I feel a bit like the guy that never returned that phone call after a good date – but here I am, writing to you all after vanishing for nearly five months. Last time we spoke I was in general practice, sipping tea in between patients and enjoying my evenings with friends. GP life certainly has a lot to offer in that regard.
For the last four months though I’ve been in Accident and Emergency. I’m emerging from this nocturnal world (as 80% of my shifts finish after midnight) more battle-hardened for the medical world. You need a dislocated thumb or shoulder yanked back into position – I’ll do that; can’t get any blood for a blood test from the arm – don’t worry I’ll stick s needle in their groin artery to get some; want me to take the next patient coming into the resuscitation room with an overdose – I’ll do that (with some help of course!).
Behind all the media public flogging of A&Es around the country there are teams of wonderfully dedicated, hard working nurses, porters, radiographers, health care assistants, families and doctors (the list is of course much bigger!) on the A&E ‘shop-floor’. I’m very proud to be part of it. And what an eye-opener it’s been! I’m been exposed to the very best in human kindness, love, respect and loyalty – but also the very worst. I don’t apologise for saying this but I definitely prefer to focus on the former – for my own sanity more than anything else.
My final bit of very good medical news is that I have been accepted onto the General Practice training programme. This means in three years I will (alarmingly) be a qualified GP. Now I don’t intend to become just a good GP – I’d love to continue writing more about my life as a doctor and health too….who knows’ maybe there’s even a book in me somewhere…