The result of having passed various postgraduate exams along the way is that I seem to have ended up on a bunch of mailing lists of editors who have me tabbed as somebody who’s interested in going that extra mile to keep up with latest medical practice. Hence, I get so many journals falling through my letter box that our poor postman probably has a hernia. (And let’s not even talk about the effect on my husband. I have finally got used to reading them out of his sight and not leaving the ickier pictures lying around – until then, he told me it was like living in Fred West’s library.)
In all fairness, I am someone who’s interested in going that extra mile to keep up with latest medical practice. Few things beat the satisfaction of having a patient ask me something that, thanks entirely to my own hard work and diligence, I can actually answer. The problem is that it’s actually more like going the extra fifty miles. This is a highly exciting time to be a doctor – more research results come out every day, and we’re starting to actually base our practice on them instead of the time-honoured standby of This Is The Way We’ve Always Done It – but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of actually reading all that research (even in summary form) and trying to keep some kind of handle on what’s decent quality, what’s not, and what’s just been debunked by an even more recent research study, it can get somewhat overwhelming. When you add in the number of review articles by specialists on appropriate up-to-date treatment of the truly astonishing variety of diseases, injuries, and assorted malfunctions that the human body can develop, and then recall that I’m trying to fit the reading of all this around actually doing the job I’m doing all this reading about, not to mention taking care of a toddler and having the odd bit of life of my own – well, you can probably see why there have only been a few months in the past several years where I haven’t had a tiresomely large Journal Backlog Pile stacked up waiting to be read.* Still, I have – spurred on by the Clearing Paper Clutter Month over at Flylady’s – been making a concerted blitz on the Journal Backlog Pile in recent days. I’m taking some annual leave this week, so I’ve actually had a bit more time than usual to catch up.
Between last Saturday and yesterday, I’ve read one and a bit Updates, one GP, one Doctor, three Pulses, one BJGP, two and a half Prescribers plus one supplement, part of a Practitioner that needed finishing off, the first few pages of this week’s BMJ, one MPS Casebook, and a few random assorted articles on pain control, renal failure, and probably a couple of other things I’ve forgotten that showed up in the mix.
This morning, the post brought one copy of GP (with additional booklet on cholesterol-lowering protocols enclosed), one copy of Pulse, one copy of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, and the latest handout and newsletter from the Arthritis Research Campaign.
Any vacancies for painters on the Forth Bridge?
*The few months in question were the few months when I was on maternity leave. Having a (first) baby who wants to nurse non-stop does have the advantage of letting you catch up on your reading, since there’s not much else to do. **
** In retrospect, though, trying to read an article on scalp disorders while I was in advanced labour probably wasn’t the smartest move I’ve ever made.