Dr Neel Sharma
‘It’s London or nothing.’ This is what many a trainee used to vocalise. Having worked in a clinical and research setting in London for several years I think my fondest memories will lie during frequent restaurant, bar and concert experiences to name but a few.
As a northerner having been schooled in Manchester, I made the decision to head South. After all as an outsider looking in, I always heard about the ‘top name docs’ being sited there as well as its’ high ranking universities. However I soon realised that the practice of medicine wasn’t so different. The management of chest pain, pneumonia and stroke for example seemed much the same and when a difficult case appeared, referral to all specialties was in overdrive. And as for the ‘top name docs’, well they were so detached from happenings on the wards that you never really experienced much in the way of their expertise. Of course, they are busy engrossed in tertiary referral type cases or on-going research, but as juniors on the shop floor we often look up to our seniors especially if they are highly regarded in the field. As typical admission takes are vast, there was little in the way of teaching and little time to divulge in other non-clinical works.
Personally, I think during postgraduate years it is important not to limit yourself to a certain area. From an educational perspective, there is much to be gained from local and global experiences. So while people may recite the phrase of Samuel Johnson, ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’, I would rather refer to an alternative, ‘The world is your oyster.’
Dr Neel Sharma
National University Hospital