February 2016 | Issue 22

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Dear Diary
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By Ken Chua
Class of 2019

8 December 2015:
The Medical Society (MedSoc) Executive Committee (ExCo) attended the SingHealth Medical Student Talent Development Award ceremony at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) early in the morning before ward rounds started. It was nice interacting with some of the MedSoc ExCo members from the other medical schools (NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Duke-NUS). We had a brief tour of SGH and sat in one of the introductory briefings for some of the Year 3 NUS Medicine students starting rotations at SGH.

After that, I came back to hall to watch Wee Lin rehearse for an upcoming dance competition in January with some of my teammates. We gave her some feedback, but I was really impressed with her competition item and we're looking forward to watching her perform on the day.

We also had our Integrated Clinical Practice (ICP) session at Bukit Batok Polyclinic in the afternoon. Today's focus was on presenting our cases after taking a history. It was our first time presenting a case and our mentor, Dr Poi Choo Hwee, was very patient with us. She taught my team so much about taking a proper history and how exactly to go about giving a proper presentation.


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A snapshot of our ICP lesson


9 December 2015:
Aric and I stay opposite each other, so we often cook meals together when we're tired of hall food. This morning, we made pancakes with cinnamon apples and pears. They tasted really good!

Prepared for tomorrow's TBL before going for tennis training in the evening. Interhall Games (IHG) start next week, so I want to be ready for it.

My house co-buddy, Min Kuan, and I conducted a revision session at night for our Year 1 buddies to help them prepare for their formative paper the following week. Hope it was a fruitful session for our buddies. It definitely helped us to revise our Year 1 topics as well.

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Pancake with cinnamon apples and pears. ​Yummy!

14 December 2015:
Today, we had by far the shortest Team-Based Learning (TBL) lesson so far. I guess everyone was on the ball and it helped that we were already pretty familiar with spinal cord injuries and the hypothalamus. The early end to TBL was received with much gratitude from our batch. At night, the MedSoc ExCo and some of the sub-committee heads went down to the NUS campus to meet with the NUS Medicine MedSoc ExCo members to discuss matters regarding collaborations and just to get to know each other's schools better. It was a fruitful night and it was nice interacting with our future colleagues too.

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​With our fellow MedSoc ExCo members from NUS

18 December 2015:
First day of IHG tennis started today and I played the men's singles match for my hall. I won my match and we emerged overall winners to move on in our group! Later in the afternoon, I went to catch the International Premier Tennis League final tie held at the Indoor Sports Hall. I finally managed to watch my tennis idol, Roger Federer, play in person along with so many other tennis stars. It was truly breathtaking soaking in the atmosphere and watching the level of tennis they play. It really inspired me to train harder and improve as a tennis player. Definitely a night that I'll never forget!

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​L-R: At the IHG Tennis competition; and catching tennis star Roger Federer live in action, fulfilling a long-held dream

​11 January 2016:
We had an anatomy practical this morning on the nasal cavity and paranasal air sinuses before TBL in the afternoon. To be honest, neuro and ENT has been a pretty tough block for me, partly because of the amount of content we've been covering during the last few TBLs. However, it's been really interesting and a great learning experience as well. I've been learning so much every single lesson, though it can be pretty overwhelming at times.

After TBL, I went back to hall to recover from the intense day and later that night, some of my batch mates and juniors surprised me with a mini belated birthday celebration. I was really very touched by the effort they put into it, definitely made my day!

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Thanks for the surprise, guys!

13 January 2016:
Today was Interhouse Unsports! The five Houses came together to play a series of non-sporty games in the Experimental Medicine Building (EMB) Seminar Room. Some of the games included Dance Central, Mario Kart, Saboteur, and Spaceteam! It was nice seeing students from different Houses having fun together and enjoying a break from School. For the finale, we played mass Pictionary, which was pretty intense and exciting. In the end, Fleming won overall with the other Houses close behind. Looking forward to the next few Interhouse events!

19 January 2016:

This week, we're learning about the eye and vision, so for our practical we went through a series of activities to better understand colour blindness and stereopsis (depth perception). We also got to see the world through dilated pupils. The different tasks in the practical were super interesting, such as the Titmus Fly and Ishihara tests. It was truly eye-opening and helped us to get a better understanding of how patients with certain visual problems see the world. At the end of the practical, some of us added parasympathetic antagonists into our non-dominant eye to stimulate pupil dilation. This was the coolest part of the practical, though for the rest of the day I couldn't really see clearly because of the blurred vision!


23 January 2016:​

Today, we had our first formative OSCE. It was pretty nerve-wracking going into the exam because we didn't know what to expect. It turned out alright for the majority of us. It's really a very different experience from taking a written exam, especially for some of the stations which require interaction with a simulated patient. I was extremely relieved after it was over, especially because I felt I wasn't very well prepared. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I'll work harder for summative OSCEs later in June.

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Great job, Wee Lin!

​That night, a few of us went to support Wee Lin in her first Duet Contemporary Dance Competition Finals organised by The Royal Dance Off Academy. It was amazing watching the contestants dance their hearts out on stage in each performance. I was really honoured to watch Wee Lin's final dance piece, knowing how hard she practised day after day for the last three weeks, despite School and formative OSCEs. Her performance may not have won with the judges but it certainly did with us. They were amazing. I almost wish I was a dancer, but it's okay.