Asma Akhtar

Year 5 in 2013

The fifth year at Keele is the apprenticeship year. This involves 15 weeks in General Practice and 15 weeks in the hospital shadowing the junior doctors and getting to grips with what will be expected of us once we have graduated. We complete three five-week rotations in medicine, surgery, and critical care. During these rotations we really do become part of the team and participate in the ward rounds, for example writing in the notes, checking the observations, looking up blood results and imaging. We also help complete the jobs (cannulating, catheterising, and venepuncture) and clerk patients when necessary. We get introduced to Accident and Emergency and Intensive Therapy Unit. As well as assessing critically ill patients, we take part in emergency medicine which is both exciting and stimulating. I feel that after having completed the fifth year, the transition from medical school to becoming a junior doctor will be much smoother.

During this year we are encouraged to get out of hours experience. This has been one of the best learning opportunities. Fewer people are around, thus you become an even more valuable member of the team but also gain a lot of hands on experience.

The apprenticeship year really helps you to appreciate what is expected of a junior doctor and my time in the fifth year has helped me to develop my clinical and communication skills vastly. The general practice component helps to further improve communication skills and with 15 weeks in both environments, I will be able to make comparisons between services and clinical care in primary and secondary care.

In April I am looking to forward to my elective in South East Asia.