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Junior doctors take heart: you do everything as well as we did

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 12 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7646
  1. Anthony Cohn, consultant paediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, Watford General Hospital, Hertfordshire WD18 0HB, UK
  1. anthony.cohn{at}

You junior doctors are now probably beginning to settle into your new job, and your initial exuberance may be somewhat muted by the reality of what the life of a junior doctor is really about. I hope that you can get through some of the inevitable drudgery and feelings of isolation, because I still believe that medicine must be the best profession in the world. I can honestly say that I enjoy coming to work every day and hope that you share this feeling.

I wanted specifically to let you know how things were in the past compared with now. I am sure you have heard your seniors telling you how hard they worked, how they never left the hospital, and how professional they were compared to you, who are either implicitly, or often explicitly, stupid, disorganised, uninterested, and more focused on finishing your shift than working on it.

I am too young to have experienced myself the house jobs where the doctor was resident for the entire six months—compensated, however, …

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