So it would seem I’ve been working for 6 months. I finished my last day on general medicine today, and start on general surgery tomorrow! I say start- I’m in for one day then I’m off for night shifts this weekend. But you get the idea.
Looking back over the past six months, I have mixed feelings about how my year has gone. I have enjoyed myself, but a hefty proportion of that has been due to the people I’ve been working with rather than the work itself. I got some really nice feedback from some members of the staff on different wards I’ve been on, and in that sense it’ll be sad not to work with those people again. Out-of-hours provides opportunities for learning, and for doing actual doctoring, but one of the big disadvantages of medicine is that a large proportion of my daytime work has been paperwork and relatively menial tasks, where the only brainpower required is the ability to be organised and efficient. And you’re pretty detached from patient encounters, which is a darn shame. So I feel like compared to my colleagues in England I’ve had much less educational value out of my time in a hospital so far.
Surgery, I’m told, is different. When I started medicine, the idea of not being on the ward rounds was extremely foreign to me, and thankfully on surgery it’s a lot more like the traditional model I was expecting to be doing. So, I’ll be on the ward rounds and actually saying things to patients other than “do you mind if I take a blood sample?”
I’m exaggerating a little of course- I have learned things over the past six months, and through being on-call have had exposure to plenty of common and important health problems that I’ll need to be comfortable with dealing with in the future. But I am looking forward to being more hands-on while on surgery, and actually getting to know the patients on my ward. In short, I’m looking forward to doing the job of a doctor!
Hopefully it won’t all go tits up.