Saturday, 12 December 2009


I’m not working this weekend, so I’ve been sitting in front of the telly with a can of beer (Grolsch is my tipple of choice at the moment). Disappointingly, there was nothing I particularly wanted to see on the box. Come Dine With Me didn’t appeal, and I detest the X Factor so much that I won’t even entertain the thought of having it on anymore (I’m seriously considering buying Killing In The Name Of…).

I flicked over to the Beeb and was greeted by the Casualty* theme. I can’t listen to that tune without wanting to say “Will everyone stop getting shot!” in a really bad cockney accent. Previously, I’ve said that I was no fan of medical dramas, but for some reason, I thought I’d give it a go. Maybe it’s because I had nothing else in particular to do or maybe it’s because I’ve just spent a month watching seven series of Scrubs, but I thought I’d see if Casualty had gotten any better since the last time I watched it.

I think it’s definitely improved. I was quite pleasantly surprised and even moderately entertained. Back in the day, Casualty always used to be about “guess the really predictable disaster” and tonight’s episode remained true to those roots. I can sum it up with: Man unscrews valve on bus/fluid starts leaking out/bus goes downhill on narrow country lanes/brakes fail/bus goes over cliff. I don’t think it’ll Casualty will ever top the classic “man in field/combine harvester” episode, but it’s good to see the producers continue to try.

It’s also good to see that at long last, the show has recognised the existence of us junior doctors. I’ve spent more time than I care to remember trying to explain to people that “junior doctor” and “medical student” are not the same thing and then explaining what we junior docs actually do all day. I think having us on telly will help a little bit. The juniors on the show all seem to be very attractive, much more attractive than any group of doctors that I’ve ever worked with, if a bit on the numptyish side.

All in all though, it kept me amused for three quarters of an hour or so, so it’s definitely a big step up on the last time I watched a medical drama on the BBC. I might even consider watching it again next week.

If anyone reading this and thinks that I really need to get a life and get out more, I totally agree - Big Ed has just texted me and now I’m off out dancing…

* “Casualty” is such an old-fashioned name isn’t it? I’d be interested to know if it’s still called “Casualty” any hospital in the UK today (I must see photographic evidence) because, as far as I was aware, they all changed their name to “Accident & Emergency” years ago.

Interestingly, more changes are afoot because it’s been decided that “Accident & Emergency” is now not a good enough name, so it’s going to become the “Emergency Department.”

In about 10 years’ time they’ll probably all go back to being called “Casualty” again. Who makes these decisions? What a waste of time and effort.


Anonymous said...

ED is what the yanks call them isn't it? Maybe we'll soon have our own version of ER... =/


Anonymous said...

We still call ours casualty on the internal forms but alas - the sign on the front door says 'Accident and emergency' . Perhaps in some freakish doctor who style time travel thing we will go back?

NV said...

Our department hasn't quite made up it's mind yet:

The ECG machines print outs read "Casualty", the notes done in the department are referred to as "Cas Cards" (Casualty Cards) and our patient boards still use C/O (Casualty Officer - how old school is that?) for the team looking after them (ie who aren't medically/surgically accepted patients)

All other paperwork seems to read as A&E/Accident and Emergency (front sheets, trauma cards, outpatient appointment cards, OT/physio referral forms etc.)

And the business cards have "Emergency Department" written on them.

Though it wouldn't be the first time I've heard the statement "Which part of "Accident and Emergency" do you fall under? Oh yes, that would be the "and""...