Monday, 26 March 2012


Unlike in most medical TV programmes I can safely say that my seniors are pretty lovely. Yes they can be snappy and sometimes intimidating without meaning to, but they all not only teach us but also chat with us.

The other day I was sitting I the mess and my boss asked me if I thought he'd made the right choice regarding a specific intervention with a patient now that we were a few months down the line.

I had one of those scary moments. Was I supposed to blindly say that my consultant made the right choice? Obviously that would be the "safe" option. Who am I a mere F1 to say that my vastly experienced consultant was in the wrong.

I paused and thought.

I actually didn't know. Would I have done the same thing? It makes me wish we had a medical time machine and that we could see all the possible different outcomes of our decisions. I'm sure with the benefit of hindsight there will always be time where we think that on balance our initial choices may not have been the best.

I said as much to my boss and he just nodded.

Later he gave me a great piece of advice.

Looking back with hindsight can be useful, but as long as you know you made a safe decision in the best interests of the patient that it doesn't matter if things don't always work out exactly as planned.

I hope I can remember that next time I'm thinking what if?

Dr Sunshine xXx


  1. Sounds like a complete dude. Often, the most important thing is MAKING a decision.

  2. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard was actually from a book about a little girl with cancer (it's called Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a life fully lived). The book is an account of her battle with cancer and at the moment of her diagnosis one of the doctors sits down with her parents and says something like "Don't look back and think 'If only I'd known.....' . You can only make your decisions with the information you had at the time, and they'll be the best decisions you could make at the time."

    It's something that stuck with me, and makes me feel a lot more relaxed about making big decisions, because I know that I'm making it with all the knowledge I have at that moment.