Dear Junior Doctor,
We are excited by the forth-coming addition of some new doctors to our A+E department as the current lot are sufficiently broken, down-trodden and cynical regarding the society with which we live. A new group of fresh-faced eager trainees are very much needed. Though the thought of teaching you the tricks of the trade is less appealing. Doing this every 4 months is taking it’s toll and we’re finding it difficult to remember all the dos and don’ts from previously . Perhaps to take the heat off us you would be so kind as to read the attached document, “101+ odd signs”. These are in fact my personal bug bears, and I’m sick to death of defending juniors who insist on repeatedly making these mistakes. Just so we can be certain you’ve read it (well this plus the defensive medicine we now practice) can you please sign the attached form and return it to our secretaries at your soonest convenience. That way if you don’t take heed of point 26 (politeness is the cheapest form of defence) then we can say we told you so safe in the knowledge we have watched our own backs. A particular bug-bear of mine is point 66 – please, please, please don’t readily provide crutches. These are a precious commodity in our already struggling NHS and those of you who know your developmental milestones will recall we can hop on one leg from the age of 3 years.
A+E as you can see from the attached rota is not a 9-5pm job, did you get my joke there? That shift doesn’t exist. You’ll be responsible for covering out of hours, nights, weekends, all the anti-social times of the night and day. You may not see your friends or family, but don’t worry a lot of patients come through our doors, there’ll be plenty of communication opportunities. I’ve attached another document which will be a huge help in your coming to terms with the anti-social shift pattern, “Working the night shift: preparation, survival and recovery”. If it reads a bit like a going to war document this was the intention. If you only choose to read only 2 pages in this 24 page booklet may I suggest the “Successful sleep at home” section. This will point you in the right direction of getting a good sleep before night shifts, taking afternoon naps and ensuring you rest. If you have kids quite frankly you’re screwed.
A few of your predecessors have asked about personal safety and rather than have to answer these difficult questions at induction may I suggest you read the other attached document. We will of course send you on aggression training at some point during the post, not necessarily at the start when it would be most useful, perhaps in your own time though I realise this may be limited. You may be reassured knowing the “hospital operates a lockdown policy at night with controlled access and extensive CCTV coverage” and “there are security guards available 24 hours, backed up by police officers on Friday and Saturday nights”.
One last point is parking. A problem in all hospitals I know but we are lucky to have a large multi-story car park on site where you are guaranteed to get a parking space. It will cost you a mere £13.50 a day to safely park your car at your work-place. Please don’t walk to your car on your own after dark.
I think that is all for now dear junior doctors. In an unprecedented move we have sent out your contract, I know many of you have never seen a contract before but we want to ensure you sign it before starting. Heaven forbid you should arrive and change your mind about working here, best we legally tie you down for 4 months before you step foot in the place. I jest of course, you will enjoy your time here immensely and I guarantee you will talk about it for the rest of your working life.
With best wishes
Your Training Director