“120-hour weeks we worked”
“Fell asleep whilst clerking in a patient!”
This Argumentum ad Populum type of logic in an argument about a job or job proposal is unacceptable in any line of work, from astrophysicist to zebra feeder. However, this is particularly toxic in our line of work as doctors, as there are some former doctors who are especially loud and saturate the realms of politics and media with this outlook. Thankfully, there are far more senior doctors who don’t have this attitude. This is intended towards the first group.
Dear former doctor, thank you for all you have done in service of our nation’s health. But….
• In your day, interns had free hospital accommodation
• In your day, your salary went a whole lot further, and many of you were able to pay off your mortgages.
• In your day, junior doctors lived and worked together and provided a network and coping mechanism in times of difficulty. There was a “firm” culture where health staff were a team.
• In your day, nurses had the time and authority to deal with many issues themselves instead of having to spend almost their entire shift completing paperwork.
• In your day, junior doctors did not graduate with close to £100,000 of student loans to pay.
• In your day, doctors had a ridonculous final salary pension to look forward to.
• In your day, your working life was often not left to be dictated on the whim of management or human resources. In fact, there was no management or human resources.
• In your day, junior doctors from Australia, New Zealand and North America used to flock en masse to the United Kingdom, not just for Fellowship posts for Specialist Training. Why doesn’t this happen any more? Why is there such disparity between ourselves and our peer countries that so many junior doctors have applied to go overseas, when it was once the other way round? Does that not tell you something about how things are comparatively?
Even if junior doctors were working their feet skinless in the pits of hell in your day, why does that matter? You are justifying the unjust, by saying the past was worse. And shame on you.