Saturday, 30 April 2011

Street Party

The Royal Wedding on TV in a front gardenAt last, I've finished. It's over. I no longer have to subject myself to daily scrutiny, open my soul to self-examination, confess to my sins in public, tell untruths and half-truths - "Are you enjoying yourself?" "What aspects of your practice need improving?" "What aspects of your behaviour do not meet our standards?" "Have you enjoyed yourself?"Of course not. It's been horrible.

The worst of it is that being a good dietitian is very difficult indeed. It requires extremely complex messages to be communicated clearly, in a limited time, with a healthcare responsibility on top. Of course, the consequences of being a bad dietitian do not compare with those of being a bad surgeon or a bad fireman. But I take what I do seriously, and I want to succeed by my own standards. The last three months have made me think at times that either I can't achieve this, or that I no longer want to. I'm fairly sure that this feeling will wear off, but it's a horrible thing to imagine that four years of study are leading towards a career that won't suit me after all.

I'm still waking up thinking about patients and consultations. Could I have done that better? Should I have suggested something else? Did I really listen to what the patient was saying? I'm sure it will get better. I hope so.

Meanwhile, we had our street party to look forward to, in honour of the Royal Wedding. Mr A hadn't taken an active part in the arrangements, but had cooked enough for 10 people. We have enough for 8 left over. It was a great opportunity to meet more people from the surrounding streets, and the weather was fine, so that's what we did.

It took a good deal of effort, given that neither Mr A nor I are particularly comfortable striking up conversations with strangers, but we managed. I met someone who is an A&E doctor for three days a week, a GP for two days a week, and at weekends he is the chief medical officer for Formula 2 motor racing. He also has a baby less than a year old - and he had time to come to a street party. We also met the neighbours of the chap who organised the whole thing, and who are ardent Republicans, and felt the need to make this clear at every opportunity.

Now I have an extensive list of the things that have been neglected for three months, and things that need to be sorted for the next month: for the Conference and leading up to my final exams. I have made a first attempt at my Poster, and need to get that sorted as soon as possible so that it can be printed in time. But first - a haircut is well overdue.

The Street Party in full swing

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