It has been, shall we say, a longer time than I’d planned. My last post seems to have been in November, when I had intended to post at least once a fortnight and for a while earlier in 2011 was actually achieving that goal.

Ah, life. How it gets in the way. Well, that said, I’m kicking off 2012 in a similar fashion to 2011 – with a retrospective look at 2011 and a few thoughts for the future. Here goes.

2011 was an interesting year. I entered it physically well and whole, with not a care in the world and precisely halfway through my medical degree. I left it with a chronic (albeit mostly stable) medical condition involving torn groin muscles and relatively familiar pain, whilst being precisely three quarters through my medical degree. I must admit that the latter is more positive than the former, but both are amongst the top three events/processes that occurred during 2011, so they’re both important. The other is the relationship that began in October and still continues, but I’ve discussed that previously, and I’m out of sequence.

In January of 2011 I spent a few weeks working in a palliative care inpatient unit with an amazing doctor, and emerged from the experience relatively convinced that I had found my calling. Between palliative medicine and medical oncology I think I have a fair concept of where I may end up in the great ocean that is medical care, so fingers are crossed for that potential. Of course, it was during that elective that I began experiencing my relatively constant pain and torment in my groin muscles, following through with surgical visitations, uncomfortable examinations, expensive scans and finally a diagnosis with long-term surgical treatment post physiotherapy. If you’d like to know more, here’s a link for your edification.

Other than physical change the year brought an advancement in medical progress, passing Phase 2 and entering into Phase 3. That also led to me moving to Bowral for Phase 3, where I’ve spent six months and will be here for several more to come, working two days a week in a GP surgery with my supervisor, called Dr Penny by several of her patients, as well as acting as her intern/assistant in the hospital, and working a half day a week in the emergency department. I also joined a gym (for which, I must admit, I have not *quite* achieved maximum value but I try), I’ve learned a bit more clinical medicine, I feel inadequately prepared for my next year’s thing which will be actually being a doctor for reals, and… yeah.

I sit my final exams for medical school this June. It’s a combination clinical (OSCE) and written paper, much like last year, and I haven’t quite ramped my study up yet, I’ve been a little too… lax? No, just hard to get motivated at home in Bowral, but I have a good plan sketched out and I’m finally beginning to follow it so that’s good.

Other stuff that happened in 2011 included entering into a relationship with Miss Butterfly, which I’ve mentioned before and will leave out of here in detail, buying a new computer, and watching a lot of bad television – these are of course in decreasing order of importance. 😉

How do I feel in myself? I’m balanced. I published a book of poetry in September last year that was quite pretty, I think, and I’ve written some more since but less so, as my mood has been more stable and uplifted. I hope to resume writing soon, and I think that I will… it’s just nice to be happier again. Plans for the year ahead? Write more of and hopefully finish elohim this year, my sci-fi philosophical work, write some more poetry, apply for a rural internship position through the Rural Preferential Recruitment process (I’m thinking Orange!), pass medical school, go to London (I’m working there for 6 weeks in September/October!) and do a palliative care elective to make sure the passion is still there in St Vincent’s in Sydney.

That’s on top of continuing to build a relationship with a wonderful person, trying to still keep up with friends and family as best as I can, and just enjoying life.

Wish me luck.

 

-Benjamin Andiyar