

Today was the last day of class

For this year at least, classes are over.  I am a little uncertain if we will be having regular classes next year or not.  I think it will depend on the rotation.  There are five main divisions next year, Rural Medicine, Surgery, Mental Health, General Practice, and Medicine.  I think they will all run a little differently, and have heard rumours of PBLs next year as well, but run on one day instead of two (separated by study on the topic) and that there might be days or half days of lecture next year.

Anyway, it’s a little sad to realize that the student life as it is formally recognized has come to a close for this campus, right when I started to feel like I knew what was going on.  I am really excited about next year though.  It will be a lot of learning as it is a paradigm shift moving into the hospitals on a full time basis, but I’m looking forward to it.  Now I just need to get through these next exams.  I have three rounds of assessment coming up, called the MSAT, PSA2.1 and PSA 2.2 respectively.  The MSAT is a Multi-Station Assessment Task, which is a live exam of five different stations, as the name suggests.  There are: Clinical Reasoning, Examination, History Taking, Ethics and Advanced Life Support stations.  The idea of this exam scares me, as I feel as though there’s nowhere to hide.  Just you and the examiner.  And the patients I guess… they usually are actors at this stage, but some might be patient-actors with real signs.  This test is on November 8 for me.

Then on the 10th and 11th I have two more exams, the first being PSA2.1 (Progressive Summative Assessment) which is based on material from this last semester.  Then the next day is based on all material covered up until now.

Then my plans are to recover a little from the exam, clean up and go check out the Sunshine Coast, as that is where I will be living next year, and then I’m headed to New Zealand for 10 days.  I will be home in the beginnning of December.  I am looking forward to being home very much.

I’m back

After a long time away I’m back to it.  Both here and elsewhere.  The last month has been full of studying, feeling helpless and going nowhere, exam writing, time off, trying to rest and trying to make sense of it all.  The exam was a gong show, with almost everyone doing poorly.  I did hear a rumour of someone getting a grade in the 80s but it has yet to be confirmed.  My colleagues around me were surprised when the person mentioned that “they knew someone” who scored like that.  That gives you an idea of how the class did.

While studying I didn’t feel like writing much, as each day seemed the same for so long.  Then I kinda dropped off the habit and here we are!   I am back into class now, even tho the rest of the students at UQ are now on break.  It’s great, cause like in January, we have the campus nearly to ourselves.  We are doing the nervous system these weeks, which are pretty packed sessions.  I’m glad we didn’t have a long break like last time, as it was very hard to get back into it after being away.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

This year we are seeing a lot more actual patients.  It is really interesting, and when you see, touch, smell and talk to a person with a condition, it seems to be much more memorable.

I thought I would just take a few notes of when I see these patients, to help me remember, and to plot my development in understanding the massive field of medicine.

Some of the conditions I have seen this year include atopic dermatitis, bullous pemphigoid, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia-1, Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris and mycosis fungoides.   You may or not be able to tell from that list that my clinical coach for this block is a dermatologist.  We have put much effort into elucidating the subtleties in the differential diagnosis for erythroderma.

This past week we saw a patient with Hidradenitis Suppurativa.  This is such a horrible disease of the skin in which it is so badly chronically inflamed by a form of acne that over time, scars, tracts and comedoes form such a disfiguration of the skin that it looks like someone had recovered from massive burns.  Often the skin remains ulcerated and open.  The chronic inflammation often precedes development of cancer.  This patient was 43 but it looked like he was in his 60s.  It is so severe it destroyed his life.

I won’t be able to forget that for quite some time.  Hopefully I never will.   If I do, I can maybe look back at this to remember.

More King’s

Here are a few more photos of the place that I’m staying temporarily.

It is a good place to be temporarily, but is definitely a dorm, complete with strangers everywhere, loud music and late loud talkers.

It’s cheap tho! Depending on where I end up living, it is about half to a third of what I will pay for my own place.

The Green Bridge

This is the green bridge, the link between campus and the other side of the river.
It’s suprisingly long, and once while crossing it I saw a dolphin playing in the water below.

It’s going to be a much bigger part of my life this year no matter where I live, since half of my life is on one side, and half on the other.

My new digs

Recently I decided to rejoin the first world and took up a room in King’s College.
It’s relatively nice and almost on campus,so it’s about as convenient as you can get.
Where I have been till now must remain an internationally protected secret.

Still Searching

Monday afternoon here, and I’m still searching for an apartment.  The only difference now is that it looks like I’m searching alone again.  I was looking with a guy in my class and a friend of his, but now it looks like they will probably just live together in the place she’s in now.

I am moving into a dorm on campus for temporary accommodation though, so that looks like it will work out well for the interim.  I suppose I’ll just get a two bedroom alone and see what I can do about a housemate.  Seemed to work out last year.

My new PBLmates

This is a list of the people I will be spending exorbitant amounts of time with this year, in the Princess Alexandra Hospital:

Shaun Dooley
David Robert Graff
Andree Laherty
Ian Law
Sebastian Le Feuvre
Meghann Leahy
Michael Lee
Nele Lenders
Jacinda White
Emma Whittle

I only know a few of them, and they are good, so I hope the rest are just as good.  Jacinda and I were in the same group last year!  I understand they try put pairs of people from old groups in the new ones, so there’s a little bit of carry over from before, and a lot of new.  I will sit in a room with these peeps for about 5 hours each week working on problems, sort of set up like this Small Group.  Also, half of them will be in my Clinical Coaching group which also meets for maybe two or three hours a week to learn practical skills.  Then after that, if we haven’t seen enough of each other, there’s “Practicals” which to me really means labs, including Anatomy, Pathology and various Physiology Pracs.  Also, there are one-off things to do like Clinical Skills… intubating, injections or life support.  Needless to say, you get to know your PBL group fairly well.

Hopefully it’s a good one!

School is out

All done.  Happy, nervous, surprised.

Goin home.

Purple Panic!

The local students have a phrase that they use to fondly refer to their pre exam signs of stress…  It’s purple panic time.  There are Jacaranda‘s in bloom everywhere here.  That’s how a UQer knows it’s time to panic.  The trees  make quite bright purple blooms, solidly without any green leaves.  This picture was taken yesterday, but they are already a little past their prime and have started to grow green leaves a little bit.

Very appropriate…. my exam is in less than 50 hours.  Too late if you’re just panicking now, but hopefully not to late for us.

Photos behind this link [Read more →]


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