All entries for July 2009

July 13, 2009

Life as a new House Officer

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Since leaving WMS, the experiences of being an FY1 doctor have been diverse and wide-ranging. I remember back to the first few weeks as a house officer where simply getting used to the way that a hospital ward worked, writing effective notes on the ward round and organising chest X-rays were a challenge. I think back to my first medical take on-call when it was such a test to prioritise time and to perform simple procedures like taking blood.

During my first few weeks as a house officer, I quickly discovered that medicine as a profession is based on relationships. This encompasses relationships between other doctors on the wards, other health care professionals, in addition to patients and professionals from other specialities. I have found that to enable good patient care, all health care professionals must communicate effectively and clearly with other members of the team on the ward and with the patient.

Apart from general day-to-day activities on the wards, during my FY1 year I have also been able to be involved with other activities. This has involved teaching WMS medical students and also getting involved in audits and research that I’ve been able to present at regional meetings.

Although experience and training are vital in developing, aspects of the course at WMS were imperative in my preparation to be a doctor. The emphasis on communication skills, the focus on patient-centred care and early clinical experience all have made the transition from student to house officer a lot smoother and made me a more rounded doctor, more able to work effectively in the modern NHS. Other aspects of the course have allowed me to be better prepared when required to break bad news and during other challenging experiences.

Although the course at WMS prepares you well for life as an FY1 in the NHS, experience, with good senior support, is by far the greatest way to develop into a competent doctor. Although the course at Warwick medical school prepares the student for medicine, it’s only on the ward that you actually understand what it is like to be a doctor.

Matthew Baines
House Officer
MBChB 2004-08

July 2009

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