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The next generation of doctors are a bunch of wimps

Call themselves surgeons?

Last time, I devoted my whole column to a measured response to the GMC’s latest half-arsed survey, and today, it’s tempting to blow all 800 words on this report about surgeons who get stressed-out when things go wrong, and are coming over all weepy. Have you ever heard such a load of pathetic, self-pitying bollocks?

For various reasons I reckon I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to surgical complications, and when things go wrong you just have to man up and get on with it. I mean, it’s not a big deal, they’re only patients – it’s not as if you’d pranged the car or come to the notice of the tax inspectors. And surgical complications are not even a difficult clinical problem – the only possible responses are antibiotics, more surgery or filling in a crem form (and often, in my experience, all three).

But no, these limp-wristed excuses for surgeons are bleating on about needing more support, including ‘better mentoring’. Mentoring my arse! They assigned a mentor to me once, when I was still working at the MBoE Trust – she was a plug-ugly ex-nurse with an MBA, an attitude problem and absolutely no sense of humour. After a bit of good-natured horseplay during our first feedback session she went off long-term sick, and was still in therapy when I ‘retired’.

These researchers end up saying that more research is needed; well, there’s a surprise – I see that the lead author is a Dr, so not even a proper surgeon then? I expect she’s a nurse with a Ph bloody D, and nothing else to do with her time. I’m tempted to go down there and give the whining surgeons a bit of mentoring of my own, I’d soon sort out the men from the boys. (What about the women? – Ed)*

And then this….

Trainees are moaning about being bullied. That’s right, you heard me: bullied.

What a bunch of arse. Have any generation of doctors had it easier? They’re all bloody supernumerary. Each job starts with a week-long induction about how not to run with scissors; it’s followed by a gentle 48-hour week in which you watch other people provide care and never work out who your boss is; and then, should they expect you to work a big nasty night shift in the dark, dangerous hospital, you get a protected, all-expenses-paid weekend in Paris to recover.

And if poor little diddums goes over their ‘work hours’ they immediately fire off widdle forms dobbing in their bosses to HR saying they are now – at five past five – very, very tired because an unreasonable family got a bit emotional when they were told their Dad was dead and it has made diddums late for their Zumba class. WTF.

Bullied? I bet they’ve never had to lick the Professor of Surgery’s Bentley clean after he’s been on a shoot, while his Cocker Spaniel Sebastian mates vigorously with your left leg, nor had their arse-cracks used as a crude opener for one of his vintage bottles of Dom Perignon … mid operation.

That sort of stuff made me the man I am today. Losers.

Thanks, but no thanks

Wow! – a male oral contraceptive with ‘reduced potential’ for side effects. I think I’ll pass, though. Say what you like, the chances are that after a year or so, you’ll find yourself growing a pair of tits and taking an interest in soft furnishings. Anyway, as an ardent feminist, I’ve always thought it was right to allow the little lady to take responsibility for contraception. After all, it’s her body, as the sisterhood keep telling us.

Another one for the JBO**

So, men’s and women’s brains are wired differently? You know, I suspect we’d guessed that. Have a look at the circuit diagrams in this report, and, like me, you’ll feel a wry smile of recognition stealing across your features. See how the men have sensible front to back linear connections, allowing them to move effortlessly from an analysis of the problem to its solution, and then on to practical implementation.

And see how the ladies’ brains, on the other hand, send their ‘thoughts’ ricocheting from side to side, never settling for a moment, but flitting between the shopping nucleus in the left hemisphere and the nagging nucleus on the right, via the midline celebrity news and diet plan ganglion. ‘Multitasking’ my arse – it’s a wonder they ever get anything done.

Intelligent bras?

Not sure where to go with this one – it’s all getting a bit too much for me, to be honest. For most men, a bra is just a bit of an obstacle, and learning to undo them with one hand is a right of passage into manhood – but a bra that monitors the wearer’s mood, what’s that all about?

Although, I suppose it could be useful if there was an external display of some sort which would let a chap know if she was up for it or not. And yes, come to think of it, even married men might welcome advance warning of their wife’s mood when they get back from the pub, or even before they tentatively suggest that they were thinking of going out for a quick one in the first place.

Not that I would ever have needed it for any of the ex-Mr. Nelsons, though – for some reason, their moods were stuck on miserable as sin whenever they were with me. Incidentally, I see that ‘efforts to create a similar piece of underwear for men’ came to naught, because the detectors were located too far away from the heart – presumably in the groinal region.

Just as well they failed, because their sensors were only ever going to give one message from that neck of the woods.

Hot stuff

I’m a bit worried about this story. I’d been chatting with Lenny Spudge about increasing the range of our entrepreneurial activities, and possibly venturing back into the medical field, given the more welcoming climate now that Dave has opened the NHS up for plundering by the private sector. Lenny thought he’d spotted a potentially lucrative opening for a private radiotherapy service. Next thing I know, he’s gone off for a fortnight’s holiday in Acapulco, and then this. Well, it’s either Lenny or terrorists. Not sure which worries me the most.

* Women surgeons? – don’t make me laugh – never going to happen.

** Our old favourite, the Journal of the Bleeding Obvious.

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2 Responses to “The next generation of doctors are a bunch of wimps”

  1. Dr Anonnymouse says:

    The NHS is riven with antediluvian working practices and hugely negative and problematic cultures, including a cultures of bullying, dishonesty, not admitting to mistakes, resistance to whistleblowing, egomania and most worryingly a macho culture that does nothing for patient safety and achieves only misery by robbing hard working doctors of a social life, family life and happiness. Your article appalls me. You are symptomatic of the Victorian way that most horrid nasty consultant that I had the misfortune to train with treated us. Wake up, this is the 21st century, not some victorian workhouse. They should kick people like you out of the NHS, they really should.

  2. notnhs says:

    It is a zero sum game . The junior doctor’s life is a lot easier in terms of on calls and total work load compared to heretofore without a shadow of doubt . Their work now however is a lot more tedious in having to complete discharge summaries and having no continuity of care nor responsibility for patients . The consultants have however been royally shafted as well in being asked to perform in junior doctor role in all but name , the buck stops with them when reg does not turn up for night shift, being expected to act down. There is no way in hell I would ever do medicine again having gone through the wheel of misfortune in the NHS

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