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Dreamscape Ascension

the blabberings of an ex-medical student in FMHS UNIMAS, now HO in hospital miri, sarawak - which include daily rants of her life and occasionally reviews of games, movies and anime

 

Oh God how old is this blog and is anyone still reading this

Looking back at my older posts, I just feel like laughing. There's a lot of nostalgia, going through them - my days as a medical student mostly. I've come to realize that growing up has its ups and downs.

But enough about the past.

I've discovered a new addiction - since the end of my 5th year, actually - and that is to Japanese clamshell/flip phones.





I've already bought two since my trip to Japan - one because I had to (which is the SoftBank prepaid model, in white), and one after I finished med school (the last picture, the white one, again). Although I can't use the model I brought from Japan because it's region locked, I bought the second one which is actually usable...but the thing is I already have a smartphone to use for personal/work, so the second phone is bascially just collecting dust now.

And here I am still browsing through them, thinking of buying yet another one.



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It's been a long way, and I still have a ways to go

Hey I know it's been a while since my last post about Japan. To see more of the photos, feel free to add me on my Facebook (find me under "Siti Khairrunisa"), and I'll add you no problem provided I somehow know you mutually from someone else in my friend's list.

Ahem. Anyway, I've passed my Final Professional Exam *yahoo* last April. To any juniors reading this, there's a few tips I want to share:

FINAL PROFESSIONAL EXAM TIPS

  1. KEEP CALM AND STUDY FOR THE EXAM
  2. Yes, I know you only have 3-4 weeks to study for the FPE. The general strategy is to retain your last posting as much as you can, and keep your last posting as the last discipline to study during the break.
  3. FORM A STUDY GROUP, I cannot stress this enough. There's a lot, and I mean A LOT to study, so a group of 3-5 people is best. No more than 5 people, please, because the bigger the group, the harder it is to be disciplined. Make sure your group meets regularly, every day if possible (for me I had a group of 4, and we meet every afternoon to discuss). Highlight what you want to cover, e.g. important topics/past year questions/short cases/long cases, etc.
  4. DIVIDE YOUR TIME. Let's say you have 3 weeks to your theory papers. 3 x 7 = 21 days. To cover everything, you can go about this way: Take the first 3-4 days to cover Ophthalmology, ENT and CMPH. Then you go by the order of more minor postings e.g. Psychiatry or Ortho, before going to O&G, Paeds and finally to Medicine or Surgery. Have at least ONE day where you (and your study group) go to the hospital to see patients PER discipline. Please see them, because you need to practice short cases with real patients. I went to Ortho one day and was able to get OA knee and ACL tear in one go.
  5. But remember, theory comes first, so focus on MCQ and MEQs. Especially MEQs, because that's where you score. And the questions are not at all like EOPs, so study the past year questions so you know what to expect (however DO NOT focus all your time on the past years. Don't try and predict.)
  6. For OSCE, make sure you know CMPH's formula of calculating rates (e.g. incidence rate) and their definitions. Dr. AAA will brief you on this, so pay attention. Another thing is that there will be like 5 interactive stations, so prepare yourself with things like explaining procedures, taking consent, breaking bad news. I have a good template for breaking bad news that may be good for you guys as well: "Good morning, Mrs. X, my name is Dr. A and I'm your attending Dr. I have the results from your test the other day, however I want to ask if you're prepared to hear the results? Okay, I'm very sorry to inform that the result is positive (e.g. let's say HPV/HIV positive on screening). However, screening tests are not always accurate, and we would like to do another test to confirm it. If the confirmatory test is positive, we will refer you to the specialist so that immediate treatment can be given for you. If negative, we will still counsel you and we may or may not repeat the test. Are you with me so far? Okay. Do you have any questions? No? Okay, thank you very much for your time."
  7. If the patient asks why there is a nurse there, say that because the patient requires a chaperone. If the patient goes all sad/in denial, just say, "I know you are feeling sad. This is a normal reaction. However, let's look at this positively...". NEVER EVER SAY "I understand how you feel" because you don't.
  8. A&E may have an interactive station too!
  9. ATTEND ALL THE REVISION CLASSES!
  10. For short cases, you'll have 3, and it's very very important that you KEEP CALM. You have 3 examiners from 3 different disciplines from 3 different origin (1 UNIMAS, 1 SGH and 1 external). Even if you screw up the 1st station, throw it aside and perform the 2nd short case like nothing happened. Because remember, you only need to pass 2 out of 3 to pass. Okay?
  11. For long cases, it's easier for you to predict which discipline if you get short cases 1st, but no matter - if you get long cases 1st, remember to study what is the common long cases for all disciplines (including psychiatry). Clerk properly, elicit all the signs, order investigations with reason, and manage not only in the hospital setting, but for patient's long-term as well (e.g. lifestyle modification, social support, etc.) You have 3 examiners, again, from 3 different disciplines. Impress them as much as you can.
  12. In the event you are the "lucky ones" who get Psychiatry, remember to clerk as much as you can (including all the past history to elicit the predisposing, perpetuating, precipitating factors) and use DSM-IV to get the symptoms out of the patient. Do your mental state examination WHILE CLERKING and REMEMBER to PE the patient like a normal patient (CVS, respi, etc). The management is biopsychosocial, okay? If you do this, you should pass no problem!
  13. Okay, no more overwhelming you guys. GOOD LUCK, and remember, please please please TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH. Buy vitamin supplements (I was running on Vit C and Vit B complex daily), drink lots of water, eat 3 meals a day, sleep at least 6 hours a day. Give up on your K-dramas, movies and TV shows for this short while. 5 weeks only, and you can watch everything you want after you pass! I'll be praying for you guys ^^
And now that I've entered housemanship, there's a few bits more I want to share with any students aspiring to enter medicine as their career of choice.
  1. DON'T. Unless you are a person who is dedicated to helping people, hardworking enough to burn the midnight oil to study about the human body, willing enough to come on the weekends to the hospital to talk to sick people, and you have a genuine interest in medicine - not because your parents forced you to or you think the doctors lead a glamorous, rich lives. Yes, most doctors are rich, but at what cost? We work practically from 6 am to 6 pm daily, and we work 24 hour shifts sometimes, and we are exposed to all sorts of germs daily and are responsible for people's lives. If you love your personal time with friends, going shopping etc, this is not a profession for you.
  2. I'm not trying to discourage you, but this is the fact. Unless you're willing to sacrifice yourself and your time, don't take medicine (or nursing, for that matter). You can consider other medical-related jobs if you have an interest in medicine e.g. pharmacy, physiotherapy, dietitian, medical lab etc. 5 years as a med student is a long time, and another 2 gruelling years as a houseman, it's a tough road.
  3. However, if you're still up for it, then I wish you all the best, sincerely.
Okay that's enough pep talk for today. Feel free to comment/add me on Facebook if you'd like to know more about the FPE (for my juniors) or getting into UNIMAS as a medical student (for any post-SPM students/A Level students/Matriculation students/Asasi students/Form 6 students)

