31 December 2013


This blog has been very neglected in the last 2 years since I qualified.

I've had some ups and downs (lots of downs) and had to rethink my career a few times.

I'm on a training pathway now but whether I will end up quitting it is another matter.

To anyone still reading, I wish you a Happy New Year and hope that 2014 is better for anyone who has had a shit year in 2013.

See you around from time to time

26 October 2013

Coming of age

The joy of birthdays.

Today I turned 30. I've been working as a doctor for just over 2 years now and am watching the NHS crumble under our feet.

Who even knows what the next 2 years hold, but it bet the NHS is barely recognisable in 30 years time (I'll probably still be working since we can't retire until aged 68).

10 September 2013

Some sage advice

I know it's been a while since I've posted here, but the last six weeks since Black Wednesday have made me aware of some sad facts.

The following pieces of advice are a result of events that have made me cringe:

- I've said it before and I'll say it again: Be nice to the nurses, they will stop you from killing your patients.

They also know where the secret stash of biscuits are kept and will keep you fed and watered when you've not stopped in 10 hours. But only if you're nice to them.

Nothing spreads faster than the reputation of a rude junior doctor.

- Listen to your colleagues. An FY2 doctor may only be a year above you, but that's a whole year more of learning from mistakes.

- The converse can also be said: just because you're an FY2 does not mean you can dump all your rubbish jobs on the FY1! Six weeks ago you were an FY1. Just because it happened to you doesn't make it right, it just gives you an opportunity to do the right thing.

- Everyone hates long shifts. Remember to eat, drink and pee. No-one can do it for you!

- And just to reiterate the first point: be nice to the nurses, you will want their help with getting your portfolio signed off!

Happy doctoring to all the newbies!

28 May 2013

Whenever there's a problem.

That time of the year

In August a new start for all. FY1s become FY2s (and are classed as SHOs) and FY2s go on to career pathways (or locuming/travelling).

There is one thing standing between each of us and those plans: ePortfolio sign off.

The most irritating online system ever of evidencing anything you have done that the curriculum requires you to have done.

Loosely this relates to bribing registrars and colleagues to sign forms for you online.

It is a damn nightmare and will be taking my time for the next few weeks.

Love and hugs to all

Sent from my iPhone

13 April 2013

A political statement

I'm not a great follower of politics, although I do just remember Margaret Thatcher being in power.

Whatever your thoughts on her political views and policies, think on this: she was elected. Several times.

She did not take power forcefully, nor was she a dictator.

Her political opinions and policies aside, she was an elderly lady who had been suffering from memory loss and who died following a stroke.

I'm appalled to have seen some of the Facebook statuses and tweets in the past week, and have deliberately stayed out of discussions at work.

But needless to say the state of humanity upsets me

03 April 2013

All change!

It's grey Wednesday today. Not as bad as Black Wednesday, but there will still be fun and games!

Good luck to everyone changing jobs today!

02 April 2013

Social Media

In March this year the GMC (General Medical Council) released new guidance on social media. As well as all the usual stuff (don't make friends with patients on Facebook, don't give advice over twitter, don't breach confidentiality etc) it gave guidance on doctors posting anonymously on the Internet. Now here is a dilemma: if you search the GMC website for Dr Merys Jones, the person that you find is not me (I have no idea if such a person exists and I haven't checked the GMC database). This is a pseudonym, and one I have had long before even going to medical school, never mind being a doctor. I started this blog in 2005 when I was still an undergrad the first time around. I wasn't even sure I would get into medical school, never mind qualify.

During that time I have never breached patient confidentiality. I don't discuss patients and I don't give medical advice. Ergo I'm not quite sure where I, or this blog stand.

If anyone has any advice then please let me know.

The full guidelines on social media can be accessed here

01 April 2013


1st April 2013 - the beginning of the end for the NHS in the UK.

Rest in peace

16 March 2013

Time and efficiency

If a manager decided to do a time and efficiency study on myself and 3 of my colleagues right now he'd be downright mortified.

