Exactly this time a year ago, I was one hour into my first shift as a doctor– a night shift looking after surgical patients in a massive teaching hospital. I cannot believe time has flown so quickly, but I’m now a year down the line- and what a year it’s been!
On Monday, as I was desperately trying to reassure the incoming brand new doctors that actually, they would be just fine, it struck me all of a sudden how far I’ve come in a year. How much I’ve learned from the brilliant mentors and supportive seniors I’ve had at times this year. How many times I’ve felt blind fear at how ill a patient is, but had to put on a calm face because they need me to, and get on with the job.
Sport and medicine go hand in hand for me, in terms of helping each other, but these days I’m not sure which helps more- in the moments of nerves and having to put on a calm face and get on with it, I’m immensely grateful for sport having taught me to harness nerves and channel them into performances I can be proud of. On the other hand, the last year has toughened me up immensely, and I can’t wait to see how that mental strength can be nurtured through next year’s busy race calendar!
I’ve struggled hugely at times over the past year with balance, and looking after myself when the balance has gone awry, work has taken over, and I’ve dug myself into a hole of exhaustion and misery. But I’m proud to say that I’ve given my first year my all, and tried my best to give my patients the care they deserve, and to be a thoughtful and helpful colleague. And, towards the end of the year, I’m proud that I feel as though I’m getting there with balance, and taking better care of myself.
So what’s next? After the chaos of a huge teaching hospital, I’m off to a tiny district hospital in Harrogate, which I think will be a very different experience, whilst I decide what to do next in my career, hopefully be a good mentor to the FY1 I’ll be working with on his first job, and oh yeah, train for the small matter of the Lakesman!
Out with the old; in with the new. Here’s to another year and the challenges it brings.