 
 

Japan!

Further details of this journey is in my travel-log, of which of course isn't published here.

So after completing my Orthopaedic Posting, Anas, Anis Syahirah, Sheau Ing and I packed up and prepared ourselves for a 6-7 hour flight to Osaka (or Kansai, to be precise). Let me tell you, it was one boring flight. I ended up sleeping for most of the way because I had to wake up at 4 am to catch the earliest flight out of Kuching to KL. You know how it is with international flights, so I couldn't take my chances.

So after finally landing, we cleared through security and meet up with Anas' brother Afzan, who works in Japan (they wouldn't tell me what as, but I don't need to pry) and speaks fluent Japanese (and reads/writes it too). And just like a rusa masuk kampung, I enter the efficient train system that is Japan Railways.

Sheau Ing expressing her 'kawaii'-ness. When in Japan, do as the Japs do.

My 'dinner' (or rather late supper) from the convenience store Lawson when I finally checked into my hostel (or shall I say hotel? See below). I like the way the seaweed and the rice ball is individually wrapped in different layers; you remove the layer to get crisp seaweed on slightly damp rice. And only for 120 yen!

So the next morning we head on over to the Ibaraki station to meet up with Afzan, and he showed us around and stuff. We wandered around Ibaraki city (where I'm currently staying in...it's a bit off from Osaka) where I entered Aeon (the mother company of Jusco)...and it's pretty much like JJ in KL and whatnot, except that everyone is Japanese.

The one thing I gotta say is how expensive food (and everything else) is here. And how gorgeous (say it with me, Chonny style) them Japanese girls are. They're all so fashionable (even in this weather), like they just popped outta a magazine or something. And ladies of all ages, be it rosy-cheeked little girls with pigtails to mature ladies well into their 50s and 60s are fashionable. Damn.

A rainy morning outside Ibaraki station.

When we arrived in Osaka Station (a big station, mind you) there was a mini display of bullet trains.

The bullet trains and their respective models.

People wandering around the east (?) exit of the station.

Yodobashi-Umeda, a department store just outside the Osaka Station. And Osaka Station is already like 7-9 storeys tall, minus the northern building which may be about 20 storeys in height. Near the station in a skyscraper under construction.

Apparently it's not easy to get SIM cards and use your phone in Japan, so we had to go for the prepaid phone service which is nearly 6000 yen for 2 months service. Not bad, since it comes with a flip phone (will post picture later) that has a 2 MP camera and 3G capabilities (although not utilized). Here is a picture of the Softbank mobile company store (Yeah, I thought it was an actual bank, too). I'm just fascinated by that row of colourful phones.

The buildings seen from the 5th (?) floor of Osaka Station.

I don't know what tree this is, but it's bearing pink flowers. Perhaps it's a sakura tree?

Some funky moving statue thingy.

