Looking Ahead

Come August, I will be an FY2 in oncology, general surgery, and general medicine.

Not all at once.

I opened my work emails at the end of last week to see a message from the postgraduate office. “Your choices for F2 jobs have been allocated. Please come into the office to find out what they are.”

I should explain, as there was a great deal of confusion over the weekend with family members telling me that I should go ahead and apply for jobs. I already had an F2 job. The two year Foundation Programme comes as a package deal, which means that I’ve known since last year that I would have an F2 job and even which Trust it would be based in. The part I haven’t known is which rotations I would be given. I “applied” for them last month. This was considerably less fraught than FPAS and involved ranking the ten potential rotations in order of preference and making my case for the ones I’d put at the top in an eight or so line personal statement. I didn’t but would have liked to make my case against the ones I’d put at the bottom instead. For example, what I thought would have been a refreshingly candid, “You don’t want me to be your paediatric SHO. Nobody in their right mind would want me to be their paediatric SHO. No, really.”

I digress at this point to note that I haven’t really been around much during normal office hours. The last time I worked a non-bank holiday weekday day shift was December 19th. The next time I do one will be February 14th. And yet, I had this email. An email asking me to present myself in person in order to find out the results of my job application, which, on the whole, seemed charmingly backwards. A little like saying that they have the technology but that they choose instead to avail themselves of an information delivery service more primitive than the carrier pigeon, dating back to a time when you had to send a guy on a horse to the next village. In any case, I hung around after coming off nights on Friday morning and dutifully presented myself.

Not least because having actually looked at my rota to see those dates, I had the minor side issue of needing to explain why, through no actual fault of my own, I currently have a 0% attendance at “compulsory” teaching for this rotation.


These are jobs that I’m pleased with, or as pleased as I ever expected to be — oncology and gen med were exactly what I was after and although I hadn’t precisely wanted a surgical job, a certain amount of surgery is an inevitability and, besides that, a requirement that I don’t think my single surgical rotation in F1, which I haven’t done yet, would have fulfilled by itself. My experience so far has been that I much prefer general surgery to the other sorts, so the outcome of that could have been a lot worse and I find myself relieved that I ranked the two options for surgical specialties dead last.

And then there’s, you know, the part where the mere idea of being an SHO in anything at all is terrifying stuff.

There’s a joke in here somewhere about time flying when you’re having fun. Etcetera.



    • I think that children are perfectly delightful when they have parents to whom I can hand them back after ten minutes of peek-a-boo, which makes me think that I should neither have my own nor contractually obligate myself to spend all of my working hours with them. They tell me that being having an awareness of one’s own limitations is a thing, in my job.

      … and I do make a beeline for the dogs before the kids, but that’s nothing against kids really. :) I defy anyone not actually allergic to them to not make a beeline for this:


      (Photo: Stewart Macfarlane. Dog: Tessa.)

  1. I had never held a baby before my first was laid wet on my belly – and I had expected to not enjoy being the mother of a young child at all. I found I loved it, hugely to my surprise. You are not alone.

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