Monday, October 24, 2005

A Toxic Book

i've just been in Foyles (great central london bookshop with the BEST coffee shop in london - Ray's Jazz on the first floor) and nipped into the medical to pick up some more books for my exam (see i am doing something productive with my week off...)

anyways i was at the counter when i happened upon this book called Making Sense Of Your Medical Career. now although it's actually written for medical students, i thought that maybe i should have a flick through to see where "it all went so wrong boo hoo" for me. so i did.


this is a book that actually sets out (to poor little naive medical studes) that the only way to progress in medicine is to network network network at every opportunity, kiss as much arse as possible, that you must must must publish a research paper as otherwise it's career over and, in one section (the relationships section), suggests that one should decide whether random chats with people in the corridor are actually going to benefit one's career in any way, and, that one should as much as possible try to cut out encounters that are not going to further one's ascent up the career ladder. it actually says that (my paraphrasing).

so the question that must be asked is

what fucking planet do these people come from?

the guy who wrote it isn't even a fucking doctor yet. how did he suddenly become qualified to tell people how they should run their lives?

i mean seriously - cut out chatting to people if it doesn't further your career???! what?! i did laugh out loud at a "relationships" section - i doubt that the author could ever sustain any kind of relationship except maybe with Hal, the murderous computer from 2001: a sapce oddyssey.

the cynics amongst you could say "actually mate you're the one with the fucking career crisis at the moment" and i'd say "who's round is it? i think it's yours." but joshing aside, without getting a big head, i have "achieved" everything that this book is trying to get medical students to achieve.

the thing is i did the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of everything the book preaches should be done.

networking? fuck that. would rather be having a laugh down the pub.

eliminate chit chat? fuck that too. i love my non-sensical exchanges with the bloke in the newsagent when i'm buying the paper.

as a result has my career suffered? well not by this book's yardstick. i've done well in exams, published, got a job at a "prestigious teaching hospital" and what's the secret? well i'd like to say that i tried to be a nice bloke at all times, treated people the way i would want to be treated and never looked down on anyone. instead of networking/eliminating frivolity/etc may i suggest that people try and do that. there you go, my words of wisdom. and that didn't cost you £15.99.

as for this toxic evil book (go check out the website for a kind of watch-a-car-crash reason) my advice to any medical students is don't waste your money.

i'm starting to worry more and more. if young medical students are looking at books like this and using it as their guide to life then the NHS is even more fucked that i initially feared.

the day i stop believing that you can "make it" in life without becoming a sycophantic wanker is the day i shoot myself

grrrr.... where are my antihypertensives? night night.

[listening to she fell into my arms by ed harcourt]


Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

Career advice runs pretty much the same on this side of the pond, but (usually) it doesn't work nearly as well as yours--I've actually listened to what people other than career counselors say, and it's mostly that the nurses are the ones who'll make you or break you. So being nice to all is far better, thank you for pointing that out.

Durga&Michael said...

i remember my mother tellig me at age 5 "you should study hard and become a doctor and make dad and I proud!". And now well I'm in a 3rd world country putting up with corruption trying to help people help themselves. But my mother called me last week and in conversation she said that i should have been a doctor because that's the best way to provide selfless service and make good money and also make their parents proud.
You know I'm grateful for doctors and good on 'em but feel sorry for people like my mother who just don't get it.

hmmmm just realised that crapped on about well....crap....

very interesting blog.
i got the same advice in law school networking, networking, kissing butt, sweet smiles, flirty laughs at old law elitists...



Vegas said...

Check out this discussion:

and this one:

The Agha Foundation marches on. Bad publicity is better than none. I pity the patient he treats.

Anonymous said...

He CAN'T be getting much nooky.
Intellectually one admires his focus - spiritually, I'm with you down the pub.

Anonymous said...

My goodness. You know what, though, some people (not just the author) do actually believe that this is what one must do in order to advance the career ladder in medicine. I was told as much by a SHO once - it's all about networking and who you know, apparently.