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The Joy of Stress

16 April 2009

The Joy of Stress

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Medicine is always thought of as one of the most stressful careers you can have. Cath Janes says doctors should embrace that.

If you’re having one of those days when you’d happily chuck in your medical career for a vocation that’s altogether less stressful, look away now. The following statement may send you over the edge.

“Pressure is good. It keeps me motivated,” explains Dr Una Coales, a London based GP and MRCGP course organiser. “I did my medical and surgical training in the US and when I came to the UK I sat a UK licensing exam. I studied for the length of my first pregnancy, receiving my pass result on the day that I gave birth. I went on to pass the FRCS exam as well as the FRCS (ENT) during which time I had another two children. I then passed my MRCGP exam before writing a book on it. I’ve now written 11 exam books in all.

“I’d lose interest if I was in a mundane nine-to-five job. I tried working in private occupational health after completing my GP training but there was no mental challenge. I felt like a mindless robot. What I do now is pressurised but I enjoy it. In fact, passing the FRCS exam as an international medical school graduate and mother of three is my greatest achievement.”

Not the words you expect from an overworked and bleary eyed doctor, are they? They are, though, the words of someone taking a refreshing approach to the whole notion of stress within the medical profession.

Click here for the Full Story at the careers website for British Medical Journal