Top Tips For New Doctors – Dr Catriona Barlow

20 Jun 2020

We continue our Top Tips for New Doctors with Dr Catriona Barlow, Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow and Obstetrics and Gynaecology Trainee.

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We continue our Top Tips for New Doctors with Dr Catriona Barlow, Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow and Obstetrics and Gynaecology Trainee.

Catriona reflects on her first days working in the NHS over eight years ago with some top advice (pockets!) for new doctors starting out:

  • A shift will always be easier if you have eaten and drunk something
  • Support other FY1s and they will support you
  • It does get better
  • You will get there in the end
  • You are allowed to look things up whether it’s in the BNF or on Google
  • If you can, car share or commute together with other FY1s as it means you have company and you are likely to all help each other get tasks finished at the end of the day so you can all get home
  • The nurses, midwives, healthcare support workers and ward clerks have a huge amount of knowledge about their ward so never be afraid to ask them for help if you’re stuck, they may well have the answer
  • There are no stupid questions, don’t be afraid to ask
  • Get yourself some comfortable shoes and clothes that are easily cleaned
  • You can never have enough pens
  • Sometimes veins just disappear
  • Talk to your patients and learn from them, you’ll hear some great stories you’ll never forget
  • Try to see your portfolio as a record of achievement to be proud of rather than a never ending assessment
  • Plan nice things to look forward to, especially after a set of nights, whether that’s a trip to the cinema, a brunch or a payday night out
  • Sleep is important, try to get as much as you can
  • Keep an eye on your payslips, pay is wrong more often than you’d think
  • You can claim tax relief for professional costs such as GMC fees and defence union subscription
  • Have someone you can talk to, whether a friend or family member, sometimes a good rant after a hard shift is all you need to restore yourself
  • Look after yourself, you matter
  • Did I mention pockets? You’ll always need pockets

Find out more top tips on Monday 24 June.

Category: Engagement


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