I just quit being a doctor for the NHS.

Here are 12 reflections:
1. Recruit enough driven, intelligent people and they will heroically hold together an underfunded, duct-taped system.
2. Nurses are top bants & impressively tough.

I can’t fathom what keeps them going.

They cardiovert you, intubate, perform CPR, administer IV meds, yet paid literal peanuts.

I’ve seen some patients treat them terribly (& then switch to best behaviour when the doc walks in).
3. There is no such thing as a peaceful poo.

You WILL get 6+ phone calls when you’re at your most vulnerable.
4. I have worked with inspirationally smart, competent colleagues.

Mindblowingly so.

It has taught me to raise my standards in my own work.
5. You aren’t paid your worth in healthcare.

£1800/month for my hours isn’t enough to keep me here.

Apply the same time, energy & training to other fields, and you’d see 10x the return.

There’s easier ways to earn £1800 without 7+ years of training/exams/sweat/nightshifts.
6. Americans don’t get it.

Over here, the financials are completely removed from our individual clinical decisions.

I can say that with absolute confidence.

See point 5. We aren't paid enough to shill for big pharma 🧑‍🌾.
7. The technology is worse than I’d ever expected.

Wrestling with fax machines & using a battered windows PC with a broken keyboard all day is enough to drive anyone insane.
I conservatively estimate 3+ lost hours per day waiting for a hospital computer to load. 1500+ hours over 2 years.

That’s hella costly.

Here's a day in the life:
8. I made an astonishing discovery: beeping alarms, interruptions & sleep deprivation are not conducive to clear thinking or clinical decision making 👀
9. “But we’ve always done it like this” is not a satisfactory excuse for a broken process.
10. There is a weird taboo around financial incentives in healthcare, as if its somehow exempt from the laws of supply and demand (see below).

Yet it would solve the discharge letter problem instantly.

A fiver would do it. Hey, even a parking pass.. or lunch.
11. I have learned the importance of user interface.

Every extra click, or 5 second delay creates an avalanche of organisational friction.
12. Time is SO valuable.

Most employers take the mick with it.

Being a doctor is not a full time job.

It’s probably 1.5x once you account for the actual hours PLUS the bandwidth, personal life + circadian disruption from night shifts etc

13. Junior docs do more adminning than doctoring.

It’s a blessing in the early stages, but seems like a strange way to allocate the system's highly trained human resources.
14. If nurses were allowed to prescribe paracetamol, we'd receive 90% fewer phonecalls.
It’s been a ride, and I’m sad to leave.

I will probably return.

The system is showing signs of failing - by the time I’m back it’ll have been packaged and sold off.
I’d return immediately if, (unthinkably):
- We could use Apple computers
- We were adequately compensated

But we needn't worry about such a radical shift happening any time soon.

Thanks for reading.

Follow, heckle, DM me your abuse etc. 🙏️💙

bye x
Big response, thank you.

To clarify:
- I still love NHS: leaving because other projects need my attention.

- The comment about salary rustled some jimmies. £1800 is NET & I don’t mean to seem ungrateful.

It’s a good, secure living. But CHUNKY tuition debts & the ROI is low.
To people seeking advice who are feeling stuck in their job or want to diversify their income - here’s my advice:

And med students: don't let this put you off.

It's an excellent career with great training opportunities, security, intellectual stimulation, satisfaction and personal growth.

You got this 👊🚀
The main thing is to pick a job that suits your ideal combination of time/freedom/satisfaction/impact/money, whether inside or outside of medicine.

I'm struggling to reply to all the DMs, but for those asking how I balanced business & work:

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