Mid-year brrreak

During the first week of my winter break, my bears and I went to see 1984 the play and walked Rhyno up Mt. Macedon. Unfortunately, Chlo couldn’t join us as she was soaking up the sun in Hawaii.

During the second week of my winter break, I promised that I would one day go snowboarding with my little brother, so we decided to go to New Zealand. It was my first time snowboarding, so although everything hurts, the feeling of mastery was worthwhile. We visited The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Cardrona and we lucked out at Cardrona when they were having their inaugural Students Ride Free Day promotion (free lift pass) – that one day in the year! In between the slopes, we had way too much Fergburger, visited Milford Sound on a cloudy day, and had a great time skydiving for the first time from 12,000ft.

Overall, I enjoyed the MD student conference (MDSC) this year – there was a nice balance between the themes and wellness activities.



Rhyno walks Mt. Macedon:







Halfway through MD2

So I’ve just finished my first semester of clinical teaching. On weekends back in Melbourne, completed the Mad Mex 1kg burrito challenge to claim our ‘authentic’ Mexican wrestling masks, and took our mum to visit the Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria for Mother’s Day.

Bears do brrritos:



Some of my favourites from Van Gogh:


Throughout the year, we have to complete 3 long case presentations (first 2 each worth 5% of our MD2 grade, last 1 worth 10%) and 6 mini-clinical encounters (altogether worth 10%). I’ve completed my first 2 mini-CEXs both scoring 4/5, and my first long case scoring 7/10. The marking for the mini-CEXs at Bendigo is quite varied. We have to find our own registrars and consultants to assess us and we can do as many as we want and select the highest scoring ones. Some doctors have little time, some doctors have a lot of time, some mark harshly, some mark easy. For my first mini-CEX, I had to take a history from an elderly deaf patient and present it to an ICU registrar – he was a fairly easy marker. For my second mini-CEX, I spent 4 days chasing after a busy rehabilitation registrar before he referred me to the neighbouring neurology rehabilitation registrar, who spent an hour and a half teaching me how I could improve on my history and examination – he was also a fairly easy marker. For my long case, I had to present to the Monash clinical dean – he asked questions in a very interesting manner and he was a fair marker.

Now it’s time to chill.


Balancing life

Easter break fast approaching – a much needed respite from the early hours surgical ward rounds. Over the past couple of months, I’ve found my feet have have learnt things differently – in a clinical context.

Weekends were a time for relaxation – caught up with friends and family, overindulged on food with my bears, hung out with my Monash peers, did a little bit of running – medicine was the last thing on my mind. Special mention to Chlo’s birthday.

Good news – looks like my bears and I have secured a December 2018 elective with the University Edinburgh. Also thinking about electives with the Oxford and Cambridge universities…

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Here’s our MD2/MBBS3B cohort photo:



Catch ups:


Hanging Rock:


Run for the kids:



Transitioning into MD2 Bendigo

Summer holidays are over and I’ve had the pleasure of catching up with friends – celebrated PanPan’s birthday, made watermelon cake, made ‘eating lots of food’ an understatement, and had a classic BBQ. For future summers to come, I endeavour to continue my learning on overseas placements. I’ve now moved into Bendigo with my housemates and it’s already been a week of orientation.

Rest of my holidays:


Feel free to check out my summer cover:


Rural clinical school; Bendigo clinical school:


Back for the first weekend – with my bears:




Just got back from Hawaii – overall a good experience, but lots of tourists and expensive.

In terms of the food, highlights include Maguro Brothers (sushi tacos), Marukame Udon (tempura udon), Kyoto Ramen Yottekko-Ya (pork ramen), Ahi Assassins (poké), and Tropical Tribe (açai bowls).

We hiked Diamond Head (moderate – $1 entry fee), Koko Crater (hard – someone needed a helicopter to get down; spent Christmas here) and Manoa falls (easy – muddy shoes).

We visited the Iolani Palace to learn about the Kings and Queens of Hawaii, and the downfall of the monarchy. We checked out the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus. We travelled to the Dole Plantation (which had the world’s largest maze) and the North Shore. We also visited Pearl Harbor and attended the USS Arizona Memorial, which was hauntingly beautiful. We flew to Big Island for a tour and saw an active volcano from a distance. And on New Years Eve, we went snorkelling at Hanauma Bay ($7.50 entrance fee) – there were so many beautiful fishes in the reef!

As with any trip, we also had some bad experiences – tipping awkwardness, the worst restaurant service in my life, and temporarily losing my wallet.



MD1 reflections

So the last of my results came out today. For FBS, I scored 93/120 for MST5, 95/120 for the MCQ/EMQ paper, 117/180 for the SAQ paper, with a 17/20 for CSL participation. For PCP, I scored 33/40 for the headache history (pass mark 26) , 37/40 for the cardiovascular examination (pass mark 27), 30/40 for the jaundice history (pass mark 23), 30/40 for the eye examination (pass mark 26), with a 14/20 for class participation. Overall:


Feedback on PCP1 Semester Two OSCEs 2016

FBS EOY Announcement

Looking back on the year, I’m lucky to have befriended some of the smartest and most hard-working peers I know ; it is truely an honour to call you guys and gal pals friends (thanks for carrying me in the past, present and future; you all know who you are). Although I found MD1 more difficult to do well in, it was nonetheless more enjoyable than undergrad thanks to said friends. Looking forward next year, I don’t feel quite ready for clinical placements – but really, who ever is?



Celebrated my birthday early this year. We went to Red Spice Road for the pork belly and Berlin Bar for the bunk(er) bed. I wanted to see what it would feel like being Santa Claus for a day – so as a gesture of gratitude for each friendship, I got everyone their own small gift and nice card. In the end, I was spoilt instead!

Couldn’t have asked for better company (missing PanPan):

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MD1 exams complete

So I just finished the last of my exams this week, and I’ve spent these past few days organising a small birthday dinner for myself – just to spoil some of my friends you know?

Overall, I found the OSCEs this semester quite fair. We had a headache and a jaundice history, and a cardiovascular and a visual examination. For the jaundice history, I left my stickers in the previous station and lost some time running back for them. As for the visual examination, it was so out of left field – no one (but my tutor) really expected it.

The SAQ paper this year was atrocious. They examined us on such low-yield concepts. On the other hand, the MCQ/EMQ paper was more reflective of the content we learnt this year. Now the exercise, locomotor, reproduction and intersystem blocks MST#5 was an interesting one. I felt so confident upon finishing the test, but then the more you talk to your peers about the questions, the more answers you realised you got wrong.

SWOTFAT this year was probably the most enjoyable one I’ve had. I started a new TV show called We Bare Bears, and so much camembear and bluebearries were consumed – not to mention all the other food we got delivered!

The adventures of Grizz, PanPan and Ice Bear:


Now it’s time to catch up on some friends, reading, movies and TV shows.