Clinician Stories

Re-evaluating the power of touch

The conversation was not one I was unfamiliar with. Discussing a serious diagnosis, a worrying test result, or a life limiting prognosis is something I have been doing on probably a weekly basis for years. This conversation was no different; the recipe that guides me...

Regretfully falling between the cracks.

I first met Karen in 2018.  She came in to consult about a possible chest infection, and I went on to discover that ten months after undergoing surgery for breast cancer she was apparently still waiting for her chemotherapy to start. She wasn’t one to complain...

Remarking on the igglepiggle moments

Eight years ago I wrote about the ‘Igglepiggle moments’ of my clinical practice. The quick fixes in paediatric ED that punctuate my week and lighten the load, reminding me why I love my job, grounding me in what really matters. I was reminded again this week of my...

Re-filling the tank

I’m on count down. Annual leave minus 10 days. If all goes to plan (no local lockdown!) I’ll be going away; an escape to the country, to the coast; a relatively unpopulated area that I’ve spent a couple of weeks exploring most summers for the last few years. A...
Revisiting the basics of care

Revisiting the basics of care

He was agitated, a tremor in his hands, his leg shaking, foot tapping. He wanted more Tramadol for his pain. Recent directives, figures from the USA and the desire here in the UK to avoid a similar opioid crisis crowded my mind. Sensationalist headlines about GPS as...

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Realising: compassion for myself

Realising: compassion for myself

This story is of a sensitive nature. We want to forewarn readers of this and offer links to sources of support for any of our readers who have suffered personally. ‬ ‪www.rapecrisis.org.uk‬ ‪www.rasasc.org/ tel: 0800 028 8022‬ ‪www.thesurvivorstrust.org/‬...

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Relinquishing old fears

Relinquishing old fears

‪This story is of a sensitive nature. We want to forewarn readers of this and offer links to sources of support for any of our readers who have suffered personally. ‬ ‪www.rapecrisis.org.uk‬ ‪www.rasasc.org/ tel: 0800 028 8022‬ ‪www.thesurvivorstrust.org/‬...

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Reassurance: the comfort of patients

Reassurance: the comfort of patients

I stopped dead in my tracks when he couldn’t lift his head off the pillow. The smile of greeting was the same but I knew something was very wrong at his inability to raise up to meet me. For a moment time stopped and I froze. Not now? This was quick. Oh no! The last...

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Recollections: taking it all in

Recollections: taking it all in

It was a cold, bleak Sunday in January. The trees were bare, the sky colourless and the ground had that bleached look it gets when it’s cold enough to see your own breath. A grey, tired landscape, devoid of colour after the Christmas holiday. Inside the ward was a...

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Re-leveling: how stories ground us.

Re-leveling: how stories ground us.

Doctors make mistakes. There; I've said it. For those of us in the profession, that can be a hard pill to swallow, but the earlier that lesson is learnt the better, not only for our patients but also for ourselves. Doctors make mistakes - the important question is,...

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Recalling my time in neurosurgery

Recalling my time in neurosurgery

As a junior doctor I spent six months working on a neurosurgical ward of a London hospital. This job was unlike any I had worked before. The hours were long and the work intensive. Our rota of four doctors was only filled by three of us, meaning at times a 1:2 on-call...

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