19 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

...except that it isn't really.
My ward doesn't have any Christmas decorations and the seasonal spirit is a little lacking among staff.
Christmas day is just another working day for most doctors. We do the shifts the rota tells us to and pray that it's not busy, or that if it is busy then the day goes quickly.
So to all the NHS and frontline staff working over the festive period, I salute you and wish you a decent working shift.
Merry Christmas

12 December 2011

Stage fright

In summer I was a medical student.
This week I'm doing formal teaching with medical students.
This scares me immensely

08 December 2011

Black Wednesday

The term for the doctor's switch over day is known as Black Wednesday. Everyone is tired and stressed.
The night before change over I had to leave one hospital, pack my room into my car and travel to a new place and a new hospital.
Chaos isn't the word.
Today was the first day on the wards after induction and was a very steep learning curve.
I hope tomorrow will be easier, but we'll have to see...

05 December 2011


Job swap is filling me with fear, not to mention the fact that I haven't finished packing yet. It upsets me that I'm not going to be seeing all the other juniors and nurses that I've formed a strong working relationship with anymore.

The nurses are upset because they've just got us trained!

I just hope my next job is as amazing as this one has been...

04 December 2011

All change

I've just become nicely settled in my current job, and lo it's time to rotate into a whole new specialty at a whole new hospital.

It does make you feel very uncertain when you have to change jobs every four months, and probably kicks junior doctor confidence somewhat.

But hey, I knew the drill when I got my jobs list last year. Best of luck to everyone on Wednesday when they start their new jobs.

PS, don't get sick this week unless it's before Wednesday!

01 December 2011


I support NHS staff striking.
Had I been balloted to strike and patients would not be at risk then I would be stood on a picket line with a placard.
It's not just about my wages, it's about my family who also work for the NHS, it's about the hard working team of nurses, paramedics, porters, radiographers etc who work with me to make health care here something to be proud of.

The population is getting older, and instead of this being just a problem it is evidence of a strong and effective NHS.

Shouldn't THAT be something to stand up for?

22 November 2011

The joys of being a junior doctor... part 1

...ePortfolio. I don't know a single junior doctor who loves it, but I definitely know a lot who hate it.

It's a hoop jumping exercise where you have to get various skills and competencies signed off and evidenced by people more senior than yourself.

Check out all the lovely green on there!
Now signing a piece of paper would be easy, but no, I have to send an email to people from a clunky and poorly designed website which they then have to log into to agree that they have seen me doing said skill and are competent in it themselves.

It could be easier.

On the plus side, I'm a completely neurotic freak and have got loads of mine signed off already.

02 November 2011

Career development

Help, I cant decide which way I want to go in medicine. I always desperately wanted to do A&E when I was a medical student and now I'm not so sure.
As a student I always hated surgery and found it barbaric, yet now I'm really pining to see procedures and get involved. It's truly bizarre how much I've changed as a person.
When I started in August I lacked confidence and the ability to ask questions, now I'm quite comfortable managing patients and doing stuff under my own steam (although the concept of doing a mini-ward round on my own freaks me out).
And more amusingly, in July I was still a medical student, yet now I have 4 of my very own - and I bloody love them. I will be taking them for beer when they leave!
So yes, generally life is good and I'm thoroughly enjoying being a doctor, well at least for the moment.

12 October 2011

Time flies

It's been a truly mental period recently.
I'm back at work and probably healthier than I've been in a long time and I'm loving work again.
I still have a profound fear of one of the consultants, but as long as I keep avoiding her then it's all good.
What worries me is that I'm reviewing patients on my own and making decisions. I just don't feel confident enough sometimes, but then my patients seem to be doing ok so I can't be that bad...

01 October 2011

physician heal thyself

Turns out that you get to be an even worse patient when you qualify. I thought I'd been pretty bad as a student but as a doctor I'm probably 15 times worse.

I got hospitalised again with something rather painful which has now thankfully resolved (and hopefully this time stays away for good).

So back to work soon with some trepidation. Hope I'm fit enough...

19 September 2011

Swapping places

I'm sure this whole experience will give me something wonderful to write a reflective piece on for my NHS ePortfolio: yes, I am back in hospital as an in-patient.

This time the care has been exemplary and the nurses truly wonderful. While I know my hospital has a good reputation, I can't help but feel that the reason I have a private side room is because I am a doctor here.

I'm sure the senior emergency department registrar doesn't personally cannulate all his patients and give them IV morphine within 20 minutes of their arrival into the department.

If I didn't feel so unwell and in pain I'd probably feel spoilt.

