A journey that began in 2008 and ended yesterday, 8 years later is not one that’s easily captured by a few sentences.
I’ve been asked a fair few times what is like to work as long as we do, to attain the level of being considered a specialist.
While the answers I’ve given vary from time to time, I think the underlying theme is that we feel the outcome will be worth the long over-worked hours scurrying around ordering tests, drawing blood and figuring or why our patients aren’t getting better any faster. That all the effort pays off somehow and that at the culmination of our training, a figurative and literal sigh of both relief and gratefulness is heard, fully justifying all the hard yards.
And the bit that’s ‘worth it’? I’m sure the monetary upgrade (for most) is a nice perk, as will the more flexible working hours and the advantages of being more involved in the upper echelons, being able to determine how things are run, rather than being told what to do. But if we wanted to get rich quick there are far easier ways, likewise if we had yearned for any of the above. I suspect that in those of us who did the time, there was a moment somewhere in those 8 years where we realised what we’re doing gives us joy. Maybe not all the time (though certainly there are those around us fortunate enough to have that), but enough to keep us trudging on.
And so here I am, at the proverbial pot of gold, leaving the life of a registrar behind. There’s a sense of freedom which is both scary and exciting. And with everything that’s going on (or not, as the case is) in life at the moment, it’s a nice feeling to have.