Monday, 30 July 2007

There’s people on the pitch…

That’s it.

It’s all over bar the shouting. Today, I finished my last ever on call shift as a doctor working in general medicine. Back when I was a PRHO (remember those?), just out of medical school, I the abiding memory of my first ever on call shift was an overriding sense of fear. I’ve learnt so much since then and so much has become routine for me, that I think I’ll remember my last ever shift for being… well, for being pretty unmemorable, really.

All in all, I’ve liked hospital medicine. I’ve liked the patients I’ve met, the stories I’ve heard and the staff I’ve worked with. I feel that every day I’m making a difference – whether it’s literally bringing someone back from the dead or just taking the time to sit and listen to one of the elderly patients for five minutes or so. I’ve loved my job.

But there’s so much about the job that I don’t like. There’s so much of the overwork, constant hassle from various sources (often simultaneously), there’s the general expectation that I can be in four places, doing six different things all at the same time. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve wanted to shout out “THERE’S ONLY ONE ME!” I hate the fact that everything seems to be my responsibility. If a patient has broken their spectacles or if the MRI scanner has broken down, somehow, I’m supposed to sort it out. I’ve hated my job.

The last patient I’ll ever admit to Gen. Med. was a woman in her mid-forties who was sent up from A&E because they suspected she had a deep-vein thrombosis (a blood clot in her big leg vein). It wasn’t an exciting, it wasn’t glamorous – but to be honest, hospital medicine rarely is. I walked off the unit with a wry smile and I think that that lady’s swollen leg will forever hold a certain place in my memories.

Anyway, I’m off to a new specialty in a new area. I’ve really been looking forward to the career change and I’m really excited by the new challenges that lie ahead.

I leave hospital medicine with countless memories. Some make me smile, some make me feel proud, some bring a lump to my throat and some make me shudder. I really believe that the grass is greener away from Gen. Med. and I’m going enjoy my new specialty more, but either way, I’ll keep you posted.

I’m a medical SHO no more. My new name badge will read:

Dr Michael Anderson
ST1 Anaesthetics

Bring it on.


Lala said...

Good luck!

Elaine said...

Best of luck in anaesthetics!

Jo said...

Good luck! Hope it goes really well - looking forward to hearing about it :-)

Future Doc said...

What drew you to Anaesthesia or is it part of the ACCS?

Congrats on escaping what sounds like a terrible rotation!

The Junior Doctor said...

Thank you all for your well-wishes - I'm really enjoying the new job so far!

Future doc - I'm not doing the ACCS rotation, I'm working in a pure anaesthetics rotation. I've already done medicine and A&E so there's no point in doing them again.

I started writing about what attracted me to anaesthetics but it got a bit long so I'll do a proper blog post about it next week.