Over the past few months DZ has made an effort to put more posts on this blog, after a long period of neglect. But looking back over my more recent posts they all look a bit repetitive, and stale. I’ve simply run out of things to say.
This coincides with the fact that I have finally taken my retirement, and my interest in medicine is changing in perspective, from provider to recipient.
And of course blogging, as a form of communication is becoming distinctly passe.
And so this will be my last post, although I will leave the blog here for a while yet.
So as I ride off into the sunset, inevitably, I look back on my 40 plus years in NHS hospitals. I’ve been lucky in enjoying my work immensely, and the company of many of my colleagues has been a joy. I’ve worked with many people I have respected, admired, and even loved. But of course I’ve also experienced occasions when I have been disappointed with some of the people also involved with the NHS who I’ve encountered, and the vast majority of these occasions, on reflection have been concentrated in one group whose ability to dismay and demoralise has never failed to surprise and disappointment.
Surprisingly it’s not our political masters in government. Their repeated attempts to “reorganise” has been a constant source of disorientation, and their obsession with trying to wring every last ounce of “economy” has been a disservice to the people who vote for them. And their concerted attack on NHS pay, by year on year pay increases below the rate of inflation, effectively a pay cut, while reprehensible is not surprising. We expect them to behave like malicious arseholes, and they don’t disappoint.
Nor is it the nursing, and other NHS staff we deal with on a daily basis. Obviously once in a while you come up against someone who rubs you up the wrong way, but DZ has always found the vast majority to be good colleagues and good company.
It’s not even the GMC. Although they are without a doubt vindictive, unfair, malicious and incompetent, and with a bizarre attitude that the laws of the land don’t apply to them, most doctors have very little contact with them in their whole career other than paying the fees, and 5 yearly revalidation. Again we don’t have high expectations of them, and they don’t disappoint.
It's not management either. Their attitude seems to be mostly one of indifference born of ignorance. They don’t seem to have a clue as to what’s going on, and they’re easily manipulated by the real villains in the hospital.
So who are the real villains. The group that almost exclusively is responsible for those occasions when my life has been made difficult, unpleasant, unenjoyable, and, ultimately, makes me glad to finally leave.
It’s hospital senior doctors of course, my own colleagues, the medical profession. While many of my medical colleagues have been fantastic people, and lifelong friends, my perception is that as a group we have within our ranks an exceptionally high proportion of those that are cynical, selfish, backstabbing, avaricious, two faced, greedy, mendacious, dishonest, deceitful, rude, arrogant, aggressive, egocentric, scheming, venal, unethical, overbearing, vindictive, malicious and just plain mean.
And I’m not talking about the trainees. I’ve always found them polite idealistic and selfless. So how do they turn into the villains I describe? In the same way that children, abused by their parents, often become themselves abusive parents, constant exposure to their bosses turns many of them too into monsters. And things are not getting any better. Within the last month I’ve seen consultants abusing and humiliating their trainees, and having temper tantrums, throwing instruments across the room.
I’m not going into details of the appalling behaviour I’ve seen amongst my consultant colleagues on an almost weekly basis. I’d be here all day. They are the ones who have disappointed me the most in my career.
So. So long, it’s been good to know ya! Some of you anyway.