Image: Staff.“When at first I was asked to write about a typical day in the life of a medical student, I didn’t quite realise how difficult this would prove! The huge variety between the daily routines of a doctor is perhaps one of the best features that this career path has to offer. Without this variation in my day-to-day routine, I feel I would have begun pulling my hair out as I now enter the fourth year of my degree. I am now coming to the end of my Paediatrics placement here at Rotherham hospital, and as such, a ‘typical’ day goes as follows.

06:45: The alarm goes off; I turn over and question the very reason why I chose to study medicine in the first place. My housemates only arrived home two hours ago from yet another night out. They will now sleep happily ever after as I begin to get ready for the day ahead.

07:45: Having spent half an hour reading up on ‘developmental milestones in children aged 5 and under’ to prepare for my morning clinic, I throw some quick breakfast together and get on my way.

08:30: I arrive at the clinic and attend a quick multidisciplinary team meeting. I am introduced to the members of staff and quickly begin to feel more comfortable. The first patient enters the room and I am able to observe the doctor undertaking the consultation. There is no other substitute for learning from the best! As the second patient walks into the room I am now entrusted to take a history under supervision. This responsibility is both unnerving and extremely rewarding in equal measure.

10:15: A quick coffee break as we wait for the next patient to arrive. I receive feedback from my consultant on my earlier patient interaction which is extremely valuable. My morning reading proves useful as I am indeed quizzed on what I had expected to have been asked.

10:30: The third patient on the list is called into the room and I observe first-hand how life-changing our profession can be. A little girl who earlier in her life was sent to hospice for end-of-life care has now made a miraculous recovery and continues to develop and thrive fantastically under the skilled care of the team in charge of her care. Hearing an inspirational story such as this quickly makes me forget the envy I earlier possessed for my housemates’ lifestyle.

12:00: Clinic is now finished and I head over to the hospital which is only a short drive away. I grab some lunch and head to the student common room in order to prepare for my assessment later that afternoon.  The morning’s events have certainly put me in a much better mood than my 6:45am wake-up.

13:30: I meet my supervisor in the Paediatrics department and we head to the ward in order to choose a suitable patient to examine as part of my assessment. My anxiety is quickly dispelled as the assessment gets underway. The patient is simply a joy to interact with and the family seem appreciative of the care the young boy is receiving. The assessment quickly passes by and I am then informed by my supervisor that I have performed well. Having prepared thoroughly and dedicating my time to my studies, moments like this are a massive confidence boost and yet another example of the rewarding nature of my chosen degree.

15:00: I head towards the seminar room on the ward.  Teaching from a registrar is meant to be taking place and this is yet another great opportunity for learning. In the presence of fellow medical students I discuss some cases that I have seen during my attachment.  Thankfully when my knowledge runs a little scarce, my colleagues back me up! Phew! We all realise that we’re in this together after all, and at the end of these challenging few years, I am sure we will remain close friends to support one another throughout our future careers. Yet another great aspect of why I love what I have chosen to do.

16:30: Teaching is finished and it seems like it may be a slightly earlier home-time. Result!”

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