Life and loathes of a new doctor: The riddle fiddle
- By: Stephen Goldie
If Paula Radcliffe thought she was exhausted after the Olympic marathon in Greece this summer then she should try working a week as a receiving house officer. It seems that the recently introduced European Working Time Directive has lost something in the translation. Apparently the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker can only work 48 hours per week, but doctors being superhuman can do 56 hours. Despite this new law, my newly qualified colleagues and I are injecting people with morphine at 6 am after working 70-80 hours that week--legally. Paula finished the race in dehydrated delirium--much like I feel at the end of night shift. My new definition of a patient with renal failure is someone who pees less than their preregistration house officer.
According to the unfortunately named “Riddle formula” we still only work an average of 55.99 999 hours per week (average includes a projected 40