Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Reviews Personal views

I just wanted to be a doctor

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 10 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:359

Rapid Response:

Glad that I am not the only one

Two recent excellent 'Personal View' articles, one by Mr G Williams
and the other by Dr Hunt just summarised perfectly what the current batch
of SHOs aka 'The lost tribe' need to do for career progression. Unless of
course, if one chooses to take time out to do research, provided that one
has sufficient savings to fund one's lifestyle during the interim, then
theoretically, that will put one in a much better position to capture a
registrar job. Well, that was it at least what it used to be. But in the
advent of MMC (Modernisng Medical Career), many including my clinical
tutor remain sceptical about diverging out from our career path to do
research. That does not leave us with much options other than to try to
publish materials of whatever sorts be it audits, letters, personal views
or ideally scientific papers.

Being a third year SHO, I have had my fair share of doing and
presenting audits. I must admit, though, I did not derive much pleasure or
satisfaction from audits but I know they are necessary to 'jazz' up my
curriculum vitae. Having said that, my sense of responsibility ensured
every audit I have done would ultimately benefit the patients. This did
not interfere with my clinical duties which I still regard as the utmost
important but unfortunately, it is not something that could be objectified
and measured for points in an interview. I have yet to come across an SpR
application form which asks us how many lives we have saved or improved
but instead how many publications we have under our belts.

My final advice is that the next time one walks into the hospital
compound, between seeing patients, during breaks or whilst walking out of
the hospital after work, think of anything that could possibly be audited
ie from floor cleaning (Health and Safety audit) to talking to patients
(Consent audit). The CPD (Continuing Professional Development) sessions
should be used to develop the audit rather than being used as 'me' time.
If still unsuccesful, at least one should know that one is not alone.

1. Williams G. Call for papers. BMJ 2006;333:207

2. Hunt T. I just wanted to be a doctor. BMJ 2006;333:359

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 August 2006
Kai Leong
New Cross Hospital