Friday, October 27, 2006

MRCP PACES is one of my favourite things

the car crash that was the MRCP PACES examination is over and the charred body of Dr D&C has been pulled from the burning wreckage. "he's so young" say trenchcoated detectives surveying the scene.

it was needless to say a painful and humiliating experience. the work i'd put in for the past few months seem to head directly at high velocity down the toilet. having spent a sleepless night in a coastal guesthouse and arriving at the exam centre particularly nauseous (probably due to the earlier presentation of cereal and a full english breakfast in the hotel dining room), they proceeded to keep us waiting for an hour. nervous frivolous conversation with the other candidates was forced ("where do you work?" "is surrey nice this time of year?") interspersed with long periods of silence when all along i just wanted to scream and scream and scream whilst prising my eyeballs out with my stethoscope.

the actual exam itself was even worse. for those potential candidates out there: people who say "enjoy it" and "it goes really quickly" and "they just want to see that you'd be someone they'd want to work with as a a registrar" are talking UTTER UTTER HORSESHIT. none of the above are true. i was criticised, grilled, wrongfooted and grilled and grilled and grilled again. i could not leave the hospital quickly enough and sped back to london thoroughly depressed.

and i am still feeling pretty shit about it. like i said before i worked really hard, it didn't show and i can't bear to do it again. and i am forced to relive it regularly at work with everyone who keeps asking me what cases i got.

on the plus side i am free now for at least for a month and a bit. i have been drinking every night (recreation and not always to drown sorrows) catching up with people i haven't seen for ages, reading normal nonmedical books, going to the theatre, i caught the david hockney exhibition at the national portrait gallery at the weekend, been cooking, and have LOTS of gigs lined up.

i am also seriously thinking about quitting when it gets to august. i've seen a few postgrad courses in nonmedical things that i'd like to do. i think if i don't do this now i never will. the problems of financing and living in the extravagant way i have become used to rear their heads.

i've realised that friends/colleagues who say they feel the same way about medicine as i do, don't actually do so. i don't think anyone i know will actually leave medicine despite what they say; in fact i think they are all planning the furthering of their careers despite their apparent misery.

this makes me feel very lonely.

and scared.

[i am listening to Saint Simon by the Shins]

Sunday, October 15, 2006

beer anyone?

no, this does not refer to the blanket text message i normally send out to most of my mobile phone's address book on a miserable sunday night.

actually i thought i'd mention about the gazumping of music venues by Carling in this sometimes fair city.

whilst Dr D&C has been getting the academic shit kicked out of him at various practice sessions/courses for the stupid exam this friday, Miss D&C has been having a jolly old time.

last night she and three of her friends went to the XFm "big night out". Xfm for the non-Londoners among you is one of the indie/alternative radio stations here and despite being owned by the heinous Capital FM is relatively sound in its playlist. notably it doesn't play exclusively to the student population as Radio One (BBC) seems to do, and it has the brilliant Adam & Joe on Saturdays.

anyways the line-up was supposedly quite good with the Fratellis playing and being held at Brixton Academy (one of the more cavernous venues in the city) the potential was there for some good music and a decent opportunity for some good ol' like mama used t'make indie clubbing action.

Miss D&C was however sorely disappointed.

for starters the three promised dancefloors turned out to be the main auditorium and then two corridors. not quite three dancefloors.

secondly it was HEAVING and she and her friends were faced with hour long waits at the bar. like Dr D&C, she likes a tipple so i sympathise.

but worst of all was the pricing. many of the music venues in london and increasing throughout the country are being bought out by big conglomerates. Carling, them of the beer fame, now own the Brixton Academy, or to give it's proper name the Carling Academy - Brixton, and as a result the five beers you can buy at any of their venues are Carling, Carling, Carling, Carling and Carling Extra Cold.

Miss D&C and entourage had partially been enticed to pay the fifteen quid cover by the lure of 1.90 pints. oh the upset when they realised that this was only the case at one of the bars, and that the other bars in the venue ie. the emptier ones charged the same beer at just shy of four quid.

"outrageous!" i cried. an indictment of the franchising at the expense of music. what next? see Foo Fighters at the KFC Empire Shepherds Bush? don't miss Primal Scream, headlining the Primark Koko, Camden? shame on you XFm for cashing in. but then as i said, they are owned by Capital Radio.

anyways, tonight this lost doctor is sitting in a "luxury" room in a seaside town hotel as he awaits his membership of the royal college of ingrates exam tomorrow. a listless sleep i think. i have spent the past month and a bit buried in tomes and examining as many patients as possible. my brain feels like it's going to burst. i don't know if i'll be successful this time. all i know i'll give it my best shot and to be fair i've spent a lot more time preparing for this exam than any other.

as of course dear readers i shall let you know how it goes. in the meantime it is time for some slumber, listening to the dirty sea lapping against the rubbish-strewn essex coastline.

Monday, October 09, 2006

MOADD is one today!

yes it is the first birthday of this blog and boy it is a happy day. the sun is shining and the intermittently good people of london are going about their business. i am not at work this morning either for i am currently in the second of two weeks of study leave.

on the 20th of this month i shall be sitting the practical assessment of clinical examination skills or PACES which is the last examination for membership of the royal college of physicians, the arcane body that we must all seek to penetrate if we are to progress in our miserable careers. as always it is a ridiculously expensive, soul destroying affair and i for one cannot wait for it to be over.

i spent a ridiculous amount of money on a course this weekend. it was very good but although i learnt a lot, the consistent grilling that i received from the examiners has torn a new arsehole in me. pictures some other time.

otherwise what has changed in this year of MOADD. well the bookshelves are still up. i have had a few great holidays. i have had a lot of boozy nights. i am still very disheartened in my job.

i have come to the (massive) revelation that it is not necessarily medicine but the NHS and healthcare in the UK that is upsetting me so. perhaps a move is on the cards?

whatever happens i have decided that if i pass this exam i shall resign my job and chill out for a few months. and yah boo sucks too the consequences.

of course the "if i pass" is a mountain of a proviso.

[i am listening to The Coral, Dreaming Of You]

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

yee-ahhh, yah, yahhhhh: the best fight scene ever

i promise that this posting of videos is just a fad but i thought that maybe you should have a look at this excellent piece of hand-to-hand fighting choreography. it is classic for a number of reasons. there are several things about it which are absolutely bizarre:

why is he in a white coat at the beginning?
where are they?
why do they take their tops off?
where did she come from? is her stunt double a man (is she a man)?
how did she break her arm?
what purpose did that bedsheet in the bucket serve ordinarily?

i'm unsure as to what film this is so if anyone knows please tell (i think it may be one of almodovar's)

vegas this one is largely for you.

PS. given that i am currently studying for the royal college of wankers examination part 3 i also feel as though i should be removing my eyeballs. "yeah! see ya!"

[i am listening to cut the f*** up]