In two weeks I’ll be starting my final year of Cambridge medicine. The scariest thing? It doesn’t scare me!
While you ponder that paradox, I’d like to insert a disclaimer: I’m very much aware that things will probably change and as I approach the final exams, apprenticeship and my first shift, I’ll probably have as much control over my bowels and bladder as I do my family cat (aka, little to none).
The thing is, final year feels more like an orienteering task than an assault course. Sure there are plenty of hoops to jump through, but, unlike previous years, these hoops aren’t tiny, barbed rings set alight in front of the open maw of a hungry Kraken. I think those return for ARCP.
5th year has been an interesting one. It reminds me a little of second year of Cambridge medicine: half-way through 3-year period (Cambridge separates medicine into 3 years pre-clinical and 3 years clinical) so you aren’t a complete beginner but are still far from competent. It also has the same problem of trying to cram essentially all of the “specialty” topics into one year. That’s a rant for another blog though.
This year has been particularly significant for me, after spending over a year out of medicine. Initially it was quite enjoyable; the returning novelty of medicine, coupled with a general insensitivity towards evil consultants and poor admin, meant I felt quite positive. On rare occasions, I even felt somewhat competent.
However, there have been more difficult periods; creeping feelings of burnout and feeling jaded, the frustrating leakage of information from my brain and personal issues with people have all challenged me. Some of these challenges I fought, some I’ve just postponed. I’ll get to them later.
For now, I’m preparing for exams and trying to keep everything in context. It’s a few months before written finals, then another few months for official qualification.
The end is in sight and, just past that, I guess so is the beginning.