The world always needs doctors, but when you first qualify and start working in a doctor’s surgery or hospital, everything can seem very daunting. You’ve got many different things to deal with and learn about, and real people with real problems are also involved in the process. Here are some things you can consider when you’re first starting out your career as a junior doctor.
You will have a big workload
Many junior doctors complain about the amount of work they have to do, since many of them are on contracts which give them long working days and many different appointments to deal with. Doctors often go without sleep or skip meals just to try and get everything done on time. Many hospitals are understaffed, either because of a lack of budget or because the directors don’t want to put further funding into the practice, which means that many of the staff are overstretched and worked too hard.
You will work with lots of different equipment
This is something you’ll learn about when you are training, but if you start working at a new place, you might need some time to get used to the different equipment that they use. Different brands, for example, often cause a little bit of confusion at the start. You may have been used to one type of oxygen saturation monitor during your training, and now you have to get used to a different type. This doesn’t take a lot of time to become comfortable with, but it’s important to be aware at the start of your career that different hospitals and clinics use different supplies and items.
You are working with real people
When you’re training or studying, a lot of your course is taken up with reading books, discussing issues with your peers, listening to lecturers and carrying out routine check-ups or emergency treatment on prosthetic bodies. While you will have done some work on placement, it’s not quite the same as qualifying and then having your own patients and their issues to deal with. When somebody comes to you with a health problem, most of them will not care how long you’ve been doing the job. All they care about is that you can help them to find a solution to cure whatever pain or discomfort they might be feeling.
You may find it difficult to balance your work life and social life
You might not get lots of time to yourself, and when you do, you might just want to relax and do something by yourself or with someone close to you rather than go out socialising with your friends. They might not be too happy about the lack of times they see you, but it’s important that while you’re looking after other people and their health, you also look after your own primarily. If you need to use any days off you get to relax and take a break away somewhere, you can put your social life on hold for a little while until you get on your feet and find the best balance for you.