Locuming

I’m on vacation this weekend. Only, last week, one of the residents from the old hospital informed us that the old hospital was looking for someone to locum for a week for £35/hour. I jumped on that as quickly as I could, especially since it was with my old surgical team. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the whole week, but Monday and Wednesday only – the two big non-surgical days.

It was nice to be back. I knew exactly where to go, I knew what to do, I knew where to find things, I knew who to call when I needed it. It felt great. Despite not being able to enjoy any actual surgery those two days, I felt on top of the world. Plus I didn’t mind staying late when I had to because I was getting paid hourly.

This is one of the perks of “graduating” from being a first year doctor to a second year doctor – you get full registration and are able to take up extra shifts anywhere else in the country. I believe you normally go about it via an agency, but if you know the managers at your old hospital, you can pick up shifts that way as well by being added onto the Staff Bank.

In a way, I’m glad I only worked two days, and not the entire week. Now I get to enjoy the next four days of sleeping in and lounging about.

This reminds me, I need to learn the entire head and neck anatomy by Tuesday so I’m ready for my grilling… And the boss loves his details too.

House On The Hill

The last four weeks have been chaotic. Moving out of one place, starting at a new hospital. New home. New city. I’ve been at my new home for a week now, and we’re still settling in and unpacking. Didn’t realize how much stuff we’ve accrued over the last year until we saw the moving van filled with out belongings.

I’ve also not been fully introduced to everyone I’ll be working with in ENT. All us newbie docs had an induction on the first day. On the second day, I was sent away to Brighton for a full day course on ENT. It proved to be very useful because we went over some medical emergencies and common problems, and how to manage them appropriately.

I started actual work on nights, having swapped my shifts in October. So I worked Saturday and Sunday night this past week. I was freaked out going in because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where to go. Apparently, there was another induction for all us ENT trainees last Friday, which I didn’t attend because I wasn’t emailed about it. I felt completely lost when starting. The other doctor who was finishing his on-call was nice enough to give me a brief run down as to what to expect.

My two first nights were manageable. I was the only ENT doctor in the hospital, so it was daunting when I was paged to go see patients for review, or patients who attended the emergency department with problems. But thanks to the course, it was fairly easy to get through the night. And it wasn’t awfully busy. And, as a bonus, I got a good amount of sleep in too.

Monday morning was good because that’s when I met more of the team, and that’s when I felt that there are actual senior doctors around that I can ask for help. Unfortunately, I don’t have any more day shifts until next Tuesday. I go for another weekend of nights this week.

Having so much time off is weird. I feel like I should be more productive, but I’ve been in this lull where I don’t want to do anything. Slowly coming out of it though. We’re renting a two bedroom house, so I’m using the extra room as my “man cave.” Finally got around to tidying it up. Still have things to put away, but I think I’ll prioritize with all the expenses I need to claim for the last month first. Then worry about setting up all my hospital accounts before work Friday night. Then whatever else comes my way.

Studying for the Future

The time has come: I’ve decided that I will be writing both the MRSC for UK surgical specialty training, as well as the MCCEE for Canadian residency. My first year of training is almost at an end, and then I’ve got one more year before the world opens up and I take a dive.

I’ve already planned to locum for the year after foundation training, which has its ups and downs. The pros include being able to work anywhere I’d like. Plus the pay will be slightly better than if I were in a regular training program. The cons include the fact that I won’t be actually progressing towards getting specialized. But this will be my time to complete all the exams I need, to attend all the courses and obtain all the certificates that are required, and it will give me time to properly apply to whatever field I choose to in the end.

But for the rest of today, I’m grabbing my picnic blanket and enjoying the sunshine with my husband.

Back to Basics

There are times when it feels so good to review the sheer basics of medicine when you know there’s no upcoming quiz or assessment. 

Lately, I’ve gone back to basics  and I’m reviewing the simplest concepts of all. It’s amusing how much I never really understood in med school. I guess I understood enough to get by, but not enough to be able to apply the basics to the big clinical picture. 

All with time I guess. 

Sign Offs

The end of the year is nearing. One year almost done as a practicing physician! My training program has an online portfolio we need to complete by the end of the year.

Initially, when I started the year, I thought it was a great idea. It seemed like a great way to keep track of all the work experience I was getting. Plus there were plenty of work-based assessments to do as well. It was when it actually started to get busy, that I realized that the online portfolio really was a pain in the ass like everyone said it was. “Just a tick box exercise.” “Waste of time.” “No one looks at it during core training.” And they were right!

I managed to complete all my necessary assessments. Still need two more meetings with my supervisors (which may not get done this week because one of my supervisors is away). And I spent most of today redundantly clicking away to link all my assessments to the curriculum. Such a waste of time.

On the bright side, I am on vacation this week. And when I get back, it’ll be two more months until I am done as a first year trainee. Then it’ll be time to start year two – new hospital, new home, new adventures.