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Views & Reviews Personal View

I don’t need my own office

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 15 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e910
  1. Nadeem Moghal, consultant paediatric nephrologist, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle NE1 4LP, UK
  1. nemoghal{at}

I recently returned from an 18 month secondment from my institution to a fantastic facility rebuilt through the private finance initiative. A separate office block for consultants and other clinical staff is still being built. My existing office is in a Victorian building due for demolition. It has a desk, a computer, two filing cabinets, a shelf of dusty books untouched for years, and even a window. I have been in my office twice in the past three months: once to get some whiteboard markers and once to get the charger for my pager.

When we were consulted over the building’s replacement, one contentious matter was whether we should have open plan or private, individual offices. All of us were exercised about the potential loss of private professional and personal space. I thought I needed my private place. I had collected there all the paraphernalia that meant something to me and signalled something to those who came into my space. …

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