By KS ,08/10/09
Those are the words I told myself after today.
Today we finally had our research presentation in JBLT, the night before that Nikram and I were busy preparing the presentation slides, because as I said from my previous post only 2 of us are doing it, therefore our job was quite last minute. Our research poster was the last one to put up on the notice board. We spent whole night yesterday preparing the slide and finding more info about other similar studies from others country. Only 2 of us were still in uni after 12 midnight, of course we did take a break by playing pool and football in the student lounge. We stayed until 3:00 this morning, after that we went to the ONLY 24 hours A&W to grab a quick bite before heading home.
Today I've done something that I never do before in clinical school, SKIP CLINIC SESSION, because usually the clinic session starts at 9am and usually ended up late, sometimes until 1:30pm, worst still the clinic session was in Port Dickson. The research presentation starting at 12:30am and I havent really practice and time myself during the presentation, sigh...I dint go for the clinic *guilty*. This morning I managed to practice 2 times and Nikram be my time keeper and I managed to finish it in 5 min 30 s because the duration for presentation for each group was only 6 min. Anyway, we only finished everything at 12:30pm.
Our group was the last to present, therefore I must sit there and wait until the last presentation. There were 7 other groups presenting, I was impressed by their research project and their presentation, I think all of the research were excellent, which makes me more nervous while sitting there. My palms were cold and sweaty and I can feel my own heartbeats. I kept changing my sitting position because I was nervous. Without me realized, it was my turn to present........I was thinking within my mind " Damn, why now..................can I pause everything for a moment, I need a few deep breaths", every steps I took seems so heavy, slowly I walked up the stage. The spot light was shinning on me, can hardly see anyone down the stage.Initially I get abit nervous and cant say out the words properly, lucikly after 2 or 3 slides, I become more calm and relax and was like living in my own world, speaking out everything from my heart, presenting something that I have worked hard for the past 1 year.
I will remember the following sentence forever.
" It is important to detect psychiatric morbidities early in HIV positive patients and refer them to appropriate specialty because nowadays HIV is not longer a life-threatening disease but a chronic disease because of the effective treatment, more so with newly developed HIV vaccine, we should try our best to improve the quality of life of those patients."
I said this at the end of my presentation.
I dint really know how well was my presentation but while I was returning to my seat many people congratulate me because It was a good presentation :) I hope so, and a lot of people think that our research will get first place.
Unfortunately, we only got 4th place out of the 8 groups. Although our research got into the top 5, Nikram looks a bit dissapointed. Well, I think the most important is not because winning or not, but the experience we gained during the process of doing the research, the experience of presenting our research paper in front of so many people. That's the most important lesson I can get from research.
I would like to congratulate my colleagues who won the first place in the competition because they really did very well and presented really well. I think they deserved it.
Anyway, thanks Nikram. We have a good teamwork and we worked hard together. I would also like to thank our research tutor Dr. Shane who guided us and helped us from the start of the research. And of course, the most important person to thank in this research is the patient. I understand that it is not easy for them to open up to talk about HIV and depression with us. I am sure that some of their friends and family dont even know they have HIV because they dont want to talk about it. It is not easy for them to talk about HIV, to talk about depression, to talk about their past suicidal attempt. Many tissue papers wasted in the interview room and many drops of tear dropped on the floor in the clinic. They still co-operate with us in order for us to carry out our research, I cant recalled any of them rejected our permission to interview them. Thank you to all the patients. We will try our best to publish it in journal and makes people aware of this problem, in order to help all of you and those patients in the future. :)