Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Personal views

Life as a medical secretary—a new learning experience for the aspiring consultant

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 15 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:403
  1. Jonny Alis, first year clinical medical student,
  2. Mitch Blair, consultant and reader in child public health
  1. University College London, and temporary medical secretary from September 2001 to January 2002
  2. 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.

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    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 …

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