Could I be a neurologist?

For some really, really daft reason, we only spend 2 weeks doing Neurology in our fourth year. Despite the fact that there are very very few neurologists in the country per head meaning that most other doctors spend a significant amount of time doing lots of (less complicated) neuro stuff too, we get a grand total of a fortnight.

It was the best organised placement I think I've ever had. We had the best of the best teaching us. It was fun, I learnt a huge amount and now seriously consider doing it as a career. It's competitive, can be incredibly tricky and complex and there is still so far to go in this area of medicine, but it is fun. I said to one of the consultants I was clinic with this week, "I'd love to do it...but it's too competitive...I don't know whether I would be able to make enough sacrifices to do it. Did you have to sacrifice a lot?" I asked, wondering about how things were different when this middle-aged irish consultant trained in Neurology. Were they screaming out for more neurologists back then? Was it a speciality you walked into in comparison to others?

"Well," he began, already exacerbated by the question, "I mean, my marriage is in pieces, obviously. My wifes career is over, someone had to look after the kids, because I never see them. She hates me. We've had to move house more times than I'd care to mention, sometimes, I wonder if my kids know if they have a dad let alone who it is... I'm constantly exhausted, I haven't seen my friends or my parents for years, I have no time or anything like that, but absolutely do Neurology. Do I regret it? Yes. But if Neurology is what you want to do, then you absolutely should do it."

I still, don't know if he's kidding.

Next: A week on ophthalmology. A week! For the whole of ophthalmology.

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