Are patients your first concern?
Being a medical student is great. No sooner than you have tried one specialty, you are off to sample the next; I cannot imagine more varied and interesting career prospects. And yet, I am often advised to ‘get out while you can.’ Something strange is happening after qualification to produce an alarming number of cynical and disillusioned doctors.
A consultant listed the difficulties for me—hectic takes, long ward rounds, outpatient clinics bursting at the seams, administration and audit, journals piling up, urgent phone calls, revalidation and continuing medical education, meeting after meeting. And yet, we know that women wait at home, desperately anxious about the lump their general practitioner has found, as 14 days and nights crawl by before their hospital appointment. An elderly woman bound to her bed hears she must wait six months for her hip replacement, and hospital wards are full of patients awaiting decisions about their