Me, in all my chubness with the penguin jacket (but at least I was warm!). It was drizzling by the time this was taken.

And finally, my room in the hostel/hotel! Pretty big bed, enough for two.

There's a TV...Bravia somemore. And a DVD player beneath it.
 
One more last thing. When I was in Yodobashi-Umeda, there was a store full of those egg-machines (you know, those that you used to put 50 sen in and it pops out those plastic eggs with prizes inside?) and I found a Tiger & Bunny one! (I actually found one earlier at the Aeon store in Ibaraki) and this time I decided to try my luck (they're 200 yen each). This is the pamphlet inside the egg, with Tiger and Bunny.

Another side, with Ivan, Pao Lin and Karina. Obviously luck wasn't on my sister's side as I got Pao Lin...

Chibi Pao Lin keychain ^^
Anyways I have class tomorrow so I should probably read up and get some rest. Until the next post!

 
 

So long, L.A. Noire



My sisters and I picked up a copy of L.A. Noire for the Xbox 360 some time June/July this year when we saw it being played at a local game store. The first thing that caught our eyes is it's STUNNING GRAPHICS. Step aside, Final Fantasy XIII - it's time to review L.A. Noire, arguably one of the best games for the major consoles 2011 has to offer.

So in this game, set post WWII in Hollywood, California; you play as a conscripted GI who returned from Okinawa with a Silver Star medal, Cole Phelps. He starts out as an officer, and as the cases progress, he gets a promotion to become a detective. You work at 4 departments in total; Traffic, Homicide (the best!), Vice and Arson.

As Cole, you run around Hollywood trying to investigate the cases you get. You do this by picking up clues around the crime scene and examining the body. Amazing part is, you can even pick up stuff that are NOT clues, which makes it all the more realistic. You also get into foot chases (where Cole chases a running criminal), gun fights (where Cole braves the bullets like a real war hero) and vehicle chases (my sister hates this the most, because unlike GTA, you get point deductions if you hit civilians/properties/damage your car).

And you get to interview people. You ask them questions based on Cole's trusty notebook (the iPhelps as we call it, because it's just so cool)



As you interview, you get to decide whether they tell the truth, doubt their answer, or accuse them of lying. We were confused at the beginning and Cole ended up scaring a poor witness. Haha.

There are also times you can pick newspapers and see "the story behind the newspaper" like it's a TV drama. I know, it's a bit funny - but it gives insight to what's actually going on behind the scenes and also to what's gonna happen at the end of the game.

All the faces in this game was done by some state-of-the-art technology where the actors wear orange shirts and there's cameras everywhere in a white room. That means that Cole's face is a real person's face (I know, I was shocked too). This gives it a more real feel compared to FFXIII and their doll faces.

I won't say anything more (afraid I'll give out spoilers) but my favourite case to work on was the Homicide cases. There's a serial killer on the loose, and he kills women and leaves a message on their bodies with lipstick, namely "B.D." which stands for Black Dahlia (a real murder case, as Wikipedia says).

The ending was a shock and a twist, and as we finally finished the game last weekend, I had to say goodbye to the most beautiful game I've ever seen. (We'll need to get a PS3 version if we get a PS3 because it's a bit choppy on the Xbox 360 due to the sheer motherlode of graphics).

Until next time, ta-ta!

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The things that come when you enter 20-hood.

When I was a teenager, I can say that peer pressure did not affect me so much it did other kids my age. What I mean by this is that when I was 15/16 all my girlfriends were busy thinking about boys and snatching one to become a boyfriend etc. etc., and I was thinking about getting straight As for PMR/SPM (I'd be a lesbian if I said I didn't think about boys - point is I thought more of results, being the nerd I am).

But now that I'm entering what I call 20-hood (people in their 20s) and my friends/classmates are all a year or two older than me (22/23, some even 24), the peer pressure is starting to weigh on me.

This is the peer pressure I'm talking about.
It's all normal, I know. I'm 21 and I'm approaching the time in life where we start thinking seriously about a future relationship with a man (hopefully only ONE man) that we're going to spend the rest of our lives with. My friends are talking about it, or at least thinking about it (this I know even if they deny the crap out of it). Most of my friends are single, but some of them have boyfriends. One friend of mine even has a fiance!

I've never been in a relationship, truth be told, and it's a daunting thing to think about. It scares me because I've heard stories of bad breakups, I've personally comforted friends who cried their heart and soul to me and I've seen cheating couples. Yet at the same time, some of my friends are just so happy with their significant other that it gets my curious side thinking how that happiness feels like. And there are also times where I see couples go all touchy-feely with each other and it makes me sick (PDA alert!)

Curious as I am, I know my time will come one day. Until then, I'll pray to Allah S.W.T. so that He pairs me with a man who is soleh (pious) and understands me and that I stay with that one man for the rest of my life. No divorces (oh no, no).

P.S. I'm dying to know who my friends will end up married with. XD

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