The other day I ran into a question on the college’s practice question bank, which amused me:

A surgeon is planning to mobilise the stomach into the chest to form a conduit after an oesophagectomy for cancer. Which blood vessel will she preserve to maintain its vascularity?

It shouldn’t strike me as surprisingly progressive in this day in age where graduating med classes are 50-60% female, but the colleges have traditionally be quite, well, traditional, and so it was to my mind an amusing and positive indication of acceptance of the changing reality.

Living it up too-busy-to-cook style

Well it’s about time for my inconsistent weekly update from Dunedin.

Another week of heavy tutorial schedules, late nights in the libraries and computer labs, and only slowly improving test result scores.

The weather has remained largely gray, with a few days where you could get away with t-shirts, and then has descended into drizzling and raining for the last 3 days. Not that that really impacts all that much on study, except that occasionally it gives some pretty raindrops in puddles scenes to look out the window at.

With the low price of the (student oriented) restaurants here, Ellen and I have been eating out a lot. There are a lot of good places, and at $10-15 for a main it’s hardly worth going shopping, cooking, and then doing the dishes. We’ve already been to my favorite indian restaurant three times I think. Plus Cambodian, italian, and thai (and Japanese is on the cards). And the upside is that after dinner most of the places are just around the corner from the med school computer lab, so you can pop in a do a quick set of self test questions.

Depressing really when you look at it like that, and amusing when you find yourself in there at 8pm on a friday night, with the only other people there also being people doing the BSE course…

Hi, my name is Dave…

…and it’s been 4 days since my last drink.

Actually that’s something of a lie, as it’s been considerably longer than 3 days since I last drank, but the 3 days is notable because that’s how long I’ve been in Dunedin without making it to the pub (or any other kind of drinking establishment for that matter). Our lecture and tutorial schedule is pretty full on (something that Simone tried to explain to me before I left, but why would I listen to my wife??), and so I have seen the road between out motel and the Med school (which happens to take me past the front windows of the two best bookshops in town (which I also haven’t been into)) and the shops in a 1 block radius of the med school (mainly just the supermarket to be honest).

The town itself has actually changed relatively little in the 6 years I’ve been gone. Sure there are a few new buildings around, and some of the old shops have been replaced with new ones (which is sometimes an improvement, and sometimes not) but there are still students everywhere being pretty studentish (which is now actually quite funny to watch from the standpoint of my additional “maturity”), the weather is still quite pleasantly brisk during the day, but gets cold at night or if you sit still in a lecture theatre for too long (like, say, 5 hours of anatomy lectures back to back…). I also had forgotten about the singular joy of getting up in the middle of the night and having to sit down on a glacial toilet seat.

I have also made it back to my favorite Indian restaurant, which still does my favorite dish (and which I suspect will be seeing a fair bit more of me in the coming weeks – especially at $15 for a main with rice), and have scouted out a few of my other favorite haunts of old for visits at some point in the indeterminate future but for the time being I should continue rea-reading about the ankle joint, whose flexor retinaculum seems to be a personal favorite of the examination board. Really if I wasn’t having to work I could be having a lot of fun.


Right. I’m off to NZ (Dunedin to be exact) on sunday for the next 6 weeks.

I’m going in order to attend an exam preparation course for the Surgical Part 1 exam, and then to sit the exam in October.

It’s going to be great to be back in my old undergrad stomping ground, but I don’t think I’m going to get to have as much fun as I would really like to.

It will also be interesting how cold it really seems, after my 6 years in Queensland.

More news will follow once I get there.