Junior anaesthetic doctor who loves teaching, writing, and anything with wheels
Hello. Welcome to Unicyclemedic.
My name is Will, I’m a junior doctor in the United Kingdom having studied undergraduate medicine at the University of Cambridge, and then completed my clinical years in London at King’s College. I intercalated with a degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience during my third year at Cambridge, and have worked as a junior doctor in the South of England since qualifying. I’m now enjoying my career as an anaesthetic trainee, and am particularly interested in intensive care, prehospital emergency medicine and trauma.
I also like to ride a unicycle.
I originally had no idea what do to with this blog – I liked the idea of setting up a website and writing about something medical so I started one, but without any real plan. It started out as a crude revision tool that I threw together in fourth year of med school; somewhere I could dump handy revision aids, mnemonics and advice for exams and medicine in general.
Then I started drawing cartoons. Doodling these silly snippets of life as a medical student, and then as a doctor, were an amusing, relaxing distraction from actually doing any real work, however people seemed to enjoy them so I kept drawing, and then decided to stick them on here.
Finally, while working as a junior doctor, I started to have a real problem with anxiety. By this I mean wake-up-in-tears-at-3am levels of panic. I was worrying obsessively about literally everything I did – every decision I made, every procedure I performed – my idiot brain would find some way to torture me at night with worries about how it might have gone wrong or how patients may have come to harm because I forgot to check that repeat creatinine or double-triple check that prescription for a drug that patients can routinely buy over the counter. It got to the point where I was seriously considering whether I would even survive in the world of medicine, let alone manage in an acute speciality such as the ones that interested me at the time.
I figured that if I was feeling this way, there must surely be others in the same position. However when I asked around among my colleagues at work, I found that even though many of them were struggling with a similar issue, albeit to varying degrees, they were seriously reluctant to talk about it. I guess it makes sense in a career that for years has promoted ridiculous self-confidence , ruthlessly ridiculing those who accept they when they don’t know the answer, or who admit to finding it hard at least some of the time…
So I decided to open up and start writing ‘The Anxious Doctor’, alongside my drawings, in the hope that other medics struggling with the burden being a persistent worrier like me can find some solace that they’re not alone, and there is light at the end of the anxiety tunnel.
I hope you find it useful,