The guilty pleasure of being a doctor and editor
It’s a busy winters’ evening in London. I have spent hours sitting at my desk, obsessing over how a sentence should be artfully constructed, how a paragraph conveys a key point and if the commas are spaced appropriately in the references.
Editors can be impossibly pedantic and frustrating. But, they are visionaries and feel highly responsible to share a compelling and important message.
Last week we published our 8th issue of The British Student Doctor Journal. Since January 2017, we have published 2 issues biannually. And, late last year, we released our first supplementary issue, featuring the intercalation reports (a one year concentration in their field of interest) of Cardiff University medical students.
My frustration with medical school was that, sometimes, I felt closed off to the world around me. I spent years focusing on my medical textbooks and notes: learning the intricacies of the brachial plexus, the cranial nerves and cramming as much knowledge as possible into the “never-enough” hours of the day. To read anything else at the end, was tiring. Bedtime.
Yet, the world around us is important and directly impactful on clinical practice. NHS funding, Brexit, financial markets, climate change, Junior Doctor contracts, artificial intelligence. If they don’t affect doctors and patients now - they will soon enough.
Being an editor has given me the incredible opportunity to look beyond the four walls to the great and good of the world. But, an editor is also too distant to make an immediate change. As a doctor, we do make an immediate impact on patients, but our focus can sometimes become too narrow. My guilty pleasure is that I get to do both, and it is an absolute privilege to inhabit both worlds.
We all want to be the best doctor that we can be, but this isn’t possible if we confine ourselves to our medical cliques - a culture that insidiously starts from medical school.
Even if you’re not an editor, medical students and doctors can start becoming more curious about the world around them by reading outside of their boxes. Why not start by taking a read of our latest issue today?