Monday, April 16, 2018

I keep ticking on

And now it's been four years since I last published anything on here. I was drawn to writing again because I was telling a much younger colleague (who is having some career dilemmas) about this blog and how writing it helped me articulate my frustrations and feelings. I also mentioned how much I benefited from the collective wisdom of those who have visited this site and commented or reached out in another way over the years.

Well a lot has changed since this blog started. I'm still a doctor - of sorts. I haven't practiced clinically for coming up to two years now.

I have found paths and directions that fit me better. I did manage to finish up all of my postgraduate training (in a hospital based area of medicine) whilst also pursuing my other healthcare interests.

How did I do it? Well the world is short of doctors and I managed to 'sell' to my employers that they could employ me less-than-full time. That way I was able to do some 'other bits and pieces.' There is no rule-book for this stuff and the mentoring is non-existent. I would have loved some advice along the way. It's good I had this blog 😉 (emojis didn't exist in 2005! isn't that crazy?)

I have also managed to spend a considerable amount of time abroad working in a totally different healthcare system. The grass is never greener; but having some time to walk on different lawns is definitely good for the soul.

And wow I'm approaching middle age now! I have kids! I still don't know quite what I want to 'do' with my life or career. But every step has been an adventure and I'm glad I had the courage to take those steps. When I talk to people about my career and experiences I do laugh inside - I'm able to tell the story like every step was planned and it comes across that way. How little they know!

As always I would say don't give up on yourself. I still have those dark times, those times when I feel I have nothing going for me, the times where the imposter syndrome is absolutely crippling. I suspect many of you do too. You will get through it.

I still read every comment that is posted on this blog (including the spam!) and although I don't reply any more I'm walking there right beside you. Stay strong and look after yourselves.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Definitely still here

It is almost a decade since I started writing this blog.

Wowsers. Time disappears bloody quickly.

"Writing" is a bit of a subjective term because I neither write particularly well (stream of consciousness borne out of frustration/emotion) nor have I written on this blog regularly.

It still touches me deeply when I read the comments section of the "I hate medicine" entry (well maybe not the spam posts) as so much of what people are going through is exactly what I've been through/still go through.

I don't think I have much advice for you all and, more importantly, I'm not qualified to give you any decent advice. I've pretty much felt my way through my professional life to date, muddling through (not so) elegantly and so would NEVER want to suggest what the best/worst decisions might be for you. Those are decisions we must ultimately make ourselves. Beth Orton is pretty spot on when she sings:

"this beautiful life that we build by hand
From scraps and shards and broken strands."

Medicine is such a weird career - capable of filling you with unimaginable joy and happiness whilst simultaneously bringing you to your knees at the foot of an unsurmountable mountain of misery. Is there a way to ride this stupid emotional roller-coaster without feeling like you want to hurl?  I still don't know.

What I do know is that we are never alone. Regardless of how miserable the world might appear, there are millions of wonderful people out there. Reach out to them and suddenly everything seems  a little bit brighter. "No man is an island" wrote Donne. Clever man.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And you still have those sorts of days...

Today has been ok. If anything a little mundane and slow.

I've got lots of stuff to do that is work-related but not directly related to my hospital work. It's all pretty exciting stuff that I am interested in and keen to make a success of...


I do feel a little lost. Nothing in particular has triggered this. It was a gorgeous day outside and my current colleagues are OK.

I guess that although life isn't anything like it was 7 years ago, these periods of feeling adrift do seem to come and go and I suppose today I'm adrift again.

What to do?

Hang on. Go with the flow.

[I am listening to The Shins]

Monday, October 01, 2012

I'm still here...

It's been years since I posted on this blog. I wanted to write a quick message to say that I still follow every comment that's posted on here. (Also updated the template a little! Bit mid noughties style wise...)

It's tragically comic that if "I hate medicine" is put into google, the number one hit is this blog and the post which that link takes you to ( still gets hits and comments pretty regularly. It's taken a bit of a life of it's own beyond the blog itself which is perhaps one reason that I never deleted this blog. Some of the comments are pretty depressing, some are rallying and supportive and the rest are spam (!)

I haven't decided if I'm going to keep writing - a lot has changed for me in the intervening years and old favourites like the venial sinner and vegas have changed too. If there's any demand to find out what I did or have been up to (how arrogant am I!) I could be tempted...

