Personally, I have found this book truly insightful and I have learnt a lot about what the day to day life of a junior doctor can be like. These diary entries are realistic, heartwarming and funny. One of the key things I have learnt from reading this book is that it is important to be able to recognise and talk about the negatives of the career. Even in medical school interviews, you should show that you are aware of the difficulties of the job and that you have a realistic insight. There are highs and lows but the decision about whether the highs make the lows worth it is a personal one;
one which has to be made by the individual person.
As shown in the book, being a doctor comes with grief. Instead of bottling it up, doctors should have the support system that is required to talk about their experiences because these experiences can be traumatic. For example, as mentioned in the book, delivering a dead fetus. When fetal loss occurs in the womb, labor has to be induced and the fetus has to be delivered. This is incredibly heartbreaking to witness, but this shows that doctors need to be able to learn how to combat the grief that they have to deal with on a daily basis.
Another example of something I have learnt from the book is that being a doctor is most likely the job that comes with the most responsibilities; you are responsible for a life, two lives if you work with pregnant women. There is a lot at stake and your responsibilities are extremely important. It is also necessary to be dedicated as a doctor. Hence the worst motivation for becoming a doctor is the money. Medicine is not simply just a career. It is a calling and vocation.
As a doctor you spend long periods of time with your patients and you need to be dedicated and determined to find the best possible way to help them recover. The patient becomes your sole priority.
Not only is being a doctor very rewarding, it is also humbling. It’s the small things like the appreciation and gratefulness from patients you have treated or seeing a patient of yours happy. Reading this book has developed my respect and admiration for doctors and the NHS. They go through so much throughout their long days and they make many sacrifices for their patients. More support needs to be available to the people that work in the NHS.
I have realised what it really takes; the long hours, tough shifts, the hard work and the grief. One cannot truly understand all that the job entails and what it actually is like until you experience it yourself.