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I thought North America had a plethora of reality programming on television, but the UK has it beat. The one thing the UK does seem to do rather well, compared to North America, is in having a variety of reality programmes.

I have already mentioned in a prior blog post that I have become addicted to “24 Hours in A&E” but there’s another one I have been watching – “Junior Doctors” which is shown on BBC3 here. Like with any other programme which looks at a working/living situation there are members who you care about and others who just annoy you.

Last night’s episode was about the Juniors doing their last bit of their year before moving on to the next level. Watching the programme has reminded me that Junior Doctors (or Residents/Interns as they are known in North America) are the same the world over. They are usually in over their heads, sometimes try to bully their patients, and run across recalcitrant patients.

Yesterday Amieth said something which any junior doctor would say. He had an elderly patient with fluid in his lungs. And he’s had it drained twice before, the last time being way too painful, messy and complicated. When Amieth tried to convince him to accept a fluid drainage the old fellow declined because he did not want to spent overnight in the A&E. Amieth called in his supervisor over for assistance. The old fellow still declined. The comment from Amieth was – I can’t force him to accept the drainage tube, it would be assault and I might go to prison, and it’s probably not a good thing to force it on him.

I have run across this with residents in Canada – they get so frustrated when an opinionated patient declines listening to them. I had one instance where the Chief Resident in Urology tried to discharge me 5yrs ago, about 2 weeks after my surgery and one week after I got out of ICU. I refused to be discharged and he was so angry with me – but my comment to him was “ you are not my doctor, you are just a trainee, let’s wait until my doctor returns from a training juncket”. And lo, there was nothing he could do about it.

Trainee Doctors are a funny breed – they are so eager to learn, but once they get some knowledge they can be rather arrogant. As one nurse told me, Urological Residents are the worst cos they have to deal with wee all day.

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