5 Things I have learned working in the U.K

By berrysmotivation - May 08, 2018

After medical school in Ukraine, I had to choose between a career in the U.K or U.S. For so many reasons I decided on a path in the U.K and I’m currently making the most of it. 

Everyone has a thing or two to say about working as a doctor in a foreign country and there are few things I’ve learned so far that has boosted my confidence and made me a better doctor.

1. Being true to myself. In the U.K doctors are made to understand that you can’t know it all. You have to find your niche and be true to it. I see consultants seeking advise from their colleagues in other specialities sometimes even a junior colleague. It is something I find very useful and most of the time the end result is always positive. I’ve learned that I can’t be a Jack of all trades.

2. Rest is paramount. At a time where I thought pleasing people was the goal, my consultant made me understand that working like a horse wouldn't change a thing. As a matter of fact I'll burn out easily and be at risk to myself and the patients. At the time I tried so hard to be very hardworking, spent extra hours after work tidying up, doing more than I could handle but with time I’ve come to realise that rest and breaks are of essence. You simply can’t please everyone. 

3. Systems and protocols are important. If there is one thing that comes up every time you have a conversation with a team member, it’s the guidelines. There are guidelines to follow and these are regularly updated to ensure patients safety and safe practising for doctors and even nurses. In this case mistakes occur but not as often as it would be in a system where there are no guidelines. The trick to the trade basically are important guidelines to guide you. 

4. I have learned to appreciate life. Working in a society with a huge number of the population being elderly, you get to appreciate life even more. Listening to them speak of their experiences in life is always interesting. I had never understood how an end of life pathway worked till I got here. Patients who are basically over a certain age with multiple co-morbidity's are placed on an end of life care pathway if little or nothing can be done for them medically. In essence the doctors and relatives are waiting for the patient to die. I see these patients everyday, sometimes I get emotional and most of the time I stay grateful for the gift of life.

5. I have learned to appreciate everyone. Regardless of your age, career status, gender or background everyone is respected. In certain regions of the world, if you aren’t in a particular career path, you are automatically underestimated or looked down on. The situation hasn’t been the case in my experience so far as everyone is respected regardless of what you do.

I still have lots to learn and still learning. 


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