I started work last week - a very scary day! After 5 years at medical school you would think that we would come out ready and prepared for life as a "proper doctor". Unfortunately that is not really the case. We all know lots about the wierd and wonderful diseases that are seen once in a blue moon, and even then are not particularly serious or needing urgent attention, but do we know how to go about the everyday job of looking after a ward full of patients - no!
Working on a care of the elderly ward, it is quite a shock to the system not to be trying as much as possible to keep all the patients alive - this goes against what has been drummed into me throughout training and it is a wierd feeling, but at the same time you know that it really is what's best for everyone - patient and family. I have already certified a death and although the patient was "meant" to die - what a strange sentance, but it was expected, it was still a very difficult moment for me. We recently lost a very old family friend to cancer - her funeral was today in fact, and so it was in my mind that last week, somewhere else in the country, another doctor was going through the exact same motions as I was - the formality and the necessity of being detached from the situation yet elsewhere were family and friends who were grieving.
Apologies for a possibly depressing post, I didn't mean it to turn out like that but I suppose that is the experience from my first week that has held most weight with me.
Other than that I've really been a test ordering, discharge letter writing, blood taking, note scribing machine, and they certainly don't teach you how to do that at medical school!
When I get students to "look after" I'll make sure they know how to go about all these daily duties - they can do them for me!!!