The ultimate dream job…

DSC06074I know being a doctor is such a privilege and a career that I truly enjoy. I get to be with people on their best days and also when they are on their worst days. As a general practitioner, I get to meet people from all walks of life- babies, teenagers, new mums, recovering addicts, recent prison inmates and some “salt and pepper” haired patients too. Some days I even get to help some new lives enter the world which is one thing I still find amazing despite my many years of practice. I really do enjoy my work and always look forward to hopefully continuing to play a little but important role in the lives of my patients and their families.
However, I would be lying if I ever said that I have not caught myself thinking about other jobs that seem very enjoyable. I have listed some jobs that I would be happy to do someday in the future even if for a day.

Travel presenter– You get paid to travel to the best places on earth and report on the best experiences on earth. Now I don’t know how anyone could have a bad day at work when you are living it up to that level most days. I can imagine dancing in the rain, enjoying traffic jams and everything else in the middle knowing that I will have the best seats on any flight, the best room in any hotel and I will be spoilt rotten at every stop. Now the only catch is that most of our travel presenters in Australia are definitely not chocolate coloured like me and they all seem to have model sized bodies and if that is a requirement, oh well, at least medicine is more inclusive…

Masterchef judge – you have great home cooks basically fighting to cook their best foods for you. If this is not heaven then I truly don’t know what is. I mean there is always a risk that you get to eat delicious sounding but utterly disgusting meals and I would love to have that as the main side effect of a job. The other obvious risk of the job I suppose is that during filming, one does run the risk of turning into a Michelin man. Given the current judges though, I wouldn’t think this development would necessarily disqualify me from the job…

Movie critic– I mean how hard is it to stay awake for a whole movie and then write a report on whether you enjoyed it or not? So truthfully, the staying awake part of the agreement might be where I fail this job but imagine the choc tops that this job would result in and the resultant happiness that would occur from said choc tops alone. I love movies but nothing really beats a choc top so maybe the movie critique report should also have a report on the choc top which could also lend itself to being a choc top flavour advisor…

TV show analyst– I think there is a show on ABC Melbourne, mid-morning on Thursdays when a lady attends to talk about all things television. I used to listen to this show on my way to a late start in GP land and thought I could do it too. Most of the shows she talked about, I had already watched and could comment on. Sometimes I knew more about some shows on free to air television than she did- but then again, she probably has more than a million channels to watch all in the name of “work”. Another benefit I suppose if the job perks of having all the channel subscriptions paid for by the boss or at-least being able to tax deduct all the expenses associated with watching TV. The only sad thing with getting me to do this job would probably be that I will be like those people who reverse their sleep cycles, never have a shower and spend all day in a dark room watching television and not even talking to family and friends so unfortunately, I think this job would adversely affect the rest of my life.

Entertainment reporter – I understand that celebrities can be a tough bunch to tame and they can be very “precious” but I really think it’s a great job to do. Travelling to all these “important” places to attend award shows and check out who is wearing what by who and then having your 2 cents to comment on whatever is occurring seems pretty chill. Imagine the itinerary of the year set out already- OSCARS, ARIA, Logies, BET, MET Gala, Cannes not including the movie premieres, music concerts and everything in the middle – that would be truly amazing.

Switchboard operator– hear me out here… I have a vivid memory of hearing an announcement of a code blue (medical emergency) at one of the hospitals I was working at as a junior doctor. As I abandoned my lunch to hurry to where the code blue was called, I happened to run past the switchboard operator who had already turned back to reading the novel she was probably reading prior to pressing the buzzer to the marathon I had now joined. I did a take 2 and realised that basically in that instant she was probably the chess player whilst us the doctors and nursing staff where the pieces on her chess board. Whatever was happening at the location she had called help to, was something she had hadn’t really dwelt on and she had already moved on to her next task. Now I know that sometimes the lines could be going crazy especially with angry people spewing their bile about how long they were waiting to be answered but really, I still think it’s a cool job to do, even for a day.

The STOP/SLOW sign holder– now there is a job that seems a bit cruisy if I say so myself. I mean all you need is a great audiobook and then you are set. This is especially if you are on a quiet stretch of road where it is only once in a while a car needs your assistance to navigate the obstacles you are warning them against. I hear this job can actually pay a pretty penny to basically be the king of the road for a little while.

Hand and foot model– I think this one is pretty cruisey too. I mean all you really have to do is exfoliate and moisturise regularly and then taadaa you are set. You get to wear fancy jewellery and expensive shoes and the great thing is that you probably don’t even need to walk in the shoes, just make them look good and then show me the money. Now the great thing is that, even without having a 6 pack, you can still have small wrists and ankles which I have been informed are great attributes for the job.

