Who are we?

25 Oct 2017

Andrew Blanchard, DTMH September 2017

It seems hard to believe that we’ve been doing the DTM&H for two months now. The amount of information we have received through lectures, lab practicals and seminars is rather impressive, and I think everyone is conscious of the final exam week getting closer and closer. This hasn’t stopped anyone from being their usual social selves however, and in the last week I’ve been to a Diwali party, had several visits to local watering holes, and this week a group of us are going to the ballet; my first time!

One of the recurrent themes from the lecturers has been quite apparent to me; they keep asking for us to share our own experiences from working around the world. Apart from the lecturing staff, there certainly is a lot of well-travelled people in the room; many who have spent time on medical electives, those who have worked abroad for a few months, several non-UK attendees, and a good smattering of those who are from the UK but have been working Down Under for the last few years.

As well as where people are from, there’s a big variety in what people do. Off the top of my head, there are people working in medicine, A+E, paediatrics, plastic surgery, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, General Practice as well as those of us who haven’t quite got to the stage of choosing a speciality yet. I’m sure I’ve missed a few out as well.

Quite a lot of us are doing the ever-popular ‘F3’ year; I think I’ve heard one person describe themselves as an F7. The possibilities of travel and work abroad after the course seem to be so vast that it’s hard to know where to start. I will admit that I keep having to remind myself that I have the rest of my life to travel and work in places outside of the UK; it doesn’t all have to be done this year.

Arguably, one of the best parts of the DTM&H is meeting and getting to know the people you’re studying with. At the start of the course, I never thought I’d know everyone’s name, but there’s so much time spent together both inside and out of lectures that it would be hard to come away from the course not having made some great friends.

For myself at any rate, I’ve been able to discuss my career plans with people doing the job that I want to eventually do and swap ideas with fellow F3s about how to get the most out of our time out of training. I suppose that I’m trying to make the point that doing this course is much more than the sum of the individual lectures, seminars and lab practicals.

Wow…it took me a surprisingly long time to write this….to the pub!