Anyhow, at least I'm in the right place, I just hope I can get back to work soon, as I'm actually missing it.

05 September 2011


I've now been working as a doctor in a busy hospital for over a month. I'm still loving it but it's very exhausting. Thankfully I'm on annual leave at the moment which is a nice break after some long working weeks.
On the plus side when I go back to work my rota changes again to allow me to work more manageable working hours with no nights and only a few weekends on call.
Interestingly I may now be undecided on my career path as I'm really enjoying doing a surgical job. I wonder if every rotation I do will be like this or if I've just found a niche that I love.
Anyway, back to work next week!

15 August 2011


My first two weeks as a doctor have been a massive change. I'm finishing a run of on call nights that have really forced me to think on my feet.

I've done more rectal examinations in 2 nights than in 5 years as a student.

But I still haven't introduced myself as Dr Jones. It still sounds wrong. I inwardly cringe a little when my boss introduces us as Miss Smith and Dr Jones. I keep expecting it to be pulled away from me at any second.

Most of all, despite the poo, smells and endless nights I have some amazing colleagues and fantastic nurses as company.

I love being a doctor. It was well worth the effort

02 August 2011

Everything changes

Everything changes tomorrow. No more induction week, tomorrow I am the F1 doctor.
Don't be ill folks.

31 July 2011

And then everything changed

A few weeks ago I was a bit ill.
It wasn't fun and I ended up calling an ambulance out for myself. Now anyone who knows me will recognise that I hate people who waste the ambulance service's time. In fact I even called a friend who was working as an ambulance technician that night and asked his advice. So I ended up getting some help, and some decent analgesia (I'm actually reasonably scared of needles, so to let a paramedic cannulate my hand goes some way to show how much pain I was in) - I loved entonox so much that night, and after some IV morphine the pain was a lot more bearable.
Anyhow, a few days later and after some IV antibiotics I was discharged, and then readmitted when the pain got worse. More IV antibiotics, lots of analgesia and some fluids later I went home. Things are better now but still not perfect.
Anyhow, a big thanks to the ambulance service for their help that night and for not treating me like a muppet when I went a bit mad on entonox.

Since then it's all been a bit of a whirlwind.


  • graduated
  • introduced my parents to my inlaws
  • got my GMC registration
  • moved to my new hospital
  • done half of induction week
  • gone to a mess party
  • met some of my consultants
  • and started answering bleeps when shadowing
I don't yet have a rota but that will be sorted this week. 
It's all very scary, and the worst was seeing my ID card saying Dr Merys Jones.
But I guess it's all finally true and it happened. Hard work pays off in the end.

26 July 2011

Time check

See the time of this post? Yeah, 05:18. I'm up, dressed and in the middle of straightening my hair. I set off in 40 minutes for the first day at work.
It's a good job that I'm staying over at the hospital this week, because this is an ungodly hour to be getting up...

25 July 2011

Life change

Today is my last day as a student.
Tomorrow I start my induction week at my new hospital as a newly qualified doctor working somewhere completely new.
I'm scared.
Don't get sick in August.

PS I'll write about my recent 'holiday in hospital' at the weekend.

16 July 2011

The cost of being in hospital

If anyone is feeling generous... It has cost me £60 so far to watch television while I'm in hospital. Had I realised I was going to be in this long I probably wouldn't have bothered with it in the first place, but equally I'm now bored rotten.
If anyone feels like sticking a few quid in the paypal account at the top to help me afford to alleviate my boredom I would love you all forever.
A very bored, hurting and skint Merys


...is not one of my greatest virtues. Add to that the fact that I'm still in hospital and you'll probably understand why I'm a little irritable at the moment.

I'm still in pain, still not sleeping too well and still have no idea what's going on.

But on the plus side I did have a frank discussion with my parents about depression and why I'd never told them. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I maintain that I was right not to tell them initially. Mood is currently a lot better on venlafaxine.

Fingers crossed home soon before starting work.

12 July 2011


I'm getting really sick of being in hospital. I have tubes stuck in completely inappropriate places and it's very invasive. My stomach and thighs are bruised from injections, and today alone I'm on my 3rd cannula (1 tissued and I accidentally pulled another out due to rolling over with the IV line around me). I've just had a new one BANDAGED in place.

So for now I just have to survive the night with old ladies snoring their heads off around me. I may go insane.

10 July 2011

The other side

If you've been following me on twitter recently then you've probably realised that I'm in hospital. Aside from 36 hours at home, I've been here for 10 days and things haven't changed.

