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Wilkommen to my blog - my name is Karin Purshouse, and I'm a doctor in the UK. If you're looking for ramblings on life as a junior doctor, my attempts to dual-moonlight as a scientist and balancing all that madness with a life, you've come to the right place. I'm currently a doctor/research trainee in oncology after spending a year doing research in the USA. All original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Being Thankful

This is NOT a post about female doctors or other such controversies.  This is a post about good and simple things.

Today has been an absolute triumph on many levels.
a) I squeezed in a lovely wee run first thing around my ye olde worlde corner of the world
b) They played Be Thou My Vision in Church. I did not cry! Progress.
c) Exercise numero deux - badminton for the first time since I was about 12.
d) It's raining outside, I'm snug inside, fat jumper on, fire roaring away.
e) I'm going to visit Granny Germany soon.
f) I'm on top of my Masters (which means I'm behind on everything else, but hey, small victories!)

YES! Toasty warm on a rainy Sunday. 

It's Harvest Season so in church today the speaker asked us what we had to be thankful for? So many things, obviously, but it fitted in nicely with my recent 'life refresher'. I have let a few personal and professional things get on top of me in the last few weeks, and just felt sad about a whole bunch of stuff. I guess I'm just used to being able to control my feelings; damn that game face again! And I guess doing the job that I do, when you lose that mental positivity, it's easy to pull yourself down a hole.

Thankfully, I passed that exam, and decided this would be the spring board to a positive K Dog. Because my job is really pretty damn good fun, I get to meet cool people every single day and although I'm not perfect, I'm not a terrible doctor!  This week I had one such patient who reminded me of why it's so awesome. We instantly hit it off, and once I'd done the necessary 'spanish inquisition' of the history and examination, we had some more informal chat while I was taking his blood and getting other things sorted. He had had such an amazing life and I left my shift with a real spring in my step with the tales he had told. In what other job do you get to share so much about yourself, and have so much shared with you? I went to meet some friends later that evening and described how I'd had 'one of those patients who just makes everything worthwhile' and it was amazing to see how they all beamed at the memory of having had such patients themselves.

Obviously that's not what it's always like, but it's those more joyful moments of human spirit that I really value when I get to see them at work. I delivered my first tutorial session this week at one of the Oxford University colleges to a group of new medical students, and although they are at the start of a very long journey, I so desperately don't want them to lose sight of what it's all about. I might be stressed sometimes, miss important family/friend occasions from time to time and be committing myself to another thousand exams in the next few years, but it's a life that I strangely love.

So onwards and upwards. There is indeed much and many people to be thankful for. Hey, I became an Auntie! Coolest. Thing. Ever. 

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