Now, these are the few I think of and I am pretty sure there are some out there I haven’t even thought of. For now,  I will get back to being a doctor, mother, wife, sister, and aunt as well as an amateur tailor, children’s author, and everything that I also dabble in without much monetary remuneration. They sure help balance out the stress involved with medicine and although they don’t pay as much or don’t seem as extravagant as some of the jobs I have listed above, I sure do treasure them and the smiles they bring.


Things I wish patients knew…


So there are many things that patients probably want doctors to know about being patients. The good thing is that as doctors, we should ideally all have our own family physicians and therefore we should be patients at some point in our lives. This thus means all doctors have been patients at some point but unfortunately not all patients will be doctors. So I thought I would provide some insight into the world as a family physician and some things I thought would be great to know…

  1. Trust me when I say, there is usually a very good reason why doctors run late- emergencies come up, breaking bad news, counselling a suicidal patient, managing complicated medical issues which can be compounded by complex family dynamics, you get the drift. I promise I am not sitting and twiddling my fingers in the consulting room and just giving you a “therapeutic wait” so you can decide whether you still want to see me or not. I would also want to get home on time and for once not have my son be the last one for pick up at childcare but I am here, addressing your medical issues so please don’t be angry at me because I cannot call all those patients who incrementally got me to this stage of late and get them to apologise directly to you.
  2. In the same token as point 1, I would appreciate if you could call in advance when running late and even better if you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment so that I can better serve the other patients who were unable to get an appointment time with me on the day.
  3. When you take your clothes off, you don’t need to apologise for whatever it is you feel like you need to apologise for- eg not shaving, being sweaty, being fat etc. Unless these are part of your medical illness, I am not really concerned about them. Females are the worst especially when having pap-smears when really all I am assessing are vulval medical conditions and the appearance of the cervix for example. Your legs not being shaved is not even something I look at.
  4. Antibiotics are not required for all ailments and no your viral upper respiratory chest infection that is dry but chesty will not be gone by this weekend if I gave you Augmentin duo forte or any other really strong antibiotic you desire. Allow me to take a comprehensive history, examine you and then determine what treatment you need and understand that sometimes good old rest, chicken soup, Panadol might be all you need.
  5. Asking to be bulk-billed at the end of a long consult when not on a health care card and having been told at the time of booking the consult about the fees of the consult is the same as going to a fine dining restaurant, eating a degustation course and then when the bill is presented going on to ask for a 50% discount. I don’t like making a big deal about finances especially when I have patients waiting but I hope you understand that halving my income doesn’t mean I only pay 50% for my groceries, mortgage or everything else that my family and I need. If you are not keen to pay out of pocket for medical consultation, in Australia the good thing is that there are strict bulk billing clinics that happily provide that service. I am happy to provide that service if it is agreed and understood from the beginning of the consult.
  6. If your child has a fever or pain, giving them paracetamol and having their fever or pain settle won’t make me not believe that they had it to begin with. Having a grizzly child with a fever or pain that has been going on for hours or even overnight just so the doctor can see how high their fever is or how uncomfortable they are amounts to cruelty in my eyes. Just tell me that you gave them some pain relief and I will still take a history, examine them and take it from there.
  7. In the same token as *6, telling me you have 10/10 pain and you have not had any pain relief and you were playing on your phone when I walked into the waiting room makes me question whether you understand the pain score to begin with. If I say 10/10 is being burnt alive, you are saying you are being burnt alive and choosing to still be playing on your phone and not take any pain relief which doesn’t make any sense to me. Also, don’t tell me about your pain threshold- I just need you to score your pain out of 10.
  8. Doctors are human too and sometimes they get sick and have to have time off work. Sometimes they have to attend to family emergencies such as sick children and have to take carers leave etc. They also need to have time for holidays and this should not be laced with guilt. Doctors who attend to patients when they personally are sick or who can’t even have time off to do other life things run the risk of burnout. This can eventually lead one to stop practicing medicine altogether. So appreciate it if your doctor does take the time to attend to do these things as it illustrates that they are indeed only human after all.

These are the few that I can remember at the time of writing this list. I am sure there are many more and a whole lot more patients would like their doctors to know. Feel free to comment below if you have anything to add

*Comments and opinions above are mine and don’t reflect the opinion of any medical clinic or college I may be affiliated with

*Image sourced from Google