Aug 12

Bee-Emm-Jay, Baby!

Tag: BMJKal @ 8:46 am

As those of you who follow me on Twitter will be aware, I’ve been busy writing blogs for the BMJ’s Doc2Doc forum over the past few weeks.

Off the back of this I’ve been asked to write a further series of articles for them. In the past I’ve linked to these at Doc2Doc and I intend to continue to do so.

For those of you who aren’t signed up to Doc2Doc, please do! It’s a great forum with lots of health care professionals involved (not just doctors!) and a growing wealth of contributors.

The BMJ posts won’t be published here on TQ until the end of the series, so if you want a headstart on your fellow TQ readers, get on over there!

The latest post is “Fresh-faced and scared“.

9 Responses to “Bee-Emm-Jay, Baby!”

  1. Sewmouse says:

    Ok, as I am neither a “Doc” or any form of health-care professional (although I did do the “mommy” thing with bandages and cough syrup for 18 years) – I’ll comment here instead.

    Considering that I’ve known people well over 21 who have never been to a funeral, never seen a dead person – I think your analysis is spot-on. I remember how terrified you admitted to being during your first year out as a Tech.

    Oh, and please do reassure 999donkey that you aren’t quitting, eh? I’d be really angry if you quit so soon after you got cert’ed. You, Sir, are NO Sarah Palin!!!


  2. Fee says:

    Like Sewmouse, I’ll comment here as I’d feel a fraud in t’other place!

    My youngest was checked out at hospital by a Doctor who was, well, on the young side. I thought initially he just had a “baby face” but he admitted to being very newly qualified and sensibly went off to seek a second opinion from an old hand. Who was a complete twat. But still, he was an experienced twat. Even if I did have to ask for an English translation of what he’d just said (ie without all the medical jargon). Out on the streets, baby paramedics won’t have that kind of help on hand. I’m not saying they’d make mistakes, not by any means, just that they may not have the mental resources to cope when things go to hell in a hurry.


  3. DrShroom says:

    When I was a Med Student, BMJ stood for Bailey’s, Malibu and Jack Daniels. Off topic, but I thought you’d wanna know…


  4. DrShroom says:

    Oh, and something on topic. My tuppence worth…
    In any job like this – medical, paramedical, call it what you want – there is a fine balance between book skills and practical skills. Sadly, there’s no way to learn the latter without doing them. Medicine used to have a grand tradition of apprenticeship, which helped. I can’t help but worry that we now churn young docs, who may be very well versed in communication skills, but lack the practical experience we once gained in our final years as students. Still, it’d be better if none of us were twats…


  5. paul says:

    can’t be bothered registering there, but i have to disagree with what you’re saying.

    it totally depends on the person. you can be 21 and have lived away from home for 5 years, supported yourself and dealt with a lot of problems in your life. you can be 30 and still be living at home (as more and more people are/will be), never having really had to take responsibility for yourself, nevermind anyone else.

    prospective EMTs/paramedics go through a fairly rigorous selection process, so anyone getting through at a young age must have been identified as having the skills and maturity (or got lucky like me). and a lot of time is spent on the road over a 3 year paramedic degree course.

    i found the same kind of blanket ageism trying to make it in my other field of interest, translation, where i’ve literally had it said to my face ‘you need to be 40 to be a good translator, you don’t have the life experience, come back in 20 years’ surely it should be like they say in football – ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’?


  6. carol says:

    Sure, but sometimes the years just make you more adamant in your wrongness…. If the training includes enough ride-alongs and the kind of sims you have described so well from your own courses, it could be enough.

    By the way, the usual new-hatched MD on this side of the puddle is usually 26 at the beginning of internship, and at least 29 after residency (18 + 4 + 4 + 3 or more).

    Nice to see you in so many venues, congratulations! Please keep linking back home (for the slow typers…)!


  7. Charbob88 says:

    Kal, I have been thinking about how to respond to this without sounding too annoyed, and I have written and re-written it but I am just gonna send it as it is:

    ‘We see the laughable situation that can arise when brand-new police officers are sent to domestics, trying to fix the marriages of people often old enough to be their parents.’

    I was 18 when I joined the police as a volunteer and have been in that situation and it has never really been an issue. I would like to point out police don’t go out with the intention of ‘fixing’ peoples marriages. If police could do that we would be out of a job and lets face it if we are being called then the marriage probably shouldn’t exist. Secondly, I do agree its hard to discuss difficult issues with people old enough to be my Mum or Dad but lets face it, it’s more about the maturity and the mental capability of the individual. Most of the time victims are just pleased to see help, whether it is in the form of a young person or an older person. I feel my ability to deal with horrible things is innate, just because I am 21 doesn’t mean I can’t take the job seriously or provide advice based on my own life experiences, and with that there are many things I lose sleep over but I do the job because I feel I can. (Hope I am not coming across arrogant here, I don’t think I am superwoman or anything!) What I am trying to say is you can be 21 and experience lots of nasty things and you can be 41 and lived a nice life with no trauma or tragic incidents. I don’t know what age you started your medical training but I am fairly sure you must have known you would be capable of it from a young age, you just might approach it differently now.

    Anyways, hope you don’t find this comment offensive, I love reading your blog and have found it helpful when working alongside paramedics in the job…so thanks for that!



  8. Cath says:

    Ours start at 17 and qualify at 20, some of them still not old enough to drive on lights and sirens (as you have to be at least 20 to do so). But they spend one year in school and two years with crews as apprentices. First year as third person on a crew, second year as part of a regular two-person crew, but not dealing with drugs and still being in training. It is worrying that they are so young, but this is the model our government has chosen. What ambulance services tend to do is only accept as trainees those a bit older, but they are not supposed to, so they have to take the kids, too.


  9. katie says:

    thanks for the heads up for Doc2Doc, will look over there later as am on holiday in France at the moment :)


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