One ‘Now that I’ve taken up all of the appointment time with other matters could I just mention this potentially serious problem that you are not going to be able to ignore and will have to spend extra time dealing with’, one late arrival (not her fault, in all fairness – she got caught in a traffic jam), two referrals, and one please-expedite-this-patient’s-appointment letter. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. I finished surgery at 5.35 and finished off everything else shortly after six; I’ve had later departures than that on normal days. I loaded my last few things into a bag, took the sunflower picture off the wall, took one last long look at the room I’d worked in for almost five years, said my last goodbyes to the other people in the building, and left. And I’m done.
On Wednesday, I can start dealing with the learning curve I’ve got ahead of me – new patients, new computer system, new referral procedures, new hospitals to refer to, all in a building so large I should probably take a map, a compass, and three days’ rations with me every time I try to navigate it. I can do all of that. The great thing about tidying your desk, apart of course from having a tidy desk, is that after that you know you can do anything.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, I’m about to turn forty. I haven’t actually had time to think about this very much what with all the other change going on, but it seemed worthy of passing mention. It’s odd to think that this time ten years ago I was still a trainee GP commuting back and forth to a long-distance boyfriend who I hoped would turn out to be the one for me. Ten years, two postgraduate qualifications, two jobs, one wedding and two children later, I can say that it’s been a darned good decade.