When I watch hospital dramas on television with students who aren’t studying medicine they interrupt with medical queries or I interject my critic(for example, “That’s not how you do CPR!”). We spend our time at university convincing non-medics that hospital life doesn’t resemble an episode of ER. We don’t expect an outbreak of a mysterious illness or helicopters to crash on the hospital roof.
Although these incidents are products of a writer’s imagination we shouldn’t be complacent about other disasters, like a train or aeroplane crash, which can happen nearby without warning. When a major incident occurs everyone in a hospital, including junior doctors, will have a part to play. Read this month’s Education article on what will be expected of you now, before it’s too late (doi:10.1136/sbmj.c3171).
Some disasters can put a strain on nationwide resources, and medical students might be called on to help. For example, during the