8.30am: I have a free day — the only one in this whole block, actually. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I have the day off, it just means that I have nothing on my timetable. In a fit of optimism, I had set the alarm for half-past eight, thinking that I would get up and go in and finish the coursework. It takes about three seconds of consideration before I reset the alarm for a more humane time and go back to sleep.
10.30am: It’s almost ridiculous how good it feels to have had a lie-in, and to be able to take a nice, unhurried shower and not bolt down my breakfast as I rush out of the door.
11.45am: I arrive at the Wolfson and find a spot in the SL.
12.05am: A friend who has the mock OSCE this afternoon turns up, and I spend some time practicing comm skills with her and running through the components of some of the examinations.
1.25pm: As she leaves to go to the exam briefing, I get myself a cup of coffee and finally turn my attention to the still-not-finished coursework for which my enthusiasm is definitely starting to wear thin. I have two questions left, and, unlike the debacle of last night, I’ve at least done all my research for these two and just need to put everything into some kind of coherent structure that actually answers them.
4pm: I’ve spent a stupidly long time trying to reduce my word count for the last question — it’s easy enough to discuss the changing incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and the reasons for it, just not in 250 words — but I’m finally, finally done with the writing portion of this.
4.20pm: I’m armed with fresh coffee and I turn to the business of making it look nice. This year, the faculty are obsessed with encouraging us to use hand-drawn diagrams in our coursework and they’ve had plenty from me, but not for this one. It’s histopathology. Obviously, I could sketch what I might expect the cells to look like in adenocarcinoma and I could draw the tongues of columnar epithelium that you would most likely see coming towards the proximal end of the GI tract in Barrett’s oesophagus, but, quite frankly, it wouldn’t be much good and there are lots of very nice people who have taken actual photographs of these things and put them in journal articles, so, rather than spend three hours trying to draw a picture of some pink mush, I’m using those.
4.55pm: And now the referencing. I’ve kept track of the resources I’ve used and when I’ve used them, so this should go quicker than it has in the past, and, aside from running downstairs to get the actual publishing information for a couple of textbooks that I’ve been using photocopies from, the whole process is relatively painless. Although, I’m not at all sure how I ended up with eighteen separate references.
5.30pm: The coursework is DONE. I want to go home and take the rest of the evening off, but I have PBL tomorrow morning and I’ve not touched it yet. I’m fairly sure that most of my group will be every bit as unprepared as me, so I make a deal with myself that I’ll do as much hepatitis as I can for the next two hours, enough that I can at least talk about something tomorrow, and then I’ll go home and take the rest of the evening off.
7.25pm: I have made myself summary sheets with the structure, epidemiology, mode of transmission, clinical features, diagnosis, complications, and risk factors for each of the five different kinds of hepatitis and that is going to have to do.
8.40pm: After getting home and feeding myself, I end up reading the SIGN guidelines for the management of gastric and oesophageal cancers to look for a reference to a very specific piece of information that the flatmate has got in her essay and can’t remember where it came from.
9.15pm: I put in a DVD and get out the cross-stitch that I’m working on for my goddaughter. Yes, this is my night off. I am quite the party animal.
11.10pm: I say goodnight to my flatmate, who is still organising diagrams and references, and crawl into bed with my book.