Life as a medical secretary—a new learning experience for the aspiring consultantBMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7385.403 (Published 15 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:403
- Jonny Alis, first year clinical medical student,
- Mitch Blair, consultant and reader in child public health
- University College London, and temporary medical secretary from September 2001 to January 2002
- Northwick Park Hospital (North West London Hospitals NHS Trust) and Imperial College, London
The secretary's view
It is 8 50 am and, clutching my notepad and biro in one hand and my mug of coffee in the other, I sit down for my Monday morning meeting with consultant paediatrician Mitch Blair. As he rattles through this week's “to do” list, I am jotting down the essentials: blood test results to chase, grant applications to complete, meetings to organise, patients to contact—it's all in a week's work for a medical secretary.
But there's a twist. In fact, I am no medical secretary, merely a medical student trying to pay off an ever increasing debt. However, my stint as a medical secretary has provided me with more insight into what life is like as a consultant than anything I have yet done. It is strange that, having aspired to be one of these folk for the past seven years, I actually stumble across what it's like …