Saturday, September 03, 2005

Friday night is "why oh why did I choose this job?" night

I sat for most of last night wondering why I left the stressful yet fast-moving rotation of A&E behind to enter the equally stressful yet slower pace, and lower pay, of MAAU. To me it seems it is the same job, except we retain patients for longer than 4 hours and therefore tend to get them whinge at us more frequently, and we also have fewer doctors on duty at the same time. Usually we have a Registrar on-call (but never actually to hand), an SHO and a couple of PRHOs which sounds adequate to cover a 4 bay ward with 6 beds in each ward. We also have an excellent team of nurses and health care assistants who are more than happy to help an ailing, zombie-like doctor in their quest to cure a patient before the consultant does ward-rounds the next day but I always seem to spend my entire life running around like a headless chicken from one bay to another whilst having the PRHOs follow me round as if they were still med students. This is probably a little harsh as they were med students until a couple of months ago and are therefore well trained in the art of traipsing behind an ego-centric consultant and his/her medical team (i.e. registrars, SHOs & PRHOs) to look at all the 'interesting' cases/patients. What they have to realise now is that they are no longer required to follow the more senior doctor around and at 3am I would much prefer it if they left me in peace. Oh for the day when I can become a registrar and go on-call whilst refusing to answer my bleeper to anything less than a cardiac arrest!

So instead, dear reader, of giving you a breakdown of some of my patients last night (mainly drunks who needed sobering up, assault victims due to alcohol, a couple of overdoses and some nasty broken bones requiring surgery) I thought I'd give you an insight into my consultant here on MAAU and the guy who is my mentor.

My consultant seems as if he has been a doctor since Hippocrates wrote the oath in pen and ink yet has in fact probably only been qualified for less than 30 years and is a whizz on all things weird and wonderful after doing a short time in infectious diseases before deciding to embark on the general public's misfortunes in MAAU. He is a rather short, stout man who appears to think that women should be left to running a nurse's station rather than filling in ward-rounds. Nonetheless, he is a fairly decent bloke who is always willing to help you out if you encounter a problem (so long as it is between the hours of 9am and 5pm) and is wonderful to bitch about the PRHOs/med students to in the staff room. I am very lucky in this rotation to have such an approachable consultant, especially as it will be him who will be writing my reference for a registrar post in Febraury.

That's right fellow-bloggers, yours truly has decided to try and become an emergency medicine registrar after I do my (hopefully) final SHO rotation from February - August 2006. If not, well then I guess I could always try and become one of the few doctors who is still an SHO in their 30s but there's a long way to go until I hit the big three zero.

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