Being an adult is something no one can prepare you for. Being a doctor, is absolutely nothing to what people try to prepare you for. No one can ever teach you the stress of walking into work, praying that no patients die and that will be able to save at least one life that day. That is something which I truly believe no one but a doctor will understand.
The entire team from the nurses to paramedics, will always rely on the doctor. The responsibility, no matter what anyone says, will always rest on our shoulders as the doctor. And the weight is great indeed.
Everyone always thinks the doctor has all the answers, and there is no excuses if we do not. There is no patience from relatives, at times questionable support from the multidisciplinary team when pressure is on. All patients are under the care of a doctor and when the shit hits the fan it will be the doctor that has to answer the questions. I have had many nights where I have been unable to sleep, thinking if there is anything else I can do for my patients, any other investigations I could explore, how to improve on my knowledge, if I should have stayed longer than thirteen hours to help with the work load. People don't realise what is actually involved being a doctor. One has continuous exams, continuous courses, presentations, updating ones knowledge, learning new procedures,
being a leader as well as team worker, managing an entire hospital under your care, covering the emergency suite, doing two weeks straight of on call shifts, piles of paperwork, and trying to make time just to feed yourself. There have been times when I have started work at 6.30am and finish at 11.30pm where I have had to force myself to go home due to utter exhaustion, and not because there wasn't more work to do.
I have had nurses ring me on my private mobile when I am on holiday for medical advice, I have had the rota coordinator asking me to work twenty four hours straight after I finished a night shift to remain on for the day. I have had to miss my own birthdays, Christmases, my parents anniversary to be on call and help the team with the shortages of staff. I had to try and revise for my further psychiatric exams on my commute to work as I wont have other times to do this. I have had to force myself not to remember my patients face when they past away in a cardiac arrest or the support I tried to offer to their family in their distress. I have had to tell myself I cannot be in the hospital every moment of everyday, I am only human, and I have to also treat myself and be the doctor of my own body. I must remove myself from this incredible intensive world of work at the end of the day, and try to leave the stress behind.
I sometimes have to remember, being a doctor is actually just a job, and not my entire life. I have to remind others also of this fact.