Multi-Tasking in Lectures

The lights go off, we all sit down
the lecturer takes a moment to walk around.

I’m sitting in a lecture on urogenital development,
the guy in front of me is sleeping – clearly doesn’t think it’s relevant.
The professor’s explaining something about the meta-nephros,
I try to recall if I’ve heard it all before but still I’m at a loss.

The student to my right’s playing a game on his new i-phone.
The girl behind me complains about someone she once knew, in a whiny tone.
The lecturer says ‘penis’ and an idiot somewhere laughs.
Been seated long enough for DVTs so I slowly flex my calf.

Half the class tote Apple Macs for no apparent reason.
My feet are freezing cold ‘cos air conditioning knows no season.
Some guy runs out the lecture hall ‘cos he just got a text.
I’m starting to get bored and wonder which class I have next…

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Comparison: Homeless People Vs. Med Students

Rather than wasting this blog just writing rubbish
I’ve decided to step up the quality of the things that I publish
so today I’m going to answer a question plaguing us all:
Do homeless people eat better than those at medical school?

I volunteer at a homeless shelter so that’s my control group.
They don’t eat great but they’re offered things like Vegemite scrolls, soup,
sandwiches, tea, coffee, meat and veg for lunch
and once a week on a Sunday even a cooked brunch.

Lets compare that to some of my colleagues at uni.
I know a girl who, after some thought, decided to be
a vegetarian. I assumed it was a condition of her religion
but it turned out she just can’t afford meat and uni so that was her decision.

I’ll admit they’re not statistically significant samples
but I’m sure you can extrapolate from these two examples.
I bet it could be proved with the help of linear regression.
I wonder if anyone’s ever considered it as a research question?

Buzz

This post is born purely out of procrastination,
a sign that I’ve succumbed to the temptation
to abandon my essay writing activities
and instead indulge my less productive proclivities
such as writing inane, convoluted blog posts in rhyme.
I had a better post planned but at this time I’m
personally inclined to write about a topic that’s been on my mind
even though it’s probably less interesting than what you’d otherwise find
if I’d stuck to my original intention but as I previously mentioned
I’m writing a long pointless essay on ethics and I’d like to make a contention
that contrary to what my lecturer would like me to believe,
the thing that I think, what’s currently bothering me
is that try as I might I can’t help but perceive
that’s it’s less about ethics than trendy vocabulary.

Now, I have no problem with writing, as you can see,
I could write and write until my hands bleed if need be
but I suspect that those with a point and an ethical mind
will ultimately end up been left far behind
if they fail to tap the sociology marker’s real goldmine
of high BWPL (that’s buzzwords per line).
Fortunately, it’s no issue, with my word making up ability,
ie, this gem: ethnodiscomambubinility
(you could almost believe it’s a real word, right?
No? Well, cut me some slack, I have been up studying all night)

But my point (if I can really be said to have one at all)
is that even though there’s certainly a call
for ethical issues and written expression to get a
more in-depth treatment so tommorow’s doctors communicate better
(preferably, but not necessarily, in rhyming stanzas)
I still have to wonder, is this really our best answer?

Acknowledgement of Body Donors

Where do corpses come from? There’s a question to ask yourself.
They aren’t prepackaged to be purchased off a supermarket shelf.
No, our materials for gross anatomy and physiology
are donated by those who at death reach for the apogee
attainable through one final act of generosity.
Past generations helped them and in the spirit of reciprocity
they renounce their connection to their physical remains
that we may learn to alleviate the sufferings and pains
of all those who still reside upon this mortal plane.
So if you, or anyone you love, has ever gained
from modern healthcare or carried the flame
for one of the professions reliant on anatomical knowledge
take this moment to think of the body donors and acknowledge
their final gift to us and the generations we precede
and recognise that we should all be very thankful indeed.

Would ‘You’re So Vein’ Be a Lame Title?

Now we’re learning some actual clinical skills in our classes
instead of just memorising facts in the hope that they’ll pass us.
Today, we practiced venipuncture, IM and SC injection technique,
we’ll be assessed on the respiratory exam sometime next week.

The skills we practiced today were simple enough
(although on our artificial model nothing could be too tough).
IM and sub-cut were 80% stabbing ability,
while angle and depth introduced only slight subtlety.

For venipuncture, I must admit, we did need more
fine motor skills to guide in the fixed needles
and butterfly clips with various protuberances
but in the end everyone managed to work out the appurtenances.

And look, they even let me keep a souvenir (obviously not actual blood)

Because I’m Too Tired to Write a Real Post

If you were wondering about the lapse in my blogging
it’s because for the last two weeks I’ve been slogging
away at studying for a mid-semester assessment
and only now, at the end of this huge time investment
have I had a chance to resume my normal rhyming
and in the next few days I’ll resume my roughly weekly timing
of posting poems on the minutiae of medical school
(I’d start again immediately but I’m far too tired for all
the effort of writing a proper post at this particular time
but after a good night’s sleep I’m sure I’ll be fine.)

Down at The Globe

Last night I planned to do some quiet pre-reading for my Monday tute
so I wandered down to catch bus 412, which traverses the route
from a shopping centre near my residence to the university
when coming up the centre stairway who should I see
but two girls from my PBL group standing, waiting to go
somewhere with a gaggle of 1st years I didn’t know.

“We’re going to the city” explained one of the two who I knew
“UQMS is running some sort of charity-talent night do,
with med students in bands playing their own songs.
Forget about studying. Why don’t you come along?”

Having been somewhat reluctant about the pre-reading from the start
I was quickly convinced to go watch the more musical students ply their art.
So we all headed down to The Globe – though not quite sure of the way
(we only walked in the wrong direction for 5 minutes I’d say
before realising it was actually down the other end of the road)
When we got there we waited a while in the queue before we showed
our IDs, were given three red stickers each and allowed admission.
The stickers it turned out were to vote on a photo competition.
I never found out who won that (and I don’t really care).
The first bands we listened to – well, it’d be flattery to call them fair.

So we went over the other side which was converted from an old cinema
but without any seating so there were a crowd of students sitting in a
series of amorphous rows on the floor like an open air concert with a roof and walls.
Unlike the band on the other side, the musicians here you could actually call
talented. We stayed there until the temperature in the enclosed crowd got
a little too high, even when they moved in an industrial fan it was still too hot.
We drifted back and forward between the two sides of the club for another hour or so
then decided we’d had enough and it was time to go.

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