Hi, if you’re reading this you’ve stumbled upon my blog Freehearted Medic. I created this space to share thoughts, frustrations, ideas, hopes and dreams during my first two years working as a doctor. Being a junior doctor can be extremely difficult as you navigate a high stress environment, where things can and do go terribly wrong. It is something all doctors do on a daily basis, and they usually have added pressures of understaffing, exhaustion, exams…the list is endless.

This blog started off more like an online stream of thought, but has started to develop into something else. Instead of focussing on my own personal experiences, I hope to shed light on the issues that doctors face in looking after their own health.

Reading back on my posts I realised that they were penned during a period of bad burnout. I would say from term two of internship I was burnt out. Once you’re in that space it’s hard to come back from it, my mind just wanted a break. Whether that be achieved by annual leave or quitting.

Now that I’m out the other side I’ve realised that I didn’t want to quit medicine because I hated it, I wanted to quit because I wasn’t coping. I hope to work to educate medical students and junior doctors on self care, recognising early signs of burnout and reducing the stigma of mental health issues in medicine.

A healthy doctor is a good doctor – it’s better for the individual and the community.

A bit about me

So I started my medical degree at the ripe old age of 17 in 2013, and soon found myself in a whole new world (one I really had no idea about prior to joining). During medical school I had some doubts about the whole thing, and took a ‘gap year’ in 2016 where I travelled across the world. I loved every second of my time away, and contemplated not coming back. I however did come back, and graduated medical school with honours in 2018.

Yet I was still not ready to face internship, and decided on declining my first year of work. I spent 2019 travelling again, and finally in 2020 (the year of COVID) I returned home to work. 2020 was my year of putting my head down and getting general registration as a doctor.

Two years later I’ve successfully completed internship and residency. It was a hard two years, made especially harder with COVID. I continue to share my thoughts through this medium in the hope that it can help you in knowing that you’re not alone.

Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash