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12 August 2009 @ 04:53 pm
#41  
Trust Me, I'm a Junior Doctor, Max Pemberton

Every time I hear or see that phrase, the song by the Blizzards immediately starts playing in my head. At least if I survive this year, I can assign it as my ringtone with an easy conscience.

This was an interesting and terrifying read, although not all of it can reasonably apply to my near future. Why, you ask? Because I can order an X-ray, I've done it before. I've taken bloods, cultures and inserted IV lines. I would have a reasonable idea how to do an ABG and insert a male catheter. None of which the intern in this story could apparently do prior to his first day on the job. Which makes me somewhat easier in my mind, I have to say.

Also, also, 2010 is the red-letter year for the implementation of the European Working Time Directive, which apparently makes it illegal for junior doctors to work more than 48 hours a week. IMAGINE A LIFE WHERE IN NINE MONTHS TIME I'M NOT FACING INTO WORKING 100 HOUR WEEKS. I don't know anyone who wouldn't take a significant pay cut in return for a decent sleeping schedule in intern year. I guess it's churlish to complain about such things when plenty of people would love to have any job, but if you have any spare goodwill - please pass it along to us, in hopes that we can live a somewhat normal life post-graduation. (And that the government doesn't just decide it's cheaper to pay the fine.) I also think all health services should be indudated with improvement emails that read simply: HIRE MORE DOCTORS AND NURSES. Honestly.

This really hit home:

I've trained for six years to do this job, and although it's become evident that a trained lab-rat could out-perform me on many tasks, I don't know what else I'd do. Which is even more depressing. Can I just turn my back on it all, even if I want to?

Everyone always says, "You can do anything with a medical degree!" This is categorically UNTRUE. What you can do with an MD is: a) be a doctor, b) be a doctor, or c) all of the above. It feels heavily like a trap the more I think about it. I want to stop thinking about it.

The parts with Ruby were obviously fabricated - not that medcest doesn't happen, it does, just not that dramatically.

Previously, on Book Glomp 2009:
He Knew He Was Right, Anthony Trollope |The Bostonians, Henry James | For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway | For Esme - with Love and Squalor, JD Salinger | The Outsider, Albert Camus | The Princess Diaries: Ten out of Ten, Meg Cabot | The Vicar of Bullhampton, Anthony Trollope | Molesworth, Geoffrey Willans | Villette, Charlotte Bronte | The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James | The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler | Cecilia, Fanny Burney | The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger | The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark | Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut | Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann | Siddhartha, Herman Hesse | The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga | The Duke and I, Julia Quinn | Brave New World, Aldous Huxley | North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell | Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee | Catch-22, Joseph Heller | Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey | Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck | The Demon's Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan | The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton | jPod, Douglas Coupland | 'Are these my basoomas I see before me?', Louise Rennison | Faro's Daughter, Georgette Heyer | Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman | The Accidental Sorcerer, K.E. Mills | Ethan of Athos, Lois McMaster Bujold | V., Thomas Pynchon | The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway | The Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb | Orlando, Virginia Woolf | The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath | Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk | Crush, Richard Siken
 
 
 
Ria: akio labyrinthkessie on August 12th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
IMAGINE A LIFE WHERE IN NINE MONTHS TIME I'M NOT FACING INTO WORKING 100 HOUR WEEKS. I don't know anyone who wouldn't take a significant pay cut in return for a decent sleeping schedule in intern year. I guess it's churlish to complain about such things when plenty of people would love to have any job, but if you have any spare goodwill - please pass it along to us, in hopes that we can live a somewhat normal life post-graduation.

I honestly don't know who would complain about junior doctors working a normal hour work week--surely more mistakes happen when an insane hour work week is combined with significantly less hours of sleep?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: maskscoradh on August 12th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
YOU ARE NOT WRONG. Have you ever stayed up for 24 hours plus? I went on nights with my mom in the labour ward till 3am. I got to go home afterwards, instead of being forced to stay and then work a full day till six afterwards. This is what I'll be expected to do as an intern. I was WOOZY with tiredness, walking into things and forgetting what I was going to say. I personally would love to put my life in the hands of someone like that. NOT.

... The HSE doesn't see it that way, though. *le shrug*
(Anonymous) on August 12th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had to stay awake for about 36 hours once. I think I started having delusions and apparently had a crazy/wild look in my eye when talking to people. I'd barely put my own life in my hands in that state, never mind someone else's.

...gotta love our country. :/
Riakessie on August 12th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
That was me, sorry.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: hot air of balloonsscoradh on August 12th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
There have been scientific evidence to prove that sleep deprivation induces pyschosis. Common sense would tell you that tired people are grumpy and less inclined to work to 100%. It baffles me that this has been accepted for so long, in a country where people approve of nurses petitioning for a cutdown from 38 to 36 hour weeks.