This year zoomed by. I believe I made leaps and bounds in terms of knowledge and self-confidence whilst on the wards and in clinics. I still got to give lots of credit to my placement in Orthopaedics. I cannot be more thankful to my supervisor. Even my friends have noticed that after my Orthopaedics placement, I was a different medical student. I was no longer afraid to speak up. I was no longer afraid to participate and be proactive. I realized that if you don't ask, you will never know what will happen. The worst answer you can get when asking something is "No". What is there to lose...other than a hurt ego. So one tip for all of you is to be confident. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Again, the worst someone can say is "No". If the answer is "no", just shrug and move on and don't take it personally.
As you move through the degree, Medicine slowly dominates your life and you really got to make an effort to have a social life. As the months pass and you have some free time to reflect, you realize your friends start to drift away and it may get a bit lonely at times. Medicine needs a lot of dedication, but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to relax and take some time out. Giving yourself a break does not necessarily mean you have to go take a vacation. Taking a break is different for everyone. It may involve going to do something you enjoy or meeting up with friends, or even just spending some time at home to relax and watch TV. I didn't realize how important it is to take a break until this year when I have finally experienced a whole year of clinical placements, one after another. Work - Life balance. I know many people in my year who are taking a year out to do a BMedSci next year, not because they want to do research, but because they have burnt out.
To top off my memorable year, just earlier today I received confirmation that I have been accepted to present a my research poster at a national conference. Really unexpected as it's quite competitive, so I'm absolutely chuffed. What a way to finish up the year!
In general, I have made many new friends, matured as a person, and gained valuable skills for the future - I think this has probably been one of my most memorable year of my medical degree. Despite the many ups and downs throughout the year, looking back - overall it has been a very good year.
Got to thank those who have made my year so memorable and those who made my experiences so much better. Cheers to 2012, bring on 2013!
Happy New Year!