Call us 0208 1234 684   |  Email us

Patient Voices: Doctors, change, challenge and diversity

Doctors, Change, Challenge and Diversity

Doctors in training undergo a great deal of change, face a wide range of challenges and are both diverse and surrounded by diversity. These stories explore what it feels to be a doctor in training. They were created in a Patient Voices (r) workshop sponsored by Health Education England in the North East in May 2019.

And miles to go…
As a child, one doctor’s academic approach is unusual, unpredictable, perhaps even misunderstood. She works, she struggles, she studies, she succeeds. She shifts the meaning of a diagnosis of Dyslexia from being a learning disability to a learning difficulty. She learns to see and understand the ability within her and then when she sees one of her own students in difficulty, she can recognise the ability in him.

How can I explain?
How can a press photographer remain detached from the suffering around them in a refugee area?
How can a doctor volunteering to help refugees understand the refusal of photographers to help?
How can that doctor triage and select the few of the many that they can best help?
Then she realises that the press have a role in this just as she does. When she is asked why she does humanitarian work, how is she to explain? What is she to say?

First and foremost, human
One junior doctor faces several massive life changes at the same time. Malaysia to the North-East of England. Medical student to Junior Doctor. Studying to her first on-call. As a perfectionist she tries, day after day, to complete everything on her growing list until, one day, she can’t. Her registrar gives her permission to be human, to leave her shift, to go home, to take time to recover, recharge and return, two months later, as a better, healthier doctor.

The hands we’re dealt
After five years in Orthopaedics in the UK, a change of geography gives Rob a different understanding of the spectrum of ordinary peoples’ experiences of physical injury when he travels to Tanzania to teach.

Uncertainty and fluidity are something Paul has become used to. Teaching medical students in Tanzania, it’s the unpredictability of the curriculum and teaching needs that demand his intellectual and professional agility. Returning home to work in the UK, he realises that, in his clinical practice, the uncertainty, unpredictability and fluidity of his patients also demand an agile professional response.

Exactly who I needed
A successful, engaged relationship between doctor and patient is just as important for the doctor as for the patient. After seven shifts in a row, a junior doctor finally gets the patient he needs and, despite him having to wear many masks during their brief interaction, she gets just the doctor she needs.

Falling asleep
At the end of a junior doctor’s busy week on call, she clerks in an elderly patient in the Emergency Assessment Unit. Examinations are done, bloods taken and oxygen adjusted. The family go off for lunch – in good spirits under the circumstances. But later the conversation on the ward turns to questions about DNACPR, as the patient grows tired and increasingly breathless.

Collecting stories
As one young doctor navigates the many stories of the constant stream of patients she treats, she realises that her own story is a work in progress, being shaped by all of their experiences as much as by hers.

Just ask
Rotas, patients, consultations, paperwork, rashes – and the pressure. The pressure of training to be a doctor, the pressure of a first on-call weekend comes to a head and one young doctor learns that there is peer support out there, and that staff at all levels are prepared to support and help her. She just has to ask.

In the middle of his training, a young doctor hears the words he speaks to patient and carers spoken to him by another doctor, from far away, in another country where his father is ill.

Want to make your own stories?

Contact us Disclaimer and acceptable use policy

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!