The post-take ward round was meant to start at 0800. At 0825 the registrar called the boss who said he was just leaving home and he would be there in 30 minutes, oh and that he expected all the notes to be ready (which they were - at 0755).

This went on for a while. It's now 1030 and the boss still hasn't turned up. Apparently he's still on his way and we aren't allowed to leave (including the night doctor- who looks like he's ready to murder someone).

I bet he doesn't take us for coffee after the round either.

15 February 2013

"Here he is folks, the leader of the plaque."

Unfortunately it turns out that as a doctor I make a truly terrible patient.

I've been very lucky and only had a minimal amount of dental work done until now. Except that about 6 months ago I started getting toothache when I ate certain things. 

So a few days ago I bit the bullet and made a dentists appointment.

Now the initial appointment didn't go too well. I may not be a perfect doctor, but I do like to warn my patients before I do things to them that they may not like.

Two attempts at X-rays later and he gave up - especially after I *may* have criticised him for his bedside manner*.

He broke the news to me that I needed at least 2 fillings and prescribed some diazepam for the next appointment. Two days later I found myself sat in the waiting room with my other half (mainly stopping me from leaving) waiting for (what I expected to be) the appointment from hell. Once the block was in I didn't feel a thing. He drilled and filled 2 teeth with lovely white fillings and I spent the rest of the morning sleeping off the diazepam and my numb face.

Slight problem with the very effective local block - I still have an exceptionally numb chin (36 hours later).

Unfortunately I have to go and have a wisdom tooth extracted - although he's realised that diazepam alone may not work next time and has referred me to a dentist offering sedation. 

*Laughing at a patient who is struggling a bit due to pain isn't very professional, especially when the patient has told you that they're really nervous and anxious. And yes, I know they were only X-rays but I'm not a good dental patient.

Quote and picture from Little Shop of Horrors - well worth watching if you've never seen it before.

11 February 2013

There is a fracture

This has been doing the rounds for a couple of years now, but I have heart it quoted many many times at work. It still makes me smile.

For your enjoyment and perusal: there is a fracture!

10 February 2013

You know you have insomnia when

You've sorted the washing out
Emptied and refilled the dishwasher
Cleaned the kitchen
Watched Casualty on iPlayer
Cuddled the dogs
Organised DVDs
and even contemplated hoovering (except that it would wake the other half up).

This is not to do with switching shift pattern - this is a chronic problem I've developed since fifth year of medical school.

Consequently my Kindle and I are very well acquainted and I'm currently watching Total Recall (very quietly) in bed with the subtitles on

Shift starts in 7 hours

09 February 2013

Shocking news

This blog has now been going for 8 years.

It has waned somewhat since I started work but that's something I'm working on.

Hopefully I will post more this year (if I get a training post to start in August).

Happy Blogiversary to me!


31 January 2013

A minor technological glitch

The email address I have used for this blog for 7 years appears to have been invaded.

As a result it has been locked and I can't get back into it. Turns out that when you set yourself reminder questions and don't update them in 7 years it's very hard to remember them...

From now on I can be reached at merysjones[at]googlemail.com


22 January 2013


How can something so incredibly common remain such a taboo subject that can only be discussed by doctors and behind closed doors?

I'm prompted to blog this due to a thread on UK ambulance forum (link on the right - I can't do hyperlinks via mobile) regarding depression.

I was diagnosed with depression nearly 7 years ago. I was broken and drained. I was very close to quitting medical school because of it.

I'm by no means an example of 'cured' but I am well managed.

I'm on my third anti depressant but I'm coping well. I love my job and have found (I think) which speciality I want to spend the rest of my career in.

But if I hadn't bitten the bullet, overcome the stigma and addressed my own prejudices regarding depression then I probably wouldn't be a doctor now.

This post is also partly fuelled by the doctor at work who told me that depression is not a mental illness - that it is concocted by primary care (GPs) to get QOF points.

And who says the NHS is full of non-judgemental professionals.

If you are struggling - seek help. I've never looked back