Wednesday, January 31, 2007

London... home sweet home

I have got a few days off now (including today) and I decided to treat myself. So today saw me tootling off on a train into London, which reminded me of the joys of being back in the South (reaching London within 60 minutes - joy) and then reminded me of the pain of being back in the South (old trains, annoying timetables, overcrowding - not so fun).

Anyway, I am a Londoner at heart. I was born in the City, grew up there, went to school there, went to uni there and did my house officer years there. Then I moved 'oop North' and came back down again because the fiance's job moved him to the South East (though not London, unfortunately). I feel as if I have an affinity wih the place and I had a really nice day.

In the morning I saw the parents, who haven't seen me for a while and we had a nice coffee and chat. Apart from a few awkward questions like "when are you going to get married?" and "when are you going to become a registrar?" and "why did you become a medic when you could be earning so much more in the financial services and with much less hassle?" it was a success. They don't seem too keen on the emergency medicine life of things but then again I think they've been watching too many shows like Panorama and Tonight with Trevor MacDonald with the lead story being 'A&E staff suffering more abuse and violence from patients', oh and knowing my mother, probably reading the Daily (Hate) Mail as well.

This afternoon I saw an old friend from uni. We were in the same year at med school together except he dropped out after the 4th year, graduated with an MSc in Medical Sciences and is now working as a medical journalist earning about 3 times what I do whilst I stuck the course. Sometimes life isn't fair. We met for lunch and then we did a bit of shopping, well I did some shopping and dragged him with me.

Some things I noticed on my excursion were the reason I love London so much:
The Tube
The ability to get on a bus when you want to
Krispy Kreme doughnuts available pretty much everywhere, rather than having to hunt for them
Oyster cards, thus proving the world can go paperless
Busy shopping streets like Oxford Street with the ability to nip down a side street and feel like you stepped into a parallel universe because it's so quiet
Shops, that are big, and actually stock stuff
Free museums, that you might actually want to go into
Decent buskers on Tube stations.

However, there is one thing I resent about London (well, Oxford Street in particular). I do not want to be accosted whilst I am shopping by a guy with a megaphone asking me what I have done to redeem my sins in the name of Jesus Christ and then stopping to ask me what job I did and telling me that I should let nature run it's course and people are meant to die when God wants them to. Meaning that the job I attempt to do everyday is pointless.

Now I know medicine has a low success rate ultimately (everyone is going to die) but I like to think that we (medics) try and stop people dying prematurely, or from curable conditions or in pain and discomfort. Or as a colleague I had who worked in cardiology once told me "my job is delaying the inevitable because in the end heart failure ultimately gets every one of us". She has a point.

Tomorrow sees me cleaning the house, what fun!


Merys said...

And still I won't be put off emergency medicine (I don't think...)

the little medic said...

I often wonder where i'd be had I done a different degree. Sometimes I even wish i had. But then I look around at most of my friends who graduated this year, none of them have found jobs that particularly interest them or pay well. And I do still want to be a doctor... goodness knows why!

Calavera said...

Hmm, I agree with the whole ode to London bit... but I dunno... taking the tube every day... the bad things definitely outweigh the good.

You're right about the job description too. Our job is the only job with a 100% fail rate cos everyone dies anyway in the end!!