I Came, I Saw, I Rectalled

21st Feb – 3rd March

“Wait, so… milk is just cow boob sweat?” the words came out before I’d given them permission, much to the amusement of my friends. This was the only piece of information I had retained from two consecutive hours of lectures on mammary glands. Although, in my defense, this is essentially true – the mammary gland is a modified apocrine sweat gland. Ergo milk is modified apocrine sweat. Gross, I know.

I had two hours to consolidate and memorise these lectures before I jumped on a minibus and took a trip to the school’s dairy farm for my afternoon practical, entitled on my timetable as: Rectal Examination of Cattle

My favourite. Continue reading!


Like A Rat Out Of Hell

Monday morning. And another MCQ.

I sat with my exam paper, trying to visualise the number of lobes in the equine liver. This was something I had chosen not to learn, and so at least three of the five possible responses looked correct to me. I then spent some time debating about muscarinic and nicotinic receptors, and then double-checked my other 18 responses. Everything looked reasonable.

Eventually time was up, and I turned my paper in. These assessments are immediately followed by a feedback session that provides the answers, so that you know where abouts your mark will fall. Here we go. Continue reading!

Dog Tired

It was like being caught in a time loop – a striking déjà vu for nine days straight. Breakfast… study… lunch… study… tea… study… sleep… repeat.


I seemed to relive countless episodes of the same exact moment: looking across the table at Rowena and saying, “Better get back to it, then.”, before trudging back to my little room.

Studying isn’t exactly a new experience for me, hell I’ve just finished A Levels. But this time was different, simply because the volume of information was, by every definition, insurmountable. Continue reading

Diagnosis: Asparagus

The ultrasound image was… vague. As our tutor moved the transducer back and forth, it shifted into odd shapes, varying shades of grey hinting at what might lie underneath.

I tried to build a three-dimensional image from the series of cross-sections that moved past. I could see something loosely star shaped growing and then shrinking again as the transducer passed over it, with a great anechoic black hole in the centre. But it had more points than a star, and they were rounded… lobulated. You know, it looked a bit like… Continue reading

Back Into the Swing

It’s been a week since I arrived back in Scotland, and it’s fair to say that we hit the ground running. Tuesday saw us back in anatomy lectures, this time breaking down the hindlimb into its bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves.

Honestly, the musculature of the hindlimb is named in ways that make no sense to me at all. Half the art of remembering medical terms is understanding where they come from. For example, the muscle ‘sternohyoideus’ runs from the sternum to the basihyoid bone. Sternum + hyoid = sternohyoideus. Elegantly simple.

But then we get to the hindlimb, and we meet muscles like ‘sartorius’. Continue reading!