I’m a fourth year medical student and it’s the summer. I wake up in my bed in the hospital accommodation and realise to my horror that I’ve slept through my alarm. I’m supposed to be in the paediatrics clinic at the other side of the hospital in exactly 18 minutes.
As a cohort, we’d already had the lecture from the lead consultant about “showing courtesy and respect” in the way we dress and the way we act around the children and parents, so I was sure she wouldn’t be impressed if I rucked up late to my very first clinic with her.
I leap out of bed, brush my teeth and get myself washed and dressed in about 10 minutes. I grab my stethoscope and white coat and run towards the Outpatients Department. When I need to, I can move at quite a rate of knots and I hurtle past the hospital canteen and charge into one of the swing doors that leads to my destination.
Only problem is, the swing door doesn’t swing. There’s something behind it; or, more accurately, there’s someone behind it. I look up to see the face of the consultant physician from my previous block squashed and framed perfectly in the window of the swing door.
“Ah, I’m so sorry!” I shout over my shoulder as I keep running and don’t look back…