Admissions Blog

As part of our "4 Years at Duke-NUS" series, we have invited a group of students to share their respective reflections as the curriculum year comes to an end and they move into the next academic year. Our second contributor is Shu Fang, a current MS2 student. Read on as she shares her experience in the second year of medical school.

Today (15-Aug-2014) marks the end of our 48-week clerkship in Year 2.

We will run our last final lap next week before we can duly call ourselves MS3 instead of “old MS2” - that is, after finishing CPX2, CBSE and CCSE!

However, let’s not think about those upcoming exams for now. It is a good opportunity for me to take a hiatus and reflect back on the ups and downs for the past 1 year and for you to have a glimpse of the life of a 2nd year medical student in Duke-NUS!

Although I am not quite sure why I was invited to write this blog, I hope I can accurately reflect what my classmates and I had gone through for the last 1 year.

I will like to first use this space, on behalf of my class, to show appreciation for the very precious learning moments made possible by our patients, our nurses, our HOs + MOs + Registrars, our faculty and all our clerkship administrators.  

Thank you for being so generous. Thank you for taking time out to impart your experiences. Thank you for making an extra effort to grab the teaching moment for us in the wards. Thank you for playing a part in enriching our medical education journey.

The Ups

1.      This is the time where we feel whatever “previous life” we have given up to be here is totally worth it!

2.      We get hands on experience. We have to plan an approach, take a focused history, do a focused physical exam, come up with a list of differential diagnoses, strategize our investigations and design a management plan to bring our assigned patient on the road to recovery. Although it will not be as good as what our team does, we are reaching there!

3.      We get to see, hear and elicit clinical signs we read about in Year 1. These experiences stick in our memories longer than us cramping the textbooks.

4.      We get to see our patients recover. Words cannot describe how fulfilling those moments are, especially for those whom we had actively participated in their care.

5.      We learn to speak and present cases like real doctors. Not an easy process but with more practice it gets better and smoother. Like a pro!

6.      We get our hands dirty. IV cannulation, Venepuncture, Blood culture, IDC insertion, ETT intubation, Bag and mask, PAP smear, 12-Lead ECG … and a whole lot more.

7.      We get to pre-round patients in the morning and document in the case notes. Although it has been a year, it is still exciting (at least for me) to do a SOAP note. It feels like I have just painted a human portrait of my patient. And hey, you know what, the ward team does read it.

The Downs

1.      Once in a while, the ward workload becomes too high for our ward team to take note of us. Call it attention deficit disorder - sometimes it feels like “nobody cares about us”, particularly so when we have to chase down our team’s location during the morning ward rounds. Things move fast in the ward, very.

2.      We never really get to see the sun. We wake up before the birds start chirping and leave the house while the streetlights are still on. We return home with the streetlights still on and the birds no longer chirping because they are already asleep.

3.      Sometimes, we walk and we eat our lunch. Sometimes, we have to eat our 3 meals in 1 setting. Can you imagine if what will happen if we become a HO in 2 years’ time? Oh well, we signed up for this, didn’t we?


MSK Clerkship: Plastering Class

That’s all folks! Hope you have enjoyed reading :)

By Ho Shu Fang, Class of 2016