Personal Views

Rites of passage of a medical career

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 29 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1144

This is being written on a Saturday night while on call. I have just walked down from the doctors' residence on the other side of the hospital. I first stopped by the other two wards I am covering this weekend; all was quiet, so far at least. The hospital is sprawled out over a large field and the corridors run like a rabbits' warren. By now all the visitors have gone home and the corridors are dark and empty. I remember, as a medical student, being filled with a sense of excitement walking down hospital corridors in the dead of night; it felt special being somewhere where no one should normally be. Now I just feel lonely. My registrar is at home, contactable by telephone. On the ward the nurses are chatting outside; I guess I could join them but I'm not very extrovert, at least not any more.

My social life has plummeted since starting work. You are either on duty on a weekday or weekend night or you are too tired to go out. I am afraid the situation …

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