Anyway the main point of this is to simply say I empathise with almost every comment on the "I Hate Medicine" post and I hope that everyone who writes on their at a dark time or a time of confusion finds some solace in the fact that a lot of doctors/medical students go through similar dark times. You are not alone and please remember that life generally deals out bursts of shittiness but in the end it all works out for the best.

Much Love, D&C

[I am listening to First Aid Kit]

Friday, January 11, 2008

see you all very soon


*another sigh*

but not sighs of desperation, misery and discontent

no, these are sighs of relaxation, happiness and inner peace (albeit through the obstructed sinuses, productive cough and general shitty feeling that man-flu lends itself to.)

it has been just over a month since i left work. for the first time in four years i had the whole of christmas and new year (and also weeks either side) to relax and rest myself. money hasn't been an issue because i've been doing a few locum shifts (extra last minute shifts to cover illness, etc) at my old job. perversely, locum shifts are paid much much better than if one does the same shift as a regular salaried doctor. as anti-consumerist and anti-materialistic as i am, it is amazing how double (sometimes triple?) pay will make even the most mundane tasks bearable.

and, in a week, myself and Ms D&C (who has also quit her job) will take ourselves off travelling for a few months. i can't wait.

some have told me what i'm doing is mad, career suicide, etc. fuck them i say. i've never been one to do what i've been told. at the end of the day it comes down to what makes you happy (surely?) having said that, i do have a bit of a back up plan for when i come back. looking back at the stuff i've written in this blog, if i was to be honest, i don't think i ever really could leave medicine full stop. for all the shittiness and shitty shitty times, at the end of the day i think it's what i'm good at. given the short time we each have on this planet, i've come to the decision that by being a doctor i can still make a bit of a difference. i'm not saying i'm going to cure cancer or save millions. it's not about that. as time has gone on, i've realised that (for me) it's about the little things, the small changes, the conversation here, the bit of advice there that makes the difference. ripples in a pond.

what i think the problem over the past couple of years was that i've been dying for a bit of time out, respite if you will. now that i've got it, i'm VERY VERY content.

so this is not really goodbye (as i've been melodramatically threatening in the posts preceding)... more of a "see you later." i'm going off to have some adventures, experience a different way of life away from medicine, see the pretty colours of the world.

i do think i'll be back. i'm pretty sure i'll be back. hopefully i won't be a miserable bastard when i return. at worst i'll return pissed off to be home but at least ready to start afresh.

and at best i'll be a rejuvenated person with a few exciting stories to tell.

i'd also like to thank everyone who comments/supports/encourages me to continue this blog. even if i don't reply, i do read every single response.

so long everyone. i'm not sure when i'll next post but i'll see you all very soon.

much love

[i am listening to She's A Rainbow by the Rolling Stones.]

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Musings Of A Disheartened Ex-Doctor

well that's not quite true.

however i did resign today.

i'm not quite sure how i feel. come january there will be no more of this nonsense.

the future awaits.

[i am listening to Wilco]

Sunday, August 05, 2007

the MOADD twilight

it's been a while since i've put fingers to keyboard on here.

i blame (in particular order):

1. general tedium with the medical blogosphere - my ranting about Modernising Medical Careers, the general shittiness of the medical profession in the UK and ennui with the lack of control of my career and life is starting to bore even me.

2. Facebook - i thought this would be a fad that would die in a few months but sadly no it is taking up a large part of my internet time.

since the last time i wrote, things have changed and i've done quite a few things.

i went to the amazing Latitude festival in Suffolk. i had a spiritual experience watching the Arcade Fire.

i went to Cornwall and ate well, surfed and lazed around.

i've been getting into the british street art scene and went to a couple of private shows in uber-passe Shoreditch. not tempted to buy anything yet.

i spent about three months not doing any on calls, sitting in outpatient clinics looking after the elderly. a very rewarding and chilled out time. i miss it.

i am also now a Member of the stupid Royal College of Physicians which means nothing to most people and in reality means nothing at all. except that i finally passed some exams and 3 grand simultaneously passed out of pocket. i have a few more letters after my name.

i have left my hospital (where i was for three years) and moved to an even bigger hospital to work in intensive care. it's ok. the doctors however are all posh toffs who don't listen to anything you say. i may as well be invisible.

i am planning to resign in January and go travelling for the rest of the year. this is career suicide as i obtained a training position for 2007-8 unlike thousands of my peers. but frankly i don't really care anymore.

i think that i shall probably delete this blog soon. it hasn't really served the purpose that i felt it would but it was fun while it lasted.

i'm dreaming of far away places. the sun is setting here.