I finished my clinical exam on Saturday, the culmination of ten months of gruelling work. It actually started way back in March 2011 when we stepped into the hospitals for the first time. I remember occasions where the tutor would put his stethoscope on a patient’s chest and elaborate on the nuances of the heart’s squirting symphony. We would do the same and the only thing we could hear would be dubstep and accuse the tutor of making stuff up. Since we didn’t yet know how to even hold a stethoscope properly, all you hear is your fingers rubbing against the metal.
It feels like a long journey from where we started to where we are now, where listening to a patient’s story and poking and prodding his abdomen (with some subconscious nudging by your examiner) makes you feel like you have House-like powers without even having to order CT scans. As much as I would like to take credit for it, I can’t. If I try to guesstimate the numbers, it’s lessons by about a hundred doctors and probably a few hundred sick people who were kind enough to tell us their stories and let us poke and prod them, some of them absolutely delighted when we offer to do so.
I’m immeasurably grateful to these people who’ve trained me up so patiently, and who every now and then remind me, that this is just the beginning.
P.S I have not forgotten my wonderful classmates who’ve pulled me through and the friends who’ve been cheerleading on the sidelines. I’ll hang out with you … er soon, I hope