A Message To F1s

Suddenly, somehow we’re in the run down to the end of the first placement.

And at this point you’ve come accustomed to how your ward works, you’ve formed bonds with your teams and maybe even your consultants. But now it’s time to move on and remember a whole new set of names and door codes.

If you’re anything like I was, you’ve gotten used to the 9 to 5 grind mixed in with the night shifts and weekends. You’re still feeling tired all the time, but at this point it’s your new norm. You just get on with it.

Now, you don’t shake as visibly when you get called to see a sick patient, and if all else fails, you know taking bloods and giving fluids is nearly always OK.

Maybe you’ve started to have some niggling doubts crop up in those moments when you feel out of your depth. Your thrust head first into a bad situation but somehow you always muddle through.

You can’t remember exactly when in the past few months, your ideas of what it would be like to be a doctor were shattered. The rose tinted glasses have come off and you can see it all a bit more clearly. The disorganisation, the strain, none of it pretty.

Sometimes, you wish someone would tell you how you’re doing. Just a little word of encouragement or recognition, just so you know you’re doing OK. It’s nice to hear. But it can be few and far between. You’ve made it to four months, so well done.

I wrote this for anyone who’s finding the reality a little difficult, who feels constantly overwhelmed by the expectations being placed on them. If you’ve enjoyed your first placement, that’s great. If you haven’t that’s OK too. Either way it’s coming to an end. If you’ve found the last few months difficult, it’s because being a doctor is difficult. Plain and simple.

But it’ll start to feel a little easier.

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