Thursday, 16 October 2008


I would like to say a huge thank-you for your messages of congratulations on my last post.

You know, I went into the city centre on Sunday afternoon. I took the bus in and I walked around for a bit. Not for any reason in particular, just because I could. I really feel that there has been a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I was actually laughing to myself when I was walking through the park. I was laughing because I didn’t have to go home and try and remember the breakdown products of sevoflurane or the pKa of fentanyl or anything like that. What felt even better was that I didn’t feel guilty about not studying and didn’t get stressed that this was time I was wasting in which I could be learning those crucial few factoids that could make the difference between a pass and a fail. It felt great.

This is my 200th post on this blog.

I started this blog back in spring 2007 (halcyon days according to the politicians and financial experts, though I think several thousand junior doctors would disagree) and I honestly didn’t think that I’d still be doing it a year and a half later. There was no political motivation behind the blog (there still isn’t), I just started to write because I enjoyed writing for writing’s sake. I still do enjoy writing, and I guess, I’ll keep blogging as long as it’s fun for me.

Back when I started, I wasn’t to know just how spectacularly I’d be dicked around by MMC and I was probably pretty keen to continue working in general medicine, but had started to think seriously about switching to anaesthetics. My life has changed a hell of a lot since I started this blog (generally for the better, I think) and I think I’ve changed rather a lot as a person too.

I’m clearer about what I want from my career and my life in general. I’m less willing to be pushed around by others who want to make their own lives easier. I’m also much less scared now. I’m less scared by what I could potentially be asked to deal with. When I first qualified as a doctor, we used to joke about the tag line from the old Dr Pepper ads – “What’s the worst that could happen?” because we were really scared about being harming our patients or being powerless to prevent their demise.

Now, after being an anaesthetic SHO for a while now, I’ve seen “the worst thing that could happen” again and again and again. I’ve seen people vomit blood and keep on vomiting until they die because they literally have no blood left. I’ve a little girl rushed into A&E but amid the drama and the frantic activity, there is one unchanging fact – the baby is dead. I’ve seen people with the most horrific injuries from accidents (including a partial decapitation) and every time something this awful happens, I’ve seen the hospital staff try to move heaven and earth to help these people who come to our door. The point is, I’ve had to cope with it and I have to try and be of some use to these people. Every time the on call pager goes off and I get the “Could you please attend A&E resus immediately” I know that “the worst that could happen” is probably already happening and they’re calling me to help them out.

This post seems to have turned a bit more introspective than I intended it to. Being a doctor isn’t all doom and gloom and blood and guts – it’s actually quite fun. I enjoy chatting to the patients and the staff every day. I enjoy feeling that there are a number of people walking around the UK right now whose life is better in some way because of something I’ve done. I enjoy feeling that every day I make a difference sometimes in a big way, but more often in a small way.

I may bitch and moan about things that frustrate me about my work but, at the end of the day, I love my job and, all-in-all, I wouldn’t really want to do anything else.

Anyway, enough blabbing, I’m off to bed – I’m on call again tomorrow.


steph said...

Your landmark 200th post prompted me to check-out my own blog for the number of posts written since starting blogging in June '07. I find I've done 170 so now I'm really impressed that you've managed 200 AND moved house, AND changed job, AND passed exams AND saved lives during this time!

Not bad! :-)

But the best bit of all is hearing you say you're still having fun!

cheryl said...

1. congratulations
2. wonderful blog -found it while researching the life of a medical registrar !?
3. hello and welcome to my bookmark-list!

Emergency med SHO

Elaine said...

I have lurked for quite some time at your blog and commented occasionally.

So pleased that you are enjoying life just now.

Keep it up!

anna gregory said...

Lovely Post!

Kayleigh said...

I'm only 16 years old and taking my A-Levels, but seriously considering a career in medicine. I do read a few blogs but your's is by far the most captivating. Your blog is inspirational. I keep checking back as often as I can because you write in such an interesting way on a subject I'm so very keen to know more about, I'm hooked!

Thankyou and keep it up!

Dragonfly said...

Awesome. So good to hear the positive (that you would not do anything else) when so much of what is written about medicine tends to be negative.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late but congrats on passing your exam. I can only imagine the relief you're feeling. Are you still going to leave New Town for another hospital?