Clinical school

I started thinking about my choice of clinical school during the start of exam prep this time. Every clinical school gives similar but different teaching, different timetables and schedules. We hear of the greater competition in metro hospitals, more tutorials, more assessment preparation, giving their students obvious clues as to what the exam topics are. Then looking around our own group of students in rural, everyone is relatively relaxed, lazy at times. And I was pondering whether we're missing out, whether rural clinical school was a good thing for my learning. People often ask me whether B was my first choice, and why would I want to live in a "small country town" (it's not that small). Well, throughout this past week, I was reminded of some of the reasons that I chose come to RCS.

Studying with other people doing the same thing is fun. There was always someone ready to practice history taking and physical exam during the study break. Asking each other questions and talking med throughout the day after day, I realised I could remember things that I wouldn't be able to remember by staring and yawning at a textbook. Then during our written exam we were given lollies, water, pencils and an eraser. And in the OSCE we didn't wait a particularly long time because there were only fifteen students in our year here altogether versus say, over fifty students. Then there were those shared dinners, an outing to the playground and lake the day before exams, a fun game of "Mr Squiggle" on the morning of our OSCE, and classmates to tell you "don't stress you just need to get an average sort of mark, you just want to be a GP." Haha okay, I feel great now. This exam period was the most fun one I've had at uni, partly because it's weighted lightly and largely because of the good company.

I never got to know many classmates well, and made less than a handful of people who I would call friends in the first two and a half years of university. I found it difficult how everyone was coming and going, and lived all over M. So that was one reason for RCS, to live with and get to know a few fellow med students better. And it has been a joy to study, live, hang out with the people here (except the days when I'm grumpy or people are particularly annoying). And I love my group.

And I remember mum saying, maybe you'll like rural because it'll be more like living in D. That's been surprisingly true too. Yesterday I was in M and just realised how noisy the CBD is, how did I ever fall asleep living next to the tram line, hospital (with ambulances) and fire station? Then the traffic jams looked horrible. Then I thought smaller places are much nicer places to live, it's quiet and everyone is accessible within 10 minutes with a car. I do miss my night strolls through M though. I like the shops here because it reminds me of the main shopping centre in D. I love my church here too.

Half a year ago, I had no idea what we would do in clinical school. What do you mean you just talk to patients?? Then the students in the years above us said that they prefer clinicals over preclinicals because you "see real patients", "it's more relevant" and "it's more hands on". And because nearly everyone I talked to said that, I was determined not to like clinical school for the same reasons as everyone else haha.

But I enjoyed this semester - I enjoyed the study content, the small-ish hospital where everyone looks familiar, the place I live and the people around me. I was happy most of the time. Maybe because of these things I'm taking a greater interest in reading and learning med, in learning to be a doctor. I'm glad to have chosen B.

I'm thankful to God for leading me, and helping me to make decisions at each step of this course (and beyond). I believe God was with me during that year in S - teaching me to accept times of solitude, helping me finish the research project and report quite completely although there was a lack of good supervision, helping me to find a lovely host family, preparing for these years with a good med student fellowship, giving lots of opportunities to share God's love with those around me, and two trips across the seas to my hometown, to get to know my extended family better. Who can say for sure where and how God's hand were on these things, but I know having a relationship with him aligns my thoughts, my heart, my purpose with his. And God does act.

I think after a few more month, on hindsight, I will see the plans you have for me here more clearly too.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28



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