Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Work In Progress

Yes, I'm buggering around with the layout. Comments welcome.

Yes, I'm still working on the meme set me fucking ages ago, by the Angel of the North.

I'm fairly cross this eve. The blogosphere continues to reverberate with polemic diatribe. There's even more out there than I realised... I'll edit this in due course, to link as apt. But... Dr Rant has drawn my attention to this current outburst. Or maybe it's not current.
In fact I'm sure it's not current; it's eternal.

Forgive me if I oversimplify. I am a simple man.

There appears to be a backlash, directed against 'whinging doctors'. Mostly, as far as I can tell, from medical students, and other non-doctors.

So; currently doctors feel over-worked, and under-valued. There appears to be a campaign in the media to portray us as overpaid, and underworked.

When we complain, the response appears to be that we don't know how good we have it, and should put up, shut up or fuck off.

As far as I can see.

So... I do feel undervalued, and increasingly asked to work to conform to targets rather than what is necessarily best practice.

Do I feel underpaid? Well, I get good money, make no bones about it. Although, I earn less now than I did three years ago. So in real terms I have taken a pay cut in the region of 6 - 8 % over 3 years.

But; if I complain, I'm told I shouldn't because I have it better than many others, or am seen as ungrateful. This is after all a vocation, so I must be altruistic and compassionate, working only for the love of it.

I feel undervalued because I see other professions earning shitloads. My cousin earns as much, if not slightly more than I do, working for a mobile phone company. I'm not sure anyone tells him he is overpaid, or not working hard enough.

GPs and Hospital Consultants have done very well of late, but it is no more than they deserve, as far as I can tell. Their rise has come from the Govt deciding to pay them for work rendered. It's hardly their fault if it turns out they actually work quite hard...

Comparisons to other professions, are, in my opinion lacking in validity. Are we special? Maybe. I consider it an honour, and a provelage to be a Doctor. There is nothing better than treating patients. Nothing. But nothing else offers the highs and lows. We know things you don't, but then loads of people know stuff I don't. However, I think the responsibility we take on is greater. Which is why we get so very roasted when we get it wrong.

Conversely, the public sense of entitlement, with no sense of community responsibility, means when we do it right, no-one notices. Fine. It's not the same as lawyers, or any other professional, as far as I can see. Any individual working in the public sector gets beaten with it. Teachers, Nurses, Policemen (or women)... all fucked, because they provide a community service, and we're supposed to be honoured by it.

Education is as important a concept for society as anything. And we treat our teachers like shite. I can't figure it out.

How else does our profession differ? The public regularly come to my place of work, sometimes drunk, or on drugs; they make a mess, they piss on the floor, they assault me.

And they think it's fine.

We're never really off duty. Have you ever heard the Captain of an aircraft ask if there's a lawyer on board? When the call goes out "is there a doctor in the house?", they sure as hell don't mean someone with a PhD...

Am I special? No, I'm not, but the job I do is.

Am I treated badly, by the Govt, by managers? Yes, I am, but nowhere near as badly as Nurses and teachers, as far as I can see.

Am I worth more, or less, than someone who sells mobile phones?

And will your answer be different when I'm thrombolysing your coronary thrombus, or treating your child's meningitis?

I don't want to be treated differently, but I sure as hell don't appreciate people telling me I can't vent.


the little medic said...

"There appears to be a backlash, directed against 'whinging doctors'. Mostly, as far as I can tell, from medical students, and other non-doctors"

I think you'll find that is medical student (singular), i'd hope so anyway. Ms Thomas or whatever her name is certainly doesn't speak for all of us! :)

DrShroom said...

The impression I got from reading some of the posts on admissions forum, or wherever it is she posts as spider monkey, was that a few people shared her views. Maybe I misunderstood; I certainly don't mean to tar every med student with her brush. And she's entitiled to her opinion... it's just that I don't have to lik it.

Faith Walker said...

To be honest, I think everyone is entitled to their opinion. I can't actually see anything wrong with hers if that is how she sees it.

I can't say i really care a huge amount either.

Just leave her and ignore if if you don't like it-- little medic, I find you to be disagreeable most of the time to pretty much anything i say, and you're entitled that that view. In fact, what i wrote about bare below the eblows provoked most of the blogging doctors and medical student to launch name calling attacks on me-- nice (which were deleted). Very grown up.

Maybe everyone seriously needs to learn to respect the opinions of others a little bit more.

I realise I've gone on for long enough...

DrShroom said...

I'm hoping you guys aren't going to use this as a sparring ground?

Yes people are entitled to their opinion, but this character is pushing hers a little too hard, and it's based rather too loosely on fact to have merit.
Opinions can't be wrong, per se, but they can be misjudged.

Faith Walker said...

Of course not Shroom,

You guys seem to know more of her from this forum- I do not. So maybe I have the wrong end of the stick.

the little medic said...

I agree entirely, in my opinion, her opinion stinks. Doesn't mean she shouldn't be entitled to voice it though.

And certainly no sparring here - didn't realise i'd upset you so much faithwalker.