The pain is worse and is compounded by other factors (that I may or may not blog about in the future).

The food is terrible and I've not been happy at all. But we still aren't sure what's going on.

Maybe the new week will bring some answers.


28 June 2011

It finally happened

Five very long years of medical school and a further 4 beforehand have finally led to this day.
I am a doctor.

Disclaimer: don't get sick in August.

22 June 2011

Waiting Game

That's it.
Med school

No more lectures at university (hopefully). No more coursework to submit. No more undergraduate exams and no more finals.

It's just time to wait now...

31 May 2011

Revision stress

My most current cause of stress is due to my inability to draw people. Especially hands. Observe:

30 May 2011

The final hurdles..

Finals are not far away now and the pressure is intensifying. Every day I think of a thousand gaps in my knowledge, and yet every day I procrastinate further.
In fact, I've even decided that the gym is better than revision, so that's where I'm off to now.
See you around, when I shall probably be procrastinating more.

17 May 2011

Feet and hands

My feet have walked many, many miles this week around the hospital. I have chased junior doctors like a lost puppy. 

Despite wearing my most comfortable of shoes I managed to give myself stonking blisters on both feet.
I have covered more of the hospital than I ever thought possible, yet so far, despite aching feet and fat ankles, I love it.

My hands have examined many abdomens, chests, hands and bottoms. They have scrubbed in on very long surgeries and found elusive veins*.
They have also been chewed down to the wick lately due to impending finals fear.

* I love it when patients tell me that I won't get blood. I really will, no matter how long I have to palpate invisible vein.s

25 April 2011

Repeating myself

I know I posted this a few years ago on the blog, but it still makes me smile (and I always have to watch it the whole way through) so I thought I'd re-share it.
Happy Easter Bank Holiday guys

22 April 2011

His and hers

His and hers
Originally uploaded by merysjones
So summer has come early this year, and the law of sod dictates that I have a real load of work to do.
So the boy and I went out yesterday for a chilled drink in the park and a break from revision.
Wish me luck, it's probably going to be a hot few weeks while I swelter away in my study cramming for finals.

13 April 2011

Ta dah (again)

Brief hello.

Surprisingly I'm in exam mode.

Just the preparation for clinical practice bit now and I'm done.
Oh, and finals. Mustn't forget about those...

30 March 2011


I'm back. Life as a fifth year is frankly hell-shaped at the moment and I'm chasing deadlines left, right and centre. But I am back.

07 February 2011

Health promotion

For anyone who follows me on twitter this won't be news to you.

For some time I have been feeling very unwell. As a result of this I'm going to take a brief blogging and tweeting sabbatical.

I will still answer emails (probably) and I'm going to keep my twitter account, facebook page and hotmail account active - in fact i'm often logged in to MSN.

But I need some time to myself to recuperate. There is a very real risk at the moment that I may not sit finals this year due to health problems so I think it is best that I vanish for a while.

I'll be back, but I don't know when.

See you on the flip side....

03 February 2011

Are the dog days really over?

Last year the Florence song Dog Days are Over used to get me through tough times.
I would cycle around on my bike in all sorts of weather humming along and using my ‘inner voice’ to scream as loud as I could. Little things would get me through.
This year seems to be harder.
The depression hit between 2 and 3 weeks ago and I can’t hack it anymore.  I’ve spoken to people I really trust. General people around me get a vague idea but I don’t think many know the full extent… perhaps a limited couple.
It was suggested that I keep a book with 10 minutes of pure unadulterated mind dribble writing per day. I found it an odd concept at first since I’ve always had the blog to unwind and reveal my inner demons. But maybe the book is a better medium for writing things that I’m not ready for the whole world to know…
For the time being (as well as the blog) the Moleskine notebook shall be my friend.
That and antidepressants of course. 

23 January 2011

The end is nigh

This year I will hopefully qualify. Hopefully.

I'm terrified, quite frankly.
All I've worked for since 2002 lies on the next 6 months work.

So don't be surprised if blogging is even lighter than usual.

Wish me luck.

15 January 2011

New year's resolutions

So far the new year has started more sedately than last year ended.
I passed all my exams from last unit first time, which means I have 2 exams and a project left before finishing. Let's hope they all go ok.

This year I made a different resolution to what I would normally make. There's still the obvious one: lose weight.
But this year I've added a couple of different ones...

Stay true to myself. I am who I am and I need to respect myself for it.

Get a tattoo. I've decided that it's time after finals to adorn my body with something. To be decided upon.

And add to that the need to work my morethanample arse off and that's my year.