Diary entry – Everything July

Hello Everyone! It has been a while … July went by like a second. Honestly, it scares me how time flies by this year. I have to admit, I’m dying for autumn to come, with all the coziness, crisp but sunny days, hot chocolate, good clothing – I’m officially done with the heat here in Vienna! This year, I spend my very first summer in Vienna (as I’m usually either flying to another country for Clerkships or Holiday or just head home to Hamburg) and I already knew from a few years back, how crazy the heat here can be. I’m typing this post after a sleepless night, trying to sleep in my 31°C during night flat.

Besides the heat, I had a lot weeks of Clerkships going on this and the past month. I started in the end of June and attended a two-week Cardiovascular Clerkship at a hospital in Vienna, which was my very first clinical experience in the city I study. That Clerkship was kind of exhausting, but I learned a lot and had the opportunity to better my clinical skills, which is always a plus! Right after that, with one weekend between, I did my next clerkship, which was a four week long clinical experience in a GPs office. I was so excited to start that one, since I’ve never worked in a doctors office before and wasn’t familiar with anything coming with that. Last Friday was my last day at the GPs office and honestly, I think it was the best Clerkship I have done so far. I had my own little consultation room where I saw patients, did a medical history report, searched for a diagnosis and prescribed them medication (bear in mind tho that the doctor always double checked everything I did for a patient afterwards). It was incredibly full filling to work that independently and so different to the hospital work I experienced in the past. This week, I started with my Dermatology Clerkship at a Clinic in Vienna. My supervisor, who is the consultant of the Clinic (and a lost brother of Benedict Cumberbatch in my opinion), is so passionated about his subject, intelligent and very admirable. Again, I get to have my own consultation room, seeing patients and consult them, until the chief arrives and performs a breathtaking diagnosis game in seconds. Since I did Derma earlier in this year at Uni, I gained a great interest in that speciality and being able to clinically practice the things we have learned so far is everything.

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(follow me on instagram @rbottomlesslake, I’d love to follow you back!)

While the Clerkships consume a huge chunk of my day to day life at the moment, I’m quite busy with my Diploma thesis. After months of anxiety, everything is finally going in the right direction. As my thesis is a clinical prospective one, meaning that I have to actively collect new data from a specific group of patients I see every week, things can be unpredictable. But I try to maintain my positivity and work as hard as I can (and what else can you do really). My main goal is to collect all the data before January next year, as I’m leaving Vienna for good then. When I have the data, all is left is writing the thesis, which I can do from anywhere!

A slightly more stressful topic for me is definitely USMLE Step 1. As you have probably read here before, I totally went crazy and decided to study for the U.S board exam in order to get an elective placement in the U.S in 2020. I don’t necessarily want to be a doctor in the states, but I really want to experience the health care system over there, and the specific Uni I chose requires Step 1 to apply for an elective. The thing which stresses me out the most about this exam is that I don’t really have a structure or consistency. I know that this summer is my best shot of studying for it without interruption, as I heard that the 5th year at our Uni (starting from October on) can be quite packed with work. But somehow, I stress myself out so much about the exam that it prevents me to study for it in the first place. I have to get my things together and create a proper study plan as time runs faster and faster. On another note, I’ll take an IELTS exam at the 25th of August (for those of you who don’t know, IELTS is a english language test). I do need a higher score for all my applications regarding my elective (final year at medical school) abroad – so I’m quite nervous about that one!

So my summer seems to be quite an academical one. I really hope, I can throw in a vacation – my brother and I are thinking about a little trip to Scotland, visiting Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. He is busy with his Bachelor thesis and I think we can both use a time out of the Uni madness. Nothing is set in stone yet tho, but we’re at the planning process this very minute, so fingers crossed!

Besides all the Uni things I’ve been up to, in the beginning of July, one of my friends from home came to visit me in Vienna and we had a couple of amazing days together, me showing her the beauty of Vienna while we stuffed our faces with Eggs Benedict, Cake, Macarons, Kaiserschmarrn (viennese pancakes), lots of bread and Bao Burgers. I loved having her here and it made me miss Hamburg a lot.

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Also, before summer officially started, I ordered a little stack of books I want to read over summer, so I’m working my way through that at the moment! Being able to read more then medical text books is a great reward for me (not that I don’t read during Uni, but I do have a slightly guilty conscience every now and then while doing so). I also got really into self help books (a genre which I never had an interest in reading before, with a few exceptions) and non fiction books, as well as a hell lot of podcasts, all in the medical/doctor world.

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So yeah, that’s everything I’ve been up to in July I guess. I’ll head back home in 12 days, which I’m really looking forward to, as I’ve not been home since a couple of month. There will be one month and 10 days left of my summer break before Uni starts again and I’m planning to get the most out of it!

What have you guys been up to? Do you enjoy your summer break? Are you already sick of the heat? x

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