I never thought I would see the day when the word surgery didn’t make my heart flutter and my face turn into a big grin. Yet, here we are. I’m sitting here looking at the brain light that Henry Marsh signed for me and my heart is breaking to know that I simply don’t want to follow the path that I have loved and dreamt about since I was in six form.
It sounds like someone has told me that going down this career path is simply not possible anymore. However, it has been a revelation through my own reflections and thinking about what I want from my career. I posted a lot about GOSH in the summer and how the director said about making the speciality fit you and not you fit the speciality. However through events that have happened over this year and simply thinking about what I want for my career I realise that it would literally be putting me in a square hole when I’m a round peg..I wouldn’t ever fit in anywhere properly and I would rather have a career where I fit in and where I love my job the entire way through, rather than struggling for upwards of 12 years to get to a point where I’m happy.
I partook in a national audit this year which has been the main source of why I don’t want to pursue the speciality anymore. I am completely new to the research side behind medicine and had managed to set up this entire audit in a week. However the people I was running the local audit for were not happy enough with my progress and we are blaming me for people not replying to emails and for general blockages in this audit.At times it was more stressful than my medical degree and I felt like I was doing wrong when in fact I done everything I could physically do. I also began thinking about the surgical conferences that I’ve been to.Everyone is so professional and seems to want to elbowed people all the way to get to talk to people or to answer questions. I’ve heard of tales of surgeons in London who will virtually backstab other people to climb the career ladder. I know not every surgery is like this but I’m not that type of person. I’m very informal I’m very silly and I don’t take myself seriously at all I’m not very academic and I’m just that little bit quirky.
My mental health has been an extreme problem for me for the past year. The academic stress from the only first year exams but The added pressure of making sure that you were preparing your surgical portfolio from virtually first year of Med school. You feel like you’re never doing enough. The audit, greater exposure to surgery, new interests, complete loss of old ones and of it it’s got to the point where I now have to sit down and think what is more important to me at this stage. Burning myself to the ground but coming out with a amazing portfolio or enjoying med school and pursuing a career path which is become more and more appealing to me.
I still want to go down paediatrics Route, that is never going to change. I still want to one day work at GOSH, and I’ve been thinking about specialties allied to surgery. I like the constant environment the small team and the low patient to staff ratio. This has led me to 2 specialities. Anaesthetics and intensive care.￼￼￼
Every anaesthetist I’ve ever met has been lovely especially the ones at gosh who couldn’t teach me enough. I like the idea of being able to both administer medications and take charge of your patient in surgery but also being called to assist in other areas of the hospital with things like difficult cannulations or airway assistance. Intensive care has also caught my eye because it’s very low patients to staff ratio But provides the mental challenge that I love. ￼
I don’t feel sad about giving up the pursuit of a dream of which I was so passionate about. I’m happy that for once I’m putting myself first and my needs ahead of my career. Part of me still loves the brain, The anatomy is just amazingly complicated and the physiology baffling. But there’s just something amazing about an organ we still have pretty much no idea how it works. I still enjoy neurosurgery I find aneurysms fascinating and watching them being fixed is just amazing. However I just can’t picture me fixing them anymore.
So I guess that’s a big revelation from last term, then do you know what, I am so much more happier for it.
Dictated but not signed (that’s why there’s so many grammar errors!)
2 thoughts on “A new path”
Changing your life plan that you’ve had in place for years is one of the hardest things to process mentally. The fact you have made this decision so early is amazing because it gives you time and motivation to explore all your other options during your placements.
Personally, I think you’d make an amazing Paediatric Intensive Care Doctor or Anaesthetist, I think these specialities suit you and your skills. I have every faith you will make an amazing doctor whatever you do. I look forward to seeing it x
This is such an insightful post ! I’m so glad that you’ve found a couple of specialties that might fit you – excited to see where things take you in the future ! ☺️