25 January 2009
Sonal's Web Diary
Wow. It is hard to believe that another year has ended and a new one has begun and though it is rather belated Happy 2009 to everyone!
The end of 2008 also brought with it a nice winter vacation in which for the first time in ages I felt as if I have had a proper holiday.
At the beginning of December the newly 3rd year medical students of Phase 2 had our first ever OSCE, which stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination. This was to test our first 6 months in clinical practice and test our hands on knowledge of physical examination, history taking and practical skills. Up until that point I felt so overwhelmed by everything I was just longing for the exams to be over so I could have a decent holiday, as I feel we have really deserved it.
For the first time in a year I went home to Tokyo in the holidays to spend my 3 week winter holiday in Japan. It is amazing to be back home. I always forget how to spend the first few days of a holiday as there is suddenly nothing to be done, but slowly the laziness which goes with a good holiday sinks in. Until moving away from home you never really realize how much it means to you; the people, the places, the memories and of course the food. I spent the first few weeks meeting up with old friends, going out for meals and spending time with my family. It is amazing that 2.5 years have passed for all of us as we try to fill each other in on what has been happening in each others’ lives.
The still 3rd year medics, but officially moved on to Phase 3a, started back on January 5th 2009. I did too, but I am still here in Tokyo. This year each student has an elective period at different times of the year and I requested mine to be after the holidays so that I may spend almost 2 months at home. I am currently undergoing a placement in haematology and thoracics at the National Cancer Centre of Japan. The doctors here have been very welcoming and I have learnt a lot about specialised subjects I am interested in. For 3 more weeks I’m going to make the most of this placement and at being at home, because then it is back to Sheffield and the same old grind of clinics and hospitals.