I am officially done with 3rd year!
In other words, I am halfway through medical school.
What a beautiful ride this year has been.
3rd year has been, without a doubt, the best year of my medical studies in Gdansk. Despite the insane workload, it is the most rewarding in terms of medical knowledge. The relevance of what you study is fundamental to any doctor worldwide.
I enjoyed pathology like no other subject thus far. Pathology is the ultimate artist who synergistically brings the pieces together – anatomy, histology, physiology, biochemistry, immunology and microbiology – and creates a masterpiece. There is a sweet pick for everyone as long as you are into sugar.
At our university pathology is divided into pathomorphology and pathophysiology. The former is more focused on how the disease looks like at the cell/tissue level whereas the latter is more concerned about the process of disease and its consequences for the body. The overlap between the two subjects is so significant that by studying pathomorphology thoroughly you acquire most of the knowledge required to pass pathophysiology.
Pharmacology is another key subject that once studied transforms you into a real doctor. Unfortunately, studying it was not nearly as fun as I thought. Similarly to the world of anatomy, there is an ocean of new words to learn by heart. However, in the world of pharmacology, the ocean is empty for fish. There is no body structures to associate the new vocabulary with. This twist on its own makes the subject taste beyond raw.
In my opinion, all the other courses are noise in the background.
Our last exam was on the 28th of June. I spent that week attending my internal medicine summer practice. One week in cardiology and the next in allergy departments. None of them made an impact on me. Pretty much boring work. I decided to postpone my paediatrics internship to September so that I could fly home earlier.
‘Home is where your heart wants to be.’ is the best definition of home I have ever read. Oslo is the nowadays the word my cardiac cells scream for. The city has experienced a great deal of change and I’m in love with it for the small, precious network that I have created and nourished since I moved here.
The weather has been fantastic in July. Long sunny days. Vivid blue skies resembling the ocean invite the creative minds for a cool dive into the empty pool of air. Summer changes people for the better. Especially in Scandinavia.
Somewhen at the end of April, I got a job offer to work in the suburbs of Oslo. I remember reading the email and frowning upon the words ‘psychiatry ward’. Psychiatry has never been a favourite of mine. I find it particularly challenging because in most of the cases I do not understand what the underlying cause of the disease is. Against all the odds it was my best job offer – the closest to my whereabouts and the only position that would give me hospital work experience – so I had no option but to accept it.
My first days of training were a dream come true. I have never felt so welcome to the workplace as in Blakstad. A Finnish nurse showed me around and introduced me to the team. The facilities are amazing. Furthermore, green is all around the hospital. Fields, trees, grass, plants, bees, butterflies and so on. Breathing deep when surrounded by nature makes me heal from the inside.
I was recruited mainly to work at night. There is a need for extra help in July/August to cover those who go on vacation. I am not a fan of working night but it does offer some advantages. It is better paid, gives you more free time overall and the number of tasks one needs to do is greatly reduced since patients are supposedly asleep. However, in a psychiatry ward, the dynamics are a little different. Patients are unpredictable and you may end up having a hell of a night more often than a tranquil one. My job is essentially the same as it has always been since I work in health care, to help patients with whatever they need. The main difference in psychiatry is that most of them manage to clean themselves, eat and do pretty much everything on their own. Therefore, it is my mission to make sure that they feel safe and do not hurt themselves or anyone else, encourage them to take their medication whenever they refuse to do so, and keep them under surveillance.
Honestly, I am enjoying this experience much more than I thought. It is psychological demanding at times but I am totally fine with that. On the plus side, you get to know to a lot of different patients in a short period time, hear rather unique stories, understand that our brain is far from perfection, and test your pharmacology skills. Entering the medicine room in the hospital makes me feel as though I walked into a candy shop. All those alien names labelled in small boxes covering the entire room. Neat.
Regardless of how much I have enjoyed myself working in psychiatry, I would never consider pursuing it as a medical speciality. It is not the type of work that I would enjoy doing throughout my lifetime.
Now that I am almost done with work there will be time to spend time with friends and enjoy the free time. I want to read non-medical books, play board games, experiment a little bit in the kitchen, go for walks wherever there is lots of green, etc. Essentially, all I want right now is to live carefree for a couple of weeks.
As August approaches its end it is the time for some sun leftovers.
Enjoy the rest of your summer days!