Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Music to do Exams By

I had my 4 hour surgery written paper today and had medicine Monday. If you’re interested in what’s hot in Irish medicine as expressed in the MB, BAO exams – latent TB.  Herceptin (draw a diagram question! Hello? I can’t draw a diagram of this – a monoclonal antibody against a breast cancer growth factor! My version looked a chocolate biscuit that was dipped in a mug of tea for too long and a whole lump just plonks off.) Treatment of MRSA positive patients. Prostate cancer screening and how’s it’s a bad thing. Resus of a young man in a road traffic accident.
Tomorrow is psychiatry, where we’re expected to know Freud along side the latest neuroleptic drugs. The joys.
So to get through this purgatory (hell starts in 2 weeks with clinical exams), I complied a play list. This was not procrastination but active stress management.
I’m so laid back I’m horizontal, as I’ve been told many times. This play list helped….

  1. Breathe (2am) - Anna Nalick. A necessary part of any pre-finals night. 2am comes and the hyperventilation sets in. Listen to Anna. Breathe.

  2. Porushkya-Paranya - Bering Strait. They’re a Russian bluegrass band and when I make vaguely phonetic sounding noises as “singing along” I convince myself of my superior linguistic talents. Look at me, I’m singing in Russian gibberish.

  3. To Live is to Fly - Cowboy Junkies. Townes van Zandt wrote it, so it’s damn good – “shake the dust off your wings and the sleep out of your eyes”. Useful advice I should have followed and got out of bed at 645 this morning instead of falling back to sleep to 820 and barely getting breakfast and to the exam on time, without looking over all of orthopaedics, which I don’t know, and thankfully didn’t appear on the paper.

  4. The Gambler – Kenny Rodgers. Who doesn’t gamble on what’s coming up?

  5. Mercy of the Fallen - Dar Williams. Need I say more?

  6. Hard Times -  Eastmountainsouth. The self pity.

  7. Death Came A Knockin’ – The Duhks. The nights are the worst.

  8. Trouble and Care – John Gorka. Oh woe is me.

  9. Helpless – k.d. lang. A poor student helpless in the face of the every changing face of medicine. Oh it’s exciting alright. But not before exams. It’s hard enough learning the old stuff let alone the new stuff. By old stuff I mean Hippocrates and co as well as dudes like Colles, Burkitt and Stokes, who apparently did things to actually deserve getting wards in Dublin hospitals named after them.

  10. Not the Tremblin’ Kind – Laura Cantrell. Laura makes me snap out of above misery and say to the professors of medicine/surgery “You can play master but I won't wear your chains”

  11. Old Fashioned Morphine – Jolie Holland. Better than a lot of the new stuff, I say.

  12. Radiation Vibe – Hem. Apparently radiation is important in medicine. Or so I’m told. X rays and radiotherapy.

  13. Nightingale / Alexander Leaving – Leonard Cohen A girl needs some Leonard love at times like this.

  14. San Andreas Fault – Natalie Merchant. Yes, it’s all bloody Andreas’fault.

  15. Tired of my Tears – Susan Tedeschi. Well I haven’t cried, yet. But I’ve all of Freud to study yet tonight, so it remains a possibility. Seriously, who cares if toddlers are anal?

  16. Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams – I’m dreaming of going somewhere – heaven = “Cotton fields stretching miles and miles, Hank's voice on the radio, telephone poles trees and wires fly on by”

  17. Theme from Emma – Rachel Portman – ‘cos it reminds of Mr Knightley. A girl needs some natural endorphins now and again.

  18. Share the Darkness – Saw Doctors – my all-time fav SawDocs’ song – “When the world belongs to distant dogs / And the air is dark and still / And drunken conversations beneath the window sill / And there’s someone singing Elvis songs as they make their way back home and all your fears and worries attack when you’re alone”

  19. Willie Stewart/Molly Rankin – Eddi Reader - from her album “Sings the songs of Robert Burns”. Really really good stuff.

  20. By the Mark – Gillian Welch. The only Easter spiritual preparation I’m doing – “On Calvary mountain where they made him suffer so all my sin was paid for a long, long time ago”

  21. Dance with me now Darling – Hem – Life will get better, I know.

  22. Gotta Have You – The Weepies – New album. Very enjoyable – “No amount of coffee, no amount of crying, no amount of whiskey, no amount of wine, no no no no no nothing else will do I’ve gotta have you”. In this “you” stands for a medical degree.

  23. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight – Richard & Linda Thompson The only lights I’m seeing tonight is my bright study lamp.

  24. Sing Me Spanish Techno – The New Pornographers. Sing me anything that doesn’t involve the words diagnosis, management, differential, multidisciplinary/multimodality, evidence base level 1 or monoclonal antibody against TNFalpha.

  25. The Bag of Cats – Sharon Shannon. Description of my rather cantankerous personality at the moment.

Post Exam Wish list part of playlist. (Working on the carrot/stick principle here)
Sleeping is THE Only Love – the Silver Jews. How right they are.
Lived in Bars – Cat Power. If only. Given I don’t really drink it’s probably not the best plan, but still.
Streets of Baltimore – The Little Willies. A New York country band with Norah Jones as female vocalist, named after Willie Nelson. Song by Gram Parsons
Sailing to Philadelphia and Prairie Wedding – Mark Knopfler. Beautiful
Marching Bands of Manhattan – Death Cab for Cutie. Cannot wait for my NYC holiday.

Now that this exercise in narcisstic playlist making and sharing, pathognomic of my generation is over, I will go study. And listen to the playlist.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your comments on your playlist.

the very best of luck in the rest of your exams.

April 12, 2006 9:58 p.m.  
Blogger Fergal Crehan said...

Though Gram did a great version of "Streets Of Baltimore", where I heard it first, it was written by the great Harlan Howard, who also wrote the superlative "I Fall To Pieces" amongst many others. Apparently a showband had a big Irish hit with "Streets of Baltimore" in the late 60's, or so my Dad told me in one of those generation-transcending conversations in which the twentysomething country fan so often finds himself. good luck with the exams

April 21, 2006 5:40 p.m.  

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